WEST LONG BRANCH – The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University will hold a live presentation featuring the stars of the SyFy Network series “Ghost Hunters,” Jason Hawes and Steve Gonsalves at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 on the stage of the Pollak Theatre, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Ave. The event is a late addition to the 2013-2014 Performing Arts Series that brings the men from The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) back to the Jersey Shore on a visit to a history-rich campus that’s long boasted its own share of shadowy apparitions, mysterious phenomena, and restless presences.
A pair of lifelong history buffs and amateur spelunkers of the spirit world, Jason Hawes and his retired partner Grant Wilson founded TAPS in 1995, as a supplemental activity to their Roto Rooter plumbing franchise – a line of work that was seen occasionally in the early seasons of the hit program that first took to the basic cable airwaves in 2004. When Hawes and Gonsalves (a regular part of the TV team for all nine seasons) make the trip to Monmouth, they won’t be called upon to flush out a noisy poltergeist, or even snake out an uncooperative floor drain – but they will be presenting some favorite highlight clips from “Ghost Hunters,” giving the audience a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the series, and engaging in a spirited Q&A with believers and skeptics alike.
As the TAPS guys have stated, “there’s a little bit of paranormal in there, but we’re not psychics” – in fact, they prefer to be called paranormal investigators, adding: “We’re not trying to conjure anything or channel anything. People want to know how these stories stand up against our modern methods of collecting data. It’s the last true frontier.”
It’s also a field of endeavor that’s taken the original “Ghost Hunters” crew from their Rhode Island home base to locations across North America – including several in Monmouth County and along the New Jersey coastline. While the rumored resident ghosts of such Monmouth University locales as the Woods Theater and Wilson Hall may or may not be in attendance for the October 4 event, Hawes and Gonsalves aim only to find the truth behind the stories that proliferate wherever human history runs deep. And, just for good measure, the Center for the Arts at Monmouth will likely observe the theatrical tradition of keeping a “ghost light” burning for its special guests.
Tickets are $35, $45 and $65 (includes meet and greet/photo op), and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/arts.