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Haunted Grounds: Travel Channel celebrities to hunt museum, depot

Tennessee Wraith Chasers members (from left) Steven "Doogie" McDougal, Chris Smith and Mike Goncalves will turn out the lights at the depot Saturday night for a paranormal investigation.

By Jebb Johnston


Three celebrity ghost hunters are coming to Corinth this weekend to investigate the grounds and dark corners of the Crossroads Museum.

Tennessee Wraith Chasers members Mike Goncalves, "Doogie" McDougal and Chris Smith, who appear on "Haunted Towns" and "Haunted Live" on The Travel Channel, are set to investigate Saturday night. Tickets are available now for the hunt, celebrity meet & greet and Q&A, with proceeds benefiting the museum and Autism Resources of the Mid-South.

Goncalves, who did a hunt at the museum with McDougal last November, told the Daily Corinthian he got his feet wet in the paranormal world working on the production side of shows like "Ghost Asylum," a previous Wraith Chasers series on Destination America.

"I always believed - just never really sought it out," he said. "Having a lot of experiences working behind the scenes of these locations during shooting these shows, I just got more and more into it. I started going on investigations, and from there it became a passion. The paranormal became an adrenaline rush. Over time, they brought me on the team."

Originally from New Jersey, Goncalves, the team's "tech guru," moved to the Nashville area in 2002 to get involved in the music scene. He spent more than 15 years in the music business, recording and traveling around the country and the world. Now he enjoys being part of "a serious team of paranormal investigators that doesn't take itself too seriously." A new season of their "Haunted Towns" show premiers Friday night on The Travel Channel.

Goncalves finds something to take away from every investigation experience.

"I treat every ghost hunt as if it's my first," said Goncalves. "You never know what you're gonna get. You can repeat a place and have an idea of what or who you may encounter, but it's times like that, when you think you know, is when the curve ball comes in."

He's looking forward to revisiting the Corinth Depot with Wraith Chasers founder Chris Smith joining him and McDougal.

Back in November, "We had some activity for sure," he said. "Some great EVPs [electronic voice phenomena] and meter activity. Any place, in my experience, that sits right next to the tracks is always active - especially with the history of that land, not to mention the plethora of objects that the museum holds."

While electronic gadgets get a lot of attention in the ghost hunting community and on the TV shows, he encourages new hunters to simply be alert.

"Your own senses are the best piece of equipment you have - sight, smell, hearing, feeling," said Goncalves. "Other than that, my favorite piece is a digital recorder. I'm all about the audio and video. Recorders are a great inexpensive way to start out - that and a flashlight."

Evidence gathered during the previous hunts may be viewed at the museum website.

Paranormal enthusiast Shiloh Beene of Jackson, Tenn., who has helped lead the museum's two previous public ghost hunt events, will again be on hand. Participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment to use when the lights go out in the depot. Some equipment will be made available.

Registration for the evening is 6:30 to 7 p.m., followed by the meet & greet and Q&A from 7 to 9 p.m., and the hunt from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets are also available for a Battle of Corinth Ghost Hunt at the depot on Oct. 3 and 4 with a small group to explore the possibility of activity being heightened on the battle anniversary dates.

Tickets for Saturday's event cost $130 and are available in advance at crossroadsmuseum.com or at the event.