Who you gonna crawl? Paranormal Society hosts boozy ghost hunts in Brooklyn parks

They ain’t afraid of no ghosts: From left, Pat Pacelli, Anthony Long, Jayme Pacelli, and Jimmy Shen of the Brooklyn Paranormal Society investigate the Prison Ship’s Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park.
Photo by Jason Speakman

These ghost hunters don’t just consult the spirits — they drink them too.

A group of Slopers and Ridgeites have married their shared passion for all things spooky with their love of liquor by forming a bar-crawling, ghost-hunting club called the Brooklyn Paranormal Society, which may be the only band of spectral investigators who are actually proud of drinking more spirits than they find.

“I haven’t had any paranormal experiences, but I do have a lot of experience with spirits,” said Park Slope software developer Anthony Long, who co-founded the group.

The boo-zers begin their meetings at a local bar for some liquid courage, then head to supposedly haunted Kings County parks to hunt for phantoms.

The group is still in its infancy, and had its first outing last Wednesday at Fort Greene Park — which is home to the Prison Ship Martyr’s Monument and the hundreds of corpses buried beneath it — and will stalk Prospect Park on Tuesday.

But Long says he is in it for the long-haul — he has invested more than $100 in phantasm-detecting hardware, including a $12 electro-magnetic field detector, a $60 handy cam with night vision, and a $30 bag of wine, which he insists has special properties that assist in contacting spirits.

Specifically, a more seasoned spectral investigator told Long that a high blood-alcohol content leaves a person more vulnerable to possession.

“We actually had a discussion with a professional, and they said that drinking during ghost hunts is a terrible idea, because it increases the chance of being possessed,” he explained. “So, naturally, we try to get as drunk as possible.”

No possession occurred during the group’s first and only outing, but Long says he has taken careful preparations to ensure that the gang can quickly cast out any ghosts that take residence within a Brooklyn Paranormal Society host. Namely, members in Bay Ridge have stashed holy water at their apartments, and Long read almost the entire Wikipedia page on exorcisms.

“I kind of skimmed it,” he said. ”But I know enough to pull off an exorcism, if necessary.”

Once he has more experience under his belt, Long says he plans on offering his services as a apparition investigator pro-bono to owners of haunted houses — provided they have a home bar.

“I feel like a lot of times when your house is haunted, you don’t know who to go to, and we want to be the people that get to drink in your house,” said Long.

The Brooklyn Paranormal Society investigates Prospect Park, meet at Johnny Mack’s (1114 Eighth Ave. between 11th and 12th streets in Park Slope, www.meetup.com/brooklyn-paranormal-society). Oct. 6 at 7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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