Friday, November 15, 2013

Case Study No. 1122: Christine Ridarsky and the Staff of Rochester Public Library

GH (S08.E25) - 1/3
Ghost Hunters: Due Date with Death - (1 of 3) - Click Link Below for Part 2: pPS7bJE47KI

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The Investigation
Rochester, New York
Rochester Public Library
Tuesday, 3:09 PM

[scene opens with Rochester City historian Christine Ridarsky sitting at a table in the library with members of the Ghost Hunters investigative team]
CHRISTINE: We've had reports of voices, footsteps, shadows, moaning ...
[cut to a woman ("Anita Wahl, Administrative Assistant") speaking directly to the camera]
ANITA: From the far end of the room, I heard a woman go "Uhhh" ... just like that.
[cut back to Christine speaking with the Ghost Hunters crew]
CHRISTINE: We've actually had a security guard report that they saw the head peeking out from behind some of the library stacks at one point.
[cut to another woman ("Karen Yacono, Head of Security") speaking directly to the camera]
KAREN: It looked like a head and shoulders, but it was dark. I couldn't tell features, I couldn't tell what they had on. I just took off after what I saw, and looked down every aisle, and there was nothing there.
[cut back to Christine speaking with the Ghost Hunters crew]
CHRISTINE: And most of what we're hearing is coming from our staff members. It's usually happening after night, after the public has gone for the day.
JASON: Mm-hmm.
[cut to footage of a door in the library]
JASON: [in voice over] A door to an empty office slams shut on the third floor, revealing something eerie behind it.
[cut to another woman ("Falisa Steele, Building Maintenance") speaking directly to the camera]
FALISA: It was just a black shadow, right up under the door. And I looked down, I was like ... and it just eased away.
[cut to footage of the stacks area of the library]
JASON: [in voice over] Books have been found, as if thrown from the shelves ...
[cut to more footage from inside the library]
JASON: [in voice over] And motion alarms have been triggered, and police summoned, only to find the building empty and locked.
[cut back to Christine speaking with the Ghost Hunters crew]
CHRISTINE: There was an alarm on the stairway, and then another motion alarm on the second floor, so it was almost as if someone was walking down the stairs.
[cut to a closeup of two newspaper clippings, with the headlines "The Death of Mrs. Young" and "Indications Point to Another Foul Murder, Body of Mrs. A.J. Young Found in a Mill Race"]
JASON: [in voice over] It's believed that this activity could be caused by two deaths that have ties to this building.
[cut back to Christine speaking with the Ghost Hunters crew]
CHRISTINE: We found out that there was a young woman who drowned in 1902 ...
[cut to "footage" of a woman's body floating head-down in a pool of water]
CHRISTINE: [in voice over] And was found in the mill race almost directly below the building.
[cut to more footage from inside the library]
JASON: [in voice over] And a long-term librarian named Frank suffered a heart attack at the library, and later died.
[cut back to Christine speaking with the Ghost Hunters crew]
CHRISTINE: Librarians become very attached to their building and their collections ... The joke around here is that they never like to leave.
STEVE: Yeah.
[cut to "library security camera" footage]
JASON: [in voice over] But probably the most interesting element of this case is that video evidence that Christine is willing to share with the world for the very first time.
[cut back to Christine speaking with the Ghost Hunters crew]
CHRISTINE: We've got three different instances that were recorded on our security tapes of a door that opens and closes by itself.
[cut back to the security camera footage, which shows a door opening, then back to the head of security]
KAREN: I checked the videotape for a few hours before, I checked for a few hours after, and there was no one up there.
[cut back to Christine speaking with the Ghost Hunters crew]
STEVE: Is it a manual door, completely manual?
CHRISTINE: Yes, this is an old building. It's one of the original doors for the building.
STEVE: Okay.
CHRISTINE: It's heavy wood.
[cut to an exterior shot of thel library, as the camera focuses on an inscription reading "Science, the Master of Light and Energy, of Time Space and Sound, Foe of the Forces that Assail Life"]
JASON: [in voice over] It's always interesting to me when traditional institutions of knowledge and learning seek answers to the paranormal.
[cut back to Christine speaking with the Ghost Hunters crew]
JASON: What're you hoping we're able to accomplish here?
CHRISTINE: Well, y'know, we've never disclosed this to the public at all, so before we decide how to disclose it to the public, we really felt we needed a professional investigation. Are we haunted, or are we just the victim of the old building syndrome?
JASON: Well, hopefully we'll be able to figure out what's going on here, we'll give you some answers, and go from there ... but I think we should go talk to the rest of the crew, and start settin' up.
CHRISTINE: Great, we look forward to hearing your results.


[two members of the Ghost Hunters team are investigating the stacks section of the library after hours, as "Main Floor, 1:07 AM" appears on screen]
BRITT: So K.J. and I, we're entering the main floor of the Rochester Public Library, and we're looking for shadows moving around. Books falling over, being thrown off of shelves.
["Britt Griffith, Investigator" appears on screen, as he continues speaking (in hushed tones) directly to the camera]
BRITT: The sounds of people walking above us, so definitely have our work cut out here.
[cut to Britt and KJ checking around the corner of one of the bookshelves]
BRITT: [whispering] I swear, if we turn the corner and see some ghost librarian putting books away, I'm gonna freak.
[cut to the camera's POV as it looks down the hallway]
BRITT: [whispering] Sounds like footsteps over there.
KJ: [whispering] Right.
[cut to KJ speaking into his walkie talkie]
KJ: [whispering] Hey, KJ to TAPS team. Is there anybody walking around the main floor right now?
[cut to a split screen showing two other members of the Ghost Hunters team exploring the library, when one of them answers into their walkie talkie]
ADAM: [whispering] No, we're on the third floor.
KJ: [whispering] Copy, thank you.
[cut to Britt and KJ trying to "communicate" with the ghost of the deceased librarian]
BRITT: Frank, are you with us right now? Is there any way you can ... move one of these books for us?
[cut to the camera's POV as it again looks down the hallway]
KJ: [whispering] That was a voice!
BRITT: [whispering] A voice!
KJ: [whispering] Something just said something ...
[Britt turns and addresses the camera]
BRITT: [whispering] We're hearing voices right now ... Very faint. There were footsteps.
[cut to another shot of Britt and KJ]
KJ: [whispering] You go that way. I'll go this way.
BRITT: [whispering] Okay.
[they split up, as Britt goes into a room and the lights suddenly turn on]
BRITT: Oh geez!
["Wednesday, 1:32 AM" appears on screen, as KJ turns the corner and enters the room]
KJ: [whispering] Oh, the motion sensor lights?
BRITT: Yes! Scared me!
[he turns]
BRITT: [whispering] But I thought I saw something go into this room. It was like a quick whispy ...
[he waves his hand around and makes a whistling noise]
KJ: [whispering] That sound came from this back corner.
BRITT: [whispering] I know, I know ...
[cut to footage from Britt's handheld camera (showing the lights turn on as he says "Oh geez!"), then back to Britt standing in the room with KJ]
BRITT: [whispering] That was crazy ...
[cut to KJ speaking directly to the camera]
KJ: [whispering] We heard something moving around back here. We came back here ...
[cut to Britt and KJ standing next to another bookshelf]
BRITT: Frank, are you with us right now?
[cut to another angle of Britt and KJ staring down the hallway]
BRITT: [whispering] It is so weird to be looking through these long rows of books ...
KJ: [whispering] Isn't it?
[cut to another angle of the room]
KJ: [whispering] Even though it's a library, y'know, it's very spooky with all the lights off ...
[a sound can be heard off camera]
BRITT: [whispering] Shh ... There it is again.
KJ: [whispering] Y'know, it's interesting, because it kinda sounds like what it would sound like if you were to take a book off a cart, and--
[they pause, as another sound can be heard off camera]
BRITT: [whispering] It just happened again.
KJ: [whispering] There it is again ... Put the book on the shelf.
BRITT: [whispering] Okay, stay here.
[he hands KJ his handheld camera]
BRITT: [whispering] Hold this in that direction.
[cut to split screen footage, as one shows Britt heading down the hallway, while the other shows KJ as he speaks directly to the camera]
KJ: Those sounds, to us, sounded like somebody taking and putting books up onto the shelf.
[cut to Britt sliding a book on the shelf, making a very audible noise]
KJ: [from off camera] That's a very simliar sound ...
BRITT: Okay, here goes a bigger book!
[he takes another book and slides it on the shelf]
KJ: [from off camera] Man, it sounds just like what I was hearing ...
[cut to Britt speaking directly to the camera]
BRITT: It's quite possible that Frank is still here, organizing the library, doing what he did for thirty years ... and he's just doing his job.


The Reveal
Rochester, New York
Rochester Public Library
Friday, 1:43 PM

JASON: [in voice over] The team uncovered some astonishing evidence and analysis, that I couldn't wait to show to Christine.
[cut to inside the library, as Jason and Steve sit with Christine in her office]
STEVE: Nice to see you again.
CHRISTINE: Nice to see you.
STEVE: How are you?
CHRISTINE: Doing well, thank you.
JASON: Hey, how are you?
JASON: Good to see you ... Now, we've got a couple things we'd like to show you, just to get your take on. Some of the sounds that we caught seemed a little strange to us, I wanna know if they're normal sounds to the building.
[cut to split screen footage, as Jason explains the nighttime footage being shown to Christine]
JASON: While we were on the third floor, all of a sudden, there was just this voice that ... it's just, I don't know where it came from. But we checked with the rest of the investigators, nobody was anywhere around us. There was no way the sound could've travelled up there, there was nobody there.
CHRISTINE: Did you have a sense of whether it was male or female?
STEVE: Um ...
JASON: Y'know, I want you to take a listen to it and tell me what you think.
[he hands her a pair of headphones]
[cut to the nighttime footage, as something faintly audible can be heard]
JASON: You hear that?
JASON: Did that sound male or female to you?
[she takes off the headphones]
CHRISTINE: I probably would say female, but it ... it was kinda echo-ey.
STEVE: Yes. Yeah, exactly.
JASON: Well, because it's going through that building, there's ... uh, nobody else in there at the time.
JASON: Now, I wanna show you some video. Uh, Britt and K.J. were investigating the office that the door has a tendency to close by itself.
[cut to more split-screen footage, as Steve shows her the nighttime footage on his tablet]
JASON: So, while they were in there, uh ... well, they had the experience, where the door closed by itself.
CHRISTINE: Oh, really?
JASON: We're gonna show you ... actually let you listen.
[she puts on the headphones again]
JASON: Go from there ... Now, watch the door right behind Britt. Now it starts moving.
[cut to the nighttime footage, as the door closes by itself]
JASON: As you see, it's moving now.
CHRISTINE: Oh ... Yeah, it's like someone gave it a little shove there at the end.
JASON: Nobody touched it. It would be different if we only had that from one angle and we're looking, but--
JASON: We're able to see two different angles of that happening, which is some of the experiences that you all have been having here.
CHRISTINE: Oh yeah, that's exactly what we're hearing from our staff.
JASON: We wanted to show you that. Now, you gave us some claims that people had experienced what appeared to be shadow types peering out from around the bookcases down in the stack area ...
[she nods]
JASON: We were able to catch something that appears to be very similar to the experiences that they've had. And I wanna show it to you, get your take on it, and we'll go from there, okay?
JASON: Nobody was anywhere around, everyboyd was accounted for.
[cut to thermal imaging footage from the night before, as a small yellowish "figure" appears briefly]
JASON: See that right there?
JASON: See, that's picking up a heat signature, so something with legs just walked by. The thing is, it never walks fully by, and it never walks back ... which, sorta makes no sense. Strange, but now later on in the night, this is one thing that was seen.
[cut to footage of the stacks, as a shadowy "blob" seems to pick out from behind one of the bookcases for a split-second before disappearing]
JASON: Boom ... It looks like a head peers out. The camera picks it up, and you'll see the boxes around it picking up motion.
[cut to the footage being rewinded, as a white box outlines the object]
JASON: Now, see that? Now ... boom, it's gone.
[she nods]
JASON: Now, we're also running the thermal, and the thermal didn't pick up any temperature fluctuation.
[cut to thermal imaging footage of the same bookcase, as no visible changes can be seen]
CHRISTINE: And what does that tell us?
JASON: Whatever shows up right now, doesn't have a heat signature. It's the same exact temperature as everything else in the room.
STEVE: If that was a person there, we would without a doubt see them on the thermal. It's impossible to hide from the thermal, so--
JASON: That's why the police use it, they put 'em on the helicopters to catch the bad guys because there's nowhere you can run.
STEVE: One thing this tells us conclusively is that ... uh, whatever this shadow is, is not human.
JASON: So for whatever reason, yeah, I believe that we picked up some sort of an apparition, an entity, that's solid enough to appear on the camera and not be see-through, but it doesn't have enough energy to give off a heat signature.
CHRISTINE: So, if this were related to someone who had died a hundred years ago ... would you be likely to have less heat?
JASON: I think over a period of time, yeah, the energy from something that's there tends to dissipate. Tends to disappear.
CHRISTINE: Any evidence that would help us connect this to Frank or Miss Young?
JASON: I wish.
[she laughs]
JASON: I really do wish ...
STEVE: It's a tough one.
CHRISTINE: Do you get a sense of ... uh, is there any danger here for our staff?
JASON: I would probably run like hell ...
[she laughs]
JASON: I would ... No, come on!
[he laughs]
JASON: Honestly, no. I ... We didn't feel anything malicious, anything negative by any means. And they've never caused anybody here any pain.
JASON: It's more the frightening thing about walking around the corner and seeing something ... just standing there. Seeing someone standing there. I don't think there's any reason to fear anything that's here.
CHRISTINE: Well, this definitely helps. I think it'll put our staff at ease to know--
JASON: Well, I don't know if it'll put 'em at ease ...
[they laugh]
CHRISTINE: To know there's something here, but that it's perhaps friendly, or at least not harmful.
JASON: You need anything, you give us a shout, okay?
[he shakes her hand]
CHRISTINE: Okay, great! Thank you very much!
STEVE: Thank you for your time, this has been great!
[cut to Christine speaking directly to the camera]
CHRISTINE: I think TAPS did a great job. I think it is very helpful to have this information. Y'know, it re-affirms some of the feelings that some of our staff has had, but also helps us to feel a little more comfortable with ... y'know, what we may be living with here. I'd personally like to know who's here. Y'know, I think some of our public will be very interested to hear the results of their investigation.



"Ghost Hunters"
Season 8 - Episode 25
Due Date With Death

The staff at The Rochester Public Library is on edge because of the encounters with the paranormal, but they've kept the supposed hauntings a secret- until now. Tonight the Ghost Hunters take on this 1934 building, which has some tragic deaths in its history. Let's hope TAPS can close the book on this case!

The activity has been going on for at least 15 years, and most seem to have started after the library underwent a reconstruction, says client Christine Ridarsky. Since then, staff reports dark shadows, voices, footsteps and eerie moaning. A security guard saw a head and shoulders peeking out of the shelves. The door to an empty office slammed shut and a dark black shadow came out and floated away. Motion alarms have gone off and books are tossed from the shelves after hours.

The video evidence caught by security cameras is most alarming! It shows a door opening on its own, with no one around and no explanation. Whoa.

Years ago, a young woman drowned and was found in aqueduct area beneath the building. And long-term librarian Frank suffered a heart attack at the library and later died. Could one of these souls still be lingering in these halls? The building is made of limestone, by the way, and there are 2 sources of water nearby. All of those factors could serve as catalysts for the activity!

Ms. Ridarsky wants to know if the building is haunted or just old, so that she can inform the public of the occurrences.

Britt and K.J. are quickly able to debunk the shadow figure in the stacks, and further debunking by Steve and Tango prove that light play on tall bookshelves can easily confuse people. But Jason and Steve encounter a voice, moaning and footsteps walking by them as they try to figure out what opened that door.

While Ashley and Adam are in the stacks, they hear a cart squeaking and catch a clear recording of a voice with them!

K.J. and Britt chase some sounds of books being taken off the shelves and moved around. Britt speculates that perhaps it's Frank, doing the job he had done for so many years.

Down in the aqueduct, Britt and K.J. fight the spiders and overall creepiness in order to capture some activity, but come up empty.

Jason and Steve take a break from the investigation to pull Ashley aside and discuss her performance so far, based on feedback from the team. They recommend that she go back to her local TAPS family in California to get more experience and training. It's bittersweet for Ashley, who looks forward to the education.

After analyzing the footage, Jason and Steve present Christine with the personal experiences. But most importantly was DVR footage of a shadow peeking out from behind a shelf- but it did not appear on the thermal imaging footage. Jason believes that it is an age-old spirit whose energy is dissipating so it is not strong enough to leave a heat signature.

Overall, TAPS' experiences and solid evidence were enough to confirm the experiences of the staff. Only further investigations will be able to answer the questions about who these spirits might be!



The "Ghost Hunters" team visited the Rundel Library last August in an attempt to uncover the truth about the haunted tales that plague the library, says a Democrat and Chronicle report dated Nov. 22. Reports of paranormal activity at the library include doors opening and closing on their own, the elevators moving on their own and spooky shadows.

But, it was capturing the auditorium door opening and closing on its own on the security camera that prompted the staff to contact "Ghost Hunters". According to the library news release, no mechanical explanation for the movement of the door could be found, so they called "Ghost Hunters" in hopes they can unravel cause of the ghostly activity in the Rundel Library.

During the visit the "Ghost Hunters" team investigated the subway tunnels beneath the library, the library stacks and backrooms in the library that are closed to the public.



(Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012) - Is the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County haunted? That is the question that the cable TV show "Ghost Hunters" seeks to answer in the episode "Due Date with Death," featuring the Rundel Library Building. The show will air on Wednesday, November 28 at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on the SyFy channel.

For years, library staff who have worked in the imposing, 80 year-old Rundel building have told tales of doors opening and slamming shut by themselves, elevators moving on their own and creepy figures that seemed to play hide and seek through the dusty shadows of the upper stacks.

The stories were dismissed as tales created by overactive imaginations until recently. Security cameras, which are in operation 24/7, have repeatedly caught an auditorium door swinging open and closed; seemingly of its own accord. After viewing this phenomenon several times and not finding any mechanical explanation for it, library administrators called in the Ghost Hunters to delve deeper into the mystery. Each year, Ghost Hunters receives investigation requests from all over the world, but preliminary evidence of the library "activity" sparked their interest and brought the team to Rochester for a closer look.

In late August, Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves, Dave Tango and the rest of the crew showed up to film the library and the subway tunnels that run underneath it. The building size represented a challenge to the crew--requiring two full nights of work beginning at 4 p.m. and ending at 2 a.m. The crew was granted unprecedented access to all areas of the library, many rarely seen by the public. Several library staff members recount their experiences for cameras. Christine Ridarsky, City Historian and Head of Historical Services for the Central Library got the first peek at the results of their investigation. The "Ghost Hunters" producers have sworn her to secrecy until the show airs, on Nov. 28. Tune in to "Ghost Hunters -Due Date With Death," and find out the answer to the question, "Is the Central Library really haunted?" Check the SyFy Channel's website for upcoming previews of the show and further air dates.

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