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CBS to host local campaign for TV show ‘Ghosts’

Altoona native writer drew inspiration from Baker Mansion

CBS’s “Summer of Ghosts” campaign stops Wednesday afternoon at the Amtran garage, 3301 Fifth Ave., for a ribbon cutting and tribute to the TV show’s fictional, Alberta Haynes, a Jazz singing, larger than life diva who died under unknown circumstances at the fictional Woodstone Estate.

“Summer of Ghosts” is a summertime campaign to build momentum for the number one comedy that airs Thursdays on CBS. Based on the eponymous BBC comedy, Altoona native Joe Port and Joe Wiseman are writers and producers of the single-camera comedy starring Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar as Samantha and Jay, a couple who convert an inherited country estate into a bed and breakfast. After suffering a fall and coma, Samantha discovers the manor is inhabited by ghosts with whom she interacts.

CBS announced June 23 that “Ghosts” second season debuts Sept. 29. Filming is underway in Montreal, Port said, so he, actor Danielle Pinnock, who plays Alberta, and other cast members can’t attend the local event.

The event offers a chance for fans to experience “Ghosts,” according to Ben Kammerle, experience executive, with We Are BMF, the event marketing/publicity firm organizing the local event.

“It’s a fun event and a way to get engaged in the ‘Ghosts’ experience. It’s free and open to all ages,” he said in a phone interview.

This event highlights ghost Haynes, a jazz singer who died at the manor. In season one, episode nine, Todd Perlman (Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll), a super fan of Alberta’s, visits Woodstone. He reveals he has an Alberta Haynes Museum in his mom’s Altoona garage — as well as a full-color back tattoo of the Prohibition-era lounge singer.

Port, in a previous Mirror interview, said he drew inspiration for the manor and inhabitants from Altoona’s Baker Mansion and its first inhabitants Elias and Hetty Baker. He and the team of writers frequently drop in references Blair County viewers recognize. The ghost Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky), is named after Hetty Baker, wife of ironmaster Elias Baker,who built the historic Baker Mansion at 3419 Oak Lane.

Baker Mansion Executive Director Kate Rimbeck said Blair County Historical Society President Dr. Michael Farrow will attend the event. Baker Mansion will open Wednesday for $5 “Hetty tours” at 1 p.m. The Hetty tour will consist of the first floor and limited rooms on the second floor and provide fans with an idea of what a typical day in Hetty’s life was like, Rimbeck said.

The Amtran garage will be transformed on the exterior through a complete Ghosts-themed and branded wrap. An 11:45 a.m. ribbon cutting kicks off the festivities and then attendees can tour the museum, which measures 69-feet wide by 15-feet deep, and pays tribute to the Tulsa-born songstress Haynes. In-person participants will walk through the museum filled with Haynes’ memorabilia reflecting her life in Tulsa and later in Harlem, artifacts and more from her era, Kammerle said. On display will be her jewelry, costumes, and appropriate-era letters, sheet music and more.

Visitors can receive a 30-day free subscription to Paramount+ via a promo code so they can binge watch season one prior to the new, second season. Codes will be available for free NFTs or non-fungible tokens.

“It’s a way for people to have a digital experience and look around the Woodstone Mansion and get a ‘Ghosts’ experience,” Kammerle said of the event. “It’s another way fans can experience the fun of the show.”

Area officials have been invited to attend the ribbon cutting, but he was unable to confirm those who will attend. Guests will be welcomed by staff and brand ambassadors and treated to light refreshments.

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