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Move Over Ghostbusters: 311 Handles City's Calls About Ghosts

By  James Fanelli and Trevor Kapp | October 30, 2015 7:27am 

 Move over
Move over "Ghostbusters." People with possible paranormal complaints have called 311.
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Courtesy of Tribeca Cinemas

NEW YORK CITY — If there's something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? 311!

The city's 311 complaint line received two calls in the past three years from residents griping that their loud neighbors are blaming their noisiness on ghosts, according to city records obtained by DNAinfo New York. 

Earlier this year, 311 got a call from a resident at the Richmond Terrace Houses in Staten Island who said she and her baby couldn't sleep because the neighbor above her was dropping and dragging heavy objects and speaking loudly.

The caller said when she confronted the neighbor, she was told the sounds were supernatural.

"I have spoken to building management and to the tenant directly," the caller told a 311 operator on April 20 at 4:30 p.m. "The tenant claims it is ghosts."

NYPD officers — without "Ghostbusters" proton packs — responded to the alleged haunting but "determined that police action was not necessary," according to the 311 record.

DNAinfo obtained the two 311 records after making a Freedom of Information Law request asking for all noise complaints about neighbors that mentioned "ghosts." 

The other otherworldly 311 call was made on March 4, 2012, by the wife of the super at 214 W. 116th St. in Harlem.

The wife told the 311 operator that her husband went to speak to upstairs neighbors about "loud banging, excessive pounding and loud talking."

"The neighbor and two other people jumped in her husband's face shouting and denying what her husband was telling them," the 311 complaint says.

"They stated that it was ghosts banging and pounding."

The complaint says when the super returned to his apartment, the noise erupted again.

The building super, Adis Saletovic, 36, said he didn't remember that specific noise complaint, but said he and his wife made several 311 calls in 2012 about a neighbor who lived above them.

"He would party every weekend until 3, 4 in the morning," Saletovic said. "We called 311 a lot and 911 once."

Saletovic said he and his family recently moved out of the building — but not because they were spooked.

"It's not haunted," he said of the building. "There are no ghosts."

Dominick Villella, who founded Paranormal Investigators of NYC in 2003, said he's not surprised that some people blame weird sounds on ghosts.

The ghost hunter's group helps city residents determine whether their homes are truly haunted.

"I would say most of the calls we get are about unexplained noises," said Villella, 47, who is very skeptical of the supernatural.

"Most of the time, it's usually a neighbor or sound traveling from outside."

He said his group, using sound recorders, video cameras and electromagnetic readers, has conducted 150 paranormal investigations during the past 12 years, and all but 1 percent could be explained.

He blamed most of the strange noises people hear on the odd acoustics of the city's old buildings and tenements, noting that a noise on the ground floor could jump up to the fourth floor.

"It may not be coming from one house," he said. "It’s a really tricky thing. It’s almost impossible to prove anything paranormal."

Additional reporting by Nicholas Rizzi