The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT!

DON’T MISS OUT ON THE PARANORMAL DIARIES FILM: EVENT! TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!!!

The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT is an exciting event that will take place over the entire weekend starting Friday, November 10th at 6 p.m. – Sunday, November 12th at 12 p.m. at the beautiful and haunted location of The Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. This is a special event hosted by filmmaker, Blaine Duncan and his brother, Austin in honor of their phenomenal movie, The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film.

This onscreen production is full of haunted locations (including The Palmer House Hotel) that the brothers visited while on their travels throughout the back roads of America, capturing their real-life paranormal experiences.

“There’s sort of this parallel between us traveling down the road and traveling in our own personal journey to document proof of the paranormal.” ~ Blaine Duncan

At The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT there will be sneak peek clips from The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film, along with awesome guest speakers including Angela and Brady from Twin Cities Paranormal Society, Psychic Tiffany Johnson and Suzanne Worthley! The fun-filled weekend will be full of non-stop activities. And just before everything is finished, there will be a ghost hunt throughout the entire haunted building of The Palmer House Hotel on Saturday night!

Great times indeed! And for those who would like to book their stay at The Palmer House Hotel during this exciting event for Friday and Saturday nights, will have the opportunity to stay Thursday night for free, graciously offered by the hotel’s owner.

All event proceeds are donated to The Palmer House Hotel for restoration projects to help maintain the elegance and history of this fantastic site!

I’m pretty excited about going! Already have my ticket and room booked. Along with being an active participant in all the amazing activities, I will also be a vendor there selling signed copies of my novel, The Spirit Within! Looking so forward to it, CAN’T WAIT!!!

Hope to see you all there!!!

 

 

For ticket information, please visit:  The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/theparanormaldiariesfilm/community/

And hotel booking at The Palmer House Hotel:  The Palmer House

 

 

 

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Interview with Filmmaker, Blaine Duncan

Today I’m welcoming back filmmaker, Blaine Duncan as he discusses his upcoming film, The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film and his exciting event, The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT. Thank you, Blaine for stopping by!

 

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a pretty simple guy with a love and passion for paranormal investigating. I grew up in a haunted house and the idea behind figuring out what it is that goes bump in the night has always been intriguing to me. I was always that kid who laid under my bed covers at night reading scary ghost stories, trying to pretend to be brave and then freaking myself out. As I got older I started experimenting with the paranormal and ghost hunting a little bit more. I began sneaking out and going to graveyards or local spots that were reported to be haunted. I did this kind of thing by myself for a really long time, which obviously isn’t something that should be done for many reasons, but I always felt like working in a small, intimate group of only a few people, or by myself, was the best way to really confirm what you were seeing or hearing wasn’t being caused by human interference.

 

 

 

Your upcoming film is titled, The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film. Tell us about that and what was the inspiration behind its creation?

The film was actually an idea that I had back in 2009 or 2010. Life circumstances at that time, or maybe just where I was at in my life, didn’t allow for me to go out and really pursue shooting a documentary like I hoped. Fast forward to January of 2016 and I finally said, enough is enough, I need to make this film. I have to do it, because it really is something that I need to get out of my system. I needed to check that box so-to-speak. So in May, along with my brother Austin, we packed up our camera equipment and ghost hunting gear for what turned out to be a two month road trip, traveling around the country, driving the back roads of America in hopes of finding some unknown haunted hotspots. And that’s exactly what we did. We really wanted to do something different that no one else has done and incorporate the road trip idea or theme into what the film truly is. There’s sort of this parallel between us traveling down the road and traveling in our own personal journey to document proof of the paranormal.

 

 

 

In honor of your film, you have a special event scheduled in November. Share with everyone all the exciting details about The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT.

Yes! I’m really excited about this. It’s been a lot of work in the making to do this event, but I wanted to go back to many of the places that we filmed at and present part of the film. I always had this idea of how cool would it be to show a documentary film about a haunted location while actually watching it in a haunted location? Though we won’t be showing the entire film and only clips from our time on the road, it’s still my hope some day to do that. The event is going to be great though. We’re having some guest speakers including Angela and Brady from Twin Cities Paranormal Society who I have so much respect for and the work that they’ve done. Psychic Tiffany Johnson will be there to do her psychic gallery in the basement of The Palmer House, which is going to be super cool. And then we have Suzanne Worthley who I can’t say enough great things about! She’s just awesome. It’s going to be a great event with non-stop activities going on throughout the weekend. We’re going to finish the weekend off by having a ghost hunt throughout the entire building on Saturday night. What people don’t realize is that most of the hotel is going to be ours to wander and investigate, which is something that isn’t easy to come by. Many times there are only certain areas that you can get into or certain areas that are off limits, but for the most part, almost the entire hotel will be available to investigate. It’s going to be fun!

 

 

 

Why did you choose The Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota as the event’s location? And what’s the history behind this haunted hotel?

I chose The Palmer House because it was actually the first location that we investigated in 2016 when we hit the road. It was a place that I had been to before filming there and a place that I just really love. It’s incredibly haunted and I’ve had some really fun, crazy, experiences there. Many people actually believe that The Palmer House sits on some sort of portal and spirits come and go from the building constantly. There’s everything from full-body apparitions seen there, including ghost dogs and cats, cold spots, sounds of children playing throughout the building, items that move about on their own, really you name it. It’s just an amazing place and the owner, Kelley, has just been amazing to us. The event proceeds are actually 100% going back to the hotel, we’re not making a dime from doing this. As a way to thank Kelley for allowing us to film there and a way for her to know how much we appreciate her and her beautiful building, we decided we wanted to give the money back to her for restoration projects. Hopefully we can do more in the future and maybe even screen the whole film there one day!

 

 

 

Have you experienced anything paranormal at this beautiful, historic site?

I have! I always tell people that if you want to dip your toes into the world of the paranormal, The Palmer House is the place to do it. I’ve never picked up on anything negative or dark there, so I don’t think of it as a “scary” haunted place. It’s for sure haunted though! As a matter of fact, it’s been voted the most haunted place in Minnesota and one of the top ten most haunted hotels in the country. What will be fun is for those people who are staying the full weekend, I believe they will be most likely to have an experience. It seems like the building and it’s spirits get used to you and they seem to want to interact more the longer you stay. I can’t wait to get back and I hope to have my own experiences when I’m up there again!

 

 

 

Where can people go to purchase tickets for The Paranormal Diaries Film: EVENT?

To purchase tickets for the event, go to our Facebook page by searching The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film on Facebook, and we have a link on our page to the event. If you follow the event link you will see how to purchase tickets through PayPal. And then once you have your ticket for the event, give The Palmer House a call and book your room for the whole weekend. The owner has been kind enough to include Thursday night free for anyone who stays Friday and Saturday.

 

 

 

What’s next for Blaine Duncan?

I always have all kinds of ideas running through my head! I have a couple ideas for my next film project that I would like to do and I may stray slightly from the paranormal field with the second film. It would still be focused on something quite dark and scary, more in the sense of monsters, myths and lore throughout America. I’ve also been interested in doing some writing as well, so who knows, maybe I’ll put pen to paper and start jotting some stories down some time.

 

 

 

Any positive words of advice?

Don’t get caught up in some of the negativity that runs wild through the paranormal community. It’s sad that everyone can’t get along, but for the betterment of the paranormal field, I think people need to present a united front so that the scientific community will start to take this subject more seriously. I hope one day we can get there.

 

 

 

 

The Enchanting Beauvoir

It was AWESOME!!! The 2017 Gulf Coast ParaCon at the Beauvoir (last residence of Jefferson Davis) was a phenomenal event! We started off the weekend on Friday night with the 80’s themed “Meet & Greet” ball. It was so much fun seeing everyone dressed in “totally rad” clothing! Some people were decked out in bright neon colors, while others were wearing classic, concert T’s. There was even a costume contest where the winner was proudly sporting “Hulk Hogan” attire. I, myself, wore black sport leggings with a pink and black leopard print shirt, and a black and white zebra printed frilly jacket. For accessories, I wore a long, thin black sequenced ribbon around my neck, a big black lace bow in my hair and pink, glitter jelly shoes. And we cannot leave out the music that was played! Guns N’ Roses, Madonna and Bon Jovi, just to name a few. Everyone had such a great time!

Then, on Saturday people attended the event to see all the various vendors and their fantastic and unique displays of merchandise. There were tables set up with beautiful artwork, and some tables that were displayed with lovely, handmade crystal and natural stone jewelry (One where I bought a simple band ring made of rose quartz that I immediately fell in love with!). Other tables had vendors selling cool, paranormal t-shirts and hand-crafted items.

I was there as a vendor selling signed copies of my novel, The Spirit Within where I met some pretty amazing new people who were eager to read my book.

Also as guest speakers for the day, included paranormal investigators, psychics and so much more who were at this exciting event. They were impressive individuals who kept the conference room full of enthusiastic people. Paula Westbrook, Keith Age, Kevin Betzer & Randy Hardy, Mary Millan “Bloody Mary”, and April Roare were some of those fascinating guest speakers!

Later that night, many of us gathered together to conduct an exclusive paranormal investigation of the Beauvoir. We were separated into five groups that all started off investigating at different locations of the property. The group that I was in started in the cottage where we actually heard a couple of very distinguished evps. After the K2 EMF Meter began to light up, someone from the group asked if the spirit was Jefferson Davis. A very clear “no” was heard on the Ghost Box. Then, after a few minutes passed and unanswered questions from our side, the K2 EMF Meter lit up some more. Another member from our group asked if the spirit wanted us to go, and after a moment passed, a very clear “leave me”, followed by “please” was heard on the Ghost Box. We respectfully left and headed to other locations throughout the property, including a Confederate cemetery, the Presidential Library & Museum, and the beautiful Beauvoir House. We didn’t capture much of anything else paranormally, but someone from another group said they had been touched by a spirit in the library.

I was given a thermal gun to use during the investigation, but didn’t witness any significant fluctuation. We were told that the paranormal activity at the Beauvoir is quite active, however there are times when things are a little more quiet than other times.

The entire weekend in Biloxi was a ton of fun! I got the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people, including the awesome members of the SPARS Paranormal team who hosted The Gulf Coast ParaCon. Not only did I have a great time, I also learned so much paranormally and historically!!

I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to return!!!!

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

My vendor table where I sold signed copies of my novel, The Spirit Within.

The Beauvoir House

The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library & Museum

2017 Gulf Coast ParaCon!!

YOU’RE INVITED!!!

Come one, come all to The 2017 Gulf Coast ParaCon!! 

Join SPARS Paranormal for this amazing 3rd annual event! When? September 22 – September 24. Where? At the beautiful, historic Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library located at 2244 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, Mississippi 39531. It’s an exciting time for all paranormal enthusiasts! You’ll have the opportunity to meet celebrity speakers, vendors and also take part in an exclusive paranormal investigation at Jefferson Davis’s last residence. And we wouldn’t dare leave out the “Meet & Greet Ball“, a costume party with the 80’s theme!

I, myself, am really excited about being there as a vendor and we hope you all can attend because we would love to meet you!!!

 

For ticket information please visit: SPARS Paranormal’s site at http://www.sparsparanormal.com/

And on Facebook: 2017 Gulf Coast ParaCon

Want a chance to win your very own ticket to this spooktacular event? Two lucky individuals will get the opportunity to win a general admission ticket! Yes, that’s right!! Two General Admission tickets will be given away! All you have to do is send in your name to Contact Sheila Renee Parker. Entries for the drawing must be submitted before the deadline date and time of Friday, September 15th at 11 p.m. Eastern time. The winners will be notified the following day.

 

 

 

Gulf Coast ParaCon 2017

 

 

 

 

Interview with Paranormal Investigator, Paula Westbrook

Today I’m welcoming paranormal investigator, Paula Westbrook. Thank you, Paula for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m from Shreveport Louisiana. I now live in Picayune, MS with my husband David, and my son Joseph. I have a paranormal team named SPARS. And I am the Event Coordinator of the Gulf Coast ParaCon. I have a love of history, and the paranormal.

 

 

Why the paranormal? 

As with many people, it started at a young age. As a child we lived in many active locations. And it seemed these spirits would seek me out, or I was the only one that seemed aware of them. This terrified me, especially would seem to seek me out to torment me. It became normal for me to experience it. Slowly I became used to it. I quit
letting them get to me. And by the time I was about 10 I was searching for them on my terms. This was a way to gain power over my fears.

 

 

How did your team, Southern Paranormal and Anomaly Research Society (SPARS) get started and what kind of places do you investigate? 

I am the original founder of this group. I founded SPARS in 2006. I had groups before. But I was newly divorced and new to the area, and I felt this was a way to meet like minded people. We investigate residential, businesses, and historic locations. We are here to help anyone who needs our help. I also do cleansings. And of course, we never charge.

 

 

You’re the Event Coordinator who’s preparing the upcoming paranormal event, The Gulf Coast ParaCon in Biloxi, Mississippi. Share with us all the exciting details: dates of the event, who the guest speakers will be, where everyone can purchase tickets, and even about the paranormal investigation that will take place at the Beauvoir House. 

One of my favorite places on the Gulf Coast is Beauvoir, (The Last Home of Jefferson Davis). We came together with Beauvoir and created a fundraiser for the restoration and preservation of this beautiful property. My team and I are bringing in Speakers ,
Paranormal Investigators from all over the country . And from different areas of the field so that we can bring education of the paranormal to the public. We have Keith Age from Louisville, Kentucky. He has been in the field for 30 plus years and has been seen on SYFY, “Children of the Grave”, and “Death Tunnel” just to mention a few documentaries of the paranormal. He is also the founder of the largest Paranormal Group in the country, The Louisville Ghost Hunting Society. James Annito, the founder of Dominion Ministries will be here to talk about Demonology. Kevin Betzer, and Randy Hardy as seen on the t.v. show, “Deep South Paranormal” on SYFY. Ayne Pustanio, Author of Haunted New Orleans and a specialist in the Occult. Mary Milam, better known as “Bloody Mary”, a Voodoo Priestess from New Orleans. Seasoned Paranormal Investigators, Gavin Kelly, Sasha Klanott, and Bernadine LaBlanc.

We’ll start off Friday night with the Meet and Greet. We’ll have the speakers and the team members of SPARS there so you can meet us all and get to know us. We’ll have Food and Cash Bar, and I forgot to mention it’s a Costume party. We will also have a D.J. there. It’s always my favorite part of the weekend. Then, on Sat, the 23rd from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 P.M., we will have the speaker lectures at the Presidential Library along with Vendors and people will also be there to do Psychic readings. Then at 8:00 p.m. Sat. night, we will be doing a Paranormal Investigation of the entire 52 acre property of Beauvoir. This also includes the Museum, the house, and the cottages.

 

 

Tell us about the history of the Beauvoir House and why is it haunted?

Beauvoir was the last home of Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, and after the death of President Davis, it was handed down to his daughter then to his Widow. Varena Davis, his widow, left it to the current owners of Beauvoir, The Mississippi Division of Confederate Veterans. They in turn turned it into a retirement home for Confederate Veterans and their wives, and widows. Many people lived and died on this property. To many of these people, this was their last home. And their spirits still roam this property today, as with any hospital or retirement home.

 

 

What kind of ghostly experiences have people had at this historical location? 

We have seen soldiers, and shadow people, and even a ghost dog. We hear voices, lights come on by themselves. People have experienced someone coming up
and whispering in their ear. Doors open and close. Strange balls of light have been seen on the property. Apparitions, as solid as you and I, of Jefferson Davis have been seen. Many have thought he was a reenactor only to find out that there were no
reenactors there. Many brides have captured a picture of Winnie Davis standing in the window of her room. She usually shows up right before a wedding. She was the only child of the Davis’ to live on the property. She never married and died in her 30’s.

 

 

Where can paranormal enthusiasts find updates about The Gulf Coast ParaCon? 

Our Facebook page, SPARS paranormal. That’s where we have our discussions and answer questions.

 

 

*** Here’s some more exciting news I’d like to add for all of my special readers.***

I, Sheila Renee Parker, will also be at the Gulf Coast Paracon as a vendor! I am extremely happy to be a part of this awesome event! And we hope to see you all there!

Paula Westbrook has extended a very gracious opportunity for you all. Every week until the time of the Paracon, Paula will be giving away 2 General Admission tickets!

Each week I will conduct a drawing for the two lucky winners. All anyone has to do is send in your name to Contact Sheila Renee Parker. Entries for the first drawing must be submitted before the deadline date and time of Wednesday, August 30th at 11 p.m. Eastern time. The winners will be notified the following day.

 

 

Anything else you’d like to share, Paula? 

Starting in Jan. – August, once a month we do an event called Meet the Spirits
where we allow the public to come in and be a ghost hunter. Go to our F.B. Page for these dates or to our website www.sparsparanormal.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Paranormal Investigator, Shari Marie DeBenedetti

Today I’m welcoming paranormal investigator, Shari Marie DeBenedetti from Syfy’s television series, Ghost Hunters. Thank you, Shari for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Upstate New York and moved to Boston with my family when I was 11 years old. I graduated from Lynnfield High School and attended Bentley University while working full-time at an engineering firm. I am now a real estate agent. I do many private investigations with local teams in the area and I also appear at events. I have two children, Angelina and Nico.

 

 

Why the paranormal?

I became interested in the paranormal because I experienced many strange and unexplained things growing up. I finally began to research the paranormal in my mid 20’s when my family and I had many scary experiences in the house we were living in at the time. It got to be so bad I was afraid to go into the house alone not knowing what was going to happen next. I decided to start investigating with my friends and eventually formed a team. I wanted to help others who were experiencing paranormal activity so that they would be comfortable living in their homes.

 

 

You’re a paranormal investigator on SyFy’s television series, Ghost Hunters. How did this get started for you?

I met Jason Hawes, and other T.A.P.S. members, many years ago at paranormal events and we have remained friends ever since. I was recommended, then interviewed, then I started.

 

 

In your opinion, what’s the most frightening case you and the team have investigated on the show?

There was no case that I investigated on the show that made me ‘frightened’. I, however, had many crazy experiences but I personally never felt threatened by any of them.

 

 

Has anything ghostly ever followed you home after an investigation? And if so, how did you deal with it?

I’m not positive if the spirits that I had at home are the same ones that came home with me from an investigation. I don’t investigate my own home to see who they are. If there is anything going on then I usually just ask them to move along, respectfully of course. There was one time where I did need help to get rid of someone who didn’t want to go. But otherwise, I always tell them that they are not allowed to follow me home right after the investigation.

 

 

What’s your favorite piece of paranormal equipment to use and why?

My favorite piece(s) of equipment is the Thermal Camera and the Night Vision Full Spectrum Video Camera/GoPro and a voice recorder. I have had great True results with these pieces.

 

 

How do you prepare yourself for a case? Do you practice a particular method or routine?

I always say my prayers and ask for all of my Angels to help me and guard me from any harm.

 

 

Any upcoming events you’d like to tell us?

The event that is open to the public and still has tickets available:

– June 24 in Coventry Rhode Island, I will be at the Paine House.

 

 

Any positive words of advice?

I always say ‘it is what it is’ if you can’t change it then learn from it and move on. I also believe in Karma, be nice and have a positive attitude and you will receive this in return.
Follow me:
Twitter/Instagram: @sharimarie826
Facebook: @sharim.debenedetti
Facebook Page: @sharimarie826

 

 

 

Interview with Paranormal Genealogist, Shannon Bradley Byers

Today I’m welcoming Paranormal Genealogist, Shannon Bradley Byers. Thank you, Shannon for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

This is always difficult for me because I never know what people would really like to know! I was born in South Carolina, but my daddy worked for the pipeline, so we moved around a lot the first eight years of my life. In 1976, we finally settled right outside of Atlanta and I have been here ever since. In 1993, I had daughter, who is my only child, and in 2003 I met my 2nd husband, David. We married in 2005 and we spend our time on some amazing adventures. I have a passion for good old-fashioned bodice ripping romance books, especially ones by Victoria Holt. In 2006 I was introduced to the time travel romance worlds penned by author Lynn Kurland and each year I look forward to her newest book. A big guilty pleasure of mine is the supernatural romance books by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Team Ash!).

I was given a project in school in 1981, when I was 13 that introduced me to the addicting world of genealogy. I was supposed to write about a “family story” that had been handed down, and interview family member to see what kind of facts I could find about it (remember, this was before the internet!). On my daddy’s side, there was a bare bones story about a civil war soldier that had had enough of the war and decided to quit and walk home, from Virginia to mountains of North Carolina. When he was just a mile or so from home, he was shot and killed by the home guard. That was the beginning of my passion for genealogy. I love it so much, I have spent the last 36 years working on family research for just about anyone that asks me for help. As a side note, if that story sounds familiar to anyone, it would be because my cousin wrote a book in the 90s called Cold Mountain, which was later turned into an award-winning movie where Jude Law played my 3rd great uncle. The book and movie are complete fiction, with almost no resemblance to what really happened. Anyone interested in knowing the real story can visit my website and read all about.

Genealogy aside, I am also on the preservation board and historian for the Wynne-Russell house, a local historic home in our city. I work very closely with our local police as a board member for the citizens police academy and I am a member of our county’s archaeological society.

In what little spare time I have between all of the above and my paranormal pursuits, I work with other people like me who need help understanding their gifts and haunt antique markets looking for old medical equipment.

 

 

How did you become a paranormal investigator? 

When I was 8 years old, we had a book fair at school and it was then that I first laid eyes on the book Haunted Houses by Larry Kettelkamp. I decided right then and there I wanted to find a ghost on my own. Now keep in mind this was 1976 and my exposure to looking for ghosts was limited to the television show In Search of.., things written by Hans Holzer and books like the Time Life series.

My parents were big on our summer vacation spots being “historical” in some way. I spent a lot of time on St. Simons Island taking pictures at Christ Church Cemetery and the Bloody Marsh battlefield. All in the pursuit of that holy grail of paranormal evidence… a picture of an apparition, only to be disappointed weeks later when the film was developed to find out I had not. In a way, I miss film cameras, but I definitely do not miss the “wait” time of film developing.

When David and I met, we found out quickly that we both had a huge interest in the paranormal, so it was only natural that we start looking for ghosts together. This was 2003 and there was a lot more out there in the way of paranormal research, but it was still before the multitude of television shows. We went to as many historical places, cemeteries and spooky places as we could and conducted our own experiments.

In 2010, I started trying to join other groups of likeminded people, thinking that a historical researcher would be an asset, but no one would ever get back with me. In 2013 we spent a couple of months with a friend that was forming a group, but para-drama got in the way and David and I decided that we would just keep doing our own thing like we always had. The problem was, because groups of “ghost hunters” were misbehaving, historical places did not want to let us in without a resume. That was when we decided to “organize.” We came up with a name, joined the wonderful world of social media and I spent all my time sending out letters practically begging places to let us investigate and filling in the gaps with private residential and business clients around the southeast. Now, with the references we have, it is much easier to get into places that most cannot, so we just keep doing what we love as a husband and wife team.

 

 

You’re the “Paranormal Genealogist”. Tell us about that?

Many years ago, I saw an episode of one of the paranormal shows that highlighted a true crime that I had studied since I was a child, the Pearl Bryan murder (I have always had a morbid fascination with Victorian murders). Well imagine my shock and surprise when they started presenting “facts” that I knew to be untrue. Before that time, I had not realized that we were being fed a line of untruths on these shows in the way of the history they presented. That was when I really started looking into the real stories of places like Bobby Mackey’s Music World, the Old Charleston Jail, the Exorcist House, Waverly Hills Sanitarium, Sloss Furnace, etc. I used all my genealogy research skills to tract down information on the people, town, and structures that could be backed up with documented facts. I had been doing that kind of research on my own cases anyway because I am a FIRM believer that you cannot conduct an effective investigation without knowing the history. I quickly found out that most of the information we were being fed on television shows and movies was misappropriated or just plain made up so, in the interest of getting the real information out there, the Paranormal Genealogist was born. Now, I spend my time giving lectures and seminars on the real histories of these places and how you go about tracking down the information. It is my opinion that giving false history on the people that died (or did not die) at these places shows a level of disrespect that is unconscionable.

 

 

Being an empath, have you always known that you had this ability? And would you consider it a gift or a curse, or maybe even a little bit of both?

No, I have not always known, but looking back, I should have. Metaphysical things were not taught in my household when I was growing up so I had absolutely no understanding of what an empath was. As a young child and into my teen years I was described as “tender hearted” or having the ability to relate to others in a weird way, but that did not really do a whole lot in teaching me that being an empath was a “thing.” I am a southern girl, and during the time I was growing up, we still brought the dead home and laid them out in the living room so being around death never bothered or affected me other than being sad that person was no longer physically in my life. Several years ago, I lost a close friend and it was the first time I had felt complete and utter devastation by a loss. It was at that time I sought out help to understand things I had always “known” but did not understand. This was when I learned about being both an empath and a deadseer. My mentor made me realize that many things I had never understood as a child made perfect sense. For some unknown reason, I had a very hard time with my 47th birthday. As a birthday gift, my mother wrote me a long letter that detailed our lives together. That letter meant a lot to me on different levels, but there is a portion where she talks about when I was around 18 months old and she would get up every night and find me sitting up in bed talking to the “angels in the corner of my room.” It was like a flood light had been turned on for me and where maybe before that I had looked on my abilities as both a gift AND a curse, I realized what a precious gift it is IF I work with it as it was intended to be. Since that time, I have never referred to it as a “curse.”

 

 

What was the inspiration behind writing your book, “How Not To Be A Ghost Hunter”?

In 2016, a colleague and I were lamenting for the hundredth time about all the groups out there posting on Facebook and the web about their “ghost hunts” and “evidence” they had captured. A few things have bothered me for years about groups that have popped up since the television shows became so prominent. First is the fact that they think they can watch these shows and know exactly how a paranormal investigation should be conducted. Another problem is getting them to realize that their “evidence” is nothing but normal occurrences (again, thanks to television). They simply do not realize the damage they can cause and the dangers for themselves, their clients, and the spirits they may encounter. One of my biggest gripes are the people that go to a location to experiment and then just leave with no follow through for either the client or the spirit(s) who many times, are just wanting help.

My husband and I are on the preservation board for a historic home in our city, and we have been investigating there for years. To raise money for the never-ending things that have to be repaired, we hold history/paranormal tours and in the fall people can donate to investigate with us, (100% of their donation goes to the preservation fund). During the summer of 2016, we decided to hold a workshop fundraiser for the house, similar to the talks we give at DragonCon, a kind of “normal paranormal” class. Because I loathe being called a “ghost hunter,” I came up with the class name of “How NOT to be a Ghost Hunter” and wrote a 60-page book to give to the participants. I shared the book with some other colleagues and the feedback was incredible. The consensus was that I should write it as an actual book and publish it. I spent the fall rewriting, tweaking, and having it edited so I could release it in January of 2017. It does not included anything “metaphysical” because the focus was for people to understand just what it is to be a paranormal researcher and how different it is from television.

 

 

Where can readers get their very own copy of your book?

It can be purchased as a paperback or kindle version on Amazon or in e-format on iTunes.

 

 

What’s next for Shannon Bradley Byers?

I am constantly working on research to debunk the haunted fakelore of locations featured on TV, but along with that, I have two more nonfiction books in the works as well as a fiction one that I have been working on for years. Unfortunately, with a full time job and my non-work related schedule, finding time to write is extremely difficult… OR when I do have time to work on them, I get hit with a case of writers block! The next few months are going to be busy between private investigations, an archaeology dig, and teaching another paranormal class as a fundraiser. As of right now, my next big “event” is The ScareFest in Lexington, KY this fall since I have decided to forego speaking at the 2017 Dragon Con. If all goes according to plan, my next book will be out in September 2017.

 

 

Any advice for future paranormal investigators?

Before you get your first piece of equipment, come up with a catchy name, or buy your t-shirts, the first thing you need to ask yourself is “why do I want to do this?” The answer to this question will determine many things. If it is just for thrill seeking, you might want to rethink your decision. As in all things, thrill seeking can have detrimental effects on yourself and others. People have been trying to use science to prove the existence of the afterlife for centuries and you are going to have to be comfortable with the fact that it will never be a recognized “science.” There is just no way to come up with a hypothesis and test your theories because you cannot get the same results every single time you do an investigation, and consistent verifiable results is the basis of science. There will always be roadblocks along the way. People will tell you that you are wasting your time, or that you are nuts or that you are going to hell for talking to dead people. Just remember why you decided on doing it in the first place. I hope that your reason is to help.