Online, on campus and in Hollywood the question is, who sent the promo?
By Sarah Palermo
RINDGE — There’s a ghoulish mystery stalking Franklin Pierce University.
Call it the case of the creepy ad campaign.
In late September, several Hollywood film industry reporters and bloggers received envelopes, blank but for their address and the return address of 40 University Drive, Rindge, NH.
Inside was an unmarked, unexplained flash drive containing short clips of the upcoming horror movie “Paranormal Activity 2.”
The movie is the sequel to an uber-successful, low-budget 2007 film that followed a couple experiencing a demonic haunting in their home.
For the recipients, a quick Internet search showed what lies at 40 University Drive: Franklin Pierce’s main campus. But the questions of who sent the envelopes, and why they used the university’s address remain unanswered.
Nicholas Caramico, a senior at the school and station manager of its cable news network, is determined to find out.
“Every day, we’re looking at the websites that originally posted about it. The only updates they have are what we’ve written about it,” Caramico said.
He and the staff at the station and the campus paper have e-mailed some of the writers who received the envelopes, and called the publicity department at Paramount, the studio marketing the film, which is due out Oct. 22.
So far, no clues.
“There has to be something behind it, for all eight to have the same address,” he said, adding that it might be a joke by one of the many alums working in the entertainment industry.
At one point, more than a dozen former Ravens lived in the same apartment complex in Los Angeles, all working in television and film, according to John Perry, a 1992 Franklin Pierce graduate.
Perry currently works at Paramount as supervising producer on the “Dr. Phil” talk show, a job he landed with the help of another alumnus from the class of 1982.
“It’s not me. I’m not involved in that project. I wish I was,” Perry said.
None of the other alumni he knows is involved with the “Paranormal Activity 2” promotions, either, he said.
Internet message boards abound with conjecture about the connection, inadvertently promoting several Franklin Pierce programs.
The university once offered a paranormal psychology class, so maybe that’s a feature of the new film, some people have posted on forums.
Or, maybe the film is centered around an Indian burial ground, another person proposed, after stumbling on news coverage of the school’s archaeology department unearthing ancient Native American artifacts in Keene.
But despite the publicity, the stunt didn’t have the blessing of the university administration.
“We are all very curious as to who is at the bottom of” it, Patricia Garrity, the university’s Director of Marketing and Communications, wrote in an e-mail.