CAPE MAY — Fay Yu and her team had positioned cameras upstairs at the Cape May Fish Market — an area only used for storage for the restaurant — after learning that employees were hearing things, though no one was inhabiting the rooms.
What she found was pretty creepy, she said.
“We captured some things and did see something on camera,” Yu said.
Yu is an executive producer for “Haunted Towns,” a show on Destination America, and Cape May will be the next town featured on the show.
The show follows the Tennessee Wraith Chasers (TWC) ghost-hunting team as they investigate some of the most notoriously haunted towns across America.
Using different techniques, TWC ventured into Cape May’s haunted house, the Emlen Physick Estate, and explored other businesses rumored to be haunted, like the Cape May Fish Market.
The new episode on Cape May will air Sept. 19, and Yu said that unlike other tragic towns the show has visited — like Gettysburg and Savannah, Georgia — Cape May was more of a pleasant experience when it came to spirits that inhabited the resort.
“In general, Cape May felt like a pretty positive space even with reports of paranormal activity — there was nothing aggressive or dangerous, just a whole lot of activity compared to other towns,” Yu said.
And there were reports. Though Yu didn’t want to give away the premise of what they find during the episode, she did say there were deceased Physick members passing through the Emlen Physick Estate, and that there was a “free-flowing” of spirits when it came to paranormal activity around the property.
“We felt like there was probably a lot of that going on,” she said.
The team partnered with Craig McManus, a Bergen County medium who authored the book “The Ghosts of Cape May: new haunts, old ghosts.” McManus also leads tours in Cape May throughout the year.
While the national television spotlight will help get the word out for Cape May, haunted tours already help with its tourism.
Ghosts-related tours and events comprise 10 percent of annual tour revenue, according to the Cape May Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). The tours become even more popular during the Halloween season.
“Halloween is always a fun time to come to Cape May,” said Susan Krysiak, director of media relations for MAC. “(The tours) are very popular, not just in the fall but during the summertime.”
And having the town be featured on Destination America should only add to that popularity, Krysiak said.
“This is a great opportunity for people across the country to learn about Cape May,” she said. “We have a real reputation for being a bit haunted.”
Krysiack said Cape May wraps its haunting experiences into history lessons, and Yu said that historic feel is evident as soon as she and her team started learning about Cape May through McManus and other town residents.
“The show is not just haunted locations; it’s the idea that there is something bigger going on and that some towns in this country have seemingly higher amounts of paranormal activities and [the show tries to learn if] there is something that explains that or is it just a coincidence,” Yu said. “I found Cape May so interesting because we had never done a town like that before. The history of it being a popular craze to practice spiritualism and that it was a fad, that to me was so interesting and we hadn’t done anything like that before.”
The show premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 10 p.m. on Destination America.