BASIE KEEPS THE GHOST LIGHT BURNING

picture_jay_and_grant_at_computerGrant Wilson (left) and Jason Hawes (right) are the SyFy network’s GHOST HUNTERS, and they’re coming to the Count’s castle for a Thursday night appearance.

By TOM CHESEK

Tag along on any of the Red Bank Walking Lantern Ghost Tours that wind through the downtown business blocks every Friday night through Halloweekend and you’re likely to hear told about the tradition of the “ghost light” — and why historic old auditoriums like the Count Basie Theatre have found it prudent and necessary to keep a bulb burning for the restless entities who are often said to haunt the catwalks, catacombs and balconies.

On Thursday night, October 20, the Basie gets a visit from Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes, New England-based bosses of the Atlantic Paranormal Society and — thanks to the long-running hit SyFy Channel series Ghost Hunters — internationally renowned (and even somewhat reluctant) TV stars.

The pair of regular-joe tradesmen (they also famously operate a Roto Rooter franchise by day) and lifelong history buffs haven’t been called to the Count’s castle to flush out a clamorous poltergeist, or even snake out a sluggish floor drain. When they step out onto the stage that’s hosted many of the biggest names in show business, the men from TAPS won’t be tap-dancing, singing or telling jokes, but offering up a refreshingly matter-of-fact presentation on the nature of their work, the fascinations that led them to their passionately pursued avocation, and the real reasons why they spend so many nights lurking around allegedly haunted houses all over the United States — including, we kid you not, the house where this correspondent lives (more on that in a moment).

The Paranormal Desk at redbankgreen spoke to the well-traveled Grant Wilson in what could be called his most frequent haunt — behind the wheel of a moving vehicle on an interstate highway. Following is what we found when we reviewed the recording.

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IN oRBit: THIS ISN’T ‘NAM, THIS IS BOWLING

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“It’s great to see it on the big screen with a lot of people,” Jeff “The Dude” Dowd told Red Bank oRBit back in 2008, as he prepared to host a screening of The Big Lebowski at the Count Basie Theatre. “Plus they have a bar!”

The Coen Brothers‘ cult film that used the real-life Dude as inspiration for its underachieving protagonist (a phenomenon that’s spawned dozens of Lebowski Fests, books, social “not-works” and downmarket merch opportunities) is back — not in your living room, but in the entirely appropriate setting of the Asbury Lanes, the retro rec center turned atom-age alley of the alternative arts.

It’s both a bowling tourney and a benefit for the nonprofit ArtsCAP organization, and we’ve got the details  you’ll need — but that’s not all. Order in the next ten minutes and we’ll throw in absolutely FREE a new series of no-charge classic movies on the big screen of the Count Basie Theatre — a schedule that starts Thursday night with 1984’s  Amadeus and continues with eight more events, including two (The Goonies and The Magnificent Seven) this very weekend. These coming attractions have been approved for all audiences, and you’ll find ’em right here in Red Bank oRBit!