Check out the link below for my brand-new interview with Ghost Hunters International’s Barry FitzGerald.
Posts Tagged ‘Barry FitzGerald’
THE Syfy Channel goes boldly where it has never gone before in Summer 2010 with its first ever Thursday night reality bloc (Mary Knows Best and Paranormal Investigators); new scripted series (Haven) based on a Stephen King novella; popular returning series (Warehouse 13, Eureka, Ghost Hunters Academy and Ghost Hunters International), and fan favorite Saturday Night Original Movies including Lake Placid 3 and Stonehenge Apocalypse.
The traditional holiday movie marathon runs from Friday, May 28th through Monday, May 31st, including “cold as ice” films (Yeti), horror flicks (premiere of Wrong Turn on Saturday, May 29th @ 9:oo p.m.), “creatures in the water” films (Lake Placid 2) and a festival of Stephen King adaptations (The Stand) on Memorial Day, May 31st.
The new Thursday night reality bloc premieres Thursday, July 15th @ 9:oo p.m. EST/PST with Mary Knows Best (working title), a docu-soap reality series following Mary Occhino, a successful radio host, psychic intuitive and mother of three, who gives a whole new meaning to the term “mother is always right.” Her children, Jackie, Chris and Carl, are a mismatched group f siblings consisting of a skeptic, a paranormal investigator and a reluctant psychic. In each episode, viewers will meet a humorous and unforgettable cast of family characters including Mary’s outspoken older brother Charles and two adorable grandchildren. The series is produced by Atlas Media Corp.
Following @ 10:00 p.m. EST/PST is Paranormal Investigators, which debunks fact from fiction by uncovering the truth behind supernatural and unexplained occurrences which have been caught on tape. In each episode, the six-person team, led by former FBI Special Agent Ben Hansen, searches for the most intriguing and unusual images, videos and unnatural phenomenon found online and around the world. Selecting the most intriguing images, the team heads into the field attempting to re-create the video, carrying out key experiments and searching for clues and evidence. The team uses all the latest tools CGI (computer-generated imaging) and investigative techniques at its disposal to try to answer the question, “Is it real?” Produced by Base Productions.
The new drama series Haven premieres Friday, July 9th @ 10:00 p.m. EST/PST. Based on the novella The Colorado Kid from renowned author Stephen King, it follows FBI Agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), who arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine to solve the murder of a local ex-con. Before long, her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people with a remarkable range of supernatural abilities. Among the townspeople are local cop Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant), who eventually becomes Audrey’s partner, and the mysterious and charming Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour).
Cable’s top paranormal franchise, Ghost Hunters Academy returns with brand-new episodes on Wednesday, June 2nd @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Expert instructors Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango will once again train a group of recruits to become the newest team member, but this time, one hopeful will be voted off each week by one of the ultimate judges of paranormal investigating: Ghost Hunters‘ Jason Hawes! Jason, Steve and Tango will put the new recruits through the paces with challenging investigations at six of the most daunting and memorable past Ghost Hunters locations: Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Waverly Hills, KY), Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (Weston, WV), Mark Twain House (Hartford, CT), Fort Delaware (Delaware City, DE), Mansfield Reformatory – a.k.a. “Shawshank Prison” (Mansfield, OH) and the infamous Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, CO).
Season two of Warehouse 13 debuts on Tuesday, July 6th @ 9:oo p.m. EST/PST. The series follows two Secret Service agents who find themselves abruptly transferred to a massive, top-secret storage facility in windswept South Dakota which houses every strange artifact, mysterious relic, fantastical object and supernatural souvenir ever collected by the U.S. government. The Warehouse’s caretaker Artie (Saul Rubinek) charges Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) with chasing down reports of supernatural and paranormal activity in search of new objects to cache at the Warehouse, as well as helping him to control the Warehouse itself. Warehouse 13 also features Allison Scagliotti, along with series guest-star CCH Pounder.
Eureka kicks off its fourth season on Friday, July 9th @ 9:oo p.m. EST/PST with the introduction of new series regular James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) as Dr. Grant, a former resident of the town whose unexpected return is cause for serious alarm and, considering his romantic interest in Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), significant friction with Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson). New and returning fans won’t want to miss the big changes in store for everyone in the small town of Eureka after a cataclysmic shift turns their lives upside-down. Eureka also stars Joe Morton (Henry Deacon), Erica Cerra (Jo Lupo), Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo) and Niall Matter (Zane Donovan).
On July 14th, new episodes of Ghost Hunters International premiere @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Like their U.S. counterparts, TAPS (The Atlantis Paranormal Society), GHI is a squad made up of everyday ordinary citizens who investigate and attempt to debunk claims of otherworldly activity. In the premiere episode, the team travels to the famous town of Nottingham, England and search for the Sheriff of Nottingham’s Ghost at the Galleries of Justice. Other countries on their global adventures will include Wales, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Estonia and many more. The team includes Robb Demarest, Barry FitzGerald, Brandy Green, Ashley Goodwin, Paul Bradford, new cast member Scott Tepperman as well as Ghost Hunters Academy winners Susan Slaughter and Karl Pfeiffer.
Saturday Night Original Movies
Lake Placid 3 premieres in June 2010. In this sequel to Lake Placid 2 (most watched Syfy Saturday Original Movie ever), a game warden, his wife and their young son move into their aunt’s cabin on Lake Placid, where the lonely boy starts feeding baby crocodiles he considers to be pets. Three years later, the crocs start looking at him and his family as food. Stars Colin Ferguson (Eureka).
Stonehenge Apocalypse premieres in June 2010. When the giant stones of Stonehenge begin to move and cataclysms occur all over the Earth, only a fringe radio talk show host who’s an expect in UFOology figures out that the ancient monument is really alien technology. Stars Hill Harper (CSI NY).
Jack Hunter And The Lost Treasure of Ugarit premieres in July 2010. Jack Hunter, an adventurous fortune hunter, goes to Syria to find an ancient treasure buried thousands of years ago, which might be cured. Stars Joanne Kelly (Warehouse 13).
Goblin premieres in July 2010. A family vacations in a mountain town haunted by a goblin that steals babies. When their newborn disappears, it’s up to his older half-sister to rescue him.
Mandrake premieres in August 2010. A group of adventurers searching for a Spanish conquistador artifact find that the jungle around them is a single living being – and it’s not happy they’re there.
AS previously reported on SciFiAndTvTalk, the original Ghost Hunters series celebrated its 100th episode on March 3rd with a two-hour live event in New York that aired in conjunction with an investigation at Alcatraz in San Francisco. Below are some photos from the New York broadcast. Enjoy!
As noted above, all photos by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
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!
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
As noted above, photo copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
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.”
As noted above, photo courtesy and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
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.
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!
THE Ghost Hunters International team makes its way to La Falda, Argentina to uncover the ghostly mysteries of The Eden Hotel, a late 19th century luxury resort which once welcomed the rich and the famous including Albert Einstein, the Prince of Wales and many world presidents to name a few. Hotel employees and the municipality say past and recent paranormal activity at the hotel includes the apparition of a little girl, quick shadows running, voices whispering, cracking noises and slamming of doors and windows. Because paranormal activity runs so frequent at The Eden Hotel, the current restoration company for the hotel have complained that workers are scared to death to finish the restoration job.
The GHI team will then venture to Junee, Australia to visit the Monte Cristo Homestead. Meaning “Mount of Christ,” the Monte Cristo was built in 1884 as a Victorian manor to a wealthy family. Unfortunately, the manor has been plagued by many horrific incidents and deaths over the years. In the house and its surrounding grounds at least seven apparitions have been reported. The current owners moved into the manor in 1963 and had no idea f the tragic history surrounding their Victorian home and were not prepared for what would be in store for them. Silver Shadow airs Wednesday, January 13th @ 9:00 p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel.
Click on the following link for a preview of this episode – https://www.yousendit.com/download/VGlmeEVld0E4NVhIRGc9PQ
As noted above, photo by Cheryl Senter and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
THE Syfy Channel rings in New Year’s with the return of the hit reality series, Ghost Hunters International (GHI), premiering on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 @ 9 p.m. EST/PST. The seven hour-long episodes will have the GHI team traveling to a different international country each week in pursuit of the truth behind bizarre supernatural claims. These real-life “ghost-busters” will globe trot to such locations as Argentina, Australia, Tasmania, Jamaica , Costa Rica and Malaysia.
In the premiere episode entitled Hitler’s Ghost, the GHI team ventures to Miramar, Argentina and sets its sights on the Gran Hotel Viena, once the secret residence of many Nazi war criminals including rumored guest, Adolf Hitler. The hunt is on as GHI tries to debunk claims that the hotel is actually haunted by Hitler himself.
Like their U.S. counterpart, TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), GHI is a squad made up of everyday ordinary citizens who investigate and attempt to debunk claims of otherworldly activity. A spin-off of Syfy’s popular Ghost Hunters series, GHI has continued to cement the Ghost Hunters brand as the top paranormal franchise in cable since its January 2008 debut. The GHI team includes Robb Demarest, Dustin Pari, Barry FitzGerald, Brandy Green, Joe Chin, Ashley Godwin and GHI newcomer, Paul Bradford.
As noted above, photo by Barbara Nitke and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!
Before The National Enquirer became a trashy supermarket tabloid, it used to run a variety of stories, including those about haunted houses, castles and other properties in foreign countries, typically England. Whether or not there was any truth to such stories, they made for interesting reading. After all, there is nothing quite like a good ghost story to get your blood flowing and send a chill up your spine.
These days there are plenty of TV shows that investigate paranormal phenomenon around the world. Not many, though, employ the latest high-tech know-how to not only try to prove the possible existence of ghosts, but in some cases debunk legends and stories. Ghost Hunters International is one such show. A spin-off of the hugely popular Syfy Channel series Ghost Hunters, its hosts have traveled to exotic, strange and remote places to try to communicate with spirits, both good and evil. Two of GHI‘s familiar faces, Barry FitzGerald (lead investigator/tech manager) and Dustin Pari (investigator), actually began their TV paranormal careers on the original GH.
“I had been involved with paranormal research within Ireland, and when the Ghost Hunters team came across the pond [for the season three episode Attack of the Irish Elemental], they needed someone native to the area to help them with their work,” says FitzGerald. “So for me, it was a case of being in the right place at the right time and it took off from there. Dustin is very different, though. He has a greater story than I have and with lots of bells and whistles.”
Says Pari, “I was living back in Rhode Island and was actually up late one night watching TV when I caught an episode from the first season of Ghost Hunters. At that time I had no idea that the show was actually based not even 15 minutes from my house. Having been interested in the [paranormal] field since I was about 16 years old, I sought these guys out and, interestingly enough, they gave me an interview at a Starbucks. After that, I joined the home team and worked off-camera, and then they gave me a chance to be on the show.
“The first time I shot an episode it was absolutely fascinating because I’d never had access to the type of equipment that they were using. Having previously done this sort of investigating with a couple of my high school buddies, we just used tape recorders along with still cameras and lots of flash photography. So to all of a sudden be using this kind of equipment was really interesting. And then to be where I am now, it’s mind-blowing to be travelling the world, seeing incredible historic sites, and having the chance to investigate places that I would never have dreamed I’d ever have access to. It’s a long way from doing the supposed haunted house on the outskirts of town that people tell stories about, to being in these huge castles and homes all across Europe.”
Given GH‘s tremendous success, Syfy decided to cast its paranormal net further afield and GHI was born. Having left the original GH series to start a family, Pari was eventually reunited with Barry FitzGerald and together they joined with lead investigator Robb Demarest and fellow GHI investigators to begin their global exploration into the supernatural world. While the prospect of further ghostly encounters was sure to draw viewers, FitzGerald identifies another aspect that would make the new series interesting to those watching.
“Obviously they decided to set the series around my good looks and wonderful accent,” he jokes. “No, seriously, I think a major plus for GHI is that we’re touching on history throughout the world. You can go onto a site in Ireland and sometimes reach as far back as 900 AD. We have a set of tombs that I keep going on about that predate the Great Pyramids of Giza, so our history goes back a long, long way.
“Of course, once you get to Africa and places like that, the history starts stemming back 30,000 years, which just blows me away. There’s also the opportunity to see the different types of hauntings that can occur both north and south of the hemisphere and discover the commonalities between them. That’s extremely important and it gives us a better understanding when it comes to the question of what happens after death.
“The first GHI investigation we did was at Chillingham Castle in England. Having been involved in paranormal research in Ireland and the United Kingdom I had heard a lot of reports about the castle, but never had the chance to go there. So to be part of that investigation was wonderful, and the experiences that Donna [LaCroix, case manager] and I had in the underground entrance to the castle were remarkable. The noises that were coming from that location were just tremendous and certainly guiding us along to see what else we could uncover.”
Despite having a proven winner in GH to draw inspiration from, GHI still faced challenges getting started, including trying to establish its own paranormal foundation to build upon. “Getting this show off the ground was difficult as far as finding the first set of locations,” explains FitzGerald. “We were up against [the British series] Most Haunted, especially within the UK, because they had aired, I believe, four seasons in front of us. So it was tough trying to compete with them, but once we got started we soon found our niche and slipped into it. Our show is very different now, even from Ghost Hunters, because we’re focusing a lot on new technology as well as advancing the field and trying to explain it all in an environmental situation that the layman can understand. And the response we’ve received so far has been wonderful.”
Continues Pari, “I really do feel as well that we’re focusing a lot more on the technological aspects with the development of the full-spectrum camera that Barry has brought into the team. We’ve really garnered some incredible results capturing photographs from several locations, and with the episodes that people are seeing this [second] season, we’ve combined that technology with video using the full-spectrum DVR camera and are also seeing results there.
“I think this kind of advancement is very important in the field. When you being to get results using certain tools, there’s a tendency to fall into a familiar routine. Yes, you get some positive results, but there are no advancements being made, and I think what we’re doing now is really pushing those boundaries. And on behalf of Barry and myself, we also have a personal respect for the metaphysical realm and that side of things, which is important to bear in mind during investigations as well. It’s a matter of keeping yourself open and gathering better and better evidence. That’s what sparked Barry and me to put together our new book, which is called The Complete Approach [published in the U.S. on August 7th, 2009]. It combines the metaphysical understanding of this field along with the scientific research and approach to it. It’s something we’re really proud of and it’s already received a great deal of interest, which, again, has come out of advancements we’ve made within the field.”
As with most people working abroad, the GHI team faces the occasional hurdle that they must overcome. “I think one of the biggest challenges is getting through customs, because when you have to write down what your occupation is, it’s not easy to explain that you look for ghosts,” says Pari. “That always raises a few eyebrows and you have to spend time trying to explain exactly what you’re doing. Language barriers, obviously, create some interesting situations. My three years of high school Spanish can only get me so far,” he jokes, “but it’s been going OK. One thing that I find fascinating from a sociological point of view is that people in certain countries aren’t always that accepting of the paranormal. The field is viewed quite differently in some parts of the world, France, in particular. The French have had a very hard time admitting that something very conclusive is, in fact, paranormal. Some cultures embrace what we do quite a bit, and others aren’t really into it, so that’s something we need to address and adjust while we’re on the road.”
Says FitzGerald, “Regarding languages, we’ve been finding something extremely unusual when addressing the EVP [electronic voice phenomenon] sessions during filming. The thing is, we knock ourselves out trying to learn the language that is native to where we happen to be, but in the EVP sessions a lot of the responses coming back to us are in English, which, again, is quite unusual. We still don’t know why that’s happening, but it’s part of this field and something we’re further looking into.
“I’m still getting used to which side of the road we’re meant to be driving on when we’re travelling. That can be another obstacle because we’re back and forth all the time, and if the roads aren’t marked it can often lead to trouble. Food, of course, can also sometimes be an issue, especially in Italy. I’m not a great lover of pizza and pasta. I’m more the Irish potato kind of guy, and you tend not to get too much of that in Italy. When we were in Peru, I tried guinea pig, which I must admit I don’t think I’d ever try again, and at the moment we’re down here in Australia where I’ve been dining on kangaroo and things of that nature. So sometimes it’s a little hard to get used to, but other times it’s just fine.”
During GHI‘s first season, FitzGerald, Pari and their teammates trekked around the world and visited numerous locales including St. Mary’s Close in Edinburgh, Scotland; Dartmstadt, Germany and Frankenstein’s Castle; the Grande Hotel in Cambuquira, Brazil; and Castillo de la Coracera in Madrid, Spain.
“For me, the scariest place we visited back in season one is Orava Castle [in Slovakia],” recalls Fitzgerald. “Confronting that particular entity in the Octagon Tower was very memorable. I must admit that we did go back and try to confront it again, but the first time it appeared to me, it certainly made me sit up and pay attention and try to get the hell out of there as fast as I could.”
Says Pari, “The [Dunedin] New Zealand trip to visit Larnach Castle is especially memorable for me because it was my first time working with the GHI team. I was reunited with some of my old GH teammates, including Barry, and I met some of the new guys, too. It was the dawn of a new era for me in this field, and I’d never really been out of the country before either, except for Ireland and England. So to fly all the way down to New Zealand was remarkable on its own. It was a good time for me to kind of start things over, and whenever I look at a map I can’t believe how many places I’ve been to just between last season and this one.”
This second season of GHI, the investigators have so far gone back to Ireland to visit an 18th century prison (Wicklow’s Gaol) as well as the Czech Republic and Houska Castle, reputed to have been built over the gates of Hell. They also made a first-time trip to Austria and a 500-year-old torture chamber (Witches Castle). The show’s penultimate mid-season pair of cases, Spirits of Italy, unfolds at the Tuscan castle of Malaspina, former residence of the doomed lover Bianca Maria Alosia, and the Palazzo Ducale, home to Genoa’s doges and their prisoners. GHI‘s mid-season finale, Holy Spirit, finds the team in South America to investigate the El Bosque City Hall in Chile and Santiago Severin Library in Valparaiso.
“I really enjoyed the investigations we did in Italy,” says Pari. “Unlike Barry, I’m a big fan of pizza and pasta, plus I grew up in an Italian household, so being there was good. We also got to see some of the sights, including Rome, the Coliseum and the Vatican. It was a fantastic opportunity, and the cases were really well-put together. I found myself staying at this little castle [Malaspina] on top of a mountain, and in the morning I’d wake up, look out the window and think, ‘God, how did I ever get here?’ There was a particular story about a young girl who was walled up alive, which I’m finding more and more of as I travel through Europe. Apparently, it was a popular thing back then, but I found this story quite touching. And one of our new recruits, Ashley [Godwin] had a personal experience trying to contact that girl. Maybe I’m just a romantic at heart, but those are the moments, when there is a tender story, that really make me appreciated what we do.”
Adds Fitzgerald, “I would tend to agree with Dustin that Malaspina was truly memorable. To be able to go up onto the roof of the castle and watch this amazing storm front come over the top of the mountains was a remarkable experience to be had, and the activity going on there was good as well. My pastime is photography, so I got an incredible amount of photographs from that particular location once the sun started to set. Chile was an amazing place, too, and memorable because of the dogs. They have thousands and thousands of dogs that just roam the streets, but the locations themselves were most impressive.”
Unlike most jobs, “ghost hunting” is not your average 9-5 gig with a desk, lunch hour and two weeks vacation a year. It is, however, as FitzGerald and Pari have explained, an occupation filled with exciting, educational, unforgettable and sometimes scary moments. Not many people would have the passion, or the nerves of steel, to make it their line of work. So what first drew these GHI investigators to the paranormal world?
“My interest certainly stems from the fact that I grew up in a house which presented such activity,” says FitzGerald. “As a child waking up on Christmas Eve and dying of thirst, I needed to get some water, and seeing an apparition coming up the stairs that I knew wasn’t my parents, frightened the absolute living hell out of me. I thought it was Santa and because I’d been caught awake, I wouldn’t be getting any toys that year. For me, that was my first indication that something more was out there and it sparked the curiosity that has presently led to 10 years of research.”
Recalls Pari, “As a little kid I was always fascinated with Halloween. It was my favorite holiday, even over Christmas. I’m not a big horror movie guy, but I enjoy anything to do with classic ghost stories and stuff like that. When I was younger and living with my parents in a small house in Providence [Rhode Island] I had a nighttime encounter with what we now refer to in the field as a shadow figure. I remember seeing this thing in my room and being terrified, so I threw the covers over my head and, being a good little Catholic schoolboy, prayed and prayed and buried my head in my pillow. Thankfully, that thing went away, but it left a lasting imprint and an interest, which grew inside me.
“As I got older, I found myself looking more into books regarding the paranormal, and once I turned 16 and had access to a car, I began investigating local [paranormal] hot spots with my friends. So it was really something that started from way back, and since then it’s taken on an even more spiritual turn for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or whatnot, but I find myself working in this field because I really want to prove to other people out there that there’s something after this life.
“Without being religion specific – I don’t like to become involved in afterlife bureaucracy and such – I do think that there is some accountability for our actions here. And if I can even be an inspiration to the team that makes that final connection with some hard proof, that would be a great accomplishment for me. I think people living today would then look at their lives differently and maybe treat each other a little more respectfully while we’re down here.”
Although the last of six new GHI episodes have aired on Syfy, there are more to come this season. As for what viewers can expect to see, FitzGerald offers up a tidbit or two. “The locations themselves are going to be extremely distant and difficult to get to. Believe it or not, at the moment [August 4th, 2009] Dustin and I are sitting in a forest [in Australia]. We never thought in our lifetimes that we’d be this far away from our homes, but there are wonderful [paranormal] things to be had and seen, including photographic evidence. And I can promise you that it’s going to make people sit up and take notice.”
The Complete Approach – The Scientific and Metaphysical Guide to the Paranormal by Barry FitzGerald and Dustin J. Pari can be ordered on-line from such outlets as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble. com.
As noted above, all photos by Justin Canning, Gareth Phillips, Mikael Pilstrand or Cheryl Senter and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any form. Thanks!