Ghosts Broadcast From Hannibal Community Theater

Star Radio account executive Chris Koetters didn't believe in ghosts — until radio station KZZK did a live broadcast on Halloween from the Hannibal Community Theatre in Hannibal, Mo.

"It was very interesting," said Koetters, who was joined by several other radio station employees during the all-night event. "Let's just say I'm more aware of some things now."

The radio crew invited the Missouri Paranormal Task Force to investigate claims of sightings and strange goings-on inside the old building. The task force is producing video and audio recordings of the evening.

"The investigators were very professional," Koetters said. "The way they do everything, it's almost like it's written from a book."

KZZK radio personality Quaid said listening to the audio, called electronic voice phenomenon, convinced him something was going on inside the building.

"The EVPs, that was a huge eye-opener for me," he said.

The investigators and radio employees roamed the building at Sixth and Lyon, asking questions while filming and recording. Koetters is heard on a recording asking an entity if the building should be torn down, and Koetters' foot suddenly became "very warm."

The group used electromagnetic frequency meters that jumped when questions were asked. They also recorded EVPs, posted on the Web site, with voices heard only later when played back.

Hannibal resident Peggy Northcraft is the secretary of the theater's board of directors. She says she believes there is paranormal activity in the theater.

Built in 1871, the building housed a Catholic church for many years. The upstairs portion was the sanctuary and is now used for theater storage. There's even a loft apartment next to the sanctuary.

The Hannibal Community Theatre bought the building seven years ago and stages four productions a year. The group has renovated the downstairs portion of the interior.

"We've never had anybody in the audience experience anything during a show," Northcraft said. "But anything we've ever experienced has been more mischievous; ... there is nothing to be afraid of. We did experience an entity (on Halloween) that appeared to be angry, but it wasn't angry at us."

Northcraft's daughter, Jamie Grady, is the theater board president and conducts haunted tours in Hannibal. She was in the theater Halloween night. She says she's interested to see the Missouri Paranormal Task Force report, which will probably take some time to be released.

Grady says that one day she was in the loft apartment and closed a door leading out to the old sanctuary when she heard a male voice speaking in Latin, later determined to be saying the sign of the cross. It's speculated the voice came from where the confessional booths used to be.

"I've spent countless hours in there working by myself, and I've heard strange things and seen shadows here and there," Grady said. "You never can tell. ... Sometimes nothing is going on, other times it feels like there is something in there and it immediately interrupts what is going on."

Grady said watching the radio crew in the old building was "hilarious."

"For tough guys being on a rock station, it was actually rather hilarious how scared they were," she said. "Here are these tough guys from a hard-rock radio station, and they are afraid to go to the bathroom by themselves."

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