Although there is no specific evidence of ghosts in the former Kerry building at 100 E. Grand Ave., FatWallet employees say the place can feel pretty ghoulish.
With abandoned bank vaults, cobwebs and cubbyholes, they say the historic building seems ripe for the haunting.
Customer support representative Alex Rodriguez, forums moderator Richard Pulfer, forums moderator Jeff Stenzel and janitor (also aspiring cinematographer) Neil Bloom have released three videos via the company Website, FatWallet.com, revealing their ghost hunting expedition to the mysterious separated basements.
In their prowl for poltergeists, FatWallet employees, who call themselves Walleteers, tested out merchandise offered on their website such as night vision goggles with flip-out lights, infrared stealth binoculars, micro headlamps, a electromagnetic field sensor, a voice recorder with built-in memory, a carbon noise isolating ear buds and a mini ghost hunting kit.
Brent Shelton, public/media relations director, said the equipment testing and videos were an excellent way to promote the new Halloween holiday merchandise, and is a testimony to FatWallet's upbeat atmosphere and creative employees.
"Besides their own passion for the paranormal, they also were trying to do some good for the company and create a fun promotion," he said.
In addition to the cool videos of the ghost hunters, there was a ghost story and joke contest held on the site allowing bloggers to share their spooky best. One lucky winner received all the ghost hunting gadgets used in the hunt. More than 50 posts were added to the site as of Thursday, including a joke about boo-berry pie and Frankenstein and his ghoul-friend.
At the ghost hunting excursion held in mid-September, the hunters said they crept down to the two separated basements in the Kerry building in downtown Beloit. The paranormal hunters explained that the building was erected as a bank in the 1880s. And in the 1930s, they learned there had been a robbery.
Although no flying objects, blood curdling screams or groaning ghosts have been heard, Walleteers still say it's still creepy in the other portions of the building. There are old bank vaults left ajar, a mysterious half-floor, cubbyholes and an eerie scent. One of the vaults has an extremely narrow door and a painting of trees on it. During the ghost hunt, Walleteers said they were scared they would get locked in the vault.
In the 45 second video trailer available on the Web site, the Walleteers explained what they are doing and their creepier moments. The other videos show employees running around in the dark with their headlamps on. The scariest discovery during the hunt was the strange sounds which were recorded after questions were asked to the ghosts.
Perhaps the most scary video footage, however, is the ghost hunters prowling around in the current rented office space. While there wasn't much electromagnetic field activity in the unused portions of the building, the electromagnetic field sensor started chirping around the Mac computers, especially near the Apple symbol. In the video of first floor activity, one zombie employee added to the dramatic effect by ramming his head into a stairwell wall and crying out, "Where's my cubicle?"
The ghost hunting has only increased a fervor for fear at the company. FatWallet employees are excited about the upcoming holiday said there are many new and exciting Halloween products to check out. In addition to ghost hunting gadgets, there is a Jabba the Hutt inflatable costume and a huge inflatable vampire at www.FatWallet.com.
FatWallet.com was chosen as one of the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in 2011, which recognizes exceptional work cultures and leadership in America. The 2010 list included many well known companies such as Zappos, American Express and SIRIUS, according to FatWallet.com.
As the preferred online shopping resource for millions of consumers, FatWallet.com works closely with hundreds of retailers like HP, Newegg, Walmart and Amazon to publish thousands of special offers, discounts, coupon codes and Cash Back rewards to "ready to buy" Internet consumers. The FatWallet forums represent the pulse of an evolving online marketplace where smart consumers gather to share and learn.