TV’s ‘Ghost Hunters’ takes interest in Fort Knox’s haunting lore

Posted Jan. 07, 2010, at 6:50 p.m.
BDN PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
Bngor ghost hunter Harold Murray shows a videotape that was recorded at Fort Knox the evening and early morning hours of Oct. 10 and 11 at a news conference at the fort Wednesday. Murray offered no visual documentation of unexplaiend happenings at the Prospect fort, but claims that a music box sound can be heard.    (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT)

CAPTION

Bangor ghost hunter Harold Murray shows a video tape that was recorded at Fort Knox on the evening and early morning hours of October 10-11, 2008 at a press conference at the fort  Wednesday, October 29, 2008. Murray offered no visual documentation of unexplained happenings at Fort Knox in Prospect, however he claims that a music box sound only heard on the tape and not heard during the original taping can be heard, but only he and his staff have heard it on his TV at his home. A playing of the tape during the press conference did not result in anyone present hearing any music.(Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)
BDN
Bngor ghost hunter Harold Murray shows a videotape that was recorded at Fort Knox the evening and early morning hours of Oct. 10 and 11 at a news conference at the fort Wednesday. Murray offered no visual documentation of unexplaiend happenings at the Prospect fort, but claims that a music box sound can be heard. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT) CAPTION Bangor ghost hunter Harold Murray shows a video tape that was recorded at Fort Knox on the evening and early morning hours of October 10-11, 2008 at a press conference at the fort Wednesday, October 29, 2008. Murray offered no visual documentation of unexplained happenings at Fort Knox in Prospect, however he claims that a music box sound only heard on the tape and not heard during the original taping can be heard, but only he and his staff have heard it on his TV at his home. A playing of the tape during the press conference did not result in anyone present hearing any music.(Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)

The suspected ghoulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night at Fort Knox may be getting a visit from television paranormal investigators the “Ghost Hunters.”

The producer of the SyFy channel’s “Ghost Hunters” series and Leon Seymour, executive director of Friends of Fort Knox, are discussing the possibility of filming a segment of the show at the fort. Story Producer Patrick Powell on Monday confirmed the show’s interest in the fort, but declined to discuss the matter until details had been completed.

“We can make it happen,” Seymour said this week. The fort was constructed between 1844 and 1869, and although troops were housed there during the Civil War, the fort never saw any action. And though no one actually died inside the fort, several people have reported hearing voices and seeing images inside.

At least one psychic has confirmed the existence of spirits in the fort. Some have suggested the spirits are those of a solider who had strong ties to the fort, such as Sgt. Leopold Hegyi, who served there for 13 years and died in the house where he lived across the road from the fort.

In addition to many unexplained experiences, visitors, over the years, perhaps sensing something in the fort, have asked guides about the possibility that the place is haunted.

The Friends organization helps to bolster that idea of ghosts with its annual Psychic and Paranormal Fair and the Fright at the Fort celebration at Halloween in which real-life spooks haunt the dank and dark alleys inside the fort.

Seymour stressed, however, that the Friends group has not taken any position on whether there are ghosts at the fort, but he said the “Ghost Hunters” investigation could be a boon for the fort and the surrounding area.

“A television show that is seen by millions will certainly put the area on the map,” he said. “It would focus attention on the fort and the observatory, and increase visitation, which can only be a benefit for everyone, except maybe the ghosts who might be disturbed.”

In recent years, several local paranormal groups, such as Bangor Ghost Hunters, Central Maine Paranormal and Maine Supernatural, have conducted investigations at the fort and have posted their results on their Web sites. According to Seymour, the Bangor Ghost Hunters were featured on a local television news program where they offered their opinion that the fort is indeed haunted.

The SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” is a one-hour weekly reality show that follows a group of real-life paranormal researchers as they investigate hauntings throughout the country, according to the show Web site. Led by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, plumbers by trade who head the Atlantic Paranormal Society, the team investigates “seemingly unexplainable disturbances.”

Seymour said he has contacted the Maine Department of Conservation’s Bureau of Public Lands, which manages the fort, for approval to have the TV crew film there. He said he is awaiting an activity permit for the shoot from Public Lands.

There has been some local interest in the program, and Seymour said he already has forwarded about 10 names of area residents who have expressed a willingness to be interviewed for the show. Despite Maine’s winter cold temperature and heavy snowstorms such as the one last weekend, Seymour said the producers indicated the “Ghost Hunters” could arrive in town as soon as February.

Anyone interested in participating in the show with a personal paranormal experience at the fort can contact the Friends at FOFK1@aol.com or by phone, 469-6553.

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