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Rialto Theatre Specters Colin and the White Bride Astound TV's 'Ghost Hunters'

Investigators for the Syfy Channel show captured voices and film, the latter being called "holy grail" for ghost hunters.

If the "ghost meters" in the room were any measure, the spirits that haunt the Rialto Square Theatre liked the Ghost Hunters investigation of their digs almost as much as the humans watching their show did.

The devices were lit for almost the entire duration of the Syfy Channel program, which the Rialto's Technical Director Lori Carmine and Events Coordinator Trish Stoner watched on a tiny TV in the cozy confines of the theater's dressing room surrounded by folks who were in the middle of a paranormal tour of the old vaudeville/movie house.

Almost if on cue, the energy-sensing devices picking up the presence of other worldly apparitions would blink on and off when one of the ghost hunters would say, "Did you hear that?" or "I think I saw something."

They've been well-trained by Colleen Carroll, one of the tour leaders, and her All Seeing Paranormal partner Jim "Specter" Prewitt Jr. Blink the meter lights three times for "yes" and two times for "no."

Carroll was astounded by what she was seeing as she watched the show and kept an eye on the electronic equipment.

"I've never seen this kind of action on this light," she said to Prewitt via a walkie-talkie. "I'm loving the reaction on our meters."

The Ghost Hunters investigators seemed just as amazed by what they found. The crew was invited to spend the night at the Rialto by Carmine, who was hoping to confirm things that employees and guests have routinely said they've witnessed.

Among the most active of the spirits are Colin, a young boy who may or may not have been hit by a car outside the Rialto and died inside the theater, and the White Bride, who's most often seen walking along the promenade that looks down on the Joliet theater's rotunda.

Both made appearances on the show, much to the excitement of the investigators.

Colin was not seen but his tell-tale laugh, which was confirmed by Carmine, turned up on tape, as did his words, "My name is not Kevin," which the hunters called him throughout the half-hour program.

He's made it known to Prewitt and Carroll that he doesn't like being called by the wrong name, which he was given by a band crew member who was one of the first to see him as he was unloading equipment for the show, Prewitt said.

Even more exciting for the Ghost Hunters, however, was the physical appearance of the bride, who can be glimpsed for a few seconds moving along the theater's second-level walkway.

"From the standpoint (of ghost hunters), that's the holy grail to capture an apparition on film," investigator Steve Gonsalves said on the show. "It's what we live and breathe for."

From Carmine's perspective, it was nice to have the things that have been reported over the years be confirmed by experts.

And while there may have been a few liberties taken -- for example, it's never been confirmed that any child died at the Rialto and no employee has actually refused to come back to work after having an encounter with the paranormal there -- she and Stoner were thrilled with the show itself. Boiling down hours of audio and video tape to capture the highlights of an all-night investigation is no easy fete, Carmine said.

"I think they're doing a good job," Carmine said during a commercial break, "and they're showing the theater really well."

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Amy Gomez October 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM
I let my boys watch the show because they've been to the Rialto. They weren't too freaked out until their drama teacher (Lori Carmine) appeared on the show. Suddenly, it was all too real for them and they are still scared. Lori obviously has a lot of credibility with her students and I may not get them back to the Rialto for a show any time soon.
Joanne October 18, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I may be mistaken but I'm pretty sure it was the Rialto staff person who called the little boy "Kevin" in the first place and I do believe that it also may have been a staff person who mentioned that there have been employees who would not come back because of being frightened of the activity there. No matter, though, since the evidence gathered was completely amazing and the Rialto looked absolutely amazing on the show. The Ghosthunters teams have always conducted themselves with respect and levelheaded-ness and I think the Rialto and Joliet should be very, very proud of the way Ghosthunters presented this jewel of a place to the nation on television. Kudos to the Rialto and Ghosthunters!
Mark Donahue October 18, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Where's the skepticism here? I'm glad the Rialto was highlighted, but come ON, people! This is all so hokey and fake. Of course there's no such thing as ghosts, spirits, or apparitions. This is all just for TV entertainment. I don't buy any of it.
Cedgar October 18, 2012 at 02:53 PM
The show was cheesy and phony. The bulk of the hour was spent with cameramen filming each other while spookily whispering "Did you hear that?"..."Wow, did you see that?". Add some creepy visuals due to the camera equipment, some dramatic soundtrack bits, some skilled actors, and an audience of folks wanting to believe what they see - and you've got a show. Unfortunately, and expectedly, there was nothing to see. A couple brief audio and video clips of who-knows-what do not demonstrate anything. Had there been anything of substance, the show would have obviously spent time really digging in to those observations. Playing on the psychology of anticipation and thrill, this is little more than a kid's version of the Blair Witch project. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose.
charlies angel October 19, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I went to the Rialto last night for the haunted tour. It was 5 hrs long. I didn't hear anything. I saw one shadow but could be debunked. I think it had to do with the car lights reflecting from front of theatre. We split into 2 groups. The other group had a toilet flush & someone saw a woman. One of the ladies became ill and had to leave to another area. i was disappointed but it was fun waiting for something to happen in the dark. I really didn't believe the meters going off. i think they are controlled by sensors. There were temperature changes. I'm a scaredy cat but i survived. The lighting guy said he never saw anything there in 40 yrs. Someone smelled lilacs really strong but then again there was automatic fresheners throughout areas. I would go for another tour, I'm open to the unknown. I'm going to see Sylvia Browne next month at the Star Plaza & have a meet & greet. We'll see what happens.
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