Twenty-one-year-old Karl Pfeiffer has been obsessed with the paranormal since grade school. So when SyFy's popular reality show Ghost Hunters launched its third spin-off, Ghost Hunters Academy, the CSU sophomore enthusiastically sent his audition tape (below) and earned a spot on the show.
After a successful run on the show, Pfeiffer was one of two ghostly graduates to be cast on the third season of Ghost Hunters International, which premiers mid-July. But as the investigator-in-training heads back to school in the fall, he says his run with GHI has been cut short.
"I just did one episode," Pfeiffer says, adding that episode is slated to be the premiere July 14th. "That's what it turned out to be at this point."
Pfeiffer says he's not sure if he'll be cast for any more episodes despite his graduation from Academy, which earned him a coveted spot with the paranormal investigators who hunt down hauntings across the world.
"There's a possibility, but they really haven't told me much at this point," he says. "I'm not really too sure. They've been juggling a lot of different cast members for the show. They're just trying to get their feet on the ground."
Swallowing some of that disappointment, Pfeiffer says the filming for his sole episode in the upcoming season -- at the Halls of Justice in Nottingham, England -- was by far the most interesting.
"I can't tell too much, but it's actually a really good case," he adds. "And I think it's going to be a really good premiere for the show."
The only Coloradan to be featured on the shows, the creative writing major from Loveland says his absence from additional episodes hasn't reduced his appetite for the bizarre.
Along with other local ghost hunters, Pfeiffer is keeping busy investigating cases in Colorado and nearby states, including -- for lack of a better term -- the ghost town of Jerome, Arizona, where his teammates have explored eerie reports from the city's historic Grand Hotel.
"Most of our cases are residential, just quieting down homeowners who think they might have something," he concedes. "It's not as crazy as traveling the world, but it's fun. You're still out there running around in the dark."
His interest with the other-worldly made him seem strange to younger kids, Pfeiffer remembers, but he says with age and a new mainstreaming of ghost hunts brought on by the popularity of the Ghost Hunters variations, people look a little less skeptically at him.
"It's just been something that I've always been interested in since as long as I can remember," Pfeiffer says. But before he hunted ghosts, he mused about aliens in elementary school. "Here and there, people think it's a waste of time. I think it's gotten some respect over the last couple years as it has gotten some more respect pop culturally."
Still, despite his young success as a ghost hunter -- forgoing two semesters at CSU to travel with television crews -- Pfeiffer says he has yet to see a ghost.
"A lot of people talk about how it's like one in twenty cases," he notes. "For me, I feel like its really rare. I've been in places where others are having an experience, and I experience nothing."
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As his one-shot stint on the international ghost hunters scene draws to a close, it's back to earth for Pfeiffer, leaving his thirst for contact from another realm "largely unquenched."
But he'll be back -- in this life or the next.
Check out Pfeiffer's quirky audition tape below: