I worked at a library for eight years, so when I saw an episode of Ghost Hunters called “Due Date With Death” listed on my Direct TV guide, I had to watch it. The episode first aired in November 2012 on the Syfy network and is from the show’s eighth season. This episode features TAPS founder Jason Hawes, tech manager Steve Gonsalves, investigators Dave Tango, Britt Griffith, K.J. McCormick, Adam Berry, and Ashley Troub.
The TAPS team goes to Rochester, New York to investigate the Rochester Public Library. At the library, Christine Ridarsky tells them that there have been reports of paranormal activity in the library for fifteen years, after the library was remodeled. She says that employees have seen shadows and heard footsteps, voices, and moaning. Motion alarms have been triggered after hours, but when the police showed up, the building was locked and no one was inside. The team thinks the paranormal activity may be connected to the death of a librarian (Frank), who had a heart attack there and later died, and a woman who drowned and was found in the aqueduct underneath the library in 1902. Christine shows them video evidence of a heavy door opening and closing by itself, which they have caught on tape three times; the team sets up some cameras pointing at that door. Security guard Karen Yacono saw someone’s head peeking out from the stacks one night, so Britt Griffith and K.J. McCormick set up a thermal imaging camera in that area.
In the third floor office area, Jason and Steve see a shadow when they are checking out the door (I’d like to point out that the door says 333 on the outside…which is half of 666!). Steve asks Frank if he’s there, and they hear an “echoey voice” moaning and footsteps behind them. While they are trying to find where the voice came from, they hear a noise, and after testing some chairs, Steve figures out that the sound they heard was someone (or something) sitting in one of the chairs. Britt and K.J. go to the Director’s office on the third floor and notice that the door is held open with a doorstop, so it shouldn’t be able to close without someone undoing the doorstop; when they enter the office, their equipment sounds, and the door closes all by itself. They review the tape to make sure that Britt didn’t accidentally nudge the door and see that he was not close enough to have caused the door to close, and their equipment is now dead. Steve and Dave go to the main floor to try to see what could be causing the shadows the employees have seen. They notice that there’s a restaurant across the street that stays open late, and they wonder if cars could be causing the shadows, so Steve gets his car and tests it out. Dave tells him that when Steve pulled out of the parking lot across the street, he could see his shadow as the headlights illuminated the window.
Adam and Ashley check out the upper stacks and set up devices that will go off if a shadow passes in front of them. One of them sounds, and Adam asks if it’s Frank; they hear a voice in response and contact the rest of the team to make sure none of them are also in the stacks. They listen to the recording and think the voice is saying something about finding books, but can’t hear it well enough to be sure. In the lower stacks, Steve and Dave conduct an EMF reading row by row. Steve hears a noise that sounds like something crawling or traveling, and Dave finds a block of Styrofoam on the ground; he tosses it back on the ground to see what sound it makes, and Steve says it sounds like the sound he heard. Britt and K.J. head to the main floor and soon hear footsteps and voices; they check with the other team members to make sure none of them are on that floor. Britt sees something go into a nearby room, so he goes into the room, and no one is there. They hear noises that K.J. describes as sounding like “somebody taking and putting books up onto the shelf.” Dave and Ashley go to the third floor office area to check out the door. Dave opens the windows to see if the breeze can cause the door to open, and Ashley notices that the door she closed is now open, so they deduce that if both windows are open, the breeze is strong enough to cause the door to open.
Jason joins Steve in the lower stacks, and Jason jumps out at Steve and startles him. They hear a noise and ask Britt and K.J. to see if they can get into the aqueduct to investigate. Britt goes down there and is not happy about all the spiders that are down there with him. K.J. sends some cables down, so they can film in the aqueduct, and they attempt to contact Mrs. Young, the woman who drowned down there. They tell her that they believe she may have been pushed and ask if she’s met Frank, but she does not respond. Jason and Steve ask Ashley to meet them upstairs and tell her that there’s a TAPS group in California, where she’s from, and say that they think it would be good for her to go train with that group. The team reviews all of the footage and sees something interesting on the DVR Britt and K.J. had set up in the upper stacks: a shadow peeking around the stacks! Jason tells Christine that since this figure didn’t show up on the thermal imaging camera, but did show up on the DVR, it could mean that some of the spirit’s energy may have dissipated if it has been there for a long time.
I really liked this episode of Ghost Hunters, and I’m glad that none of this stuff ever happened at my library.
My rating: 8/10