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

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.