Sunday, June 5, 2011

John Zaffis in new SyFy series Haunted Collector

Last week with the lights dimmed down we enjoyed watching the premiere of SyFy's new paranormal TV series Haunted Collector. The show features John Zaffis, eminent paranormal investigator and demonologist, along with members of his family and team as they investigate paranormal activity and look for items that may be causing a haunting. Zaffis will later remove the item at the owner's request. It's really great to see such a well- known and seasoned investigator working a case. Zaffis portrays a relaxed and gentle personality that is highly knowledgeable about the paranormal field. He gives creditability to his evidence and how he obtains it. I was surprised how little equipment he carries; most of the time he just uses a digital tape recorder.

With over 35 years of experience Zaffis has worked on cases like the case in Connecticut on which the movie "A Haunting in Connecticut" is based on. Zaffis runs the Paranormal and Demonology Research Society of New England which he founded in 1998. He began his supernatural study under the guidance of his uncle and aunt Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are also well known in the field from their work on the Amityville house case. He continued his studies under prominent exorcists in that field like Bishop Robert McKenna, Malachi Martin, and Reverend Jun.

Over the years Zaffis began collecting souvenirs from cases and stored them in a barn in the back of his Connecticut home. At over a 1000 items, he wondered what he could do with all the items he amassed. Zaffis decided to set up a museum to tell the stories about the items that interfered with people's lives and how the individuals were affected. Named the Paranormal Museum, items included are as diverse as the places they are from. The collection features dolls, guns, clocks, musical instruments, carved items, clothing and even paintings. Zaffis, upon removing the object after finding them in clients' homes, often experiences car trouble as he drives the item to the museum. As quoted on his own website, Zaffis reports, that "before items are brought into the museum, binding rituals are performed over each item by clergy. The goal of these rituals is to cease any spiritual phenomenon associated with the item. Items that are particularly active are kept in cases. Each time the item is removed from the case, another ritual is performed on the item".

But sometimes "unhaunting" proves to be difficult. Says Zaffis: "Some items are so strong that the binding rituals performed over them are not completely effective. Although the specific phenomenon associated with the items stop for the most part, many people describe a distinct feeling upon entering the museum". A few items are unable to respond at all. "There have been some items which carry with it such a strong spirit that a cleansing ritual will not be effective". When Zaffis comes across an item that seems unable to fully respond to the binding rituals it is either disposed of, buried in the ground, or thrown into a body of water. Destroying such an object would cause more harm then good; according to Zaffis, the spirit attached to that object will often gravitate towards the individual who destroyed it.

Zaffis is no stranger to TV. He is often seen on paranormal shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. A documentary film was recently made of the museum, written by and starred in by Zaffis himself. The film talks about his experiences and the stories behind the creepy items. Fans of paranormal TV shows can see Zaffis in action on Wednesday nights after the SyFy channel's highly popular Ghost Hunters with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson.

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