Field of Screams

I usually buy a book of true ghost stories around Halloween every year.  This year, I got this one.  It's sort of a sequel to Haunted Baseball.  I ended up really busy at the end of October/beginning of November, so didn't get to read it before Halloween, but I'm reading it now. 

It has a section on Scranton, PA, and the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.  That's the hotel where AAA teams stay when they come to play SWB Yankees.  It used to be the town's train station, and has a reputation for being haunted.  Many players who usually room alone arrange for roommates when they're playing in Scranton, and won't stay on the fifth floor, rumored to be the most haunted.



Gary Majewski wanted to see a ghost, and would wait up at night, flashlight in hand, but never had any encounters.  Joe Crede and some of his Charlotte Knights teammates went ghost-hunting on the third floor, which is also supposed to be haunted. They felt a temperature drop, heard loud creaking noises, and bolted.  The Reds' one-time second round draft pick, Dane Sardinha, swears he saw a ghost in his room; it walked around his bed and sat on the foot of his bed.

The hotel management insists that there are no ghosts; it's just ballplayers playing pranks on each other.  Some of the hotel staff disagree, but there have been a lot of pranks there.

Andy Abad says that an unnamed rookie on the Pawtucket Red Sox had a genuine ghost encounter.  He came running out of his room, saying that a ghost had lifted his bed up and slammed it down.  Abad went into the room and saw impressions on the floor showing the bed really had moved. 

Abad then used that incident to "prime" his victims for pranks.  Usually involving hiding in rookies' rooms with fishing line, and using it to cause lamps to fly, curtains to rustle, and doors to open, seemingly on their own. Followed by rookies leaping out of bed and running out the door to demand a new room.

The next year, he was a Louisville Bat, and Jeff Bannon was his target.  He made sure to tell Bannon the story about the moving bed well before they traveled to Scranton.  He also got Bannon's roommate, Chris Denorfia, to help.  Denorfia gave Abad his room key and went to dinner with Bannon. When they got back, Deno told Bannon he was going to have a drink at the bar before turning in, leaving Bannon to go up to the room alone.  Bannon opened the door to find it pitch black and freezing cold (thanks to unscrewed lightbulbs and an air conditioner cranked up to the max).  The water was running in the bathroom.  When he finally got a light on, he saw chairs stacked on the bed, a cigarette burning in an ashtray, and a glass half full of beer on the table.

Bannon now says he knew it was a prank and wasn't scared.  His teammates say he was really upset and freaked out, and the hotel staff say he was panicked.  Bannon claims he was just pretending to be scared.

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