The estimated two million people watching Ghost Hunters Wednesday night got a taste of the alleged haunting inside the Sterling Opera House in Derby.
The 80 people gathered at the Catholic War Veterans hall in Derby got much more.
For the hour and a half before the show aired on SyFy Wednesday, local ghost hunters played audio recordings and told stories of their own investigations into the historic, vacant building on Elizabeth Street.
The pre-show had much more activity than the national ghost show.
Dan Rivera, of the Above the Realm Paranormal group, played several audio recordings taken inside the building. In one, Rivera says you can hear a man say his name is “Michael.”
In another recording, it sounds as if something says “Snickers.” Rich DiCarlo, the head of the Valley Arts Council and the driving force that brought “Ghost Hunters” to Derby, says the Snickers reference related to something the group was talking about in the opera house that day.
DiCarlo’s favorite recording is a video where a little boy appears to be singing on the audio track. DiCarlo believes its the voice of a little boy ghost named “Andy.”
The Ghost Hunters didn’t get as much activity in their investigation, but claimed to have heard a couple distinct sounds, and to have felt energy in the building.
Locals spotted during Wednesday’s show included DiCarlo, who was interviewed extensively, and Patricia Villers, a reporter with the New Haven Register.
Though city officials, like Mayor Anthony Staffieri, say they believe the place is definitely haunted, the Ghost Hunters experience was more than just an affirmation of that belief.
It brought two million eyes on the city.
“It put a positive light on the City of Derby,” Staffieri said after the show. “It showed a lot of great points of Derby. It shows Derby as a family place to be. We have a lot of history.”
DiCarlo said he hopes the show will prompt “traffic jams of people trying to look at the building.”
If you missed Wednesday’s show, SyFy will repeat it Friday at 5 p.m. and Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The Valley Indy live blogged the screening of the show. About 200 readers participated.
Click play on the box below to read a recap of the conversation.