Spooky Isles talks to Ghost Connection’s KIM SLATER about what it’s like being a paranormal investigator
1. What was your first Paranormal encounter?
Ten years ago when I first started out a few of the team visited a location that unfortunately I am unable to name. It was a warm summer’s evening and we were sitting in the porch of the building. We were quietly talking amongst ourselves when footsteps on gravel could be heard approaching us. The swirl of a light wind followed along the ground, the footsteps stopped in front of the entrance to the porch and the wind entered, the temperature dropped considerably and a strange silence fell amongst us. It was the most surreal thing I have ever experienced and haven’t experienced anything quite like it since. Did I mention there was no gravel on the ground only a grass covered path?
2. Do you believe in ghosts, and if so, what is a ghost?
I still remain sceptical, even after 10 years investigating and numerous unexplainable occurrences. I think the whole team will tell you the same. We experience a wide range of phenomena and always try to find a logical explanation for it.
What is a ghost? Indeed what is a ghost, we read many theories as to what ghosts are, different types of ghost; sentient, non sentient. Who really knows what the answer is. We are open minded, we read theories discuss for many many hours and never come up with a definitive answer.
3. What evidence have you personally uncovered that makes you consider ghosts are real?
I, and we, have never claimed ghosts are real. I doubt we ever will. We have many stories we can recount and someone somewhere will have an explanation. Although our experience in a disused church one evening leaves us baffled and we still discuss it today several years on.
4. Are you skeptical of the claims others make of their findings?
Of course, it’s human nature to question another’s findings. I would be ignorant if I didn’t. I wouldn’t accuse another of fabrication if that’s what you are really asking. Everything can be reproduced, however, in saying that it doesn’t mean that it was in fact a real piece of evidence.
5. How do prepare for a ghost hunt?
Nothing too extravagant. Check batteries and a takeaway with the team then get down to business.
6. What tips would you give for someone going on a paranormal investigation for the first time?
Don’t waste your money on gadgets and gizmos. I have been there and back again. A good camera and a digital voice recorder is sufficient. Lastly check you are not trespassing.
7. What is your favourite piece of paranormal investigation equipment?
My voice recorder, it was quite expensive when I first bought it. However, now you can pick them up for just a few pounds. Make sure it’s digital. The old voice recorders with tapes are open to corruption, noise from the internal workings for the machine can be recorded.
8. Are you psychic? Do you consider being psychic a help or a hindrance for paranormal investigations.
No, I am not psychic. It can be interesting have a psychic present on an investigation but we have never received anything evidentially, it’s unquantifiable.
9. What makes a great haunted location?
Anywhere with an interesting history, the building doesn’t have to be old and spooky and covered in cobwebs. We need to remember that a majority of buildings have been built on previous build sites. Every piece of land has a history.
10. If you could investigate any haunted location, where would that be?
Hever Castle, Hever, Kent. 13th century. Childhood home of Ann Boleyn. We had access to a private estate for several years before redevelopment where her name ( allegedly) is etched on one of the windows, as it is recorded that she visited from time to time. I think investigating Hever would tie in quite nicely.
11. What scares you about Ghost Hunting or Paranormal Investigations?
To be honest – nothing. As they say the dead can’t hurt you, the living can.
12. In your opinion, what is the most haunted area in the UK or Ireland?
I would have to say Kent wouldn’t I. Well we do have Pluckley that is in the Guinness Book of Records for most haunted village. How they can ever prove that is beyond me!
13. Read any good paranormal books or watched any good paranormal TV shows/movies recently?
Most of the films based around the paranormal are disappointing. I have a few favorites – Rose Red by Stephen King which was made into a mini series, The Haunting (1999) and of course then old classic Poltergeist.
14. Tell us about your favorite moment from a paranormal investigation.
As I touched on in question 3, my favorite and most memorable moment was in a disused church in Kent. We were all seated around the altar when the loudest most unexplainable noise landed on the roof of the church, the screech of nails emanated through the church as ‘whatever’ it was slid down the side of the roof – and then nothing. It’s the most difficult thing to explain. The church roof has an incredibly steep pitch, and very tall and not accessible to anyone without the knowledge of the people inside. There are no trees close to the church, so we ruled out an animal or bird. With the noise we heard you would have expected to see someone laying on the floor. We checked the perimeter of the church after the occurrence and found nothing out of place, not even one tile. To this day we still talk about that night, and still we have no answers.