What events took place that inspired the creation of TAPS, and eventually Ghost Hunters: The Series?
Well Jay and I both had separate paranormal experiences when we were younger. Mine lasted for nearly 2 years. Thank goodness I had witnesses to prove I wasn’t going crazy. Jay had been working with another group and decided to start his own group due to distance issues. I came in later offering to redesign his website and we met up. We realized that we both had been fed up with the field and wanted to have a higher quality of investigation.
The series came about much later. We had both been researching for about 15 years. We had many offers to be in TV, but behind the scenes. Eventually they asked us to do this show, and we were hesitant at first. But we figured, if we didn’t do it, who would? And how would they represent the field?
Besides your day jobs, and the tv show, is their there a financial benefit by investigating homes, buildings, etc? Is it all volunteer work?
Nope. We do not charge our clients to investigate their home. Everyone needs help, not just the rich. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. They need help and we need another chance to investigate the paranormal so that we can, in turn, help more people. Not only does it not make you any money, but it actually cost a lot of money, between equipment, gas, tapes, batteries, etc. it can get quite pricey.
How many cases a year does TAPS go on? With the success of the show, is TAPS getting inundated with cases of possible hauntings? How do you sift through the garbage?
We get about 100 requests a day. These cases get organized by location, and then dished out to the TAPS Family members across the globe. After that, we just use common sense to weed out the ones that are bogus. The rest we either handle through email, over the phone or through investigation. It is a tough process and each case is handled a bit differently. It takes experience and a knack for human psychology to really sift through them all.
In the series, I don’t believe any colleges or universities have been investigated, but there are definitely some interesting old places out there. Has TAPS run into trouble gaining access to places like that due to the heads of the university not wanting their school portrayed as haunted? Would you check out my old college, Keystone College in PA or the Salesian School in Goshen, NY? They are definitely haunted!
We have investigated a music school and that is about it for the show. We have investigated schools off of the show where confidentiality can be maintained.
We don’t have to worry about gaining access. We go where we are asked to go. The only reason we would have to gain access is if we bring a camera crew.
Do you get bombarded with emails from stoned kids who think their house (or school) is haunted?
HAHAHA… I don’t know about bombarded, but we get the occasional “Ghost of the Good Herb.”
What’s your opinion on John Edward and other psychic mediums that claim to communicate with the deceased?
I don’t think you can bundle them all together. Each person is different. I know there are a lot of cold reading tricks. I spent some time in Italy and talked to many Gypsies who are particularly skilled in that aspect. I have yet to meet someone who can legitimately communicate with that “Is there an M name close to you” technique. That is classic cold reading.
You take a scientific approach to your work. Are you guys constantly in search of new scientific tools or measurements? Is there anything new that you tried that would have come in handy during past investigations?
We are always willing to hear what people think of our evidence. Many groups get offended when people challenge their evidence. Why would you be offended? They are keeping you from looking like an idiot, and they are educating you for the next time.
Right now we are partial to our thermal imaging camera. It didn’t quite work out the way we thought it would but it has proven its value with some of the stuff it has caught.
Was Ray Parker Jr available to sing the theme song?
HA! Yeah, but he had laryngitis.
Do homeowners call and update TAPS on activity in their homes after investigations? Does a place that might have been disproved as “Haunted” may actually be haunted if investigated a second time? Has TAPS revisited any prior cases?
Of course we revisit cases. You can’t visit a place once and determine it not haunted. Ghosts don’t perform on cue. That is why we call them “clients”. That denotes a lasting relationship with each other. We are still working on cases from four years ago.
What were some of the freakiest moments for you while on the job?
It has to be some of the home owners. Ghosts I am not afraid of, but living people can really be weird.
What happens when you cross the streams?
Your feet get wet.
Has a ghost ever told you to get off his train?
No, but we have caught EVP’s of someone calling us by name and telling us that we are wasting our time, etc etc.
With a little ad placement, Roto Rooter gets plenty of advertisement from the show. Does that make it easier for them to give you time off to go on cases?
Yes, that is our way of thanking them for making it all possible.
“Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis?”
Egad….let me see: Why not, not sure, seems possible, not to the extremes that most people do, sure, depends, in extreme cases, nope, plausible, not the way others think of it. Hey, ask a convoluted question, get a convoluted answer.
What was the most haunted place you visited? Can you tell us about it?
Hmmm that’s a tough one. It’s not like there is a scale, hahaha. I would say that possession case I mentioned before. It was just very disturbing.
Have you guys ever been contacted by celebrities claiming their homes were haunted?
Yep, we hope to do some of them if the show gets picked up again.
Since I suck at anything Home Improvement-related, how does one fix a leaking faucet?
Depends on where it is leaking from, and what type of faucet it is. That is why there are plumbers. It’s not as easy as you might think, lol.
Ghost or not a ghost: That mysterious kid that pops up in a scene for Three Men and a Little Baby?
I don’t have enough information to make an educated guess on this one. It would be nice to have the facts rather than speculation and rumor.
I know you get asked this constantly but what’s your advice for amateur ghost-hunters? Any tips to avoid getting caught for trespassing?
The best advice I can give is to make sure your goal is to help the client, not just to find evidence of paranormal activity. I say this because you rarely find good paranormal evidence, especially when you have slimpicking for cases. You’ll die of boredom and fizzle out if you just want to find evidence. If your goal is to help out the homeowner then whether you find evidence, or you debunk the haunting, you will have a sense of accomplishment. Win win.
Are there any upcoming events that the Ghost Hunters team will be at? Or anything else you would like to promote or comment on?
We will be in Virginia at a conference this weekend and we will be at dragoncon in Atlanta. All of our appearances can be found on the main page of the TAPS web page: http://theatlanticparanormalsociety.com
This was a fun interview. I really like the diversity of the questions. All the best! and thanks!
Thanks Grant for the great interview & for putting up with all the Ghostbuster referenced questions :) Everyone go watch Ghosthunters, every Wednesday night on Sci-Fi Channel @ 9pm. To catch up on the series, go BUY the first season of Ghost Hunters HERE.