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Famed ghost hunter tells tales of the paranormal

September 22, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Microphone and projector problems would not be so noticeable during any other speech.

But the fact they happened Wednesday night at Shepherd University during a presentation from one of the foremost authorities on the paranormal got some attention.

John Zaffis opened his presentation in the Student Center's Storer Ballroom by darkening the room and showing photographs that depicted haunted places.

The photos showed images of faces in strange formations and other weird phenomenon.

As Zaffis spoke, his microphone began cutting in and out.

"I didn't do anything," Zaffis said.

The problem continued and at one point the projector did not advance a picture correctly.

"You got spirits in here, I know you do," Zaffis said.

Zaffis, who spoke to a packed crowd, has been featured on Discovery Channel documentaries and has appeared on "Unsolved Mysteries," Fox News Live and Coast to Coast AM, according to a biography on his Web site.

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Zaffis has more than 30 years of experience studying and investigating the paranormal and has worked with cases of possession and exorcism. His research has taken him throughout the United States, Canada, England and Scotland, and he is lecturing at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., the Web site states.

Zaffis led Shepherd University students through his experiences and then he planned to take a small group of students on a ghost hunt on campus.

Because of his personal experiences with hauntings, near-death experiences and other paranormal activities, he said he is convinced such phenomena exist.

He told students one time he prayed in a church and heard an angelic voice respond to him. Zaffis said it was like the voice went through him.

"I tells me that there are other things out there," Zaffis said.

Zaffis recalled one time when he investigated a restaurant that was said to be haunted. After a search of the restaurant, Zaffis said he could not find anything.

Then, a shelf in the establishment tilted and items on it went sliding.

"We got our verification right there," Zaffis said.

He recalled another instance where a movie theater was said to be haunted and strange things were happening to patrons in the theater.

It turned out that the theater was built on an Indian burial ground. Zaffis showed the audience a photograph taken inside the theater where the head of an Indian could be seen.

He recalled his trip to Dudleytown, a town in Connecticut that is reportedly haunted. People often talk about feeling like they are being suffocated when they enter Dudleytown and others talk about having haunted experiences when they take items like sticks out of the area, Zaffis said.

The speech was sponsored by Shepherd University's Program Board.

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