On the evening of Saturday, September 26, renowned paranormal investigator and demonologist John Zaffis visited Colgate’s campus. Zaffis came with the intent of educating spiritually-inclined students about the world of ghosts and demons.
The crowd that attended his presentation was relatively small, largely because of the timing. A Saturday evening appearance that paralleled a free Reel Big Fish concert left Zaffis with a little over a dozen students, albeit eager ones who crowded the front row and had no hesitation in engaging the “Godfather of Ghosthunting.”
“I’ll tell you, you guys are lucky,” Zaffis said. “People have a tremendous interest in this, which wasn’t the case when I started, but I’m glad to be a part of it now.”
Students, who did display “tremendous interest,” questioned Zaffis about his exploits in a distinguished career as a paranormal investigator. In return, they were told stories of haunted homes, cursed items and cases of demonic possessions that Zaffis had witnessed. The presentation was followed by a ghost hunt around the Colgate campus, which students found quite entertaining despite the rainy weather. As a result of his reputation and national prominence, Zaffis was able to keep his audience intrigued and attentive.
When asked what brought him to the presentation, one student was overheard exclaiming “Are you kidding me? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! I wouldn’t miss it for the world… [Zaffis] is a legend in his field and it’s something I’ve always been drawn to.”
Zaffis, who took up the study of ghosts at the age of 16 after reportedly seeing an apparition of his grandfather, can boast 37 years of experience. Throughout his illustrious career, Zaffis has made countless television appearances on programs documenting occult occurrences, including numerous History Channel specials and the Sci Fi channel’s popular show, Ghost Hunters. His fascination with the spirit world has even led him to open his own museum, which is home to his personal collection of possessed and haunted items.
“It started with me taking something as a personal souvenir at the end of an investigation,” Zaffis said of his collection. “Everything would end up packed away in a shed, and after a while, there was so much, I had to make a decision [about] what I was going to do with all of it.”