1 Aug 2009
Revealing ghostly secrets of the Union County Courthouse set for September
by Suburban News
In the final scene of an upcoming episode of 'Ghost Hunters,' the popular SyFy cable TV series that goes in search of the paranormal, members of the 'Ghost Hunters' team met with Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich, left, in the records room at the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth. While the staff at 'Ghost Hunters' won't breathe a word of what they found involving the ghost of Hannah Caldwell and other unexplained phenomena reported at the courthouse complex--they are contractually bound to silence--Froehlich said he promised the crew he would not disclose anything they said until the show aired, which is now set for Sept. 16.
ELIZABETH--Maybe Hannah Caldwell 's ghost just needed a little more time in make-up. According to the folks at Ghost Hunters-- the SyFy(CQ) Channel's popular show that searches for the paranormal--their findings about the Union County Courthouse's infamous ghost, originally expected to air in August, will now run Sept. 16.
The "Ghost Hunters" crew spent several nights at the Elizabeth courthouse in the spring searching for evidence of any paranormal activity. But as to what they found, no one at the show is offering any hints as to what viewers will see.
"I could lose my job if I said too much," said Laderman, a co-producer at "Ghost Hunters."
Laderman was in Chicago with the paranormal team investigating reports of odd doings at a community center when he was reached for an update on the Union County episode.
While the show has an airdate, that still could change again, he warned. If the date is not changed by Sept. 1, in all likelihood it would not be rescheduled at the last minute, he said.
Laderman still believes fans of "Ghost Hunters" will not be disappointed when they tune in to see what the crew found when they visited the courthouse, located in the heart of the city's downtown.
Hannah Caldwell was interred in the church cemetery next to the courthouse. She was buried next to her husband, the Rev. James Caldwell, a strident revolutionary known as the Fighting Parson. However, the circumstances of her death more than two centuries ago remains the subject of historical dispute. By some accounts, she was mistaken for a sniper by a British redcoat, while other reports say the killing was retaliation for her husband's activities.
Some historians have even suggested it could have just been a stray shot from either side. Regardless, her death was used to rally the area's farmers, who until that point, had remained fairly ambivalent about the revolution.
Laderman said that when the Ghost Hunters investigate the site of a suspected paranormal activity, the crew brings a host of electronic equipment, from EMF detectors, which record the presence of electro magnetic fields, to special recorders that pick up sounds inaudible to the human ear. They will also come with nightvision cameras equipped to film in the dark, along with cameras equipped with thermal sensors.
But what some of that hi-tech equipment might have detected, Laderman said he cannot say, explaining that all show's staff are contractually bound to not reveal the content of any episode prior to airing.
However, there is one person not on the "Ghost Hunters" staff who does know what they found--Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich. At the end of every "Ghost Hunters" episode is a segment called the reveal, where someone from the site under investigation is told the findings of the staff's inquiry.
Froehlich, who is responsible for courthouse security and spent time with the Ghost Hunters filling them in on the history of the building, was the staff's first choice to participate in the reveal and he accepted readily.
But as to what he was told in that final scene, filmed in the records room where deeds and mortgages are filed, Froehlich also won't say.
"I made them a promise that I would not discuss any of what they told me until after the show aired. And I am a man of my word," Froehlich said. "I know there's a great deal of curiosity out there about this. People have been stopping me on the street. I've gotten numerous phone calls. But everyone is just going to have to wait. I'm sorry. But I promised and as much as I would love to talk about it, I just can't."