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Sean Paradis has been a great friend and researcher partner for many years. I respect him tremendously. He has an innate gift for identifying the most haunted locations, and the most active areas at each one.
In fact, working with Sean was a tremendous help when I was writing Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries.
Here’s my recent interview with Sean.
Q) What areas of the paranormal do you investigate?
A) I focus primarily on investigating ghosts
Q) How long have you worked in this field?
A) It’s been an interest since the age of 13. I’ve worked on a professional level since the age of 18.
Q) Do you specialize in one kind of research, or one field of expertise?
A) In the last year, I have started to shift my research more towards finding new, low-tech ways of investigating.
In this economy, people cannot afford to spend $350 on one piece of equipment. Common household items are less expensive, and in many instances produce better results than the $350 piece of equipment.
Q) Are you psychic? How do you feel about working with other psychics?
A) I would classify myself as a sensitive. I am able to pick up the details of a spirit when they were alive.
Sometimes it is only a few bits and pieces, other times it is their whole life story. It all depends on how much a spirit is willing to share.
I believe working with other psychics is a fabulous opportunity. It allows you to build upon each other’s information, and possibly learn more about a spirit.
I think any psychic who chooses to work alone is cutting themselves short.
Q) Do you consider yourself more of a skeptic or a believer?
A) I am a skepliever; a word I use that means both. At least, I try to be. If I hear a story or report of something, I try to approach it with an open mind. I know that not everything, no matter how probable it may seem, is true.
Once I personally investigate the claim or try to recreate it then, and only then, will I form my own opinion based on the evidence and the experience.
If an investigator is 100 percent a skeptic, or 100 percent a believer, they will end up tainting evidence without even realizing it. They will either assume every piece of evidence is proof the paranormal exists or dismiss evidence, when there are factors clearly pointing to the opposite conclusion.
This is why being a skepliever is so important.
Q) Do you work alone or with a team?
A) I work 90% alone, and 10% giving my time to HELP other teams.
I never actually join any teams, and I make that clear when offering my time.
The reason why I stress this so much is that some, but not all teams are… well… for lack of a better word, greedy about team members and investigation results. I believe that research should be shared freely amongst the community.
Therefore, I work alone, or with good friends in the field. That way what I do with my own personal research is up to me.
Q) What’s your long-term goal as a paranormal researcher?
A) To ultimately get rid of the cliché stereotype that to be a professional researcher, you need to buy the latest and greatest pieces of electronics. The equipment carried does not make a person a good researcher; how they use their tools and interpret data does. I would love to see more researchers using low tech methods of investigating.
Q) How do you find out about locations for your research?
A) About half of the locations that I investigate I hear about through a friend, and the other half I visit after having a gut feeling telling me a location is haunted when near it.
If I have the time I may visit a location that has stories about it on the internet. I generally do not though, since you never know what you will find upon arrival.
Q) How much time do you spend at a location during a typical investigation?
A) On average about 4 hours. That gives enough time to explore the area, and have a thorough investigation.
Compared to other investigations that teams perform, 4 hours is a short amount of time. But it is because many of the locations I investigate are within a reasonable driving distance. I am able to visit these locations numerous times a year.
If a team needs to make a couple-hour drive to a location, they will most likely spend more time there, since they may not be there as often.
It varies for every investigator, but I have found 4 to be the magic time length.
Q) How often do you return to a typical investigation site, and how close together are the visits?
A) As I said earlier, many of the locations I visit are nearby. Because of this, I tend to visit the locations at least 4 to 5 times a year, and as close together as I can.
This allows me to become familiar with a location, and if anything changes, I can start investigating to figure out why as soon as possible.
Becoming familiar with a location is one of the best assets an investigator can have.
The first few visits to a location are the learning visits; what tools will help you best, which noises are normal, where the energy spikes are and why they are there.
Knowing a location well allows investigators to filter out the normal, and focus on the paranormal.
Q) What’s your very best advice for beginners?
A) I would recommend avoiding buying expensive equipment. I rarely use them anymore. I have diverted more towards low tech ghost hunting, and have been having better results.
I may be sounding like a broken record when it comes to going low-tech, but I find it to be important.
One thing that many investigators forget is that spirits have no idea what most of the electrical equipment we are using is.
Imagine if you traveled 300 years into the future, and were surrounded by new technology and a new society. I know I would be hesitant to approach anyone.
Most spirits are familiar with low tech tools, thus they will be more likely to approach you. That is the reason I believe low tech tools produce better results.
Q) Tell us about your scariest investigation, or your funniest.
A) Honestly, no investigation has been scary.
In general, spirits are not something I find to be scary. We have more to fear from the living; but that is another topic altogether.
The funniest investigation I have been on actually did not start out as an investigation. It happened at the Webster Tay House in Franklin NH, at the presentation that you, Lesley Marden and I went to.
After the presentation when we decided to check out the house, I could not stop laughing. That place felt like a funhouse the entire time.
To be frank, it is one of the weirdest houses I have ever been inside of.
To learn more about Sean Paradis and his research, visit his website, SeanParadis.com.