PULLMAN, Wash. – Kylee Kracht, a communications major at Washington State University, may not believe in spirits from the deep, but she knows a skilled ghost hunter when she sees one.
Which is why she booked paranormal investigator John Zaffis of the SyFy channel’s “Haunted Collector” to speak at the CUB Thursday night.
Kracht, who schedules lectures as a member of ASWSU’s Student Entertainment Board, knew Zaffis and his SyFy television series had lots of fans and that he had a no-nonsense reputation for ferreting out the paranormal.
“Since we’re a university and it will be Halloween in a few weeks, I thought it would be good to tackle a subject that’s both educational and entertaining,” she said.
Halloween related articles
- 10/11 Washington State Magazine – Create your own Coug-O-Lantern. Free pumpkin-carving stencils of the WSU Cougar head logo.
- 10/07/11 SyFy’s ‘Haunted Collector’: TV sleuth John Zaffis talks about ghosts; students ponder spooky at Goldsworthy Hall
- 10/28/10 Ghostly assassination plot: Todd Butler, WSU associate professor of English, uncovers ghostly visit that might point to plot to assassinate Charles II, the king of England
- 10/28/10 Vampires, science and psychology: Anne Stiles, WSU assistant professor of English, has been researching how vampire tales reflected Victorian society’s views of science and psychology
- 05/18/10 (Video) Bat hearing. Christine Portfors, associate professor of biological sciences at WSU Vancouver, has a room full of screetching bats, that she is studying to better understand their sounds and to improve human hearing. See full article on bat hearing research.
- 10/29/10 – (Video) Halloween ‘Predator’ stalks halls of French Ad
- 10/31/08 – Monstrous fears and manifestations: Confounding childhood fears of the dead and not-dead have inspired Michael Delahoyde, clinical associate professor of English at WSU, to research and teach his class on monsters in literature and popular culture.
- 10/27/05 – Halloween provides chance to talk nutrition with kids, says Barry Swanson, professor in the WSU’s department of food science & human nutrition
- 10/27/05 – Ghostly tales at WSU thrive, verification sought. WSU News interviews policeman, custodians, facilities coordinator, electrical technician, librarian, and director of housing services.
Campus ghost stories from WSU alumni
In “Haunted Collector,” the 54-year-old Zaffis leads a five-member team, which includes two of his adult children, to investigate strange goings-on inside people’s homes the clown doll on a shelf that shifts its eyes; the thump, thump from inside an old trunk in the attic; an unoccupied chair that slides across the floor.
Is it all in the person’s head or caused by a burst of wind? How about a power surge? How Zaffis and his team determine that an object is possessed by a spirit is not based on a hunch but on hours of analysis, according to the show’s website.
Once he concludes that an item is possessed, and the owner instructs him to take it away, Zaffis may “de-power” its negative effects. Then he places the object in a private museum behind his home in Stratford, Conn., according to the website. Phantom oddities include painted animal skulls, rusty keys and a surprising number of clown dolls.
“My name is John Zaffis and, for over 40 years, people have come to me with their problems… paranormal problems. I have found that sometimes spirits attach themselves to objects and make life a living hell,” is how Zaffis explains it at the opening of each episode.
The first season of “Haunted Collector” aired through summer. Ratings were good enough, according to Media Market Journal, that just a few weeks ago SyFy added a second season with 12 episodes to run in 2012. That confirmed to Kracht that she had made the right choice in booking him, she said.
“His popularity is building. Those who go see him speak can one day say, ‘I knew him when,’” she said.
Zaffis will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, in the CUB ballroom. The talk is free to students with an ID and $5 for the public. There will be a question and answer session: “Bring your experiences; bring pictures,” said Kracht.