With the promise of profit more than halfway through the mining season, the miners are in a race against Mother Nature to mine as much gold as they can before the harsh Oregon weather pushes them off the mountain. With the mine operations running smoothly, Patrick takes the opportunity to explore the complex history of Sumpter.
Once a profitable boomtown during the great gold rush of late-nineteenth century America, the hills of Sumpter were rich with gold. But this bustling boomtown burnt to the ground on August 13, 1917. In just three hours, the once nicknamed "Queen City" was rendered a pile of burning rubble. With it went many of the town's historical records, making Patrick's research that much trickier. He heads to one of the two local cemeteries since they serve as one of the few historical records left that hadn't been lost in the conflagration.
While wandering the cemetery, Patrick stumbles upon a pillar-style headstone of a Joseph Young. The familiar name of a spirit, "Joe," that he's heard throughout the town crosses his mind. The square and compass carved into the headstone catches Patrick's eye, as it is an identifying symbol of Freemasonry. Given the Freemasons' substantial influence throughout the history of Sumpter, Patrick conducts an impromptu EVP session at Joseph's grave. Later in his research, he discovers that Joseph Young was a prominent member of Sumpter's Freemason community.
That evening, Patrick is invited to the cook shack with the miners for a friendly game of poker. As the chips and quips fly, the group is literally shaken by an explosive force, knocking pots and pans from the wall. Everyone darts outside to find nothing out of the ordinary. Kristin's voice comes over the radio calling for help at the investigators' shack. She too, experienced something disturbing.
Unnerved, Kristin explains how she felt her shack shake as something pounded against the wall at the same time as the cook shack. As the miners call it a night, Patrick and Kristin whip out their cameras and head back to the cook shack to see what they can find. They conduct an EVP session. While Patrick investigates the surrounding area, Kristin again asks if they were being given a warning and shrieks when a loud thump shakes the cook shack in response. Shaken, they wrap up their investigation.
While reviewing their footage the next day, Larry, the mine owner, pays them an unexpected and intimidating visit. He angrily warns the investigators not to share any more evidence of what they find with the miners, leaving Kristin and Patrick to wonder why Larry brought them on to the team at all. They politely agree to remain aloof from the miners, concerned that gold fever has gone to Larry's head.
Greybeard and Jamol head into the eastern tunnel to assay for gold. Greybeard, one of the most veteran members of the team, notices the smoke from his pipe blows away by a phantom wind that shouldn't be there. Spooked, he and Jamol leave the mine in a hurry. The investigators head in, trying to locate the source of the wind. As they press on past where Jamol and Greybeard were working, they discover a hidden tunnel leading deeper into the mine. When Kristin suggests they get a miner to check out the safety of their discovery, Patrick heads onward, undeterred.
They are shocked to discover what looks like an entrance to another mine shaft, sealed up and abandoned. A hole in the seal provides the source for the strange wind in the tunnel. As they continue to investigate, they hear strange sounds from beyond the seal. Perplexed, they wrap up their investigation for the night.
Despite Larry's adamant warnings, the investigators bring their findings to the mining crew. With their footage and EVP evidence from the cook shack incident and the discovery of an abandoned shaft within the mine, Kristin and Patrick are convinced that there's something far more sinister than old souls lurking in the Crescent Mine.
But now that the mining crew has hit their richest vein of gold ore yet, there's no way they're willing to turn back now. Gold fever has hit the miners… but at what cost?
Ascension, a three night event, premieres on December 15 at 9/8c
Get a sneak peek at the next episode of Z Nation, airing Friday at 10/9c on Syfy
Count all of this episode's zombie kills along with us.