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More than a half-dozen hauntings detected in Syracuse

The ghostly model was supposed to be the only specter in Cathryn Lahm’s Landmark Theatre photo shoot in May 2008. But Lahm claims the theater’s best-known apparition, Clarissa, was also captured in at least one of the images included in Lahm’s book, “Clarissa’s Ghostly Debut: Out of the Shadows and Into the Light.”

The ghostly model was supposed to be the only specter in Cathryn Lahm’s Landmark Theatre photo shoot in May 2008. But Lahm claims the theater’s best-known apparition, Clarissa, was also captured in at least one of the images included in Lahm’s book, “Clarissa’s Ghostly Debut: Out of the Shadows and Into the Light.” Catherine Lahm

— “Real ghosts aren’t like the ghosts you see in cartoons,” says Mark Falso of Liverpool, chief investigator for Upstate NY Truth Hunters, as he strolls down South Salina Street conducting an ethereal tour of downtown Syracuse.

No, people who have died don’t dance around in white bed sheets like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Instead, Falso maintains, they manifest in three primary forms: apparitions, shadows and mists. Sometimes, they reveal themselves in sounds.

Falso should know. He lives in a house on Glendale Avenue in Galeville that’s haunted by the ghost of his wife’s first husband who died 11 years ago, five years before Falso wed the widow.

“We started hearing the sounds of cards shuffling and casino machines and the noise seemed to come from the closet in his daughter’s room,” Falso said. “He liked playing cards and gambling when he was alive.”

Clarissa’s close-up

At least a half-dozen hauntings have been repeatedly detected in Syracuse.

Of course everyone knows about Clarissa, the Landmark Theatre’s resident phantasm who first surfaced around 1977, when the 1928 movie house at 372 S. Salina St. was being refurbished.

“Ghosts don’t like change,” says photographer Cathryn Lahm. “The backstage renovation that’s going on right now is pretty sure to stir them up.”

Falso agrees.

“Ghosts often seem to show up if people change things,” he says. “And downstairs in the Landmark the electromagnetism just goes crazy when things are changed. Nobody knows why.” He says the theater’s Salina Street ticket booth is also haunted.

Lahm claims to have snapped an image of Clarissa on the theater’s balcony staircase on May 3, 2008, and she later learned of two more spirits who strut across the stage. “There are also two men,” Lahm said. “One of them is quite mean.”

Clarissa (a.k.a. Claire), on the other hand, seems agreeable enough. At least she’s willing to show herself every now and then.

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