A few months ago, I wrote about the possibility of individual things being haunted, as opposed to actually having a haunted house. And I think I mentioned the name John Zaffis.
John Zaffis has a TV show on SyFy, for those who aren't familiar with his name, and it's called "The Haunted Collector." The show is about Mr. Zaffis's travels around the country to help people who are having, for want of a better phrase, paranormal problems. Mr. Zaffis and his team of investigators will go to the person's residence or place of business and try to determine if the problems his client is experiencing are related to items within the location. To date, he and his colleagues have rooted out weapons used to commit murder, jewelry that still had the spirit attached to it, animal bones, and at least one cursed object. And that's just a short list. Once a disturbed/disturbing object is identified, Mr. Zaffis will usually remove it and bring it back to his haunted museum, where it will be safely stored in a sort of privately owned Warehouse 13, speaking of the SyFy channel.
A few weeks ago, while life was truly insane, my husband and I took an evening off to go see Mr. Zaffis lecture at a local community college. What an engaging evening! First of all, it was a chance to see a noted paranormal investigator tell his stories in person. Secondly, what an audience! But first things first. Mr. Zaffis had an entire PowerPoint slide show with topics like ghosts and spirits, or demonology. For a supernatural fanatic like me, this was hitting the mother lode. Toward the end of his presentation, though, just when he got to the topic of demonic possession, the computer went berserk and zipped through the remaining pictures like a cheetah on steroids -but with less grace and more disturbing images- terminating the slide show in a most unceremonious fashion until the process stopped at his icon-filled desktop. Mr. Zaffis seemed about as startled as the rest of us and asked if the college had a ghost. I suppose this might have been staged, but anyone who could see the bewildered expression on the gentleman's face, and I could, would say otherwise. So the bad news was that we never got to see the whole show.
The good news is that he then devoted himself to a solid hour of Q & A from the audience. Did I say something about the audience earlier? There were any number of ghost hunters and paranormal investigators sitting in that lecture center, and all of them had a question. Quite a few people seemed to be looking for personal help. And then there were all the questions about the TV show itself. Mr. Zaffis explained the difference between what he really does and what is allowed on the television screen. He has his frustrations ("They won't let me show the kind of precautions I take whenever I remove one of those objects and store it away") but he is also happy to share his knowledge to those interested in picking his brain.
I don't get to see his program as often as I would like anymore, but I was thrilled to have a chance to see the man in real life. He's funny and down-to-earth, and I did find myself lying awake later that night, mulling over some of his more frightening tales. A bit afraid to open my eyes in the dark? Check. Very uneasy about wandering down the hall to use the bathroom at two in the morning? Check. Sleep a long time coming with all those weird noises originating in a spot just left and a little behind my side of the bed? Check. I must have had a great time!