By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
GROVE CITY —
Grove City resident Daniel Hooven and his paranormal team spent the summer traveling the country to investigate haunted locations -- an adventure now airing on their show on The Biography Channel, "Haunted Encounters: Face to Face."
"It's absolutely amazing," Hooven, 28, formerly of Edinboro, said of the experience.
The show premiered Nov. 30 and airs Fridays at 10 p.m. Eastern time and he's pleased with the great feedback he and his team, the Paranormal Syndicate, have received so far.
"It was green-lit without a pilot, which was awesome," he said of the five-episode show, produced by Ping Pong Productions, the company behind popular shows like "Finding Bigfoot," "Chasing UFOs" and "Destination Truth."
"Haunted Encounters" was a secret Hooven had been keeping when he and fellow Slippery Rock University alum Adam Kimmell of Grove City told Allied News in June about their appearance on another show, "School Spirits."
That show aired on the SyFy Channel and the SRU episode focused on the pair's former frat house, which is said to be haunted.
Kimmell and Hooven also worked on a YouTube series they created, "Resident Undead," and the premise was similar to what Hooven has done with "Haunted Encounters."
Everything fell into place at the right time for this latest project. Ping Pong was intrigued by "Resident Undead" and how Hooven and Kimmell created "ripples in time" to re-enact infamous crimes and other events at well-known locations said to be haunted.
Hooven had previously connected online with Helmey Kramer, who had sent information to Ping Pong about his dog, The Captain, a Labrador retriever trained to detect electromagnetic waves with the same methods used by search and rescue and bomb and drug-sniffing dogs.
"It was perfect timing," Hooven said of how his team formed so quickly.
The Paranormal Syndicate team is Hooven, the lead investigator; Jordan Murphy, the case manager and historian who also helped with "Resident Undead;" Kramer, the technology manager, "paranormal linebacker" and the team's founder; Chelsea Damali, a psychic; and The Captain, who's in a few episodes.
"We are very organized," Hooven said of how they research each location's history and plan out the sequence of events they want to perform.
The team collects and records tangible evidence of paranormal activity, resulting in a better understanding of what might have happened years ago and a history lesson for viewers.
"I want them to see it in a different way," Hooven said of how it isn't just another generic ghost-hunting show.
The team visited Fall River, Mass., to investigate the house where Lizzie Borden brutally murdered her family to try and communicate with the victims and Borden herself.
They spent time at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, where gangster Al Capone was housed for a time, but the team focused on a tuberculosis outbreak that killed many inmates.
That trip was a homecoming for Hooven, a Philly native whose friends played extras in the episode.
The team's investigation of the abandoned Boston subway system was the most interesting for Hooven, and Ping Pong helped them get special permits and training to access the haunted tunnels.
"It's one of the coolest locations I've ever seen," he said.
The team isn't out to prove anything; they're doing something they enjoy and demonstrating it in a different way than other paranormal shows and putting their egos aside.
"Paranormal is not a popularity contest," he said.
Hooven, who's also finishing his master's degree in communications studies and integrated marketing at Edinboro University, is still waiting to hear on whether "Haunted Encounters" will get picked up for a second season.
"We're waiting on Santa Claus to deliver that," he joked.
"Haunted Encounters: Face to Face" airs Fridays at 10 p.m. Eastern time on The Biography Channel.
For more information or to watch previously-aired episodes, visit www.biography.com/tv/haunted-encounters
The team is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hauntedencountersofficial and you can follow them on Twitter at #hauntedencounters
Published Dec. 22, 2012, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.