While other baseball players take vacations to exotic locales, Rockies pitcher Jon Gray hangs around creepy old hotels. While other players constantly upgrade to the newest gadgets, Gray fiddles with a tape recorder and a K2 electromagnetic field meter.
That's because the slider-hurling Gray, who starts against the Marlins on Friday night, is an amateur ghost hunter. As he told MLB.com, it all started when he was 10 years old:
"I had an experience when I was younger that made me think: Maybe this is real." Gray explained, "I've investigated three times now and I haven't seen anything, but just that one time. It made me a believer."
With a deep love of mysteries -- "things that are unsolved always interest me," Gray said - and an affinity for shows like Ghost Adventures, he's fully jumped into the world of paranormal investigations. Gray searches for proof of the paranormal with a tape recorder to capture EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) and his trusty K2 reader, which some believe can register spiritual activity.
Unfortunately, he's yet to capture it.
"Besides a weird feeling every now and then, I haven't had any hard evidence," Gray said. "My backpack's been moved before, but that's all. I haven't caught any voices or any visual evidence."
But what exactly is Gray looking for? According to the right-hander, most ghosts are probably just the residual hauntings that play back on a loop. (Think of a ghost walking down the hall every night, repeating an action from their life, but not being able to interact.) However, "there are some intelligent [beings] I think, and they can mess with you. And I do believe there is a dark side, like demons. You gotta stay away from them and never provoke."
That may explain why Gray tends to go alone. "I usually go by myself," Gray said. "My dad's been with me twice, my wife's been with me twice, too. She's not into it as much as me. She likes it; she thinks it's fun. She's kind of scared, I think."
Beyond the couple choosing an "old haunted hotel" when they travel, Gray hopes the Rockies one day stay in the legendary Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee where many baseball players have reported experiencing strange events.
But his dream location to investigate: Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Known for its treatment of tuberculosis patients during the early-to-mid 1900s, the Louisville, Ky., hospital is considered by some to be one of the most haunted locations in America.
There are a few places Gray won't go, though. "If there was a negative, dark experience, I don't think I'd go there." He also knows a few ways to protect himself. Not only will he never go searching for ghosts in his own home, but "I've been told you never ask the question 'How did you die?' I've always heard don't give out your name. But I don't know how true that is. Never provoke."