Ghost Stalkers: Episode 4 – Holmesburg Prison : Notes & Thoughts

Now that you’ve seen this week’s episode let’s talk about “What you didn’t see on the episode”

  • The daylight investigation is not shown although in this episode it’s clearer, while watching the experiment with David, that some kind of investigation probably took place during the day. As well as Chad, I also, stood in the middle of David’s EMF Quadulator and tried to get a response but took a more quiet approach than Chad and I got no response. During our day-time investigation Chad and I took turns trying to open and close cell doors, which was close to impossible as they had all been opened when the prison closed and their hinges had rusted into position.
  • Dave Adams the former Warden, wanted nothing to do with Holemsburg. He hated the place and had to laboriously be talked into coming back to do the walk through with me and Chad. I don’t blame him for not wanting to come back to the prison.
  • Two of the former guards we wanted to interview never showed up. For whatever reason two of the former employees chose not to show up.
  • Securing the location wasn’t as hard to do as other locations since it’s a prison.
  • Bathroom breaks were easier since there are 2 working toilets.
  • The electrical problems were shown in the episode but even so to a much lesser degree. We’ve never had as many electrical problems at a location. Everything refused to work. We brought into the location a massive amount of extra batteries, extension cords, fuses, etc.
  • Most of Chad’s night investigation. Of course since we investigate from about 9pm until 6am you don’t see most of our investigations on any episode but only the most “engaging” parts. At Holmesburg Chad went all over the prison from the sub-basement tunnels to the very top of the guard tower. At one point during his investigation I heard Chad laughing and I went outside and saw him at the top of the prison tower! For as much as Chad is portrayed in the show as being a nervous person he is one of the most thorough explorers I have ever met. I didn’t even get to the top of the guard tower.

Interesting Story:
The day before we arrived at Holmesburg I had a vivid nightmare in which I murdered the entire crew with a hammer. I jokingly told the crew to not be alone with me and everyone had a good laugh. The first day we arrived at the prison I was doing a walk through with Chad and the crew and when we were in the basement I walked up to a closed cabinet and opened the door, the only thing inside was an old hammer. We all got somewhat nervous but fortunately I didn’t murder any of them.

My health:
I’m generally in good health but filming an episode can wear almost anyone down. A shooting day for Chad and I is usually from 11am to 7am which means he and I are getting about four or five hours of sleep a day. This can run havoc with your physical and psychological health. We’re also eating pretty terribly and randomly. Ever since my NDE I have suffered from panic/anxiety attacks and will always have a certain amount of PTSD. Whether it was “something” in the prison or just the natural cumulative effects of stressors I felt what I thought was the tell-tale signs of “something” bad beginning to happen. You also don’t see me yelling at Chad to “turn the cameras off!” I became even more disturbed when I realized that although I was outside of the prison I was actually still inside the prison walls, this of course added another level of feeling like I was trapped. Once outside you don’t see me trying to call friends and family. There was no safety contingent for something like this happening and the next day there was a long discussion about whether or not I even wanted to continue filming the show until some kind of safety measures were established. When I got home I did visit a doctor and my EKG showed no changes so there had not been any heart incident.


  1. Mary Costa

    I am glad it wasn’t a heart attack. You and Chad must make sure of your safety first.

  2. Cara

    I just finished watching this episode and I just wish I could give you a big hug. With my strange experiences as a teenager I too became all too familiar with anxiety and panic attacks. I could sense that you were getting to that point of panic and I was really feeling concerned and felt much empathy. Facing your biggest fears takes a bravery that some may never know or understand. I get it. You can do things and move through obstacles that you never thought possible, despite the anxiety, panic, terror, and fear. Good job John. You are a brave soul, and I admire that. Great episode. Chad didn’t do so bad either 😉 A big hug for you!

  3. Michele Civello

    it was obvious from the start that you were stressed about the location. It was prevelant throughout the episode that you were feeling a very high level of angst. You can only fight that kind of stress for so long before your body revolts and forces you to leave the situation.

    I’m glad your alright and that you and Chad are continuing. I watched the first episode cause I’m a fan of David M Roundtree and wasn’t sure I was going to like the series. I had flashbacks to Eastern State Penn with Ghost Hunters and Brian H. “dude, run” when Chad started yelling, however I’m glad I continued you guys have an interesting theory and I want to learn more. Keep up the good work.

  4. DL Mullan

    John, I enjoy the show very much. I hope you and Chad continue investigating and analyzing the portal phenomenon. Very interesting concept… At this particular location, security was a concern from the point of view as a former paranormal investigator. When the EMF and other fields rise, mechanical and electrical malfunctions occur, esp in the central nervous system. Your heart is on an electrical system as well. For improved security, try something low tech like walkie talkies. Always have a cell phone on you, even if your tech is turned off until you need it, at least you have it there in an emergency. In each hotspot, have a camera that can make you be heard to the crew. You can have a untainted investigation and still remain safe. As for injuries, a rugged wheelchair or cart to wheel someone to safety and wait for the EMT’s might be advisable. I cannot wait for further episodes. I hope to see you and Chad soon. Thank you!


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