315 Paranormal Research and Society from Utica will expose all of their findings of the Capitol on May 19, for the Final Curtain, A Walk into the Unknown. All of the proceeds will go towards the restoration fund for the Capitol Theatre.
Founder and Lead Investigator of 315 Paranormal Craig Gazzilli, said the group is scientific based and investigates private as well as commercial properties.
“What we do is we get cases around our local community and our minds are fully skeptical towards any paranormal happenings on every property,” he said. “We listen to the property owners and find out exactly what they are experiencing. We try to give them rational explanations for a majority or all of what they consider paranormal experiences.”
Gazzilli explained that the 15 members use a 20 camera security system, seven voice recorders and several Electro-Magnetic Field detectors, among other equipment to help find paranormal activities. The investigations on the property can take up to 10 hours and another two to four weeks to determine all of the findings.
“We have a large amount of audio and we have a few very interesting pieces of video for the investigation at the Capitol,” he said.
However, Gazzilli said he knows there are some critics that doubt the evidence that 315 Paranormal finds.
“We do have skeptics out there that take a look at our work and think they can come up with alternative explanations, which in our field we have to be open to,” he said. “But we take constructive criticism. We look into what they think it might be and we try to see if there is a rational explanation for that.”
|The original frontage|
There are plans are to restore the Theatre to 1939 with the front of the building appearing as a recreation of the original 1928 marquee.
Other improvements include adding a black box for flexible performance as well as a meeting space, a centralized box office, a green court café, an arcade, two small digital cinemas, and updated patron and performer amenities. The approximate cost of the entire project will be $10 million. The majority of the funding will be coming from outside of Rome, according to Capitol representatives.
Theakston said that although no one has ever died in the Theatre there have been sightings of unusual people in the building.
“One of the most famous is that there is a ghost of a little girl up in the balcony whose name is Gretchen,” he said. “It is an old tale told by the dancers at Harley John Hayes O'Neill Studio of Dance that she fell off the balcony when she was a little girl and now her ghost haunts the Theatre.”
In addition, a photograph taken by a member from the board of directors at the Theatre has been suggested that the image resembles a ghostly figure.
|The alleged ghostly capture|
|The ghostly image close-up|
Gazzilli also mentioned he hopes this fundraiser will assist the plans to restore the Capitol Theater.
“People who come are helping out a local historical place and giving to the Capitol to make it a better place for everyone to visit,” he said. “People can come to the event have a great time, see what we do, use the equipment that we use and maybe even have a paranormal experience or two themselves, especially the skeptics.”
My thoughts: The image looks suspiciously like an overlay exposure or photoshop. What intrigues me is why a ghost that looks like Ben Franklin would appear in this New York theatre. As there is no history of known deaths in the building, the capture (within context of the points raised) must be questionable until other proof of this entity is verified.