Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Syfy Channel Gives Windber's Grand Midway Hotel the Scooby-Doo Treatment

WINDBER – Big-time paranormal detectives have investigated a hotel in Windber, and television viewers can look over their shoulders tonight.

The Syfy channel show “Haunted Collector” came to examine The Grand Midway Hotel in Windber in January, and the program will air at 9 tonight.

The reality TV show is about a team of investigators led by John Zaffis, a demonologist who focuses on locating a haunted object and removing it in hopes of removing paranormal activity. Further details will be revealed on the show.

This isn’t the first time “ghost hunters” have investigated the place.

The Cambria County Chapter of Pennsylvania Ghost Hunters Society, “Scared!,” the Paranormal Investigation Team from Vermont, and authors Dorothy Burtz Fiedell and Katherine Ramsland all have had a turn at investigating the hotel.

Current owner Blair Murphy, who wasn’t available for comment, bought the hotel on eBay in 2001.
In its heyday, the hotel was a landmark for miners. Over the years, it has had its share of renovations and changes.

Since the purchase, Murphy has transformed the old hotel into a collection and work of art itself.
On its Facebook page, the hotel is described as “A bit of Warhol’s Factory, a bit of Hearst’s Castle, a bit of Coppola’s Zoetrope, a bit of Byron’s Villa Diodati, the Grand Midway serves as an ongoing private base camp for several contemporary artists and projects.”

Throughout the years, the hotel has had a lot of ghost stories attached to it.

There are rumors of bodies buried in the basement and ghosts haunting the rooms.

A news article in the July 5, 1911, copy of The Tribune-Democrat explains the origin of one of the stories:  Martha Selinsky, 18, of Windber, lost her life at The Grand Midway Hotel on July 4, 1911.

The article says Selinsky was killed when a piece of shrapnel from a pipe used to guide the July 4 rockets into the air exploded.

By Josh Byers

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