Looking for a night that defies explanation? Beyond Ghosts, an Internet radio program powered by CBS, is hosting its first ever Ghost Hunt and buffet dinner on Friday, August 13 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Doors will open at around 5:30-6pm, with dinner to follow at around 6:30pm. After a short lecture, the Ghost Hunt will begin around 8:15pm.
Tickets cost $85 per person. This includes the cost of food, a lecture that explains and provides proof of paranormal activity from past experiences in Buffalo historical sites, a question and answer session and group discussion, a psychic/medium to perform readings, and a ghost hunt through the theater, led by members of the Beyond Ghosts team. Tickets go on sale starting March 26, and all sales are final. If the event needs to be postponed, there will be a rescheduled date.
Companies wishing to display their products or services during the event will have the chance to purchase tables in the main lobby that can stay there until the ghost hunt begins. These cost $100, and companies will automatically receive dinner tickets for two with their purchase.
The buffet will include roast beef, chicken cutlets, roasted red potatoes, baked ziti, vegetables, salad, bread/butter, cheesecakes, and refreshments including coffee, tea, pop and water. If these foods on the menu are not enough to encourage ticket sales, the proceeds from the ghost hunt are going to an organization that is not necessarily well-known in Buffalo, but makes up for this by priding itself on giving back to the community and preserving the sites that they investigate.
Beyond Ghosts consists of co-founders John Crocitto and Ryan Willard, tech specialist Brandon Bristow, and lead investigator/color commentator Marty Szewzcyk. On January 20, 2009, they began airing the first episodes of their show, based in Buffalo, that investigates historical sites and other locations in both Buffalo and Western New York, including the Buffalo Central Terminal, the US Naval Park, Laughlin’s Restaurant, and Hayes Hall on the campus of UB. Not only do they hunt ghosts, they also raise money. Their charity projects have helped raise $30,000 for the Buffalo Central Terminal and $2,000 for the Van Horn Mansion.
According to Kara Messina, the events coordinator for Beyond Ghosts, the group is not well-known, but this encourages outside parties to learn more about it and what it stands for in the community. She said that although this is a challenge, Beyond Ghosts deals with a topic that she said tends to interest many people once they understand what the group represents.
“Beyond Ghosts has received an overwhelming response from outside parties; at first, people are perplexed as to what Beyond Ghosts is, but, after its explained, people are genuinely excited and interested,” Messina said. “Most people’s, I’ve found, guilty pleasure is ghost hunting. Everyone watches the shows on TV and talks about them at work or with family, but not many people actually get to experience it first hand for themselves.”
Messina also said that the ghost hunt’s location could help Buffalo by getting a larger portion of the public interested in Shea’s. According to her, a ghost hunt could draw people who would not normally be interested in theater and get them to appreciate what Shea’s has to offer. In doing so, the ghost hunt could indirectly contribute to more ticket sales for the theater.
“These people are going to take one look inside and fall in love with its beauty, and will most likely buy tickets for future events,” Messina said. “I lived in Buffalo all my life and just for the first time went to Shea’s for a show last year; as soon as I walked in the Main Street doors, I was hooked. There’s no way around it.”
For more information about this event, to interview the members of Beyond Ghosts, or reserve a table, contact Kara Messina at 716-597-9558 or by email.
(Top photo of Beyond Ghosts team courtesy Michael Thomas)