By Collin Kelley
Since our usual Real Housewives of Atlanta recappers – Sandy Tyler and Brigette Flood – are away on business, I agreed to recap the housewives appearance last night on the SyFy series Ghost Hunters. The Atlanta ladies tightened up their weaves, sharpened their press on nails and trooped down to Rhodes Hall, the Romanesque Revival style castle on Peachtree Street in Midtown. They ain’t afraid of no ghosts, but the ghosts ought to be afraid of them. Who’s scaring who?
Built in 1904 by Rhodes Furniture founder Amos Giles Rhodes, the home is on the National Register of Historic Places and is now a museum and headquarters for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. The house is also rumored to be haunted by a bevy of spirits, including a tall man who might be the ghost of Amos Rhodes.
Kim Zolciak, Sheree Whitfield and NeNe Leakes make for a trio of boughetto Nancy Drews, rolling up in an Escalade to meet the Ghost Hunters team of paranormal detectives.
Rhodes Hall communications director Traci Clark gives them the rundown on the resident ghosts: A little girl in a white dress in the entry hall and near the grand staircase; a woman in a white dress on the upstairs landing; whispering voices in the offices; a male walking down the back staircase, complete with creaking steps. Upstairs, an employee once found a bouquet of dead flowers on her desk (sounds more like a mob hit than a ghost) and there are plenty of opening doors, lights flickering, TVs changing channels, and a storage room door that mysteriously locks on its own.
“I don’t even know why I’m here,” is the first thing NeNe says when she gets out of the car. “Sheree said we were going to lunch. I live on a golf course – there’s nothing haunted there.”
Sheree is scared there might be bats and rats, while Kim is ready to see a ghost and go home. “I’m very intuitive,” she says without a hint of self-awareness. “I get what I want, so I want the ghosts to appear so we can see them and go home.”
Thermal imaging cameras and sound equipment were set up throughout the house to capture any paranormal activity and the show is filmed using night vision cameras, which makes everyone look like they’re in some kind of Silence of the Lambs dungeon. Put the lotion in the basket!
NeNe talks to the ghosts, telling them she isn’t there to hurt them, but just wants to see what kind of fashions they’re wearing. There’s never a malevolent ghost when you need one.
Sheree hears a banging noise upstairs, so they all head up there, where coughing is heard. Either these ghosts have a cold or Kim’s wig glue is giving them the vapors. There’s also something moving in the basement, and some of the ghost hunters feel “eyelashes” touching them and hear distant music. That was probably Kim hiding in a closet playing her new “hit” song Google Me.
The ghost hunters decide that some of the haunting claims are easy to explain (a distorted mirror and passing headlights make create the figure on the stairs, while slamming the storage room door makes the lock click into place), but in the end, the ghost hunters came up with a whole bunch of nothing.
They bring their findings back to Traci Clark and all they have are a couple of sound recordings, one of which they claim is someone saying the word “no” (surely a commentary on Kim’s tired Studio 54 tube top and camel toe ensemble). They conclude the ghosts are just curious and basically hanging out. I conclude I’ve wasted an hour of my life I’ll never get back.
Wait…did you hear that? It sounds like cash register bells. Must be the Real Housewives of Atlanta banking another hard-earned check.