26 Jun 2012
Town called Salem pulls the plug on paranormal TV show because it would 'ruin county's reputation' (so don't confuse it with the home of the witch trials)
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Most small towns would jump at the chance to be featured on national television.
But when producers of a popular ghost-hunting show wanted to film in Salem, New Jersey, local officials refused to give them permission.
And one of the reasons they gave was that they did not want the area to become associated with the paranormal.
They might have been worried that visitors would confuse the town with the more famous Salem, Massachusetts, site of the 17th-century Salem Witch Trials.
Haunted? Local ghost-hunters say that Johnson Hall in Salem, New Jersey has a supernatural presence
Venerable: The building dates back to the 19th century and now house the county's chamber of commerce
Doug Hogate Jr, founder of the Jersey Unique Minds Paranormal Society, has long believed that the 19th-century Johnson Hall is haunted, according to Today's Sunbeam.
So when researchers from The Biography Channel's show My Ghost Story contacted him asking if he knew any spooky places where they could film, he suggested the hall, which he says is home to a female ghost which haunts the third floor.
County freeholders initially indicated that they would grant permission, according to Mr Hogate, but on Tuesday they told him they had changed their mind - just one day before he was due to fly to Los Angeles to record his commentary for the show.
Interest: Producers of My Ghost Story on The Biography Channel wanted to film an episode in Johnson Hall
County administrator Evern Ford told Today's Sunbeam that the agreement fell through because officials were unable to resolve their doubts before the show producers' deadline.
He added that freeholders were worried that the county might end up being portrayed in a negative light.
'Concerns were raised of, "Is this something we want to be known for? Does Salem County want to be known for having ghosts?"', he said.
Mr Hogate said these fears were unfounded, and argued that the show would have helped to draw visitors to the area.
'It would have cost nothing to the county to have their building on national TV,' he said.
'I know this is not a severely important issue for the county, but I just thought this was something that could have attracted some tourism to the area and benefited the county.'
The New Jersey town is one of more than 30 communities across the U.S. named Salem.
Salem, Massachusetts, one of the most famous, has embraced its supernatural reputation which dates back to the notorious witch trials of 1692.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2164215/Town-called-Salem-pulls-plug-paranormal-TV-ruin-countys-reputation-dont-confuse-home-witch-trials.html#ixzz1yv7kojYh