Today we talk to Elaine Floyd about her thoughts and experiences as a paranormal investigator with County Antrim Paranormal Research Association (CAPRA) based in Northern Ireland…
What was your first paranormal encounter?
ELAINE FLOYD: My first memory of the paranormal was at the age of 3 when I was taken in the arms of my father to kiss my great grandmother, granny Moore on the forehead goodbye! As she lay at rest in her coffin. I remember the small room at the back of her bungalow, the smell of smoke and all the people crying around me. However, most of all I remember that after I gave her the kiss the sun was shining in the tiny window and standing in that room by the window was my granny Moore smiling at me with her long grey hair flowing down her shoulders.
Do you believe in ghosts and if so what is a ghost?
In my opinion ghosts are a residual energy, they do not interact with the living they merely are connected to our Realm in the Universe through the fibre/materialistic items and places that were familiar to them when they lived. This is more commonly known as the stone tape theory, simply they are just recordings stuck in time on a loop carrying out their memories/activities of time gone by and don’t see us. On the other hand, I believe that Spirits are completely interactive, they having the ability to cross to our universe and interact with us, move objects, come and go in visitation and bring us their wisdom and knowledge.
What evidence have you personally uncovered that makes you consider ghosts are real?
Ghosts/Spirits are real although again both different in the own ways, the evidence I have gathered for myself comes from using my Mini AM/FM frequency Sweep Radio, in the paranormal field it is more commonly known as a Ghost Box. Although this is not a method that C.A.P.R.A. chose to use on investigations. I have interacted with spirit on many occasions with the frequency sweep set to go very fast in backward mode therefore cutting out radio contamination and have had two way conversations with my spirit friends, listening to clear answers to my questions.
Are you sceptical of the claims others make of their findings?
Everyone is entitled to disclose their findings, in C.A.P.R.A. we only show our evidence if we can back it up with technology, as personal evidence is very hard to prove in an ever sceptical world.
How do you prepare for a ghost hunt?
After we have done the initial interview with a prospective client, there is a map of the area drawn up by Hugh our Case Manager, who then gives the map to our technology guys Kieran and Steve they then decide where to put the equipment, cameras, voice recorders, the best place to run leads from while always keeping health and safety in mind. We also have team members that research the history of the location Bronagh, John and Janet. The rest of us organise ourselves, getting dressed appropriate to the area we are going to, bringing snacks etc. and I write out a list of questions to ask spirit appropriate to the area for digitally recorded EVP sessions. Upon arrival at the site for the investigation I perform a prayer of protection for the group members who chose to participate then we proceed to help tech set up, for example putting batteries into our torches.
What tips would you give for someone going on a paranormal investigation for the first time?
Be open minded, never show fear and be prepared for a long night, investigations are not like television shows and it can be extremely boring if spirit chose not to interact and if you are blessed to have an experience respect and treasure it always. It also helps to have someone with you who can de bunk claims in C.A.P.R.A. Mary Denny is our best at this and is very clued in.
What is your favourite piece of paranormal investigation equipment?
The voice recorder would have to be my favourite piece of equipment, I especially love doing small EVP sessions and listening back to them in real time to make sure that we are connecting with an intelligent spirit, it makes the invest much more interesting and proof is the key!
Are you a psychic? Do you consider being psychic a help or hindrance for paranormal investigations?
Well I personally am a light worker/sensitive that can interact with spirit and have done all my life. When on investigations I can locate, sense, feel hotspots for activity, I get a feel for my surroundings and can interact on a spiritual level. This is something I do not always share with my colleagues as not everyone is a believer, we have a healthy divide in C.A.P.R.A. each to their own beliefs. I do see how having a psychic on an invest could be a hindrance, they should always take a back seat and only give their opinion when asked to do so.
What makes a great haunted location?
Well a great haunted location for me is quite simply a private residence where there is a lot of activity and unrest, these I especially love as they are nearly always genuine and the spirits that reside in the same usually just need our help to move on to their next journey.
If you could investigate any haunted location where would it be?
Actually the house I used to live in, now that I have access to C.A.P.R.As wide range of technology I would just love to go back to my old home to record on camera the spirit activity I encountered there? For example the grill pan being pulled out when trying to cook bacon, or the fork being thrown from the top of the microwave and landing at my feet in the kitchen, or all the doors closing on the upper floor on a summers night with no breeze slamming all at once (even when the pile on the carpet was high and hard to close a door), or the fact that at the time my son as a 10 month old baby being levitated over the top of the stair gate and dropped at the bottom of the stairs with not a bruise or scratch on him, sorry going off on one there as my experience at that home were endless I could rattle on for hours lol !
What scares you the most about ghost hunting or paranormal investigations?
I am not afraid of spirit/dark at all, the only thing that would worry me is human interaction from actual people, playing silly pranks etc.
In your opinion, what is the most haunted area in the UK or Ireland?
Personally for me I believe that Shanes Castle in Antrim which is local to where I live is very haunted I have had a lot of interaction with different spirits there in the past.
Read any good paranormal books or watched any good paranormal TV shows/movies recently?
I love all books about Angels and especially enjoy ready publications by Lorna Byrnes as for TV shows I enjoy the fun factor in Most Haunted and who does not enjoy a good old Poltergeist movie.
Tell us your favourite moment from a paranormal investigation
My favourite moment from investigation with C.A.P.R.A. was in a location where we had started to venture out of a building to go into underground tunnels, just beside the trees Mary and I saw a man who we thought was Hugh coming behind us at the foot of a hill. We shouted for Hugh to hurry up and he waved back at us. We went back down the hill feeling that he must have wanted us to go back to help with equipment, only to find he was not there at all and in fact was still in the building talking to other people. There was nobody there we walked all around the area and the man simply vanished, this was amazing that someone else experienced what I could see.