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  • Mallory Lynn Gray as a toddler
  • Kris Williams
  • File photo by Don HImsel

    Alvirne High graduate Kris Williams, a lead investigator with SyFy channel's Ghost Hunters International, was photographed for a 2010 Telegraph story. She is coming to Hudson Saturday for a paranormal night fundraiser
Thursday, April 5, 2012

‘Ghost Hunter’ Williams lending hand to raise money in home town

HUDSON – In the dozen years since she graduated from Alvirne High School, Kris Williams has worked as a carpenter, floor installer, model, radio engineer and actress.

But when she returns to her hometown and alma mater this weekend, it’s quite likely nobody will ask her about any of that.

More likely, Williams, a tall, 31-year-old brunette and self-professed tomboy, will find herself fielding questions about her more recent endeavors: traveling the world hunting ghosts.

On Saturday night, Williams will be the featured guest at Mal’s Pals Paranormal Night.

It’s the latest fundraiser by the group constructing a free-standing open air amphitheater at Benson Park in memory of Mallory Lynn Gray, the local girl who was 13 when she died in October 2009 after a long battle with rheumatoid arthritis and leukemia.

The event starts at 6 p.m. in the Alvirne High School gymnasium. Admission is $10 a person, and while space is limited, organizers believe there’s enough that nobody will be turned away.

Jeremy Griffus, a Mal’s Pals board member who is coordinating the event, said Williams will share her personal experiences as a ghost hunter, talk about places she’s visited as well as answer questions and sign autographs.

Fans of the SyFy network’s paranormal reality series “Ghost Hunters International” will recognize Williams as the show’s lead investigator, a role she accepted in summer 2010 after three seasons as an investigator on SyFy’s original “Ghost Hunters” program.

Must-see TV for some, bunk to others, the subject has nevertheless gained widespread attention because of the series, which tracks paranormal activity reported across the country.

Williams also has traveled overseas on ghost hunts, meandering with her team through oft-spooky European castles and bunkers and investigating otherworldly evidence in Denmark, Poland, Scotland, Puerto Rico and the Ukraine.

Closer to home, Williams has heard footsteps following her through the hallways of an abandoned tuberculosis hospital in Louisville, Ky., and heard echoes of doors slamming in an old state hospital in Norwalk, Conn. She once saw the image of a 6-foot male float across an old railroad depot in Buffalo, which she called “one of the strangest places I’ve ever been” in a 2010 Telegraph interview.

Paranormal Night organizers, who expressed gratitude for Williams’ visit, are optimistic the event will help Mal’s Pals take a giant step closer to making the Mallory Gray Amphitheater a reality.

Designed to emulate the original arena, where Benson’s Wild Animal Farm visitors watched shows and animal acts for decades, organizers envision the amphitheater as a gathering place, concert hall and “visual masterpiece” for Benson Park visitors. They plan to install a grass field for audiences, and plant a memorial garden.

The middle of three children of Tracy and Chris Gray, Mallory Lynn Gray was a passionate reader who devoured books and won a Super Reader Award in the summer reading program family said she cherished. She attended Hills Garrison School and was an honor roll student at Hudson Memorial Middle School at the time of her death.

Her parents said Mallory dreamed of one day being married at Hudson’s iconic Alvirne Chapel, and that she wanted to go to college and become a “famous photographer.”

Williams, meanwhile, was 9 when her family moved to Hudson. Born in Lowell, she describes herself as a painfully shy, quiet kid who immersed herself in art and later, genealogy, which she took up at age 11.

After graduating Alvirne in 1999, she attended college then moved around quite a bit, working in various professions. She dove into the world of paranormal in 2006 when she joined the Atlantic Paranormal Society at urging of friends.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com.