(Frederick Magazine, mid-90s)
“I have a new helmet here,” says inventor Harvey Scheetz, indicating a dark object that looks like a gigantic fly’s head, studded with many sensor-laden eyes. A television screen is tucked into the snout, and it’s air-cooled inside. “Nobody’s seen this yet. You know why?” he asks. “I can’t get it out the door!” Rest assured, Scheetz’s native genius will find a way to spirit his latest invention off the premises. There’s also a special new suit, resembling an astronaut’s garb, to wear with the cumbersome headgear. “It keeps out electrical waves,” he asserts.
After completion of the “fly,” an exciting new project for probing the spirit
world will be launched: a bulky machine, powered by 12-volt batteries, to contact famous artists of the past. “I want to see if one will come back and scratch out a picture for me,” he explains, as he displays a list of candidates that reads like the names of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
It’s easy to see why Harvey Scheetz has so many fans of all ages, especially younger ones. While his tiny workshop at Cannon Hill Place, 111 South Carroll Street, is not exactly easy to find, kids are probably more sensitive than grownups to the creative energy emanating from the object-filled room, and scoot up the stairs without hesitation. The ghostbuster has signed 6,000 business cards and given out stacks of Honorary Ghosthunter certificates, mostly to local children. Anti-drug stickers go quickly, too.
During the past few Halloweens, Cannon Hill Place has been the site of strange high-tech activity, in which the public is invited to participate. Extra space will again be allotted to accommodate some noisy contraptions with lights a-flickering, and the building’s resident ghosts will find themselves being sucked right out of the air, whisked through an analyzer, and emerging in the form of colorful balloons!
Also called the “human flashbulb” because of another spectacular invention, Scheetz has many awards, newspaper and magazine writeups, and television appearances (broadcast to several countries) to his credit. “Last week, somebody came clear from New York to see me. They drove and drove. Saw me on the David Letterman Show,” he relates. Although he has cleaned out his shop two times, he claims, “I can’t let it alone. I can’t stop it. Some kind of force pushes me and makes it bigger and bigger!”
From the looks of the entries in his log, Scheetz’s unusual services are needed. Folks from a tri-county area as well as Pennsylvania have requested that he probe their property for lurking spirits. Results may not be guaranteed, but people have the satisfaction of knowing that their spooks are up against the best electronic ghosthunter in the world!