All right, gang, it's the Myth Master again, and for our second interview this month, we have Kristie Murphy, of West Coast Ghost Hunters, to tell us a little about her group, what they do and what they have discovered on some of their investigations.
So let's get started.
M.M. Kristie, just who are the West Coast Ghost Hunters, and what exactly does your group do?
K.M. West Coast Ghost Hunters is a small team of paranormal researchers based in Washington state. For several years now we've been researching and investigating phenomenon related to haunting (more commonly known as ghosts & spirits). We research the history of the area and conduct investigations on the unexplained events that have occurred there. Through these investigations, we have found that there are many people who have had the same or similar experiences, most being dismissed as imagination, or there is a fear of what others may think or say if they tell their stories.
Our team is dedicated to helping the truth be known; we and others like us try to provide factually-based, documented evidence that paranormal activity does exist.
Our primary goal is to educate ourselves and others on spirits and other paranormal phenomenon and the energy they convey sometimes to make their presence known. We are not scientists and do not pretend to be, though we do take a scientific approach to an investigation. We are just ordinary people with a deep interest in the paranormal and are eager to learn everything we can, so we can try to help others understand these phenomenon.
M.M. How do you go about conducting a paranormal investigation?
K.M. A brief synopsis of what an investigation entails:
*Staff or residing parties are interviewed and their experiences are documented.
*A manual search of the location is conducted, photographs are taken and voice recorders are used to try to capture EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena). Several types of cameras are used as well and infrared cam corders, thermometers, EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) and other meters, motion detectors, motion cameras, night surveillance cameras and other equipment to try to capture anomalies.
M.M. How long does an investigation usually last?
K.M. An investigation can take a few hours or an entire night, it just depends on what is best for our clients and what is needed to gather accurate data. For research purposes, we prefer to work after-hours, between the hours of 10:00 PM & 5:00 AM. That has been found to be the best time-frame for catching anomalies. Of course you can capture paranormal evidence during the day time hours as well.
If access is not available during those times, we can still conduct the investigation and try to work around people's schedules. The least amount of intrusion by the public or the business itself is the key to a great investigation and gathering accurate evidence.
M.M. I understand your group recently investigated an old prison in Montana. How did that particular investigation go?
K.M. We had a great investigation at the Old Prison Museum in Deer Lodge Montana. The investigation was conducted over two consecutive nights and both nights we were able to capture paranormal activity in the form of Photographs, Video, and EVP.
We are scheduled to go back in July to investigate for a weekend again, this time with a few other paranormal groups WSPIR http://www.wspir.com/, APART http://www.apartofwa.com/ , TSI http://www.tsimt.net/ , SWPR http://www.swpr.org, and a couple other groups that havenít confirmed yet. We are very excited about going back and working with these other teams.
It helps groups like ours who are searching for answers when there are people like the prison staff that let our groups explore these possibilities with open minds.
The museum is a very historical place with over 100 years of history behind its walls, so I think anytime we investigate there it will be a good investigation.
Since it is now a museum, anyone can take a tour during itís open hours.
You can find out more at http://www.pcmaf.org/prison.htm
M.M. On your web site, you list a number of places WC Ghost Hunters have investigated. In how many of these sites have you actually discovered evidence of some sort of spirit and/or paranormal activity?
K.M. After researching unexplained occurrences for several years, I have found that spirits, paranormal activity, residual energies or whatever you like to call it are all around us no matter where you are. The unknown is what we try to help people understand and not fear so much. Whether you believe in religious phenomenon, UFOís, or ghosts like we do, groups like ours together have a common goal--to discover what is hidden by sight and is true to our hearts. The unknown is all around us each and every day and ghosts do exist. Just because you canít see it doesnít mean itís not there.
M.M. How do spirits manifest themselves to you?
K.M. Spirits make there presence known in many different ways. I have personally experienced many strange and hard to explain things happening over the years:
*Things turning on and off by themselves.
*Noises and voices when no one is around.
*Shadows out of the corner of my eye.
*Sometimes light physical contact
*Cold spots when there is no breeze or even hot spots, when there is no reason for it.
*Sometimes just a feeling of not being alone when I am.
I'm not a "psychic," but everyone has a degree or an untapped potential. You don't have to be John Edwards to commune with the spirits. They have their own way of communicating, much as a young child would, or trying to talk to someone who doesn't speak your language. I am a firm believer not all things we do not understand are evil or bad.
M.M. I think it would safe to say that you and your group believe spirits actually exist, in some form. Is that a correct assumption?
K.M. Yes, we do believe there are things that have not been understood or properly explored/investigated. There is so much to learn about paranormal and so little is really known. Largely because there is somewhat of a stigma placed on the paranormal and anyone who is open to it, but I think that's changing (or at least I hope it is). Like anyone else, we like real facts and go into an investigation trying to find reasonable and logical explanations for these activities. "When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." There are those who believe in ghosts, like me, and then there are those who believe in the fact that if they canít see it with their own eyes, then it doesnít exist, and people are crazy for thinking it does.
M.M. Have you personally ever encountered a spirit in your investigations which you would consider dangerous?
K.M. Iíve had experiences with negative energy, but No, I wouldnít call it dangerous. I personally have not experienced anything that has ever hurt me. Iíve had negative spirits call me a name on recorder, or told me to get out, sometimes get a tug on my hair, but even those are rare, and I didnít feel any danger at those times. Over the years I have been told many times by different people I am asking for evil and bad things to enter my life by investigating paranormal. Iím not a believer that ghost/spirits are evil or that they are all bad and thatís why they are still around. I think some ghosts were negative people in their life, and when they passed over to the other side some of them remained negative, but not bad or dangerous.
M.M. In your experience, what do you think these spirits you have encountered are trying to tell us, if anything?
K.M. That varies. I think it depends on what was going on when they died, or what they chose to hold onto. For some, it's unfinished business, while for others, it's like they are stuck in a time-loop. Some I think are around because that is where they want to be. Spirits can be connected to an individual, personal property, or the land that the structure was built on. There are so many theories on why they remain, but the fact is, some after passing do remain.
M.M. Also in your experience, should the average person be fearful of spirit contact?
K.M. I think people are afraid to believe in the unknown, and the unknown is what is the most feared. We tend to be fearful of things we don't understand and that's what West Coast Ghost Hunters tries to do--bring fact and understanding to something that has had neither. Turn on the light in a dark room, if you will. So, No, I donít believe the average person should be fearful of spirit contact, or the possibility that they do try to contact the living, and most arenít trying to scare anyone.
M.M. If someone out there wanted to have a particular site investigated, how would they go about contacting you?
K.M. Anyone wanting us to investigate their location can contact us through our web site. We also love to hear about people's experiences, so if you want to talk to us or have a story you want us to hear about you can visit our forum.
M.M. We really want to thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us. Is there anything we did not cover that you would like our readers to know about your group, or paranormal activity in general?
K.M. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to tell people a little about what our group does.
Our group conducts investigations on Restaurants, Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts & Inns, Historical locations, Museums, and many private homes. It is not always the structure that can cause paranormal activity.
We always protect the anonymity of anyone reporting an occurrence to us. All paranormal evidence will be presented to the requester; a report of our investigation, photos, videos, audio recordings. Investigations are kept in the strictest confidence, and we will only release or publish information onto our web site in cases where permission has been granted to do so.
M.M. Thanks again, Kristie, and for more information about West Coast Ghost Hunters and their investigations into the paranormal, be sure to visit their web site at www.wcghost.com
And that's it from the Myth Master, for this month. See ya, next time.