Spooky Isles interviews PAUL ROOK, a paranormal investigator from Trident Paranormal in Essex
What was your first Paranormal encounter?
I went to a paranormal event run by a big company at The Maltings in Safron Walden Essex. It was a YMCA Hostel then, and we were the last group allowed inside due to the owner selling the location off, so it could be turned into private flats. We were all in the basement and we could hear footsteps over our heads on the floor above and no one was up there. I also witnessed what I believe to be a vortex open up in front of me and I also saw blue flames which were confirmed to me by someone else in the room, also saying they could see it.
Do you believe in ghosts, and if so, what is a ghost?
Yes, however for me I always like to look for logical explanations before jumping to the conclusion it is a ghost.
What evidence have you personally uncovered that makes you consider ghosts are real?
I believe I have caught an apparition on camera, however, there were a few things I still need to test for before I conclude ultimately that it was a ghost and I plan to go back to that same location in 2015.
Are you skeptical of the claims others make of their findings?
Yesm I am extremely skeptical. There are so many fake pictures around on social media that it makes it hard to find the genuine cases, and people that do post up genuine ones don’t put up full stories and what they used and how they tested the images. I always question people about them, and then I’d like to visit and see for myself.
How do prepare for a ghost hunt?
I find out what team members are able to attend, and then I interview the client on the phone first then I arrange a house visit and re-interview them, to see if there is something new added or something that has changed since the last interview. I then get a good idea of what equipment I want where and what staff I want to go to and when. I then prepare a brief for the team that needs to be stuck to, so we can account for everyone, but no one in the team is allowed to know any information that I have obtained in the initial two interviews so they go in to experience and test their experiences. If I think something needs to be tested from the interviews, i will make up an experiment and ask the team members I assign to do the experiment but they have no idea why.
What tips would you give for someone going on a paranormal investigation for the first time?
I would say, no one out there are experts and there are a lot of problems between some teams, so avoid the negative ones, If the team are good, they will always be happy to help you out, Also research the paranormal and equipment and how they are used correctly before using them. There is nothing worse than a team that don’t know what they are doing, It can cause so many problems for the good teams and clients alike.
What is your favourite piece of paranormal investigation equipment?
I love the voice recorders, We have caught so much activity on those, and its helped us debunk some too, If I had to use one bit of kit only, a voice recorder is a must.
Are you psychic? Do you consider being psychic a help or a hindrance for paranormal investigations?
Yes and no. I tend to get feelings of bad things happening, and that’s pretty much it. I haven’t explored this so I don’t know how to use the gift correctly but I take notice of it, As for a hindrance for an investigation, my gift isn’t a problem. I do believe that sometimes a medium can hinder the investigation that’s why I never take one with us unless the client wants a clearing, but as a team we always go in first to determine if its paranormal or not, and then we will arrange a second visit with the client to bring the medium for the clearing.
What makes a great haunted location?
Anywhere has the potential to be haunted old and new buildings. However, from an event point of view, something old especially old Tudor buildings, somewhere that creates a good atmosphere.
If you could investigate any haunted location, where would that be?
I would love to investigate The Tower of London.
What scares you about Ghost Hunting or Paranormal Investigations?
Nothing really. I have an extensive knowledge of the paranormal, and I believe i am well protected. As many people have told me in the past, It’s not the dead you should be scared of, it’s the living.
In your opinion, what is the most haunted area in the UK or Ireland?
As of yet I haven’t been to Ireland, but as for the UK, I would have to say the most haunted place I have ever been to and have been badly effected by, was Hockley Woods in Rochford, Essex.
Read any good paranormal books or watched any good paranormal TV shows/movies recently?
I am a big fan of the “Haunted …. Kent, Essex, and other counties” Books mainly for ideas for places to visit, As for the TV shows, it’s pure entertainment and quite laughable to be honest.
Tell us about your favourite moment from a paranormal investigation.
I conducted an investigation on board a boat and we caught an image of a little boy walk across the fireplace and disapear in the doorway. That has to be the best night we ever had, Although still undergoing tests and again, hope to return in 2015 to test theories.