Ghost bars Seeing spirits—and we don’t mean EFFEN Vodka

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Ghost Bars

Our city has had its share of frightening problems. Consider the riots of 1992, the earthquake of 1994 and the ever-present danger of drunk-driving starlets in 2006. Now Los Angeles is facing another terrifying crisis, and this time it’s affecting our nightlife. This town has a serious ghost problem—and it’s spookier than ever thanks to the newly opened Crocker Club and the apparitions who supposedly reside here.

Located in the former Crocker Citizens National Bank in Downtown L.A., this 6,000-square-foot venue includes safe-deposit boxes and a genuine functioning vault door, which serves as the entrance to the club’s Mosler Lounge. Though the cocktail waitresses use modern innovations such as handheld PDA units, owner Vincent Terzian kept the building’s historic beauty intact. The most notable carry-over from yesteryear, however, might be invisible.

Near the private studio rooms is a secluded second bar called the Ghost Bar. While this might be a good place to start a ghost hunt, acclaimed psychic medium and paranormal investigator Virginia Marco tells us that at least one of the Crocker Club’s ghosts roams the entire building. Upon visiting the venue, Marco made contact with a spirit named Travis, a bald, English-speaking man in his 40s or 50s who was working in the building at the time of his death. According to Marco, Travis has green eyes, no wife and no kids. Marco went on to explain how Travis “missed his opportunity to cross over” to the afterlife and now resides between this world and the next. And though Travis apparently gets excited when patrons see him, he’s none too pleased with all the new people coming into his building. “He’s pissed,” Marco explained.

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New TV pilot looks at haunted Savannah


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local_film_23_phantomsLET’S face it. Many of the people who bring money to Savannah have been dead for years — sometimes centuries.

The designation of Savannah as America’s Most Haunted city a few years ago by a national parapsychologist was just the latest nod to the city’s ghostly history. There are many books about haunted Savannah and many more planned. Ghostly tours run along city streets at night, and customers can even travel by hearse to get their thrills and chills.

Savannahians love their ghosts, and have no desire to exorcise them. But the focus on the supernatural in Savannah may be undergoing a huge change.

On Feb. 28, a new television pilot will be premiered at The Distillery. Phantoms of History: Savannah was produced by Crissy Earheart, James Caskey and Murray Silver, who worked together on a PBS documentary, Southern Haunts.

Earheart, the executive producer, is from Nashville and has been affiliated with the Grand Ole Opry for 30 years. Silver, a fifth-generation Savannahian, is the author of Great Balls of Fire: The Uncensored Story of Jerry Lee Lewis.

Caskey is the owner and operator of Cobblestone Tours, a local company that offers both haunted walking and haunted pub tours.

“Phantoms of History is the pilot for a new television series developed for the A&E Channel,” Silver says. “Its first episode is devoted to Savannah, in an effort to give tourists a fresh reason to visit this historic city.”

While there’s no doubt Savannah’s ghosts are lucrative, the producers believe tourist interest is shifting towards an appreciation of Savannah’s history. “That a place may be haunted only seems to underscore its historic importance, and is no longer its most important aspect,” Silver says.

At the premiere, the episode will be screened and the producers will talk about the project in general and Savannah in particular. DVDs will be available at the premiere and at the Visitor’s Center, the Trolley Stop shops, the Book Gift Shop and True Grits.

“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has run its course and we haven’t had a major motion picture filmed here in the past eight years,” Silver says.

“The reason given by tourists most often for coming to Savannah these days is to eat lunch with Paula Deen,” Silver says. “We hope that Phantoms of History provides a fresh reason to visit Savannah, and reminds viewers of the reasons why they were interested in the town in the first place — her history and her natural beauty.”

Brothers document interest in paranormal

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Brothers Documents ParanormalCombine Indiana Jones with The X-Files and you have Belleville’s Gray brothers.

Adam, 36, and Andrew Gray, 33, are Belleville natives and filmmakers who have begun to specialize in television programs exploring the unexplained.

Their newest, Supernatural Investigators: Crystal Skulls, is a documentary airing tonight at 10:30 on VisionTV.

It’s one of four documentaries created by the Belleville brothers who last year had their television debut with The Nightmare, also on VisionTV. The hour-long program on the mysterious condition of sleep paralysis was picked up by VisionTV.

The four shows are among 17 to be aired on the channel’s new Supernatural Investigators program. Award-winning science-fiction author Robert J. Sawyer serves as host.

Building on The Nightmare’s success, the brothers pitched three new documentaries to the channel, all of which were approved.

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