The New York Resident


        Halloween is usually boom time for spooks but one ghost buster complains business is slow this year. “It’s definitely not like the movies where ghosts are popping out everywhere,” said Dom Villella, who operates Paranormal Investigation of NYC out of the finished basement of his Williamsburg, Brooklyn, home. The bespectacled, 39-year-old, stay-at-home dad and hypnotherapist offers his services free. His shelves look more like those of an electrician or handyman than the arsenal of a ghost hunter; one of the temperature gauges used to measure ghostly chill in the air was actually retailed for use with barbecues. Last week, Villella was packing electromagnetic field detectors and hand-held video recorders into a backpack and carry bag for an investigation of a three-room apartment in Chelsea, where inhabitants reported doors opening by themselves, gusts of cold wind, and the dog’s tendency to hunker down in the same place and growl. Villella says only five percent of his investigations yield anything paranormal. (One sighting he’s sure of was behind David Letterman’s desk, where he spotted a bouncing ball of red light he thinks was a manifestation of energy coursing through the Ed Sullivan Theater after his team taped a segment for the show.) “When people hear bangs and creaks and moans, they automatically are assuming it’s evil,” he said. “I’ve never come across anything that I perceived as a demon." —Cotton Delo

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