MARQUETTE - Steve Gonsalves of SYFY channel's "Ghost Hunters" entertained a crowd of fans at Northern Michigan University's Jamrich Hall Thursday evening with videos of bloopers, ghostly evidence and humorous stories of his adventures with The Atlantic Paranormal Society while filming the "Ghost Hunters" series.
The event was put on by the NMU paranormal research team.
Gonsalves talked about his favorite investigations as well as his best friend Dave Tango, as well as working with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. On Tango's first investigation, Gonsalves gave him a piece of headgear to wear saying everyone else had one, so naturally he put it on.
Steve Gonsalves of SYFY channel’s “Ghost Hunters” looks at his laptop computer during his presentation at Northern Michigan University Thursday evening. The star of the paranormal pursuit show entertained a large crowd at NMU’s Jamrich Hall. (Journal photo by Sylvia Stevens)
"I was just like 'does he know it's a tiara?'" Gonsalves said. "Then Jason and Grant come around later in the night and are like 'what do you have on your head?' and he's like 'a headlamp, Steve gave it to me.' "
Gonsalves discussed investigations suggested by the audience like the St. Augustine lighthouse, Eastern State Penitentiary, Mackinac Island and Pennhurst Asylum.
At the St. Augustine lighthouse, the crew was told that all the activity was in the lighthouse keeper's quarters, but Gonsalves said he put a camera in the lighthouse tower.
"They didn't say anything about the lighthouse tower, but just knowing we had 15 cameras in the lighthouse anyway we put one in the tower just in case," Gonsalves said. "I put one all the way up and it's a good thing we did because that is where everything happened."
When discussion turned to the Eastern State Penitentiary, Gonsalves brought up that there had been no paranormal reports from that location before they went into investigate.
"Not to sound crazy but we sort of wrote the book on the ghosts in that place because before we had gone, there were no reports, no anything," Gonsalves said. "They credit all that to us, which is a nice thing to have on your shoulders."
On another investigation, he was almost trapped on Mackinac Island in the middle of winter during filming of an episode of "Ghost Hunters" because the ferry couldn't make it through the ice. Gonsalves said on the show that he has many fears including spiders and a fear of flying. So when they were going to travel to the island by ferry the production crew didn't tell him until just before boarding that he might have to fly off the island in a small plane.
"Luckily, right before we were about to leave the island an ice breaker from the Coast Guard arrived, it was really cool and they were like 'OK, we can get you off the island,' " Gonsalves said. "The production company was sweet, because it costs a lot of money to have the Coast Guard come with an ice breaker. I videotaped the whole thing and sent it to the executive producer and was like 'hope this was worth your money, you should have told me.'"
When the team traveled to Ireland for a special episode the production company purchased a ticket for him just in case he would be willing to get on the plane.
"I couldn't get on the plane. They were just like 'its OK, sorry you can't go' and they never ever hassled me once about it, which I thought was really nice because that cost them a lot of money," Gonsalves said.
Gonsalves got into the paranormal after watching "Entity" when he was 5 years old. His mother thought he wasn't watching the film but when he started to freak out she said it was all made up. When the film ended the credits stated the film was based on true events, which he said got him hooked on the paranormal.
Sylvia Stevens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.