Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Could Some Spirit Please Hand Me a Towel?

I never quite know where my research of rumored hauntings and unusual places will lead. Sometimes an unassuming ghost story will lead me to a secret gay life of a former owner. But it can also lead to a totally surprising turn of events connecting many different things in a synchronous (and humorous) way. Just this past weekend a little background research I was doing led me to the last thing I would have expected: paranormal television meeting toweled gay men.

I honestly don't watch any paranormal reality shows on a regular basis. I will watch an episode here and there just to hear about some various haunted places when the mood strikes me but I've probably seen a total of 2% of all the episodes of every ghost show out there. When a strange trail of news leads me to a show I do tune in, though. Case in point: last year when TAPS went to Florida to check out some haunted buildings. Here is the second half of Ghost Hunters Season 5 Episode 4 "Club Dead" (first aired on April Fool's Day of 2009, strangely enough) where TAPS heads to the Ybor neighborhood of Tampa and investigates the Trelles Clinic (click here for the second part):

Owner Fred Schwartz mentions that he and his partner Vince Pawlowski are renovating the building into Ybor Resort & Spa, which opened just a few months after the episode aired. Now they didn't go into detail on the show about the new business. But I will. Ybor Resort & Spa is "Tampa's largest all-gay private club and resort" with "large boutique hotel rooms" and a "clothing optional steam room with private zones". There is also a "large dark room with an intricate maze and a sling room". I know what you're thinking... but I'll let the St. Petersburg Times speak for me: "If it sounds like a bathhouse, don't describe it that way to the owners. Technically, and according to the city, the Ybor Resort & Spa is a hotel and a men's health studio. Sex and nudity in public areas is not allowed."

If you watch the beginning of this Ghost Hunters episode and who all is present at the first location (and not at "Trelles Clinic") one person stands out for a few reasons. Who is it? None other than Britt Griffith. Why is this so interesting? In case you missed it, you might want to look back at the recent controversy over a slip of the tongue he had on a paranormal radio show. Now I'm not saying he elected not to do the second half of the show due to the nature of the new business. The irony is extremely amusing, though!

At the end, Jason and Grant said that to be certain it was haunted it would require several investigations to make certain that there is something paranormal happening there. Somehow I don't see any follow-ups from TAPS in the near future. Unless, of course, it's the all-nude Halloween special.

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