Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ghost Investigators Society Interview

I am really honored to be able to share this interview with you. It is with Barbra a member and co-founder of the Ghost Investigators Society. Their headquarters are in Utah, but they travel the western United States investigating ghosts and hauntings. If you would like to contact the G.I.S. their web address is

Enjoy the interview

Ghost Investigator Interview

1. How did you end up becoming an expert, or "go to guy" on ghosts?

I was brought up in an active house. My grandparents, who helped raise me, also practiced spiritualism, which was probably a large cause of the activity. As a child, I thought everyone had at least one ghost that shared their homes. It wasn’t until I started school that I learned otherwise.
I do not consider anyone an expert in this, as there are too many unknowns about the phenomena. In fact, I am very leery about anyone who claims to be an “expert” in this field. We have our experiences and our theories, but nothing else.

2. Do you believe in ghosts? And if so, what's your theory behind the "science" of how they work?

Yes I do believe in them. I believe that there are laws that govern the paranormal world, but we do not know how those laws work at this time. Ghost activity defies our logic and they seem to be able to do the impossible, such as solid objects appearing out of thin air, moving solid objects by unseen forces. I probably will not live to see science have answers to it, but I hope our research helps put the puzzle pieces together.

3. Have you ever seen a ghost?

Yes, and I feel very fortunate, as there are researchers that have never had that experience. It was very exciting, once I realized what I had witnessed.

4. What surprised you the most, if anything, while doing your ghost research in Utah? Any particularly unusual stories or older stories debunked?

There are too many stories to have in this forum, but Utah has a wonderful history and many colorful characters that have allowed us to record their voices. Their personalities clearly come through their voices. I loved the ghost we encountered at the Ft. Douglas museum.

5. Can you share with me a couple of the more evil spirits that still haunt UT?

Sorry. I do not consider ghosts as evil spirits. Ghost have the same personality in death as they did in life. And Utah has an ample supply of wonderful ghosts.

6. Can you share with me a couple, of UT haunting stories that might be new to our UT-based readers?

There are ghosts that have been experienced at the Capital Theater in Salt Lake, the Egyptian Theater in Ogden and a very active location in Ogden is the old Union Railroad Station. These are the locations I am at liberty to disclose. (I later found out that GIS only disclose investigations with the permission of the owner of the business or home to protect their privacy.)

7. In your research, did you come across any great haunted restaurants in UT that residents here might find appropriate for a lunch sometime before Halloween?

The Union Grill
would be the only one I am able to mention.

8. What's the biggest myth about ghosts that people should know?

The myth that gripes me the most is that ghosts are evil or wicked. This is not the case. Most people have a preconceived notion what a ghost is supposed to look like or what they are. I understand that it can be un-nerving to have a ghost experience, but most ghosts are sad or confused. I would try to have people feel compassion for them and not fear.

9. Where do ghosts spend their time when they're not out haunting?

I would imagine they probably go about doing many things that they did in life. They are still the same person, just without a physical body.

10. When the inevitable happens, how would you like to spend your time as a ghost?

I plan on it, at least for a while, although since I really do not know what actually takes place at the time of death, I might no have what it takes. I always tell people that if you ever feel someone tap you on the shoulder and if there is no one there when you turn around, you’ll will know it’s me. I am a very happy person, and I believe most ghosts are not happy or have a situation unresolved.

11. Is there somewhere you’d like to haunt?

Too many places to mention.

12. How many of us do you suppose believe in ghosts?

I believe there are more than are willing to admit it. I am surprised at the amount of ridicule we get for investigating the phenomena! Another surprise is the amount of people who have said to me “I don’t believe in ghosts, but let me tell you about an experience I had…..”. Fortunately, I have noticed a positive change in peoples attitudes in the last 20 years.

13. What first drew you to the paranormal?

As I said, I was raised with it. My family always excepted the paranormal as a part of life and part of our world and that it is nothing to fear. I was not raised to fear what I don’t understand. It made me curious more than anything. On one hand, I want to know how it works but on the other hand, I love the mystery of it all.

14. How does a ghost hunter differ from a parapsychologist?

A hunter is just that, he hunts. I do not classify the G.I.S. as hunters. The Ghost Investigators Society investigates locations that have reported ghost activity taking place. A parapsychologist has the credentials, of course, and also has financial backing for equipment, travel, etc. The Ghost Investigators Society fund ourselves, so we are limited. It was a field I always wanted to get into, but no reputable schools offered the courses needed that I could find. There was not an internet to search. No one took me serious at that time.

15. Do you have a favorite novel or movie pertaining to the supernatural?

Oh yes. The movie “The Uninvited” is one of my favorites. Based on a true story. It’s old, I would guess early 1940’s. Another movie is “The Changeling” , another one based on a true story. I do not care for ghost “stories”, but I do enjoy researching actual ghost events.

16. Have you ever been in a situation that frightened you, or left you feeling uneasy?

Anything paranormal has never frightened me. It may someday, but it has not happened yet. I usually am more concerned or frightened about the living hurting me, especially when we are at certain locations on investigations.

17. Can you give us your definition of what a ghost or haunting is?

A ghost is the essence or spirit of a person who has lived, has had a body and has died, and for whatever reason, is still in our realm. I believe most ghost activity takes place due to a ghost trying to get someone’s attention. I believe they get very frustrated at times. Can you imagine how awful it would be to try to communicate with people and everyone ignores you? I feel very sorry for them.

18. Of all of your investigations concerning ghosts and hauntings, which cases stand out in your mind, which did you find to be the most interesting?

It was the wife a successful business man. He died unexpectedly and was in charge of his home, as well as his business. His office was in his home. He handled all of the finances and his wife had no idea who they owed or how much. She had always been a loving wife to him and a nurturing, loving mother to their children. His unexpected death was a shock to all who knew him.

Ghost activity started almost immediately upon his death, and continued on for months. His wife was a wreck and was unbelievably in the dark about even how to go about paying the bills. She had never worried about it before. She noticed most of the ghost activity took place in her husband’s office: drawers slamming or left opened. Books moved, items on his desk messed up. After a year had passed, and savings exhausted, she was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy, as she had no finances coming in. Her brother was the one that stumbled on all of the dead husband’s financial records and insurance policies, etc., while he was packing things up in the office, trying to help his sister. Once those things were discovered, the ghost activity stopped almost at once.

I believe he had been trying to show her where these things were, but she was too afraid and distraught to pay attention. To me, he had been trying to show her where the information was all along. This information saved the home from going into foreclosure and she is really well off financially today. Her husband was concerned about the welfare of his family, even in death. I am sure he regretted no relaying information to his wife prior to his death. His love for them prevented him from moving on. I have many more stories, but not enough space.

19. What is your opinion on today's "ghost busters" with their websites, radio and television shows that feature: electronic voice phenomena, thermometers, voltage meters and so on?

It’s a free country, people can do as they please. I believe many groups are looking for thrills & chills. Others seek fame & money. That is one thing I am proud about with The G.I.S. -we have never sold anything. We are not in this for the money. If anything, it costs us money. But any serious researcher I do not have a problem with. The more that is discovered about this subject, the better.

20. Do you believe in Bigfoot, UFO’s or any other non-mainstream event?

Until something is positively proven false, I have to leave room for the possibility of something. Just because I haven’t experienced or seen something, does not make it false. I know that there are molecules I cannot see, because science has proven they exist. How long did it take for science to be able to prove the existence of those molecules? We have just scratched the surface of science & knowledge. The more we learn, the more we learn we do not know that much.

21. Have you ever been slimed?

That is a silly question. I think you have watched too many “Hollywood” movies.

22. Is there any place that is haunted that you would never investigate?

No. If I could, that is what I would do for a living, and I would investigate every place that would let me in.

23. Do you think there are good and evil ghosts?

Of course. Just like there are good and evil people. But the majority of people, I believe, are good and descent.

24. When you get home from a hard nights investigation do you like to watch TV shows that are based on ghost like, The Ghost Whisper, Paranormal, Supernatural, X-Flies or Most Haunted? If so which one do you enjoy the most?

I really do not enjoy television. I could count on one hand how many times I have watched TV this past year. I have too many other things I enjoy doing. I’m usually exhausted by the time I get home, mentally & physically.

25. Can you explain why ghost look like people in person when people have witnessed seeing them, but in photographs they appear as balls of light?

I believe their energy is what you see in pictures and videos. I have theories on this, but I believe that when a person sees a ghost in human form, that ghost wanted you to see them. There have also been cases when the ghost is seen and the ghost reacts surprised when it is seen. This is one of the many mysteries of this phenomenon.

26. Do you do most of your investigations during the day or at night?

Mostly at night, just because it is more quiet then and there are less interruptions. We can also use all of our equipment at night, such as the night-vision cameras. But, we have had great investigations during the day, also, as far as getting recordings. Some of our best recordings has been during the day.

27. Is there a difference between ghosts that come out during the day compared to night ghosts?

Ghosts are there, both day and night. Most people are too busy and too much noise to notice it. If a ghost haunts a location, you can bet it is there any time of the day. Most activity is noticed at night, however, just because the noise factor is gone. Several business locations that have ghost have ghost activity during business hours. This rattles the secretary who works there, and these locations usually has a high turn over of employees.

28. Does this pay the bills or is it mostly a hobby?

No, it does not pay my bills, but I do not consider this a hobby. I have always been involved with this, even before it was the “in” thing to do.

29. Any last words to the readers on websites, books, or way they can learning more about ghost or becoming ghost hunters?

If this subject is something you have more than a passing interest in, I would encourage you to go to school and get your credentials. If you are a electronics expert or tech expert, and have a keen interest in the subject, there is a need for equipment to be developed in this research. If it is not a passion in finding out answers, and just more of passing interest, there are many good books on the subject.

Now that you have heard from someone that has been doing this for several years, you know more than most. If you would like to do your own investigations into the paranormal you’ve been warned…

1 comment:

Peter said...

I have listened to Barbara and the G.I.S. on Coast to Coast AM for many years. The stuff they do is very convincing, and I urge anyone to listen to them when they are on.