Posts Tagged ‘Alcatraz’

Ghost Hunters 100th Episode Live Event on Syfy

February 28, 2010

Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes celebrate their 100th Ghost Hunters episode in March. Photo copyright of the Syfy Channel

ON Wednesday, March 3rd, join Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and the rest of the TAPS team as the Ghost Hunters celebrate their triumphant 100th episode with a LIVE audience from the legendary Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center. From 9-11 p.m. EST, the team will present their first-ever investigation at Alcatraz as well as take a look back at the most shocking and spine-chilling moments the hit series has caught on tape over the past five seasons. 

Josh Gates (Destination Truth) will host the event, which will feature investigators from all three Ghost Hunters teams gathered together for the very first time. Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Steve Gonsalves, Dave Tango, Amy Bruni, Kris Williams (Ghost Hunters), Barry FitzGerald, Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari (Ghost Hunters International), Susan Slaughter and Karl Pfeiffer (Ghost Hunters Academy) will take the stage and get the chance to talk directly with the fans, answering audience questions from in the studio and Syfy.com. 

Throughout the show, Josh will also reveal some surprises coming up in  the Ghost Hunters franchise! As always, Syfy.com will serve as the ultimate Ghost Hunters destination online, linking viewers to all of the action in the studio in real time. the site will host an interactive center helmed by investigator Britt Griffith, where fans can long on throughout the evening to be a part of the broadcast. Viewers will be able to ask questions of all participating TAPS members, leave comments and feedback, participate in polls, read up on Alcatraz history and more! 

Then, at 11pm, the show continues online with an exclusive post-broadcast streaming event, Ghost Hunters Alcatraz Live Extra, also hosted by Josh Gates. This 15-minute extension of the live episode will feature a Q & A panel with Jason, Grant and the rest of the TAPS team answering viewer-submitted questions from Syfy.com. 

As noted above, photo is copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

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Ghost Hunters International’s Dustin Pari – Let The Spirit Move You

February 17, 2010

 

Ghost Hunters International's Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari and Barry FitzGerald. Photo copyright of the Syfy Channel

When it comes to job satisfaction, Dustin Pari has no complaints. Since childhood he has been interested in the supernatural, and as a teenager, he and some of his friends would conduct their own paranormal investigations. A chance viewing of the hugely successful Syfy Channel reality TV series Ghost Hunters led Pari to become a member of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) and, eventually, the GH team.

In 2008, his investigations went global when he was invited to take part in GH‘s first spin-off series Ghost Hunters International, which has fast become a hit in its own right. Season two finishes airing tonight (Wednesday, February 17th @ 9:00 p.m. EST) and, like the show’s first year, was a joy for Pari to work on. The latter half of GHI‘s second season began with two cases in Argentina, the second of which, Silver Shadow, focused on The Eden Hotel, a 19th century luxury resort once frequented by the world’s rich and famous. This case proved especially memorable for Pari.

“The Silver Shadow investigation is one that became very emotional for me,” he recalls. “I wasn’t expecting it, but the little house and the story of the young child who died there kind of pulled at the heartstrings. Being a father and having children myself, any time there’s a report of an apparition or the spirit of a child being left behind, it’s always something I focus on and see if there is anything I can do to get that spirit to come forward. And more importantly, to urge it to move on from that place.

“As much as I enjoy documenting paranormal activity, I’m not there to leave the place haunted, especially if it’s something like that. When that little shadow kind of stepped out and showed itself, it definitely scared me quite a bit. Again, I wasn’t expecting it and it really startled me. However, I did stay there and try to speak to it further about how to move on.

“The thing is, I look at ghost hunting as more of a spiritual thing, and to have witnessed as well as captured firsthand evidence of some sort of afterlife or spirit world, is especially gratifying for me. Also, on a personal level, to be able to reach out to the spirit of that child hopefully made a difference. I really hope that the little guy found his way out of there.

“It’s funny, too, a lot of people will ask me, ‘How can you speak with the spirit of a child, especially someone who passed away so young?’ I believe the age of this child was around 18 months or so. There are several theories out there about universal consciousness that say after the spirit passes on and we leave our mortal shell, that you tap into something larger than what we are here on Earth. As a result, you’re able to understand other languages for one thing, as well as have a greater understanding of life in general. So in this instance it would be limited to the understanding and vocabulary of a young child, if that’s how old the person was when he or she passed away. So that’s what we keep in mind when we try to make an appeal to a younger spirit.”

Australia was GHI‘s next destination, specifically Quarantine Station, once the first stop for immigrants carrying infectious diseases, and Port Arthur, a 19th century penitentiary known as “hell on Earth” by its inmates. “The cases in Australia were really sweet,” says Pari. “The country itself is fantastic and we had a chance to chase some kangaroos and really enjoy ourselves.

“Of the two cases we did in Australia, Quarantine is the one that really stands out. Obviously there was a heightened probability of capturing [paranormal] evidence just because there were so many locations on the property and such a rich history of people who had been detained there and passed away there. To top all that off was the opportunity to capture that photo of the young boy standing outside the church, which is one of the best photos we’ve captured in a while. I think that they [the show’s production company] did it justice, too. When editing the episode in post-production they put a little outline around the image to give it a bit more contrast, because you do lose a little something by the time it gets to TV. Again, though, I think they did an outstanding job of presenting the image as we saw it, and it’s one of those things that makes you think twice.”

Besides Argentina and Australia, Pari also traveled with GHI to Tasmania and Costa Rica for the season two episodes, Tasmania Death Sentence and San Lucas Prison. “In Tasmania we visited the courthouse, which was particularly interesting because it’s not the type of building that we often get to investigate,” he notes. “There were certainly some unique happenings there that we had the chance to further look into.

“Malaysia I found interesting insofar as catching up on the different ways that they perceive paranormal activity as well as their belief systems and how things are structured, so there was a great deal to look forward to there. It was a challenge as well, though, with the language barrier probably being the toughest that we’ve so far come up against.”

It was necessary for Pari to bow out of GHI‘s season two finale trip to Jamaica in order to help out Ghost Hunters while two of its investigators, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango, shot the first season of the second GH spinoff series, Ghost Hunters Academy. Pari and GHI teammate Barry FitzGerald subsequently flew to San Francisco, California to make a guest-appearance on the 100th GH episode.

“That was fantastic,” enthuses Pari. “First off, it’s always good to get that old Irishman [FitzGerald] back in the United States and my home territory, and it was terrific to be back with TAPS and work again with the GH team as well. To then go to Alcatraz was incredible. I hate to sound like I’m quoting an old line here, but it really is a paranormal investigators’ dream location.

“The history of Alcatraz is, of course, extremely well-known and there were men of much ill-repute who were held there. There is definitely some sort of essence within the place when you’re walking around it, especially at night when everything is dark. It almost feels like Alcatraz comes alive. It’s amazing, and to be standing there in the cells and looking at the California mainland; imagine the torture that must have been for those prisoners. To be that close and see freedom, but knowing there was no way you could ever get to it. It really was an unforgettable experience.”

Despite their busy GHI schedules, Pari and Barry FitzGerald managed to find time to collaborate on a book, The Complete Approach – The Scientific and Metaphysical Guide, which was released last summer. “The response to the book has been just phenomenal,” says Pari. “We’ve heard from people all over the world, from different groups and at different points in their investigative careers. They found a great deal of information in the book that they’d been looking for, as well as a number of things that I don’t think a lot of people out there speak about.

“So we were very happy to hear the response to the book. We put it out there in an effort to document exactly what it is we do, how we do it, why we do it, and as a reference for people who want to get involved in this field. Barry and I have now taken that a step further with our second book [So My Home Is Haunted, Now What?], which we’re just putting some finishing touches on and hope to get out in the coming months.

“This book is going to speak more to an understanding of the paranormal field and how to deal with hauntings when they happen. We’ve taken a worldwide approach to this and interviewed people in every country that we’ve gone to, from different faiths and walks of life, to see what their opinions are on why these things are happening and how they come about in the first place. Then from there, what steps do they take to deal with such things, based on, like I said, what their faith as well as family traditions have taught them.

“We actually found that there is a lot of common ground from all corners of the globe, and it was quite interesting to see this underlying understanding of the paranormal community and the spirit world. We had the good fortune to work with several people who are very knowledgable and were very kind in sharing their stories with us. We’re presenting all of it anonymously just to protect those people who wanted to share some of the darker side of things, which I think is good because it really allowed them to open up and say what they wanted to say.”

Of all the people he and FitzGerald talked with for this second book, is there one whose information Pari found especially surprising? “We spoke with this one gentleman in Malaysia about an entity that they know and respect very much,” he says. “We would classify it as an ‘inhuman entity,’ meaning that it was never a person like you or I at any point in its existence.

“The way he explained it to us is that these entities are actually here to test mankind out of a duty to God. However, they can be very destructive and harmful, and he has seen them tear apart families and cause a number of problems. Again, he was really kind enough to go into detail about how these things happen, what signs to look for, and ways to clear them out and release them from someone’s home.”

Away from the paranormal world, Pari holds down what he refers to as three “normal” jobs and takes great pride in being a devoted husband and father to three children. While he is looking forward to production starting up this month on season three of GHI, he is, as always, going to miss being away from his loved ones.

“We’re not exactly sure yet what’s going on as far as what locations the team will be travelling to this time around,” he says. “So at the moment we’re all just absorbing those last few precious moments with our families and enjoying the comforts of home before we get ready to start filming again.”

To find out more about Dustin and his paranormal work, check out his website at www.paranormalrockstar.com

Steve Eramo

As noted above, photo copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Ghost Hunters International’s Barry FitzGerald – Irish Eyes

February 12, 2010

Ghost Hunters International team members (L-R) Robb Demarest (lead investigator), Dustin Pari (investigator) and Barry FitzGerald (investigator/tech manager). Photo copyright of the Syfy Channel

From the coast of New England, to the Deep South and even the glamorous world of Hollywood, every corner of the United States has its fair share of ghost stories. There are, however, other countries all over the world where equally as compelling, and in some cases even more terrifying, tales of the paranormal have been documented. Since early 2008, the Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunter International team has travelled the globe to check out such claims and separate fact from fiction. 

This past January, the latter half of the show’s second season began airing, with GHI trekking to Miramar, Argentina and the Gran Hotel Viena, the one-time secret residence of many Nazi war criminals, including, it is rumored, the infamous Adolf Hitler. Among those heading up this investigation was GHI team member and technical manager Barry FitzGerald, who looked forward to returning to that country. 

“My only time previously in Argentina was to fly through the country in order to change airports,” he says, “so this was a great opportunity for me to go back there and really meet the people and see the country. However, when we arrived at the place I certainly wasn’t expecting to find half the town ruined by a giant flood. 

“That meant there weren’t hotels per say that we could stay in, so we wound up sharing houses. [Fellow investigators] Dustin Pari, Joe Chin and I stayed in one house and shared the cooking along with everything else. It was a remarkable experience for us to bond in that way, not to mention looking out the window and seeing Hitler’s villa across the water. It was truly memorable, never mind, of course, finally getting to the actual location and seeing it in its raw. 

“We also shot the Silver Shadow episode in [La Falda] Argentina, where great minds such as Albert Einstein had come to The Eden Hotel. To be on the steps where he once stood was wonderful, as was the chance to investigate the hotel. Such places were quite ornate in their time, and to see what this one had fallen into now, and in such a short period of time, was very disturbing in its own way. To be able to go in there, though, and film was truly remarkable, and Dustin’s efforts to reach the spirit of the little boy was an especially memorable experience for him as well.” 

Following their time in Argentina, the GHI team journeyed down under to Australia for a pair of investigations, the first being in Sydney where they visited the country’s most haunted place, Quarantine Station. From 1828 to 1984, migrant ship passengers suspected of having infectious diseases were diverted to this facility for an average quarantine period of 40 days. For some, the conditions there were not conducive to their recovery, which could help explain the reported appearances of various troubled souls. Considerably more inhospitable was Port Arthur, nicknamed “hell on Earth,” where 19th century convicts lived and died. 

“Australia itself presented some interesting problems, mainly because of the wildlife,” notes FitzGerald. “From what we’ve been led to believe, Australia is home to one of the deadliest spiders known to man. Obviously, we’re in locations where these things can hide anywhere, so at any minute you’re not quite sure what to expect. And that carries through into Costa Rica and the later episodes this season. It’s bad enough being worried about ghosts, but when you have to start worrying about the wildlife as well, that really does add another element to it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s extremely fascinating, but an Irishman like me has no idea how to deal with crocodiles,” he says with a chuckle. 

“At one point at Quarantine Station we were trying to get into one of the [medical] units that the nurses had used, but the door was locked. We had to call security and have them come down to unlock it, so while we were waiting for them I continued to take pictures. My IR [infrared] light was switched off – in fact, everything was switched off and I was just shooting in the dark so to speak. That’s when the young lad standing by the fence appeared in one of the photographs. To see something like that in detail, because we have the raw image to examine, was outstanding, and it contributed in a major way to explaining some of the theories relating to research I was doing back in Europe. So I was thrilled to capture the image of that young lad. 

“With Port Arthur, the photograph of the guy walking in front of the church is something I wasn’t expecting and certainly defies science as it stands. I cannot duplicate it. I simply don’t understand why this happened or how it happened. The camera did not malfunction; everything was working perfectly and on about a 30-second exposure. There should have been some trace of that guy moving, but there wasn’t. He just seemed to suddenly appear and disappear in the same spot, and it was unbelievable. 

“Right now, we are standing on the edge of a precipice where no one else has stood before. With the advancement of technology, we’re starting to see things that we never previously thought possible, and to say that there are no such things as ghosts just because we often can’t see them, doesn’t apply any more.” 

In last week’s episode, Tasmania Death Sentence, the GHI crew cast an investigative eye over the Tasmania Supreme Courthouse in Hobart, Tasmania and the unexplained activities that have occurred there. “Tasmania is an island almost carved out of the same rock as Australia,” explains FitzGerald, “so I have to say that some of the experiences we had there were very similar to the Australian mainland. But to learn about the history of Tasmania and what happened to the natives on the island with regard to the intervention of Western ideals was a big eye-opener for me, Dustin and Joe along with some of the other guys.” 

The penultimate second season GHI episode, San Lucas Prison, is one of two investigations undertaken by FitzGerald and his teammates in Costa Rica. The other location, Duran Sanatorium, which started out as a hospital for tuberculosis and leprosy, then an insane asylum and finally an orphanage, is featured in the year two finale, The Legend of Rose Hall

“As far as Costa Rica, well, my word, I have never seen wildlife quite like it. And I have to say I’ve never been anywhere else in the world where I have been taken aback so much that I stopped what I was doing for an hour to witness a feat of nature,” enthuses FitzGerald. “To watch the sea light up at night with the algae was inspiring, and irritating at the same time. I was using my full-spectrum camera, with which I can take photographs of stars millions and millions of miles away, but yet when I tried to photograph the phosphorescence on the water, it evaded me. I just couldn’t get it, and then I realized that this was not for anyone else. It was just for me. So I stood there and watched as hammerhead sharks, barracuda and these other big fish lit up the water as they swam through it [the algae]. It was awe-inspiring. 

“Then, of course, there was the whole thing of being caught on the island in the middle of a very severe thunderstorm, and realizing we were trapped there and simply could not leave. To top it off, everything on the island was trying to get a piece of GHI if you will. This particular investigation is the one that really stood out for me this season. We really pushed the boat out with that one, so to speak, because of the hauntings as well as seeing the beauty of nature, both in daylight and at night. It’s a really interesting episode and I look forward to hearing some of the feedback on this specific case because I can’t see the show here in Europe.” 

The other case in GHI‘s season two finale, The Legend of Rose Hall, unfolds in Kingston, Jamaica, where our investigators delve into the history of sugar plantation owner Annie Palmer. Nicknamed by her slaves as the “White Witch of Rose Hall,” it is rumored that Annie was responsible for the deaths of three husbands as well as countless slaves. 

“Jamaica was another place that opened our eyes to what has gone on with Western intervention,” says FitzGerald. “The cruelty there was very prominent in this particular case and the results of it, and I hope that viewers will understand that. We shall see what comes of it. Again, I’ll just have to fall back on feedback after this episode airs.” 

Having first worked with Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and their team on the original Ghost Hunters, FitzGerald along with former GHI investigator Dustin Pari returned to the GH fold to assist them with their 100th investigation, which will air in March. “Alcatraz is something that you usually see form the air,” says FitzGerald, “or if you’re visiting San Francisco and have the time, you can always nip across on the ferry and get a quick tour from some of the wonderful guides on the island. It is, however, a very rare opportunity, indeed, to get onto the island at night and investigate. It was incredible to be there and understand that the Birdman of Alcatraz had once been there and some of the big Mafia names as well. To then stand in their cells was just beyond words, and the [paranormal] experiences there were amazing, too.” 

Last summer, FitzGerald and Pari saw the publication of their first book, The Complete Approach – The Scientific and Metaphysical Guide, which gives readers a greater insight into the subject of paranormal investigation. 

“We received tremendous feedback on the book and people have loved it,” says FitzGerald. “There was a great deal of work put into it, so much so that Dustin and I are preparing to put out another one, hopefully at the end of March. We’ve been working very diligently on this second book, which is called So My Home is Haunted, Now What? It’s a collection of thoughts and different ideas about what other cultures, belief systems and religions do to fix this particular problem. 

“Like a lot of [paranormal] investigators, we come into a house or other building with a TV crew and give the people living or working there proof of ghosts in a photograph or recording of the ghost’s voice. We then leave and these individuals are left holding the candle and wondering, ‘What do we do now?’ So this book gives possible solutions to a problem that has plagued a lot of people around the world. It’s a wonderful read and one that we believe is also educational at the same time. So we’re looking forward to its release.” 

Besides this forthcoming book, FitzGerald is also working on a variety of other projects as he waits for production to begin on season three of GHI, “There’s a third book following behind this second one, and I’m trying to open a gallery in Vienna, Austria as well,” he says. “So there’s quite a bit going on, and time not being in great abundance can severely hinder your plans. I fly back and forth through Europe and I now find myself residing more in Austria than I do back in Ireland. 

“When it comes to GHI, I’m not sure yet where we’re headed next, but wherever we go, I’m sure it will turn out to be fantastic and certainly bring a lot more things to the forefront for viewers back home.” 

Steve Eramo 

As noted above, photo courtesy and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Ghost Hunters And Destination Truth Return To Syfy In March

January 17, 2010

Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson are back for a sixth season of paranormal investigating on Ghost Hunters. Photo by Cheryl Senter and copyright of The Syfy Channel

THIS March, The Syfy Channel’s winning reality duo, Ghost Hunters and Destination Truth will return with all new episodes! First, on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 @ 9:oo p.m. EST, celebrate a milestone as America’s favorite paranormal investigators, the Ghost Hunters, kick off their triumphant sixth season with episode 100! For this epic investigation, Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and the rest of the team – plus guest investigators Barry FitzGerald and Dustin Pari from Ghost Hunters International – will take on their biggest case yet: Alcatraz, the former military prison known world-wide for the countless claims of paranormal activity witnessed within its walls.   

The Alcatraz case will be presented on March 3rd with a LIVE, 2-hour interactive fan event hosted by Destination Truth‘s Josh Gates.   

Celebrate this St. Patrick's Day with Josh Gates on a brand-new Destination Truth. Photo by Barbara Nitke and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Josh will then return on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 @ 10 p.m. EST with a thrilling new slate of adrenaline-fueled adventures on Destination Truth. The new episodes kick off with a St. Patrick’s Day theme as the crew heads to Ireland in search of the legendary leprechaun. From there, Josh and crew will travel to the U.S., Jordan, Israel, China, New Zealand and Chile, seeking answers to the world’s greatest mysteries and myths. The new episodes will also feature guest investigators Kris Williams (Ghost Hunters) and Allison Scagliotti (Warehouse 13).   

As noted above, photos by Cheryl Senter and Barbara Nitke and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!