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Ghost-hunter gets movie contract
by Stephanie Hickey, associate Lifestyles editor


Junior Jason Gowin, a visual communications major, acts, writes, builds websites and hunts ghosts. His passion for the supernatural and his budding knowledge of web design led to his creating with friends Greg Newkirk and Bill Angove a website chronicling their adventures. They call themselves Ghost Hunters Inc.

Their site caught the eye of Newgil Productions, an independent film company based in Seattle that plans to bring Gowin’s scary experiences

Click on image for larger view.
to the big screen this year. Robbie Newman, president of Newgil, says he hopes to introduce the film at The Sundance Film Festival in Utah and then, if all goes well, The Cannes Film Festival in France. The film may be available for release in Hawaii this summer.

Newman stumbled upon Ghost Hunters Inc. while visiting a supernatural message board looking for ideas. What intrigued him about Gowin’s site, and separated it from the hundreds that are out there, was the humor injected into the stories of their escapades.

Newman and his crew hope to begin production in March. They have agreed to allow Gowin, Newkirk, and Angove to help with production, writing, and acting. All three will play themselves. The movie will have elements of several movie genres, including documentary, comedy, adventure and action.

Gowin, 25, a Pennsylvania native, has been attending Hawaii Pacific University for two years. He began ghost hunting three years ago on the east coast after doing some extensive research on the subject. Gowin said that “Scooby Doo and Ghost Buster’s” were early influences. Despite their fictional nature, Gowin said that “ghosts” are very real.

One of his more chilling experiences occurred one evening in an old, abandoned Pennsylvania mining town. He and Ghost Hunter’s Inc., an 8-person investigative team trekked through the woods to a forgotten burial ground, Barkley’s Cemetery. Throughout the cemetery they found piles of coal strewn about, heard the sound of people running through the surrounding forest, had rocks thrown at them from indistinguishable sources, and heard the grinding of invisible pick axes just feet away. “Something didn’t want us there,” Gowin said.

While on the hunt, Gowin and his crew are armed with a tape recorder, video camera, an electromagnetic frequency meter, night vision goggles (of course most of the hunting is done at night), and a compass. They usually explore abandoned houses, civil war battlegrounds, obsolete train tunnels, and cemeteries. “Ghost hunting is hit or miss,” Gowin explained, “There’s no guarantee.”

Ghost Hunter’s Inc. is used to skeptics and often finds them comical. “There are a lot of people who say they don’t believe, but they won’t go out [ghost hunting],” Gowin remarked with a laugh, “People are afraid of what they don’t understand.”

As filming will take place during the spring semester, Gowin will continue his studies with HPU via web courses. Though he is excited about the movie and what it could mean for Ghost Hunters Inc., he said he will be anxious to return to Oahu. According to Gowin, “The Islands are very haunted.”

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