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South Wire: TV Ghost Hunters tackle America's `most haunted' city

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  • Daniel Nephilim
    http://www.accessnorthga.com/news/ap_newfullstory.asp?ID=65926 South Wire: TV Ghost Hunters tackle America s `most haunted city The Associated Press -
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 7, 2005
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      South Wire: TV Ghost Hunters tackle America's `most
      haunted' city

      The Associated Press - SAVANNAH, Ga.

      Blown-out candles rekindle themselves, silverware
      moves untouched around vacant tables and a shadowy
      figure lurks in the basement.

      Based on the manager's description, the Moon River
      brew pub is a perfect spot for Jason Hawes and Grant
      Wilson to hunt for ghostly shadows and eerie bumps in
      the night _ at least those not coming from the
      cameraman filming their every move.

      "It's a different world when the cameras aren't here,"
      says Wilson, half of the plumbers-by-day,
      ghostbusters-by-night duo from the cable reality show
      "Ghost Hunters." "When there's no show, it's just us
      two. So when you hear footsteps, you know there's no
      one else around."

      Though their Sci Fi Channel series debuted just a year
      ago, Hawes and Wilson of Warwick, R.I., have been
      investigating haunted hotspots for 15 years as leaders
      of The Atlantic Paranormal Society.

      Away from their Roto Rooter day jobs, they seek solid
      evidence of spectral encounters with no-nonsense
      skepticism, relying on the electric eyes and ears of
      techno-geek gadgets rather than the sixth sense of
      mediums and psychics.

      "I'd really like to get away from the sensitives who
      come in and do the floppy tuna, saying, `Satan's
      living in your closet,'" says Hawes, 33, as the
      four-man TAPS team sets up six infrared cameras to
      constantly record the rooms throughout the Savannah

      The ghost hunters have traveled to Georgia's oldest
      city, founded in 1733, to film an upcoming Halloween
      episode. There's no shortage of raw material here.

      The city's haunted history stems from its grimmest
      episodes _ a bloody Revolutionary War battle, a harsh
      Civil War occupation, devastating fires and three
      yellow fever epidemics. In 2002, the American
      Institute of Parapsychology dubbed Savannah "America's
      Most Haunted City."

      "Everyone here has told us, `Oh, you've got to go to
      THE most haunted place,'" Wilson, 31, says after
      posing for snapshots with fans outside the pub. "And
      it's always a different spot."

      At the Moon River brew pub, built on the bones of an
      1820 hotel, manager Chris Lewis gives the ghost
      hunters _ cameras in tow _ a tour and a rundown of
      spooky sightings reported by his employees.

      Workers say a folded chair propped against a window
      upstairs will upright itself with all four legs on the
      floor. They say candles snuffed on tables in the
      basement will flicker back to life after 20 minutes.
      One reported spotting a hooded figure in the darkened

      Lewis says he's witnessed one strange occurrence
      himself, enough to make him jittery about sticking
      around after the bar closes.

      "We have silverware that gets left on the tables, and
      if you watch it'll start circling around on the
      tables," he says. "I would hope they could find some
      proof of something in this building, just so I know
      there's some validity to me being scared to be here
      after 2 a.m."

      After the bar empties after 11:30 p.m., the TAPS team
      shuts off the lights and goes to work. Infrared
      cameras and digital audio recorders will record from
      six rooms through the night. Hawes and Wilson begin by
      monitoring the camera feeds on a computer screen in
      the main bar area.

      A small ball of light appears onscreen from one of the
      upper floors and shoots across the room. Wilson types
      into a computer log: "11:50 light anomaly" and zooms
      in to review the footage.

      "It's a freaking bug," Hawes grumbles.

      After midnight, they head to the basement with their
      thermal imager _ Hawes notes it cost $12,000 _
      displaying objects in the room in a rainbow of blue,
      green, yellow and red, depending on their temperature.
      Besides the image on the screen, the basement's pitch

      They stop by a wall, noting a blue blob on the gadget
      _ there's a trail through the room that's 10-degrees
      colder than the surrounding air. Wilson feels the
      wall, saying it's too warm to case the cold spot.

      "It looks like a human shape," Hawes tells Wilson. "It
      stops with your knees and it's as high up as your

      A ghost? They can't say for sure. Hawes and Wilson
      will spend hours in the coming days reviewing
      recordings and examining other evidence before
      returning to the brewery with their conclusions.

      "About 80-to-85 percent of the time, you're able to
      disprove the claims," Hawes says. "That's not to
      saying the 15-to-20 percent that's left, it's actually
      a ghost. It's saying it's paranormal _ meaning above
      the normal."

      They've managed to capture some spooky stuff on tape
      for "Ghost Hunters." At Eastern State Penitentiary in
      Philadelphia, TAPS filmed what looks like a caped
      figure swooping toward the camera, then quickly

      A show taped at a National Guard armory in New
      Bedford, Mass., caught footage of their sound
      technician knocked flat when the 40-pound equipment
      bag at his waist swung up to smack him in the face. A
      tavern in Ashland, Mass., yielded a recording of a
      whispering voice that seems to say, "I am not dead."

      Then there was the case of the haunted toilet. A
      couple believed the ghost of their dead uncle, an old
      plumber, was flushing their commode every night at 2

      "The flapper valve on the toilet was leaking ever so
      slightly," Hawes says. "So about three hours into the
      night, the water would be down just to where _ KA-CHEE
      _ it'd start running again."

      When stalking the paranormal, the proof is often in
      the plumbing.

      Nephilim's Paranormal Investigations - http://paranorm.cjb.net

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