“Haunted Collector” star John Zaffis brings his family of investigators to the 2011 Dragon Con to discuss their hit Syfy show.
Article and photos by Suzanne Philips
If you ask anyone in the Paranormal field who their inspiration is, one name keeps popping up – John Zaffis. With over 30 years experience investigating the paranormal and work on some very high profile cases, Zaffis is the go-to guy when one needs paranormal advice. He has appeared on popular recent paranormal tv shows such as “Ghost Adventures” and “Ghost Hunters”. Zaffis himself has delved into the paranormal television world with his Syfy show “Haunted Collector”. Zaffis and his team travel to locations that are having unexplained activity and identify and remove any items that they feel might causing the activity. Zaffis remembers a case that he had years ago in which a client “had a nick nack that seemed to be causing some paranormal activity. It got me thinking, if people and places can be haunted, why not items?”
The “Haunted Collector” investigation team is really a family – literally. Zaffis is joined by his son Chris and daughter Aimee, as well as Beth Ezzo and Brian Cano, whom Zaffis considers adopted children. The team works with their clients to try to locate “trigger objects” which might be the source of the problems in their home or business and Zaffis will remove the item, at the client’s request, and relocate it to his paranormal museum, in hopes that the activity will cease.
There is a huge barn on the Zaffis property in which all of the “haunted” items are placed. What you don’t always see on the show is the preparation that goes into the items before that happens. ” We do bindings and prayers over the items before they get put into the barn.” says Zaffis. “I also had a lot of things done to the barn when it was being built to secure it, such as putting crystals into the foundation. The contractors thought I was nuts!” Zaffis also said that the Syfy show “doesn’t show all of the things that Chris and I do to seal the building.” A common misconception that has come out of the show is that Zaffis stores all of the items in his basement but they are actually stored in a barn on his property. Chris Zaffis commented that “we have enough stuff for three barns. It’s overflowing.” And team member Brian Cano feels “every time I go into the barn, it’s like “Warehouse 13″ in there. I don’t want to touch anything!”
When the “Haunted Collector” team locates an item that they feel might be causing activity in a location, they always give the owner a choice on leaving the item in the home or having the team remove it to a secure location. “In our society today, people love having haunted items in their homes”, claims Zaffis. Investigator Beth Ezzo agrees. “There is a huge market on ebay for supposedly “haunted” items.” While Zaffis will respect the wishes of the client in regards to removing items for them, he says that there is a reason that he “doesn’t like to leave items in the home and bind them” (to try to contain the paranormal energy). “If they are still in a house with people, someone might touch it and it can become re-activated.” Is the team ever worried about items that they have taken out of people’s homes? “Sometimes when I put an item in the car, the car will start to act up and have problems and I know that I am dealing with something really strong” says Zaffis. Sometimes the item is so powerful that Zaffis recommends burying the item or putting it into a body of water.
What kind of haunted items does the team see the most of? “Probably dolls” says Zaffis. “People think they are all innocent and pure.” One case saw a lady who had purchased over 140 allegedly haunted dolls and she brought them into her house and started seeing some paranormal activity. “Ya Think”? laughs Zaffis. The family wanted to dolls removed and the lady turned over about 70 of the dolls to Zaffis. He did an EVP session (electronic voice phenomenon) over the dolls and got a creepy response that said “John Die”. The lady kept some of the dolls and was still experiencing the activity. Zaffis even had some car problems while transporting the dolls home. “Dolls and Clowns are probably the creepiest items we get”.
“Haunted Collector” is still awaiting notification of renewal for a second season. Check out www.syfy.com and email them telling them you would like to see more episodes of the show. We will keep you posted at CFM on any new information about this great paranormal show.