Longtime First Coast resident Steve Christian is the creator and host of Local Haunts, a television show where he and spiritual medium Pamela Theresa investigate ghostly activity in paranormal hot spots across the region, from Savannah to Central Florida. In its fifth season, it airs on Sundays at 9:30pm on CW17.
What brought you to Jacksonville and how long have you lived here?
I moved here when I was 17. My stepfather is an engineer, and he was brought to town to build the Channel 47 building. I was one of the first employees of that station and have since moved on to Channel 17 where I’ve been for 20 years.
Tell us about the show Local Haunts.
The objective of the show is to find and prove the continuity of life, to prove that there are spirits out there. I’ve always known it. I’ve always experienced things and seen things, even as a kid. I created Local Haunts back in 2009 and pitched the idea to the General Manager of Channel 17. He said, “I don’t believe in that kind of stuff, but put something together and I’ll watch it.” We produced one show and he loved it, and the rest is history.
We try to investigate places that are open to the public – we don’t normally do houses. I like to feature spaces where people can visit. We’ve covered a number of places in St. Augustine including Potter’s Wax Museum, and one of my favorite spots in the region is a house in Fernandina that was originally built as a Catholic Church for African Americans.
This fall, the two-part season premiere episode will feature the Alhambra Theatre in Jacksonville. I have always heard tales of the Alhambra, and an employee of the theater contacted me and asked us to come out and investigate.
So far, what has been your favorite local investigation?
The Florida Theater…it’s a magical place with its gothic interior; it even looks haunted. We went out there once and caught video of an apparition sitting in the theater. Another time, we recorded an apparition of a little girl on the stage looking at us. The first evidence went viral, prompting the crew of the show Fact or Fake to come out and do their own investigation. They spent two nights trying to disprove it, and what they found ended up actually supporting my video.