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S01.E13: The Vault

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I kept thinking maybe that secret passageway was build by Hetty's father since she grew up in the house? I could imagine him not wanting his wife or daughter to know about it and never bothered to tell them. Was he also a robber baron? He probably told Hetty's husband about it, though, once they married. As for why Thorfinn, Isaac and Sass weren't aware, they might have chosen to avoid the house while it was being constructed. It probably was too loud and there were so many people they didn't want to risk being run through or something. 

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On 1/25/2022 at 8:27 PM, jewel21 said:

I kept thinking maybe that secret passageway was build by Hetty's father since she grew up in the house? I could imagine him not wanting his wife or daughter to know about it and never bothered to tell them. Was he also a robber baron? He probably told Hetty's husband about it, though, once they married. As for why Thorfinn, Isaac and Sass weren't aware, they might have chosen to avoid the house while it was being constructed. It probably was too loud and there were so many people they didn't want to risk being run through or something. 

At first my mind leapt to the Underground Railroad. 

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On 1/25/2022 at 10:41 AM, bunnyface said:

Inconsequential, but looping through my brain:  If Hetty grew up in the house (sung to by Thorfinn as a child) and then she and the house were (essentially) sold to Elias, how could Elias have made secret passageways and installed vaults without her knowing it?  She grew up in the house and presumably knew it inside and out.  And surely the older ghosts saw him make changes to the house.  How did none of them wander through a secret passage over the centuries?  But it made for a good episode.

It’s Hetty’s house, but at the time of her marriage, dowery or not, ownership would have automatically reverted to her husband. Whether she agreed or not, he was free to make any changes, additions he wanted. He was said to have “disappeared”. If Hetty made no move to have him declared dead, his will wouldn’t have come into play. Apparently, she lived out her life there waiting for his return. 

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4 minutes ago, Daff said:

It’s Hetty’s house, but at the time of her marriage, dowery or not, ownership would have automatically reverted to her husband. Whether she agreed or not, he was free to make any changes, additions he wanted. He was said to have “disappeared”. If Hetty made no move to have him declared dead, his will wouldn’t have come into play. Apparently, she lived out her life there waiting for his return. 

Heh, or, rather, hoping he'd never return. 😉
Awesome that Hetty kept the house.
We don't yet know how he came to be locked in his own vault, do we?
Oh♫, Thorfinn ♪ ♫ ♬ ♪ !
Sasappis ♫ ♪ !
Is there something you're not telling us? 😉
I hope it was the maid when she caught him cheating with the new maid.
Or maybe she managed to forge documents declaring their offspring rightful heirs.
But, if so, heirs to what? 
Ooo. 🙁 @Daff, does this mean Sam and Jay need to dispose of the body so they don't lose the house to an heir? Hopefully they sprang for Title insurance.

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4 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Or maybe she managed to forge documents declaring their offspring rightful heirs.
But, if so, heirs to what? 
Ooo. 🙁 @Daff, does this mean Sam and Jay need to dispose of the body so they don't lose the house to an heir? Hopefully they sprang for Title insurance.

What was the relationship between Hetty and the woman who died, leaving the house to Sam? I don’t remember. Was it mentioned?

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1 minute ago, Daff said:

What was the relationship between Hetty and the woman who died, leaving the house to Sam? I don’t remember. Was it mentioned?

Just off the top of my head: Sam was contacted by (I think) an estate attorney. I think maybe an old will was written in such a way that it passed to the "next legal heir."

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19 minutes ago, Daff said:

What was the relationship between Hetty and the woman who died, leaving the house to Sam? I don’t remember. Was it mentioned?

In the Pilot, Hetty introduced herself to the newly dead woman as her great-great grandmother.  And that person was Sam's great aunt.  So her sister (or brother) would have been Sam's grandmother (or grandfather).  Which would make Hetty Sam's great great great great grandmother (I think, I've lost count).

 

Edited by Katy M
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The secret passageway may have existed since the house was built.  It could have been a servant's passageway, storage, utility access, or maybe a early era panic room/hiding spot in case of war/invasion.  Many upper class houses of that era had "hidden" rooms or hallways.  I can easily see it being built and largely forgotten about (or just not discussed with women & children) so Hetty never knew it was there.  Then at some point, Elias learned about it and had the vault put in. 

I can see Thor and Sass having no interest in a vault being built.  They wouldn't have really understood what it was (having never seeing one before) and it's rather boring.  Or maybe they just didn't spend a lot of time in the manor house at that time.  They're ghosts, but they can't be everywhere at once. 

Now, what is weird to me is Alberta not knowing about the secret passage.  That would be an excellent place for a speakeasy, or at least a place to hide your liquor during prohibition.  You think it would have been in use at that time, so I just have to assume that the owners then didn't know it was there.

And now I want someone to create a map/blueprint of the house, so we know how it all fits in! 

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16 minutes ago, chaifan said:

I can see Thor and Sass having no interest in a vault being built.  [...]Or maybe they just didn't spend a lot of time in the manor house at that time.  They're ghosts, but they can't be everywhere at once. 

😂

 

39 minutes ago, chaifan said:

Now, what is weird to me is Alberta not knowing about the secret passage.  That would be an excellent place for a speakeasy, or at least a place to hide your liquor during prohibition.  You think it would have been in use at that time, so I just have to assume that the owners then didn't know it was there.

Alberta may have been thinking the room behind the iron door would make a spectacular speak easy, but she wouldn't have been able to get in.

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1 hour ago, chaifan said:

 

The secret passageway may have existed since the house was built.  It could have been a servant's passageway, storage, utility access, or maybe a early era panic room/hiding spot in case of war/invasion.  Many upper class houses of that era had "hidden" rooms or hallways.  I can easily see it being built and largely forgotten about (or just not discussed with women & children) so Hetty never knew it was there.  Then at some point, Elias learned about it and had the vault put in.

 

How else were people supposed to get from the Kitchen to the Lounge, or the Conservatory to the Study? 

One question I had was how the vault was constructed.  Would the whole thing have been lead or steel or whatever?  Or just the front/door?  For some reason, I see the walls of the vault being concrete and just the door being metal.  In which case, you would think a ghost could just walk through the walls.  Maybe they can only walk through walls of a certain thickness?  Or maybe whoever trapped him in there put some sort of spell/curse on it? (If ghosts exist, why not magic?)

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15 minutes ago, ajsnaves said:

One question I had was how the vault was constructed.  Would the whole thing have been lead or steel or whatever?  Or just the front/door?  For some reason, I see the walls of the vault being concrete and just the door being metal.

Because I am such a geek I wondered that, too, while the episode was running.  Once it was online, I pulled that scene back up.  The walls around the vault are pieces of sheet metal with bolts/rivets.  So it looks like the walls were also iron/steel.   Since Elias couldn't leave the vault I think we have to assume the whole thing - floor, ceiling, walls - were all iron.

 

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7 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

We don't yet know how he came to be locked in his own vault, do we?

He said that the guy that constructed the vault locked him in because of an indiscretion with his wife.

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Wasn't Alberta a guest? Why would she know what secret areas of the house exist? By the time she was there, Elias was already dead in the vault and probably no one had opened it since then. Maybe no one but Elias even knew it existed. 

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5 minutes ago, possibilities said:

Wasn't Alberta a guest? Why would she know what secret areas of the house exist? By the time she was there, Elias was already dead in the vault and probably no one had opened it since then. Maybe no one but Elias even knew it existed. 

I took the comment as why didn't the ghosts know about it after their deaths.  

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1 hour ago, possibilities said:

Wasn't Alberta a guest? Why would she know what secret areas of the house exist? By the time she was there, Elias was already dead in the vault and probably no one had opened it since then. Maybe no one but Elias even knew it existed. 

Yes, Alberta was a guest.  But she was there (living) during prohibition.  My thought was, the passageway (not the vault) would have made a good hiding place for liquor, or even a small speakeasy (can't really tell how long that hallway was).  If the owners/occupiers at that time knew about it, it would make sense that they used it to entertain their guests, especially the famous ones.  Or even if they didn't share the secret with their guests, Alberta would have seen them use it - hiding alcohol there, bringing it out for parties - once she was a ghost. 

Since Alberta seemed equally surprised about it, then I have to assume the owners during her time didn't know it existed. 

And someone other than Elias had to know the vault existed.  There's just no way to build a vault without the house staff knowing about it.  Even if my earlier assumption is right - that the passageway was built with the house, and Elias just added the vault later - it still would have created a lot of commotion and noise, house staff would be chatting with the construction workers, etc.  That knowledge could have been lost in a generation or two, though. 

Also, did anyone else notice the old bed frame sitting in the passageway, just outside the vault?  Either Elias was planning on using this for something other than hiding his gold, or the passageway was a storage area at one point. 

 

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9 hours ago, chaifan said:

Also, did anyone else notice the old bed frame sitting in the passageway, just outside the vault?  Either Elias was planning on using this for something other than hiding his gold, or the passageway was a storage area at one point. 

He had to take the maid somewhere.

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20 hours ago, Katy M said:

He had to take the maid somewhere.

Such a romantic ;)

My theory on the vault construction:

Older estates and very large farms would sometimes have tunnels between the main house and barns so staff/owners could go back and forth in very bad weather to deal with issues.  Cold storage rooms were also very popular either as pantry overflow, a larder for cured meat, or, as commonly used today, to store clothes (usually furs). They were also prone to collapse and sometimes filled in when the house started sinking.

So the local robber Barron hires several different work crews to shore up the space with the greatest strongest material known at the time: steel. The locksmith guy is the last tradesmen in and certainly isn't going to tell anyone about the room since there's a dead body and all.

I've spent too much time thinking about this.

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Great episode. Particularly liked Hetty explaining how much she had learned from Alberta and Samantha. 

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On 1/27/2022 at 3:36 PM, madmax said:

He said that the guy that constructed the vault locked him in because of an indiscretion with his wife.

There was also a dispute about payment and the paternity of his (the vault-maker's) child.

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On 1/21/2022 at 8:49 PM, iMonrey said:

And Elias apparently died around 1890. Hetty's costume and hairstyle would not be period appropriate much later than around 1900.

The number 130 was used before when referring to Hetty's death. I have just caught up on episodes, so when Elias said 130, it caught my attention because something was mentioned in a previous episode that confirmed my thoughts that Hetty died in near the turn of the century.

Just a little something I picked up on the Internet that I thought I'd throw out there:

With the passage of the Married Women’s Property Act in 1848 and the Act Concerning the Rights and Liabilities of Husband and Wife in 1860, New York dramatically expanded the property rights of married women. Besides the right to independently conduct business, women could hold sole ownership of any inherited or allotted property, as well as file lawsuits independently.

If I was one of the shows writers, I'd really be enjoying all the speculative comments and questions in this forum about ghosts: why one gets sucked off and another doesn't, why they need sleep, why they can't penetrate iron/steel, why this, and why that, etc. This show is about ghosts and death and the afterlife. Nobody knows squat, including those paranormal "experts" you see on the Travel channel. The writers must have fun making up stuff that the viewers will try to reason through.

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Although I think the cast is too large and bloated already, I wish Elias had stuck around for a few episodes. It was nice to see a ghost who wasn't "good" and who  would cause mischief. The current ghosts are just too nice, even Trevor, who was supposed to be the sleazy one of the bunch. They don't "haunt."

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What I hope they do with the show is basically what NBC did with The Good Place. Once it was obviously a huge hit they developed a very strong story arc, and they were able to cram a lot in during each 22 minute episode. Still loads of new canon, but with a central driving theme. I would love to see that start happening in S2, where the goal becomes to identify and resolve each ghost's issues so they each eventually get sucked off. Whittle down the cast that way and things can get very poignant with longer stories, and lead to a magnificent ending.

I will never not love The Good Place (butthole spiders and a certain flattening device notwithstanding), and Ghosts is in a great position to go a similar route.

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On 1/30/2022 at 4:10 PM, SmithW6079 said:

Although I think the cast is too large and bloated already, I wish Elias had stuck around for a few episodes. It was nice to see a ghost who wasn't "good" and who  would cause mischief. The current ghosts are just too nice, even Trevor, who was supposed to be the sleazy one of the bunch. They don't "haunt."

Not me.  I want funny, not conflict.  When he was ruining the wedding, I was ready for him to be gone.

On 1/30/2022 at 7:26 PM, NJRadioGuy said:

What I hope they do with the show is basically what NBC did with The Good Place. Once it was obviously a huge hit they developed a very strong story arc, and they were able to cram a lot in during each 22 minute episode. Still loads of new canon, but with a central driving theme. I would love to see that start happening in S2, where the goal becomes to identify and resolve each ghost's issues so they each eventually get sucked off. Whittle down the cast that way and things can get very poignant with longer stories, and lead to a magnificent ending.

I will never not love The Good Place (butthole spiders and a certain flattening device notwithstanding), and Ghosts is in a great position to go a similar route.

Again, not my style.  I don't like long arcs in shows.  Maybe my attention span isn't that long, but it just devolves into another soap opera to me.  I do like exploring each of the ghosts' pasts, but like they are doing now, within an episode or two.  I got bored with The Good Place after a while.  I think the only show where I enjoyed a long arc was Farscape (which many of you probably never heard of.  LOL.)

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4 hours ago, Johann said:

I don't like long arcs in shows.  Maybe my attention span isn't that long, but it just devolves into another soap opera to me.  I do like exploring each of the ghosts' pasts, but like they are doing now, within an episode or two.  I got bored with The Good Place after a while.  I think the only show where I enjoyed a long arc was Farscape (which many of you probably never heard of.  LOL.)

Dramas, I expect them.  Not a huge fan of them in sitcoms. 

Oh, and I remember Farscape. Only watched the first couple seasons, tho.

Edited by madmax
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I came back to the show (via Pluto) the other night because when I first watched the pilot, I couldn’t get completely into it and knew my headspace was off. I’m all caught up and am glad I came back.  I laughed at Isaac’s confusion over the Cheesecake Factory because 22 years ago, when a friend first asked me if I wanted to go there, I whispered, “I don’t like cheesecake but sure, I think it would be neat to go to a factory and watch them get made,” and she explained that it was a restaurant (with, at the time) only two non-Cheesecake desserts…). 

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It just occurred to me that, as the 13th episode, this could've been the series finale (if the ratings had been poor). Kinda works as a finale.

Glad we're getting more.

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On 1/30/2022 at 6:26 PM, NJRadioGuy said:

I would love to see that start happening in S2, where the goal becomes to identify and resolve each ghost's issues so they each eventually get sucked off.

I'd like to never know why a ghosts hangs around and never know why they disappear. They're ghosts. Let them have their secrets. Let them be a mystery. And until one of them tells me, I'm not buying simplistic explanations (ghosts exist because of unresolved issues) created by non-ghosts.

If ghosts wandered the earth because of unresolved issues in their lives, there would be a helluva lot more ghosts out there than living people. 

Personally, I'd be more interested in why mosquitoes exist and then maybe get them sucked off.

 

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20 minutes ago, mojito said:

I'm not buying simplistic explanations (ghosts exist because of unresolved issues) created by non-ghosts.

I just rewatched this yesterday and it was a ghost (I think Hetty) who suggested her ex got sent to Hades because he didn't want to change.
IDK. Is there a difference between "unresolved issues" and not wanting to change/be better?

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On 2/1/2022 at 1:12 PM, Johann said:

Not me.  I want funny, not conflict.  When he was ruining the wedding, I was ready for him to be gone.

Totally.  I couldn't really stand the episode once he started walking through people and horny-ing them!  

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3 hours ago, mojito said:

I'd be more interested in why mosquitoes exist and then maybe get them sucked off.

532283344_Mojito.gif.a19ddc6fc8332161cfd07d4db1a5f4eb.gif

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Quote

The number 130 was used before when referring to Hetty's death. I have just caught up on episodes, so when Elias said 130, it caught my attention because something was mentioned in a previous episode that confirmed my thoughts that Hetty died in near the turn of the century.

Yes, during the Possession episode Hetty said she hadn't eaten anything in 130 years. Taken literally that would mean she died in 1892, although she might have been rounding.

Also, I rewatched the Halloween episode and it was already established then that Hetty married her cousin. Good continuity.

Quote

What I hope they do with the show is basically what NBC did with The Good Place. 

Apples and oranges IMO. The Good Place was more of high concept show, and they really hit a creative dead end during their last season. Ghosts has a simpler premise and a better chance for longevity.

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Thanks to those above who gave the reminder that it is the builder who locked Elias in his own vault.  I was hoping it was the maid. 

Love this show so much!  I've been bummed it's been on hiatus because of the Olympics.

I was wondering why Elias wasn't also wearing cufflinks, or why they didn't think to look for them. I love how Jay was the heroic one, fumbling in the dead guy's clothes for his watch.

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I think this show is the best current 30-minute comedy on TV. I would love to be proven wrong, though.

So I guess the new mythology is that ghosts cannot phase through iron or steel? But why did they not try through the wall?

The pocket watch if it was in mint condition must have been worth hundreds of thousand if it had been $5000 during the Gilded Age. Yes, I assume that the Woodstones were from the same era as the Russells.

One thing I notice is the concept of heaven - above, hell - below. Did the religions of Thorfinn and Sasappis believe in the same concept too? That concept is very much Abrahamaic. 

Edited by TV Anonymous
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3 hours ago, TV Anonymous said:

I think this show is the best current 30-minute comedy on TV. I would love to be proven wrong, though.

This and Abbott Elementary.

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On 1/30/2022 at 7:26 PM, NJRadioGuy said:

I would love to see that start happening in S2, where the goal becomes to identify and resolve each ghost's issues so they each eventually get sucked off.

Been there, done that. She was called the Ghost Whisperer.

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Didn’t Jay and Sam at least get a deposit from that stupid couple? 

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They were desperate for good PR and I believe the groom was a friend of Jay's, so maybe not?

Edited by Bruinsfan
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On 1/27/2022 at 11:18 AM, chaifan said:

Now, what is weird to me is Alberta not knowing about the secret passage.  That would be an excellent place for a speakeasy,

Or a spook easy

(I’ll let myself out)

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This episode is being rerun tonight at 8:31 instead of the usual 9:01.  I am so glad, because I missed it the first time around.

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15 hours ago, Trey said:

This episode is being rerun tonight at 8:31 instead of the usual 9:01.  I am so glad, because I missed it the first time around.

I loved this episode! Hetty was great she really has become more likable since the show started. I thought it was interesting how the ghosts wanted Sam and Jay to leave at first now they are figuring out how to help them keep the house. Trevor was hilarious thinking that Bernie Madoff could help them and his fear of being sent to Hell. I think that was a clue he really was a good person an evil person wouldn't care about the afterlife.

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4 hours ago, kathyk24 said:

Trevor was hilarious thinking that Bernie Madoff could help them and his fear of being sent to Hell. I think that was a clue he really was a good person an evil person wouldn't care about the afterlife.

...and/or a "good" person (like Trevor) would just never have considered the possibility of Hell.

Edited by shapeshifter
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I loved it! I had already read all your comments and knew I missed a good episode so I am very happy that I got to see it.

On 2/4/2022 at 6:33 PM, hatchetgirl said:

Totally.  I couldn't really stand the episode once he started walking through people and horny-ing them!  

The horny bits were unattractive but they seemed to last less than a minute; so, not much real harm would have been done.

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On 1/27/2022 at 10:59 AM, ajsnaves said:

One question I had was how the vault was constructed.  Would the whole thing have been lead or steel or whatever?  Or just the front/door?  For some reason, I see the walls of the vault being concrete and just the door being metal.  In which case, you would think a ghost could just walk through the walls.  Maybe they can only walk through walls of a certain thickness? 

I'm wondering if maybe it didn't have to do with the actual materials that the vault was made from, but maybe from the fact that there was no air left in the vault.

Maybe they can only travel through doors or walls if the air pressure or oxygen content or moisture level or something like that was the same on both sides of the door or wall.

That also might explain why Elias had never gone down (or been sucked off) after he had died: the conditions weren't right for him to penetrate the door or wall. Once he was back outside, it took a few hours for him to reach whatever equilibrium was necessary to go down/suck off, which coincidently happened at the exact time Hetty told him to go to hell. 

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On 2/4/2022 at 3:25 PM, mojito said:

If ghosts wandered the earth because of unresolved issues in their lives, there would be a helluva lot more ghosts out there than living people. 

How do you know there aren't?

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On 1/21/2022 at 8:45 PM, Driad said:

Why don't Sam and Jay explain to the ghosts that if they have to sell the house, there will be different Livings, who will probably be less cooperative?  Apparently the house had not been lived in for a while, but now that S&J have made improvements, the next owner would likely want to use it.

However, they ghosts would no longer be able to interact with a living, and I think that is what they enjoy the most about having Sam and Jay in the house. How would other livings know to leave the TV on for them or help them get caught up with their families on the internet?

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I removed some posts that were off-topic to THIS episode. And yes, this show has a moderator. 😉

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On 4/10/2022 at 12:52 AM, eel21788 said:

However, they ghosts would no longer be able to interact with a living, and I think that is what they enjoy the most about having Sam and Jay in the house. How would other livings know to leave the TV on for them or help them get caught up with their families on the internet?

Yes, I can tell the ghosts really enjoy Sam and Jay as people. Having Sam be able to see and talk to them, gives them interaction with the outside world. I can believe they have been BORED for so long.

I enjoyed Hetty giving her husband a piece of her mind. He was a total prick to live with. 

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On 1/27/2022 at 9:34 AM, Katy M said:

In the Pilot, Hetty introduced herself to the newly dead woman as her great-great grandmother.  And that person was Sam's great aunt.  So her sister (or brother) would have been Sam's grandmother (or grandfather).  Which would make Hetty Sam's great great great great grandmother (I think, I've lost count).

This makes my head hurt! And I should be able to follow it because I do genealogy research for my family, but maybe the problem is that I haven't had coffee yet this morning.

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