Tag Archives: ghost hunting

259 – Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests

Premiering this Friday August 16th at 8pm Central on the Travel Channel, Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests features the return of one of our favorite ghost hunting crews. Based out of Atlanta, Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass and Marcus Harvey are real-life friends who investigate paranormal claims and seach for evidence of the supernatural.

To prepare for the new season of the show, we watched a screener of the first episode as they travel to Michigan to help a family that claims an entity in their home as actually physically harmed the mother of the family living there. With a small child in the house, they’re worried about what might happen, so they call in the Ghost Brothers to investigate and see if they can help.

I watched the premiere and it’s full of the things that makes this show stand out from other paranormal reality programming. It’s the guys themselves that make it fun and while they take the investigation seriously, they don’t take themselves too seriously. They just seem like actual human beings and their interactions with the experiencers at the house feel genuine and full of empathy. And they also play well off each other with jokes and an easy comraderie that doesn’t feel made up for a TV show. They’re definitely the ghost hunting team I’d like to have a beer with (well, I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Jack Osbourne, but I’d just pump him for stories from his dad’s heavy metal glory days.)

While the premiere is a lot of fun to watch, I always get a little wary when the show relies too much on what a psychic medium experiences for paranormal proof and I don’t always trust the SLS camera as a ghost-hunting device for actually getting paranormal evidence (it’s designed to see patterns of movement because it’s trying to capture motion for a video game, it’s like a mechanized version of Pareidolia!) But when the REM Pod goes off and all other Hell breaks loose when the team sees something, it’s a great TV moment.

Plus, the stages of the investigation make for some good drama. The first night, they investigate with the family, then the next day they go off and try to do some research around the house. The second night, the team investigates alone or with a medium, and then the next day, they go through evidence and experiences and try to provide some kind of resolution.

As we’re getting to the next wave of paranormal entertainment, it’s no longer just about validating the “haunting”, it’s about solving it for the family. Almost like a priest coming in to perform the Roman Rite on a possession, the Ghost Brothers do what they can to make the family more comfortable in their home.

The sincerity that you feel in the show seems to hold over to real life, that’s if our interview with them that you’ll hear in this episode is any indication. We talk about:

  • Their first paranormal experiences as individuals
  • What their favorite ghost hunting techniques are and what they think works the best for obtaining evidence
  • The moments in their investigations where they felt they had their own most authentic paranormal experiences

For the song this week, we couldn’t pass up a great quote from our interview with the guys. When I asked them if they ever sugarcoat their findings for the families who have to live in those houses, the answer was a quick, “We keep it real, we keep it funky. Yeah, we keep it straight funky”. That seemed like the perfect inspiration to start a song about the Ghost Brothers with. Here’s some Sunspot with “Ghost Funk”.

We keep it real, we keep it funky.
I know there’s something out there
I’ve seen too much to pretend
Well I know in my soul there never is an end
But it’s more than just a leap of faith
it’s gotta take some proof
and my EMF detector is jumping through the roof

I’m not an actor
or just here to debunk
No I came for answers
So gimme some of that ghost funk
You might play it straight
in your normal life
but when we’re on the other side
Keep it funky.

When you won’t go in the attic
or the basement all alone
We’re the team you can call on to see
who’s haunting your home
You don’t have to run out the door
or need to sell the place
We’ve got a history with mystery
and babe we’re on the case cuz

There are some things you can’t unsee
once you have touched infinity
It might stretch your reality
to know the truth that’s lying just behind the screen

I’m not an actor
or just here to debunk
No I came for answers
So gimme some of that ghost funk
You might play it straight
in your normal life
but when we’re on the other side
Keep it funky.

243 – Never Stop Searching: The Paralosophy of Brian Cano

You might be most familiar with him as the ghost hunting equipment guy on Haunted Collector with John Zaffis, the nephew of the notorious Ed and Lorraine Warren. Or you might have seen him as one of the hosts of the new Travel Channel show Paranormal Caught On Camera. But in the days before paranormal reality television was the popular phenomena it is today, Brian was urban exploring the abandoned buildings and haunted locations of Staten Island and putting together videos of it for public access cable.

His show Scared on Staten Island! (and eventually just called Scared! as they began investigating locations outside New York) started off with just camcorders documenting his haunted adventures and it eventually would lead to a career of hunting ghosts and investigating weird phenomena all over the United States.

His website is called “Never Stop Searching” because it’s based on getting the specualtion out of the research of paranormal phenomena. Why is a ghost the best explanation for an EVP? Why would spirits be limited to a certain location when they don’t have a physical body? Why do we assume that it’s dead human personalities that are showing up in photos and not our own real live brains and psychic energy projecting onto the audio recording or visual image?

in this interview, we discuss Brian’s “paralosophy”, which is really about unlearning all the stuff that we’ve been led to believe about paranormal investigation. Some of the topics we cover:

  • How he started off as a skeptic and saw too much to not believe in something
  • Why we should question all the assumptions of paranormal investigation
  • Why it’s good to go into a place cold and do the historical research afterwards
  • His psychic projection experiment that he likes to perform at every investigation

If you’re in Wisconsin, Brian will be teaching his method of paranormal investigation at the Old Baraboo Inn on April 27th to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Tickets are available by clicking here. Of course, we’ve been to the OBI a few times and have had some weird experiences of our own there, so you never know what you’re going to see!

The song this week, we were inspired by Brian’s “Paralosophy” and the idea of unlearning everything we think we know about the paranormal. Here is Sunspot with “More Than We’ve Dreamt Of”.

it’s so much
bigger than what you see

more than you’ve dreamt of
in your philosophy

and you’ll know it
when you’re ready

it’s what’s stuck in
the corner of your eye

and it’s the fear
that we don’t know why

but when the clouds clear
we’ll see the sky

it doesn’t matter
if we agree

for all these worlds
are yours for free

in the light of
infinity

more than we’ve dreamt of
in our philosophy

once you’re in, you’re in
once you’re past, you’re past
now that you’ve opened the door
you’re never going back

Rip up the rulebook
and let the mother burn
You can eliminate
everything you have learned
You live a hundred lives
and never understand
that you’re nowhere
til you give up everything you have

it’s so much
bigger than what you see

for all these worlds
are yours for free

more than we’ve dreamt of
in our philosopy

and we’ll know it
when we’re ready

64 – Ghost Hunting 2.0: Chris Bores and The Rules of The Dead

Chris Bores is mostly known for his YouTube comedy videos as The Irate Gamer where he plays through vintage video games, reviews them, and gets angry every time he dies in the game.  While he’s gotten millions of views for his video game work, his paranormal investigation is what inspired his book, Ghost Hunting 2.0: Breaking New Ground, something he’s been fascinated with since hearing unearthly footsteps in his grandparents’ house.

Bores describes himself as a “Paranormal Communicator” instead of  a ghost hunter and uses psychology, ancient texts like The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and an EMF meter to talk to spirits.  Him and his partner, Alan Cicco, blog about their adventures on the website, Pursuit of the Paranormal.

Listen… do you smell something?

Chris goes into detail about some of his ghost hunts that led to his book, especially at the Saint Augustine Lighthouse in Florida, one of the Southeast’s most famous locations for haunted history. He tells us about Eliza, who has a crush on a tour guide at the lighthouse and the 90-minute conversation they had with her using an EMF meter, where they would lead her with questions and gauge her responses based on changes in the EMF meter.

The most famous of the electromagnetic field sensors, the K-2.

So, what is Ghost Hunting 2.0? With Chris it’s more about actually trying to have a conversation with the spirit, rather than just taking a photograph or finding evidence. To him, he’s interested in what they want. He describes his six classifications of spirits (confused, angry, hungry (for unfinished business, not for like ghost food or something), etc…) as well as what he calls the “Rules of the Dead” (that linked article has some cool details about Eliza at the Lighthouse too in the comments.)

Talking to one particular spirit, the ghost seemed to hint at a greater power that was trying to block them from talking to people. The idea that the dead are supposed to hide from us is his most intriguing one. We tend to think of ghosts being tied to a place because something happened traumatic there or they don’t know they’re dead and can’t move on. But what if spirits are all around us and most of  the time, they just aren’t supposed to talk to us and are just following the rules? That made me think of Vampire: The Masquerade, which was a role-playing game I used to play in the 90s. Not just play it, I did live-action (LARPing, baby!)

But the idea of the Masquerade was that the most important thing to vampires is that YOU DON’T LET PEOPLE KNOW VAMPIRES ARE REAL. Wendy mentioned that kinda sounds like Fight Club as well. But the idea that ghosts don’t want us to know about them and someone or something is making spirits hide. Well, that’s pretty spooky isn’t it?

Make sure to check out Chris’ Facebook page and Twitter feed.

The song this episode is inspired by Chris’ rules. Because if spirits aren’t supposed to talk to humans then you have to say the things that you want to say now, today, and don’t wait, because once you’re gone, those words are forever lost. Here’s the track, “Rules of the Dead”.

I’m the one who never said goodbye,
I’m the flatliner that never told you why.
I thought that I could succeed where Orpheus had failed,
But there ain’t no coming back when you’ve broken through the veil.

Say what you want to,
don’t let them stop you,
go where you dream.
Love who will let you,
Don’t be afraid to,
No guarantees.
And don’t let all your words be left unsaid.
You can’t break the rules of the dead.

Look in my eye,
when you say goodbye
and say it like you mean it.
When you flatline, on the other side
you’ll be defeated

Say what you want to,
don’t let them stop you,
go where you dream.
Love who will let you,
Don’t be afraid to,
No guarantees.
And don’t let all your words be left unsaid.
You can’t break the rules of the dead.

You can’t break the rules of the dead.
You can’t break the rules of the dead.
You can’t break the rules of the dead.

62 – Behind The Screams: An Interview with Ghost Mine’s Patrick Doyle

I’ve often been critical of a lot of the “paranormal reality” television out there because it amazes me how much evidence that they can collect in one place in a short amount of time. They go to a new place every week and somehow come up with amazing evidence. If you’ve ever been on a paranormal investigation, you understand that most of the time you come up empty-handed, so how do these guys come up with incredible evidence every single week?

Well, that’s why I thought the premise of Ghost Mine was pretty interesting. Instead of going to a new place every week, they were going to stay in one place for several weeks and see what happened. The idea behind the show was that an old mine with a reputation for being haunted was being reopened in Oregon by a mining team on the hunt for gold and a paranormal research team on the hunt for ghosts. It would be a pretty awesome setup for a horror film (it almost feels like it could be a sequel to one of my personal favorites, Quatermass and The Pit AKA Five Million Years to Earth).

The show ran for two seasons on the SyFy Channel (it’s still hard to type out that silly name)ad it was hosted by Patrick Doyle and Kristen Luman. On the heels of the premiere of their new show, Behind The Screams on the Reelz Network (a show that explores the real-world inspiration for horror films, something that of course we can get behind here!),  we had a great conversation with Patrick on his lifelong quest for the paranormal.

Patrick goes into detail on his first paranormal experience of seeing  a Shadow Person as a child and how that eventually turned into the hobby of investigating haunted places looking to see if he could find more (something that I admire his courage for, my own visit from a Shadow Person left me with an approach avoidance conflict about seeing one again!)

While Patrick undertook his paranormal investigations over the years privately (and most often terrifyingly (to me at least) alone, he said that he didn’t often go with a team), his transition to paranormal television personality wasn’t something that he expected.

In 2006, Patrick released a young adult book he authored and illustrated called Edgar Font’s Hunt for a House to Haunt (say it fast a couple of times, you know you want to…) To promote the book, he started looking for YouTube videos of paranormal activity that were obvious fakes and would deconstruct them in his own blog and video series called Haunted Hoax. And that’s where it started. After becoming a popular series (as well as then turning into a target for Internet haters, but since Patrick is a man that openly admires the enemy-of-spoon-benders everywhere, James ‘The Amazing’ Randi, he should know that “haters gonna hate”.

Haters gonna hate...
Enough said…

Anyway, Haunted Hoax became so successful that SyFy contacted him about hosting Ghost Mine, but when they hired him, they made him take down all of his YouTube videos, effectively “buying his brand”. And while that sounds nefarious, it isn’t really. I also do work with a website that features musician profiles and songs, and when a major label signs an artist, they demand all previous songs, pictures, and profiles are taken down, that way they ensure the representation of their new talent acquisition is controlled by them, it’s part of protecting their investment.

However, while the scrubbing of those videos did create a little controversy, Patrick unwaveringly defends the evidence that they found on Ghost Mine and indeed, says that he was disappointed that they left some of their best stuff on the cutting room floor.

But while paranormal investigators might have an insight into the other side of the veil, no one can predict what’s in the hearts of network executives and a regime change at SyFy spelled the closing of Ghost Mine. 

Patrick returned to being a book author and a paranormal investigation until being called up by the Reelz network to work with Kristen once again on Behind The Screams, and we finish up the interview with advice for amateur investigators.

Number one, he says, “Do it for yourself. Do it for your own experience.” And that you really only need three items when you go out:

  1. Flashlight (so you don’t fall over)
  2. Voice recorder (for EVPs)
  3. Camera (to record in case you see anything!)

Follow Patrick on Twitter and make sure to give him a like on Facebook, he’s a serious-minded investigator that I hope we hear a lot more from in the future.

This episode’s song has as a little bit of a Old West theme to go along with Ghost Mine. It’s a Sunspot track called “Ghost Town”.

This place was never meant for human habitation
and it’s just a ruin, well it’s just a ruin now.
And I can see the cracks in the foundation,
there’s a hole in the door from the fights waged here before.

Let’s not get caught with our pants down,
I won’t get busted with my fingers in the cookie jar again.
This old bed is a hand-me down,
But if you wanna crash here I’m game if you are.

This old place is a ghost town.
This is the room where we store,
all the things we like to forget.
Welcome to my hellhole,
a place for the lost souls,
of all the hearts left here for dead.

Don’t get any closer,
don’t make any sudden moves.
Don’t look at me like that,
I ain’t no scaredy cat.
This is a house of spirits,
this town of full of ghosts,
so upright so convincingly
they don’t have to be dead, but they’re dead to me.

See the wanted sign,
that’s my face.
I’m not welcome anymore,
as if I ever was.
They plastered my name,
all over this place.
We might have to leave running,
so keep your eye on the door.

This old place is a ghost town.
This is the room where we store,
all the things we like to forget.
Welcome to my hellhole,
a place for the lost souls,
of all the hearts left here for dead.