The Syfy channel aired the third episode of its new series Haunted Collector last Wednesday night. Titled “Firehouse Phantom” the episode followed the crew, John Zaffis, Chris Zaffis, Aimee Zaffis, Beth Ezzo, and Brian Cano, through an investigation of a reported haunted residence and a fire house museum.
The first segment kept the crew close to home with an investigation at the residence of Donna Wagner in Stratford, Connecticut. She told them of seeing apparitions, unexplained scratches appearing on people, and a glass vase shattering on its own. During the tour John Zaffis made note of several objects that could hold spirits to them and be causing problems including an antique cigarette lighter, a statue made in Belize left by a former tenant, as well as an antique billiards set also left by a tenant.
In phase one the team took baseline EMF readings, attempted to capture some EVPs and set up an experiment to prepare for the night time investigation. During phase two, the team checked on the experiment and wound up chalking that activity to natural rather than paranormal. John also discovered a crawl space in the basement that he wanted investigated further so he sent Brian in (Brian gets all the good jobs!). While in there, Brian uncovered a broken bottle and stopper that the team thought might be significant.
John took their find to an antique glass expert for answers. The expert pointed out that the distinctive raised bumps on the bottle identify it as one used to hold poison. They filled in the client about their find and removed the bottle from the home in hopes that doing so would clear up any paranormal problems experienced there.
Their second investigation took the team to Hose Co. 3 Fire Museum in Pueblo, Colorado. There were reported claims of unexplained voices, cars driving themselves, and breath sounds throughout the museum. During their tour the team noted items that could possible draw a spirit such as their collection of brass fire hose nozzles and historic old log books.
Phase one brought the team the realization that an EMF sweep was useless due to contamination of the location from outside power lines, so they brought out a trifold meter to use instead. During this phase, Chris and Brian got some interesting responses while using the ghost box, including the spirit reportadly calling for John.
Night time brought on phase two of the investigation. Neither team seemed to have very much luck trying to capture EVPs. Brian and Chris had better luck once they noticed the door was open on the cabinet holding the old log books. They emptied the cabinet and found a small brooch sitting at the very back. The brooch appeared to be the only thing drawing any readings.
John took the brooch to an antiques expert in town who identified it as an antique mourning brooch. The expert said they were made using human hair. John gave the client the details of their discovery, and removed the brooch hoping that would calm any spirits still dwelling there.
Reading through Facebook posts about the show, it seems to attract a lot of viewers who seem to think the show’s whole premise is a scam by John Zaffis in order to add valuable antiques to his museum. For one, I don’t see a tremendous amount of value in a broken bottle even if it is old, and secondly there seems to be quite a few items that they could “zone in on” at a location that might be more valuable if that was the intent. Plus the fact that his museum houses items considered paranormal artifacts rather than being an antiques museum.
It was an entertaining show. Each episode necessitates a short history lesson, either about the sites themselves or items found within, which makes it very interesting. I look forward to the next episode.