BY JOSEPH KOHUT
They’ll come for the ghosts but maybe they’ll stay for the books.
Wyoming Valley Ghost Tours, a fairly unusual business owned and operated by Kingston couple John and Keriann Balucha, partnered with the Scranton Public Library to host a paranormal investigation next month at the Albright Memorial Library.
The public will be able to buy tickets to participate in the investigation.
Will they find a ghost? Anything’s possible, but John Balucha said they’ll at least illuminate some of the building’s history to a group of curious people.
That was the hope when they started the business in 2018 — use a “unique twist” to bring people to historic places throughout the region that all claim some sort of paranormal activity.
Even if no apparitions appear, guests can walk away perhaps having learned something new.
“A lot of times people didn’t even know what they had here,” Balucha said.
Jessica Serrenti, library director of community engagement, hasn’t seen anything spooky at the Albright, but said there are a few retired staff members who believe there could be a ghost lingering among the local history files on the third floor.
Some even wonder if the ghost of John J. Albright, who built the library on the site of his family’s former homestead in 1893, or members of his family, haunted the building.
“There’s always speculation,” she said. “Are they keeping an eye on everything?”
In 2019, Wyoming Valley Ghost Tours’ first full year in operation, they held 34 different events at places throughout the region, including at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple and the Everhart Museum, Balucha said.
They had hoped 2020 would be their “banner year,” but the COVID-19 pandemic shrunk their event list from 64 to four. “We’re hoping that we can slowly get moving again in 2021,” Balucha said.
Group sizes for upcoming events are reduced and people will be spread out in their own teams, working with some equipment to find evidence of a haunting. Tickets for the library excursion will be priced around $30 to $40 and may be posted for sale on the business’ Facebook page at some point this week, Balucha said.
The events are also fundraisers for the institutions hosting them, he said, paid out of a portion of ticket sales.
Serrenti said she will give guests some history on the library, including who the Albright family was, as well as why and how the library was built.
The Baluchas will show ticketholders how to use recording devices and other equipment to try and capture evidence of hauntings.
“We try to give everybody an authentic paranormal investigation experience,” John Balucha said.
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