Firefighter offers to bust Ashland's ghost
By Theresa Freeman/ MetroWest Daily News
Thursday, July 28, 2005 - Updated: 12:25 AM EST

Who ya gonna call?

A local firefighter who has investigated spookiness around the region says he hopes to launch a paranormal investigation of an alleged Town Hall ghost named George.

Firefighter Dave Retalic, who in his spare time investigates paranormal activity, said he wants to look for George.

``It's kind of like being a detective,'' said Retalic. ``We want a rational explanation for everything.''

The story goes that George was a prisoner who hanged himself in the late 1800s while locked in one of the town jail cells, originally located in Town Hall's basement. These days George is said to turn lights - and once a television - on and off and open and close doors.

Yesterday, after news broke of a mysterious, persistent creak in a renovated hallway, Retalic left a message for Town Manager John Petrin to ask permission to check out the nearly 150-year-old building. Petrin said he does not want any ghost-busting in the newly renovated building.

``I'm not interested,'' said Petrin. ``I'm not going to cooperate unless I have to.''

Retalic said his offer still stands.

``There's no exact science to it, and there is no exact authority for it,'' said Retalic. ``Ninety-five percent of the time they (paranormal claims) are benign.''

A paranormal researcher for more than 15 years, Retalic said that for the last two to three years he has been seriously checking out spooky sites with a five-person team dubbed ``Haunted Happenings.''