Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ghost Hunt on the Battleship North Carolina!

I've been champing at the bit...er, a bit...lately, wanting to go check out one of the many many horror/scifi/comic book conventions that seem to be happening every weekend not less than four hours drive from my home. My wondrous wife Suze says I'm wanting to "go among my own people."

She may be right.

The main obstacle to my going to these shows is the distance, and consequently, the cost. However, I had been eyeballing the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte NC in March - but was still holding out due to the cost of driving, hotel, admission, and then merchandise and autographs.

Then, I started to see notices of an event that was going to be occurring much closer to home - almost in my backyard. And who should be one of the celebrity guests at this shindig - why, none other than LGOOH's 2011 Official Blog Celebrity herself!

Yup, my buddy Adrienne King was going to be appearing at an event a couple of months after the Mad Monster Party convention – along with her Friday the 13th co-star Ari Lehman. Imagine my surprise when I read on and discovered they were going to be two of the celebrity guests at a ghost hunt on the USS North Carolina – a WWII era battleship now permanently docked as a floating museum right here in my hometown!

And it was happening on a Friday the 13th! Well, that was that – Mad Monster was out – Ghost Hunt was in! I purchased a VIP ticket and then started work on getting something cool for Adrienne and Ari to sign. I ended up purchasing a VERY cool piece – a 3-D Friday the 13th movie poster from McFarlane Toys!

I also decided to take my Friday the 13th DVD, original novelization (from around 1986) and my hardcover Crystal Lake Memories book. No point in missing any opportunities, right?

Of course, I already had several autographs from Adrienne – on some Crystal Lake wine bottles, and my prize poster from winning the first Crystal Lake Wines Coast to Coast Toast photo contest; but it was more about getting to meet her face to face – and adding Ari Lehman only made it more cool.

The Battleship North Carolina in her permanent home. Note the museum building and big gangplank on the left.

I arrived for the early VIP meet and greet – an hour of time with the VIP guests and the celebrities. Now, in addition to A-n-A – there was some guy who was supposed to have been on the special effects makeup crews of several movies in the 80’s…but I’d never heard of him. There were also several luminaries from the world of televised ghost hunting. There were two brothers with a show on one network – that’s as much as I gleaned from their introductions – and then a trio from Syuh-Fyuh’s Ghost Hunters International. However, these are not shows I watch, so I had no real interest in meeting them. I’ll also go on and say here that I’m agnostic about the existence of ghosts. I like to hear the stories of people who say they’ve interacted, getting chilled sometimes when the story is good and creepy. But I’m not sure a TV show tromping in and setting up is going to be able to get conclusive evidence, so the shows don’t interest me. But, I bring an open mind, shall we say. However, I will tell you this – when the doors were opened for the regular ticket holders to come in – there were some Truly True Believers in our midst. But that’s getting ahead.

Adrienne and Ari - friends to the end.

Showing my VIP ticket gained me access to a conference room in the museum building next to the battleship. At the back of the room there was a row of tables, and all of the celebrities were set up back behind the tables. There were probably 30 or 40 guests there, and they were scattered across the tables in the back. As I neared the tables Adrienne looked up and saw me – and grinned broadly as she waved at me. How awesome to be recognized! We greeted each other warmly – and she introduced my to Ari Lehman, who was right next to her. They both signed all the stuff I brought – and I took all that back out to the car. I hung out with them the rest of the hour – Adrienne introduced me to several of her fans as the Coast to Coast Toast Photo winner – and it was neat watching she and Ari interact with the other people. After the crowds had died down I got my photos with A-n-A and they agreed to shoot the endorsement videos for LGOOH – although I wish that could have happened away from the crowd as the background noise drowns them out a lot.

Sometimes when you ask others to take the photo - they do not have your eye for composition, and
consequently the machete in the picture gets cut off (pun intended). I still appreciate the help.

After the doors were opened to the regular ticket holders, they laid out the program for the rest of the evening – when the time came, everyone would break up into groups, and each group would be led by one of the celebrities. Then there was a Q+A with the celebs before the ghost hunt – but there were like two questions for the Friday the 13th people and then dozens for the ghost hunt celebs. Adrienne took this time to step out for a bite of dinner – I stepped out for some air and found her and one of the event people at a table outside the room. As she munched a salad, I asked Adrienne if I could be on her team for the ghost hunt – and she said definitely and asked how to do that to the event producer. He indicated she was going to lead the Green Group, so I should go with that group into the battleship when the time came. It also came out about this time that for some reason Ari Lehman was not actually going to participate in the ghost hunt. After the Q+A he was off to roam Wilmington’s downtown – surely a fun time for someone possibly hunting other spirits…

After the Q+A it was time to start hunting ghosts! The groups started forming up – and I joined the Green Group. However, Adrienne was being detained by the purported makeup effects artist – and suddenly the group was led out by an event producer – with Adrienne left behind. Not sure what to do – I went with the group. I was not real happy as we made our way into the bowels of the ship – I had hoped to spend the bulk of this Friday the 13th evening with the star of Friday the 13th – but that appeared now to be off the table. I settled in and got into the spirit of things after a bit.

And wow – what I said before about Truly True Believers? Oh yeah! We got one of the ghost hunters added to our group (things got a little ragged on the ship in terms of plans and such) and she had a gizmo just like Egon’s EKG meter from Ghostbusters – minus the flyout wings – but it was supposed to be measuring the same energy as Dr. Spengler’s device. Well, after we went into the depths of the ship and stopped in one room – the ghost hunter asked if anyone else in our group had one of the EKG meters – and eight people had them! There were people in my group with spy tech briefcases full of ghost hunting gadgets! I was boggled!

We worked our way through the ship – then stopped in the galley about an hour into the hunt to regroup and to trade ghost hunters. As we’re hanging out there – I hear a voice call out “Craig Edwards? Has anyone seen Craig Edwards?” And in through the door swept Adrienne – she’d spent all the time after the conversation with the makeup artist had ended looking for me – I was thrilled and honored.

Here's a crappy cell phone pic of some of my signed swag...

The groups kind of broke up a bit at this point – so Adrienne and I ended up a duo as we worked our way all around the ship. She’d had a couple of “feelings” about a couple of spots – so she showed them to me. We went up on deck at one point and made our way out onto the prow of the ship – at which point I bellowed “I’m King of the World!” spoofing Titanic - which Adrienne thought was hilarious. We had a marvelous three hours walking all over that giant battleship. We spent part of the time in the bowels of the ship back in the galley – working with the Ghost Hunters International group on a ghost detecting setup utilizing multiple gadgets spread all over a room. We talked with the ship’s caretaker who has some good ghost stories of his own to tell. Eventually the hunt ended, and people started leaving the ship. Adrienne and I found ourselves exiting the ship on our own. I walked around with her until we found the event producers – so they could get her a ride back to her hotel. With a warm hug we parted ways. It was a marvelous evening – I had a car full of signed Friday the 13th memorabilia, and Adrienne and I had cemented a friendship. Once again – had you told that young boy back in 1980 that one day he would be pals with Alice from Friday the 13th – he would have laughed you out of the room.

The Ultimate Final Girl meets The Ultimate Blogging Fan.

I’m not sure that we encountered any ghosts in the Battleship North Carolina – but I’d finally spent some time “among my people,” and it was just the kind of fun I was hoping it would be!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. A signed novel! Ghost hunting! A 3D poster! I'll poke you with a fork!!!

  2. Honestly, if you'd seen a full-bodied apparition, I don't believe it would have compared to the experience of tromping through a battleship with a film star-turned-friend.

    Lots of people do the meet n' greet--but in the midst of all that make-believe, you guys hung out for real. Too cool, this. Obviously, Ms. King is a good judge of character--and an awesome person.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    1. I think you're right about that. She's really good people. I'm boggled by how down to earth she is - and easy to get to know, despite her less than savory experiences with a fan back in the day.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  3. What an ideal place to finally "meet up" - on a ghost-haunted battleship.

  4. Great story.

    I do love any rarefied group of hobbyist/geeks. I'm with you on the whole existence of ghost thing, but I'm glad that there are people running around waving gadgets about...

    1. I am too - they were all very nice people - and they definitely added to the evening. Thanks for coming by, Count D!

  5. You have been a blogging mad man and I can't keep up LOL What a fantastic night! Adrienne is still one of my fave horror stars ever and it 's awesome seeing Ari. How cool they autographed your swag.

    Love the battleship. I myself, got to go on the Mighty Mo, star of Battleship. They are breathtaking ships.

    1. Yeah, it's a fast 31 posts, for sure! And this was an incredible night hanging out "among my people."

      The battleship is amazing - of course, I've lived here 20 years and that was my first time setting foot on her! And how about this - you got Mighty Mo from Battleship, but the USS North Carolina played the main ship in The Asylum's mockbuster American Battleship (later changed to American Warship to avoid litigation)Yours had Rihanna - mine had Mario Van Peebles! Ha!

  6. What a cool story! I'm so happy to hear that King is such a great person, and that you two seem to be friends!