A popular show about a team that investigates claims of ghosts and hauntings returns to Missouri this week.
Jason Hawes founded The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) in 1990 and in 2004, the SyFy Channel began running Ghost Hunters, following the group’s adventures. He says his team first tries to “debunk” claims of the paranormal.
“We’re going in believing that over 80 percent of all claims can be disproved, so we’re going in trying to look for the explanation that would explain why people have had these experiences. We’ve had cases that have been everything from overactive imaginations, under-medicated and over-medicated people and people who truly have problems.”
An episode that airs Wednesday night was filmed over the course of several days, a few months ago, at the Belvoir Winery in Liberty. Hawes thinks fans will find that episode exciting.
“I think we were able to figure out some of the things that were going on there but there were also a lot of things that happened that we brought to their attention that we caught that really made us scratch our heads and try to understand how these things or why these things are there.”
Hawes says the site’s reputation for the paranormal comes from its history that includes periods as an orphanage, a hospital and then a nursing home. He’s also been told that there are bodies buried on the property in unmarked graves.
“It’s such a neat property … it definitely can give you that spooky feeling.”
His team also spent time in Excelsior Springs at the Elms Hotel & Spa. Built to welcome visitors drawn to the area’s springs that were once believed to have healing properties, the Elms is said to have been frequented by Al Capone while operating as a speakeasy during prohibition.
Hawes says some interesting things happened to his team while he was there, as well.
“At one point while we were investigating, I’m standing outside a room and I’m talking to the camera … and all of a sudden you hear what sounds like a scream coming from in the room that’s right next door to me. I open the door and there’s absolutely nobody in there.”
That episode will air July 17.
Fans of the show will be glad to know Hawes and company will be back in Missouri.
“I’m gonna be back there in August. We’re doing an event over at [Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City] and also there are some other areas … I can’t give you too much detail … that we plan to head over to film more episodes at.”
Ghost Hunters aired an episode two years ago that was filmed at the historic Penitentiary.
See a “sneak peek” of the Belvoir Winery episode below: