Recently, FORT was invited to participate in a conference call with Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, the Sci-Fi channel’s Ghost Hunters. Jason and Grant sat down to set the record straight on whether they really work for Roto Rooter – and to tell us about their upcoming LIVE investigation on Halloween night. If you’re going to shoot a live show looking for ghosts, you’d better go somewhere that has loads of possibilities – like the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, where over 63 thousand people died.
Tune in to the Sci Fi channel on Halloween night for their live, six-hour special. Your eyes and ears could help to document the paranormal. Contact the Ghost Hunter team on Ask Jason and Grant a Question | Ghost Hunters | SCIFI.COM during the show.
Jason Hawes: Hello.
Grant Wilson: We did a live, six-hour live show last year at Stanley Hotel. We're excited to do it again this year in Kentucky. Why don't you tell us about some of the history, Jay. You want to tell them about this place?
Jason Hawes: Well, Waverly Hills had 63 plus thousand deaths there due to tuberculosis; so many deaths that they created what they call the death tunnel which also had a conveyor belt system to move the bodies up and down; a really interesting place. We were able to last year – we were able to catch a bunch of stuff.
One of the things Grant and I caught on the thermal imaging was what appeared to be a small child run across the hallway. You were able to make out the heat signatures on his legs. So you could see the upper torso but you could see through the upper torso. Very interesting location.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, we were able to also catch - Jason and I chased some black shadow down a hallway and into a room that only had one way in and one way out. And a few investigators had stuff randomly just be thrown at them; screws, pieces of plaster when there was no plaster in the area, things like that.
But we're excited. It's going to be - it's going to be interesting. We’ve got Josh Gates from Destination Truth. He's going to be hosting the show. And we'll be able to break away from the investigation here and there and chat online with some of the folks and I guess we'll have earpieces in and he can ask us questions as we're investigating that the fans want to know. So it's going to be interesting.
Q: Hi guys. Thanks for doing this call. First of all, I’ve got to ask, when you do a show like this, there's the ever-present danger of six hours of live television which absolutely nothing happen. Any concern there? What do you do? Do you tap dance?
Jason Hawes: Not really.
Grant Wilson: We will.
Jason Hawes: It is what it is. If we catch something great; if not, hey, that's the way it goes. Ghosts don't work on cue. So, you know, you're always taking a shot in the dark. You know, we'll have to see. Either they'll have six hours of interesting TV or they'll be a lot of bored viewers.
Grant Wilson: But we're very aware of that aspect and, you know, we're not about to do anything to make it interesting, you know as far as we're not going to make stuff up paranormal. The whole goal of the show is to try and figure out what's going on there; not to necessarily capture an entity.
So while we're hoping we do that, we're also going to be trying to figure the place out. And you're going to see us - see our technique and how we try to get these things to come out.
And we'll be able to interact with the fans online and we'll actually be reviewing who wins a contest that night too. So, you know, we're just crazy enough that it might pass by interesting if we don't catch anything paranormal.
Q: How did you get into this line of work? What turns you on to ghost hunting?
Jason Hawes: Well we both had our own personal experiences that we've always kept private. But it just took two total non-believers and threw us into this field. From there we just - we saw so much garbage out there and, you know, everybody was pretty much following everybody else's lead. We just - we had total different ideas on how to investigate the paranormal. So we just took it from there.
Q: Expand that. You mean you're not going to tell me what your pivotal moment was though right? That's your own secret thing?
Grant Wilson: It's not a secret. It's personal. It's something that, you know, like I've been married. It'll be 11 years in February. My wife knew I had an experience. But, you know, she didn't find out what it was till about 2-1/2 years ago. It's not something that you share lightly. It's not trying to keep anything secret. It's just personal.
Q: And somehow this became developed from just an interest into a career.
Jason Hawes: Well, yeah. What happened was we used to help out, you know, our website for whatever reason came out at the perfect time and became one of the most popular paranormal websites out there. And we used to help out on other little shows here and there.
But we did an article with the New York Times that came out on Halloween day and were able to disprove the haunt thing. And it went out on the wire in something like 140 other papers. Well, that steamrolled into production companies contacting us seeing all of this talking and then steamrolled from that into a show on Sci Fi. And to be honest with you, Sci Fi has been incredible to work with. It's such a great company. So is the production company and we've just - it's definitely, definitely changed.
Q: And how did the last year's six hour live work out? You had stuff to show for it, right?
Grant Wilson: Yeah, well I mean, like I said, part of the interest of it is trying to solve the problem of what's going on there; debunking, figure things out. But we were lucky enough to be in one location at the Stanley Hotel.
And we'd heard a female voice, sounded like a young girl, ask ‘hello’ a couple of times and it was great because we heard it with our ears, caught it on the recorder and millions of people saw it at the same time.
And then after that ‘hello’, there was a jumbled sentence and then some laughter. Now we sent our guys upstairs to see if there was any way that we were picking up stray sounds from above us. And they said no one was up there.
But we went back later to the Stanley and found out that, you know, we had about 200 people above us that were drunk and loud and everything. We went down there and we couldn't barely hear them. All we could hear was their footsteps.
So, yeah, it was a good show. It turned out all right. Thank goodness, you know, something happened to make it interesting. But yeah, it's a gamble. We're willing to try it though.
Q: Hi. I just wondered why - I saw last year's program and I saw the fleeting images you caught on your equipment. And I was wondering did you feel that was enough to come back here for six hours?
Grant Wilson: Well, you got to understand that it's not - the place - there was a little bit more that happened there that didn't make it to the show. But to film a live show, you've got to have the right type of place. This place is big enough so we won't ever run out of areas. There's enough place for all the trailers and the 200 plus people it takes to do it. So, I mean, we could do it at someone's house but it would just - we would dominate the neighborhood kind of thing. You got to kind of - yeah, there's the place has an interesting history. It was active while we were there and we've been dying to get back. And this is our chance and it's the right type of area to do this big production in.
Q: Of all the places you've been, how does this rate on your Ghost Hunters' meter?
Grant Wilson: That's a good question.
Jason Hawes: Waverly Hills is a great place. It's definitely up there and also the mere size of the location makes it a great place to be filming a show. You know, it definitely ranks up on one of the top places that I've investigated and I'm looking forward to getting there.
Q: Do you think Halloween night is supposed to bring out ghosts? I mean is there a connection? Would ghosts know it?
Jason Hawes: Well of course the old fables say that it's the night when the veil is the thinnest between our world and theirs, but I think it's more just it's the folklore of it all. The whole fact that all through, you know, September, October into November, that every channel you turn it to is playing horror films.
Jason Hawes: Also the fact that most people claim more paranormal activity during these months. And you got to think it’s because most people now instead of spending time at the beach are spending time in their home. It's getting colder. The heat system's kicking on. All these little things making the house pop and crack sometimes making wood floors sound like there's footsteps. So there's definitely a lot of things that fall into play with that.
Q: It's the 63,000 people - does that particular play into it because, you know, you had obviously a lot of bad experiences going on there in life.
Grant Wilson: Well you think about it. I mean out of 63,000 people, chances are, you know, the odds are in your favor rather than a place where maybe two people died, you know. But that's not really the factor in there. It's just the claims year after year after year and we know the people who own the place and the stuff they tell us that they experience on a regular basis, you know, is stuff we experienced ourselves.
So that makes the stuff we haven't experienced that they told us, you know, we think that we could. Because, you know, obviously if they say something happens and we experience it, then maybe some other things are true as well.
Q: Have you ever seen a real full-blow apparition?
Jason Hawes: Yeah. I've been lucky enough to actually see one standing right in front of us. Grant and I were on a case together not too long ago and there was one right there standing in a bedroom that we were able to walk in and put our arms through before it disappeared.
Q: Did it say anything?
Jason Hawes: No, this never said a word. It never even moved. It just looked like - it was a black shadowy mass and kind of like if you're looking at concrete where you're getting the ripple effect from the heat…
Grant Wilson: A heat wave, yeah.
Jason Hawes: Yeah, that's exactly what it looked like.
Q: Does that make you guys true believers?
Jason Hawes: I was a believer before that just due to my own experiences but I am a firm believer in the paranormal. I just believe that over 80% of all claims can be disproved.
Q: Does the Sci Fi channel or the production pay for your guys' investigations now? Is that how it works?
Jason Hawes: We don't charge for the investigation.
Q: I know you don't charge the people but somebody has to pay for all this…
Grant Wilson: Obviously, if we're going to California, that's on their dime. You know, I mean, and I'm happy investigating the house next door. I don't need to go to California. But, you know, they cover tapes and batteries and expendables and things like that. Yeah, of course.
Q: Is it full time work for you?
Grant Wilson: It can be at times, yeah.
Jason Hawes: That all depends on where the case is really.
Q: I mean do you guys do this all year now?
Grant Wilson: No. No. No. We're still plumbers for Roto-Rooter.
Q: You're still plumbers, okay. So it doesn't pay good enough for you to just pursue your main interest?
Grant Wilson: Well, if you think, no matter what happens, every show, no matter how good it is, is going to get cancelled. You know, we're trying to stick with a field that is recession-free. We're never going back to the outhouse. So, got to hang onto that one.
Q: Why are people - why are some people such true believers and others so skeptical of the kind of thing you do?
Jason Hawes: Well a skeptic is just somebody who hasn't had an experience yet.
Jason Hawes: To be honest with you, I'm really not concerned about what the skeptics think. You know, it's some of their advice sometimes is great, but the thing is we're not there to appease the skeptics. We're there to help the people who called us into their home whether they have an issue or not. They called us in because they're worried; they're scared. So we're there to help them.
Grant Wilson: Yeah and you can never prove the paranormal exists to skeptics. They have to have an experience. That's how you prove it to them. So there's no point in trying to show them pictures and video as proof. It will never happen.
Q: Do you think that everybody who dies has a ghost or just people who are unhappy or troubled?
Jason Hawes: Oh it would appear that for whatever reason, certain people decide to hang around whether it's to keep an eye on a family member or they're attached to an object or it was just they don't even know that they have passed on. So…
Grant Wilson: Yeah, we don't - we're not really sure why they're around just because we can't interview them in a credible sense. I mean there are psychics that say they talk to them but, you know, that doesn't really stand up on its own two feet. So I'm not sure why but there are some weird things that happen so.
Q: How do you feel about programs like Ghost Whisperer?
Jason Hawes: To each their own. Everybody's got to find something they like in each program. I've never myself watched it, you know, but…
Grant Wilson: Yeah, I mean, it's - you got to think that right now it's such a science in its infancy and so they're - it's all populated by theories and ideas and everyone's coming at it from their own angle. That's great. As long as we're still moving forward, you know. Each show is a benefit to the field.
Q: Got any idea what the odds are in Louisville of seeing something on the thirty-first?
Jason Hawes: …unusual. They're slim, so we'll have to see what happens.
Q: Yeah. And you really think that viewers might be able to help you out?
Grant Wilson: I hope so.
Jason Hawes: Yeah. You got to remember if there's millions of eyes watching all the cameras out there, you know, that's millions of potential people to see something that somebody else might miss.
Q: Yeah. When you going to be there? I mean you two personally. I assume the crew gets there earlier.
Jason Hawes: We get there on the twenty-ninth.
Jason Hawes: Yeah. And we'll be there pretty much all week long.
Q: Well, happy Halloween.
Jason Hawes: Well, thank you very much.
Q: So I wanted to ask you guys - in the Queen Mary episode, you found that someone had clearly messed with your recording equipment to simulate a haunting.
Q: Was there more to the story there that you couldn't show on TV?
Jason Hawes: Well, the thing was we definitely had our suspicions on who it was, but, you know, we can't say. There were only certain people who had a key to the room. But the thing is I can't hold it against everybody at the Queen Mary for the actions of certain people.
Jason Hawes: And you got to think it doesn't benefit TAPS whether the place is haunted or not.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, we had no clue who did it honestly. There's no evidence one way or another. We did see some people running around with video cameras that night, but we don't know who it is. And it's just, you know, like Jay said, we got to keep investigating. We're there to help them. Just because it's open to the public doesn't mean they have to pay the price and we ditch them and move on, you know. We got to do our - do honest work.
Q: Have you ever had to scrap a shoot entirely? Like if, you know, have you ever had anything like that happen where it's just…
Grant Wilson: Yeah. We had one case up…I think it was in New Hampshire. We went up there and the tenant was in an apartment building. She had some severe activity and we were there to help her, but somebody -- one of her bum neighbors -- called up the cops on us or something which we weren't doing anything illegal. And, you know, we thought it was in our best interest to leave and then send a team up privately off the show.
Jason Hawes: Yeah but that was another thing because the team that went up privately off the show, the same gentleman pulled a gun on.
Q: Oh, geez.
Jason Hawes: So, yeah, you always got to be careful. You never know what you're walking into.
Q: In that case it sounds like the living was more dangerous, but…
Grant Wilson: Exactly.
Jason Hawes: Most of the time the living are.
Grant Wilson: It is. The spirits aren't scary. It's the people. I tell you. Pulling guns; ghosts don't pull guns on you.
Q: Well, do you take steps to prevent hoaxing? And I'm just thinking of the live show with Waverly being such a large place. I mean, do you walk through and clear people out?
Jason Hawes: Absolutely.
Grant Wilson: Yeah.
Jason Hawes: And there will also be security there making sure nobody can get in.
Grant Wilson: The last live show there were 200 people running security.
Grant Wilson: And obviously working on the show too and we're going to have the same setup there, you know. There will be people patrolling the whole time to make sure no one sneaks in or does anything.
Q: Do you think of yourselves primarily as debunkers…
Q: …or supporters?
Jason Hawes: See I see us as paranormal investigators who are trying to debunk the claims.
Grant Wilson: Just looking for the truth, you know what I mean? And if the truth is that there's something there that we can't explain, that's great. If it's that it's all explained away by plumbing and stuff, that's great. We find equal success in either conclusion.
Q: You described ghost hunting as a science in its infancy so I'm wondering if maybe this is just something that's being worked out. But what does your equipment do that your eyes and ears can't?
Grant Wilson: Well they document it so that we can - we can prove it to other people. We can show them what we experienced. If I have an experience and there's nothing there to document or record it, then it's worthless really.
Q: It's just your word.
Grant Wilson: Yeah.
Q: Have you ever like run into like a smell or…
Grant Wilson: Yes.
Q: something that…
Grant Wilson: I would die for a “smellometer” to be able to detect smells and record them for people, but - because we get that all the time but, you know, there's no way to really document it.
Q: Waverly's one of these places where it's got a reputation and there are lots of stories. There’s the one about the nurse who gets pregnant and hangs herself. I mean, these stories kind of read like an urban legend. Does that color your impressions when you walk in?
Grant Wilson: Really doesn't. I mean, we take all the stories and claims from the people, kind of file it away and keep them in mind in case we see anything, any evidence for or against it. But we're just going in there and pointing the cameras where we think we should and see what we find. Now, we researched the history of that nurse and we found no documentation of that ever happening. That doesn't mean it didn't happen. But I don't think like I don't think a hospital will say, you know, yeah our nurse got pregnant and hung herself. You know…
Grant Wilson: …tuberculosis deaths so it probably just explained it as that so.
Q: Is this sort of a general trend that you're going to be investigating places that have like a history like this and getting away from the individual homes?
Jason Hawes: No, actually this season - the new season that'll be coming up in 2008, you're going to see that we're back doing a lot of the homes. We really like the personal cases because we're able to help out people who truly need us. And businesses, yes. Some employees there might be bothered here and there, but, you know, homes, actual people's homes, they really need us. And it's such a good feeling being able to be there and help them.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, because at businesses, you can at least go home at night if it's haunted, you know.
Grant Wilson: At home, that's where you should be and it shouldn't be haunted.
Q: The full-bodied apparition you were talking about earlier, is that on an upcoming episode or is it something we already say that I missed?
Grant Wilson: The one oh where we passed our arms through it and stuff.
Q: Yeah. Yeah.
Grant Wilson: No, that was a case before the show; down in Connecticut. But, yeah, there's some good stuff coming up. Can't really…
Jason Hawes: Yeah.
Grant Wilson: …tell you what it is.
Q: Oh, okay.
Grant Wilson: …will kill us.
Q: As New Englanders, I'm curious being a New Englander myself, what part of New England that you've investigated would you consider to be the most active when it comes to paranormal activity?
Jason Hawes: Well see, New England's funny because it's not that it's the most active, but like you might have a small pocket of people out in Maine…
Jason Hawes: …and you got a couple claims of activity out there. They just stand out more because the population - we get a lot of cases from - we do get a lot of cases from up north, you know…
Jason Hawes: …Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine, New Hampshire.
Q: What are some of the cases out in Massachusetts that were kind of interesting for you?
Grant Wilson: Well we had one case up there - a lot of personal cases up there; much less than businesses. But, I mean, we had a case where we found there was all this activity but only kick up when the wife was talking about her husband because they weren't getting along very well. So she would get angry, activity would kick up and then we'd calm her down, start talking about her kids and it would stop. You know, and eventually they fell - they fell away from each other and got separated and the activity stopped. I mean that was kind of interesting.
Grant Wilson: It was connected to her emotionally; at least it seemed that way. Good grief, there's just case after case. Massachusetts has a lot of residential claims for hauntings.
Q: Interesting. Do you think some of that may go into just this part of the country being one of the oldest, earliest settled or how do you think you can explain that because I know Massachusetts kind of because of the Salem witch trials were kind of labeled a spooky place to begin with?
Jason Hawes: Well you definitely do get that - on the East coast you got to think how many people came over here. They were unprepared for the winters and everything else and, you know, starved and froze to death. So you do - you do have a lot of claims of activity out here because of stuff like that.
Grant Wilson: Well and you get, I mean, yeah - you have the old buildings and you also get more of the severe. The history combined with the seasons…
Grant Wilson: …appear like Jay was saying before. You know, the days get shorter; the houses start to adjust to the temperature difference. They creak and pop, you know, all that stuff adds up more here than like maybe in the South or the West.
Q: Got you. And also this might be a little bit of a redundant question, but when you look through history, I mean, tales or, you know, testimony about paranormal experiences, it kind of seems to go through time. You know, it's mentioned in Shakespeare and it just seems to come all the way through. What do you think is this enduring curiosity even with Scooby-Doo the, you know, going out there and the Mystery Mobile and trying to…
Grant Wilson: Scooby-Doo is always Old Man Jenkins so, you know…
Grant Wilson: …that guy is a nuisance, but no, I think it's because there's got to be - I mean even from almost pre, you know, Egyptian times and things like that…
Grant Wilson: …people were talking about ghosts and spirits and the concern with the afterlife. I think it's a natural human condition to think of those things and to wonder. But also, I mean, all over the globe, people are having similar experiences.
Grant Wilson: Either it's part of the human condition or there's something really going on.
Grant Wilson: Sorry. A lot of people think that, you know, ghosts are only from 1800s. Well, you know, that's because we live in America and, you know, England talks about those kind of hauntings all the time.
Grant Wilson: Because when we hear about them because they speak English, but all around the world, Japan, you know, Italy, you name it. And in Italy they have Etruscan ghosts. They have Roman ghosts, you know, and in Japan they have ancient Samurai warriors and things that show up. It's all over…
Q: Oh, that's another question that - one more follow up before I let you go. Would you guys go international with the show?
Jason Hawes: Actually we are…
Q: To go journey?
Jason Hawes: We've gone international.
Jason Hawes: We've gone overseas and filmed over there. We filmed in Ireland and England. I would love to head back over there and check out more places.
Q: Got you.
Jason Hawes: I would do it in a heartbeat.
Q: I think you guys may have answered this earlier, but are you still working for Roto-Rooter?
Jason Hawes: Yes we are. We're still plumbers. It's recession-free; we're never going back to the outhouse.
Q: You mentioned that the show, that eventually they're going to cancel everything no matter how good it is, but my understanding is that your ratings are actually higher this season than ever. Is that right?
Jason Hawes: Yeah, but what Grant was saying was, you know…
Grant Wilson: We're not saying we plan on canceling.
Jason Hawes: …eventually all shows get cancelled.
Q: Right. Right. What do you attribute that to though? I mean, people are just now beginning to find you guys on Sci Fi or…
Jason Hawes: You know, it's - I definitely - I think that that's a lot of it. Grant and I go out; we speak at colleges all through October. We also do a radio show, “Beyond Reality Radio,” so we've been getting the word out with that. I think all these things come into play and I think the biggest appeal is we're just - we're not claiming to be scientists, doctors trying to talk over people's heads. We’re your ordinary guys from next door who just are there investigating the paranormal. And we're very down to earth. We try to keep it all on that level.
Grant Wilson: It's interesting because if you believe in the paranormal, you can watch the show and have a good time. If you don't believe in the paranormal, you can watch the show and think ‘Oh yeah, that's what I was thinking. That's what I would have tried’. And so slowly, exponentially, it's starting to affect people and people are starting to say ‘Hey, the paranormal's not so weird. Let's talk about it. We can talk about it like human beings and not get our heads chopped off, you know.’ And I think it's just exponentially growing because of that; people sharing it and not afraid to share it.
Q: So really, the approach is key -- you know, you're debunking first …
Grant Wilson: Right.
Q: …sort of your first goal going in.
Grant Wilson: Right.
Q: You know, I've watched the show quite a bit. I mean there's some video that to me that just seems pretty astounding. I'm think especially with the one in Arkansas with the full body…
Grant Wilson: Right.
Q: …the guy we see is wearing a hat.
Grant Wilson: Right.
Q: You know what I'm talking - that show.
Grant Wilson: Yeah.
Q: Do you guys hear from a lot of people who want to see the full tapes from the show; try to figure out if there's some way you guys are faking things and…
Grant Wilson: Oh, all the time and we'd be happy to share with them. I mean, we're very upfront and honest. I mean, not everything we say gets put on TV, but people ask us through our MySpace and stuff like that. We're very upfront and honest. We still don't know what that is. We've contacted the manufacturer who makes the camera. They had nothing to say. You know, we tried for four hours to get our reflection up on there. I mean, we're very honest.
Grant Wilson: If you want to go there with a thermal imaging camera and you make it work, tell us how.
Grant Wilson: It's that simple. Yeah, you know. Not you personally, I mean, you as people.
Q: I thought you were throwing down the gauntlet to me.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, you want to take me out. No, we don't see it as a challenge.
Grant Wilson: People who are putting that much effort into trying to figure it out are helping us. You know, just don't be, don't be jerky about it.
Grant Wilson: Just say, I figured it out and we'll listen to you. It's that simple. That's all we want are answers; the truth.
Q: And do see that - I wondered if you'd just mention you do a lot of - you do a lot of speaking on college campuses.
Jason Hawes: Yeah.
Grant Wilson: Yeah.
Q: You know, what's the reception like there?
Jason Hawes: Well, it's 99.9% positive. We went - we spoke out in Chicago at Harper College. We had 1300 people show up. They maxed out the place. They had to turn people away. We just got back from University of New Hampshire last night. They maxed out the room at 800 people.
Jason Hawes: So, it's definitely a positive thing and there's a lot of public awareness that's been - that's been brought up from our show and we're just so happy about that.
Q: Right. Okay. And you guys have mentioned in the past, too, your families. You're both family men…
Grant Wilson: Absolutely.
Q: …with the children and…
Grant Wilson: No place I'd rather be.
Q: I mean they really - how's that going? Are you still keeping up that division? I know they don't really want to - your wives don't really want to be on camera and that sort of thing.
Jason Hawes: Absolutely. Our families are the backbone that have really allowed us to do what we're doing. So yeah, they're the best thing in the world.
Q: I have a question about the equipment that you use and how you decide what to take out. It seems like a lot of the stuff is kind of based on thermal and thermal imaging and…
Man: And IR.
Q: Yeah. Yeah. What is kind of basis for I guess in your minds for getting a thermal connection of the things you're looking at and have you looked at, I guess, other equipment or thought about looking at the paranormal in other ways or other wavelengths and…
Grant Wilson: We are constantly trying to find new equipment to make it easier to understand what's going on. They don't make this stuff at, you know Ghost Hunters R Us. You got to kind of take stuff from all different fields. And we originally got the thermal imaging camera because we thought we were going to be able to catch cold spots and hot spots with it because that's what people complain about a lot. But we found out that it doesn't really do that well. It helps you find drafts from windows and things, but we're finding that we catch a whole bunch of stuff that our other cameras don't pick up. And so, thank goodness, because it was a lot of money.
But, you know, we're constantly looking for new technology and new ideas and we have a lot of stuff. We just had custom built Faraday cages that we can put around our microphones to cut out all wireless or signals, you know, from cell phones and walkie talkies and stuff like that. We're constantly trying to expand our arsenal.
Q: I know you guys do the Roto-Rooting and stuff on the side and I know there are a lot of people though that are really interested in the work. I was just wondering if you have like scientists that give advice or kind of advise you or do the new ideas come from just other people that have similar experiences or…
Jason Hawes: Well there are a bunch of members on the team that nobody will ever see. Because of their jobs, they can't be on camera. But we do deal with forensic scientists, nuclear physicists, electrical engineers, you name it. These people definitely help us out with equipment. Some of them actually modify the equipment for us. And yeah, it's not like they make stuff that's designed for hunting ghosts…
Jason Hawes: We have to work with what is out there.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, and it's the more the show gets out there, the more you start to get accepted and people, you know, that have doctorates and that can make an influence and change start to contact you because they realize that, you know, you're not going to believe everything you see. And they want to help you. So it's good. It's building and growing.
Q: It seems like occasionally you come across a place that has a lot of hot spots or a lot of activity and there may only be that one incident or even no incidents. Just in your experience, do you - do you have the feel for sort of what makes this happen or is it connected to a person usually?
Grant Wilson: Well you definitely get a sense of if a place is going to have something happen or not. And of course it doesn't happen on queue. And you can investigate for three weeks straight and have nothing happen and then come back next week and it goes crazy. We're fully aware of that.
We don't have any kind of super powers or anything like that. But just doing something long enough, you kind of get a knack for it. And because the show is so popular, we get so many case requests; we're able to kind of raise to the cream of the crop of the cases. And so we get a little bit more success rate. First season I think we filmed 30 cases and only about 13 or 14 of those actually made it to TV. So, you know, if a case is just lame, we're not going to show it and put you guys to sleep, of course.
Q: Yeah. Well that's appreciated.
Grant Wilson: Yeah. No problem.
Q: So have any - just when you're doing the, you know, the regular show on Sci Fi, how many hours of work and film and everything actually go into the hour of TV that we…
Jason Hawes: Oh geez, well let's see. Sometimes 2-1/2 weeks. Yeah, we - a lot of these places it might like look like we're there four or five hours, but most of these places we're there, you know, four or five days. So but then they cut it all down to the 43 minutes of television that you're able to see.
Grant Wilson: Well you think, if you do 10 hours of investigation in just one night, right? And you have six cameras set up, well now there's 60 hours of footage you've got to watch and so that all adds up. Take a lot of time.
Q: Do you guys have any editorial input into what actually makes it on the screen or do you just - does everything just get sent off and then somebody else does that?
Jason Hawes: Well, most of the stuff gets sent off. We don't have the time to worry about all that. We have a lot of faith in the editors and the executive producer and stuff. And they've never let us down yet so.
Grant Wilson: Yeah.
Q: Good to talk to you finally in person. I've been watching your show for years. How will the Ghost Hunter finalist be aiding you during this investigation? Have you given them specific jobs? Will they just be carrying cables or what are you going to make them do?
Grant Wilson: They'll be getting us water. No just kidding. I don't honestly - we don't - we're not quite sure yet. We haven't met them yet. And I think we'll gauge how we utilize them based on, you know, what we get from them when we meet them; their personality. But we plan on putting them through the wringer.
Jason Hawes: Well yeah. You got to - you got to.
Q: And do you know say, you know, I guess one of them will win the contest or whatever. Do they - are they going to join your team from now on?
Jason Hawes: No. I believe they're - I'm not quite sure, honestly. We've been so all over the place. But I'm pretty sure they're going to at least come on an episode and then I think we'll see what happens from there.
Jason Hawes: Join us on a couple cases. That's a question for Maureen.
Maureen Granados: Yeah, this is Maureen. To answer your question, they'll have the opportunity to appear on a season four hunt and season four will air next year. We don't have a date yet.
Jason Hawes: Okay.
Q: Okay. Cool. Good to know. Now, I saw the previous Waverly show and I was just wondering do you have any new theories on what that figure was that ran between the rooms?
Jason Hawes: Honestly, no. We're still up in the air about it. It's - it was strange. It moved so fast. We were able to see through the whole upper torso of it, but even though we were able to see the upper torso. So it's just definitely some strange evidence we caught.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, I mean, after watching it for over a year now, you know, we're dying to get back in there and get a second glace at what's going on over there.
Q: Very cool. And this is something I've always wondered just from watching the show. As a viewer, how dark is it when you're walking around in these places? I mean is it pitch black?
Jason Hawes: Oh man, it is pitch black.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, I mean, there was an episode a couple weeks ago where we were down in a wine cellar and Jay had felt a cold spot and he was trying to follow it and his hand hit me, you know, gently in the face. Right there on TV and we're like glad they showed that. It's proof that it just - it's dark. And then you've got the poor camera guys walking backwards in it - think we have it rough.
Q: Yeah, I always wondered about that. I mean, it just seems like are there - is there a vault of lost footage of you guys just walking into walls and stuff?
Grant Wilson: No. We're pretty adept at walking in the dark. You spend a good amount of time walking around in there with the lights on and getting to know the place. I mean obviously not every place is like a cave. You know, you get some lights here and there, but…
Grant Wilson: Yeah.
Q: And, you know, because sometimes you get really - you do get really interesting responses on tape and you ask a lot of questions and so forth. Do you ever consider taking a medium around or someone who's spiritually sensitive who can maybe add some more dimension or communicate…?
Jason Hawes: We have and we actually have used mediums, but the problem is I can't base an investigation on what they're saying, they're hearing or what they're saying they're seeing. We try to base our investigation more on hard evidence where we can put it out there for the world to view and make them draw their own conclusions.
Grant Wilson: No we take - we have like Jay said, we have worked with them, but you can only really - I hate saying this term, but use them kind of like a bloodhound where they say ‘Oh, point the camera there’. ‘Okay, thanks. Don't say anything else’. Because they tend to, I don't know, not all of them, but most of them tend to get a little dramatic. You know they drop and do the floppy tune on the floor and stuff and we don't need that. We just need you to be a pointer.
Q: So does that mean you're skeptical of mediums or people who claim to have…?
Grant Wilson: Of course.
Jason Hawes: I think we're skeptical of everything. You got to be. You know, anybody can tell you they're a medium. You know, or they can speak to, you know, a ghost and so forth. But in our investigations, to be honest with you, we've been impressed by maybe two or three of them out of dealing with thousands.
Q: Okay. Interesting. And then I have to ask about the armory and the soundman. Remember when he got thrown down by elemental?
Q: Have you had any updates on that case? How’s the soundman doing now?
Jason Hawes: He's doing fine. He works with another show now but really no updates on that.
Grant Wilson: Jay, didn't they sell the place or something Jay?
Jason Hawes: Yeah, well, yeah, it's been having some serious issues lately, financially -- so they ended up trying to sell the place.
Grant Wilson: Yeah. So the people we dealt with are no longer there, so maybe these people will call us. We'll see.
Q: Because that seemed like a really active place…
Jason Hawes: Oh yeah, we'd love to get back in there and check it out again.
Q: I just want to say first that I'm a big fan of the show. And I just picked up your book and I've been reading it; it's fantastic.
Jason Hawes: Oh, thank you.
Grant Wilson: All right. Well there's one thing we got to say about the book is that - well, you know, we did write it and all that stuff. There are some pages in there with pictures on them that we never saw - we never got the chance to see before it was printed. And a bunch of the captions are wrong and there's actually a picture in there that we've never seen before that - it's supposedly of ectoplasm and we've never seen ectoplasm and it's actually looks like someone took a picture of an island out a plane window. We don't know where that picture came from.
So they've fixed that since. So I just want to let you keep that in mind.
Q: Well, actually that answers one of my questions that I had for you.
Grant Wilson: Oh, okay. Perfect.
Q: Thank you for that. What are you doing differently this year for the live show? Like what have you learned from last year's live show that you'll be incorporating into this year?
Jason Hawes: We're just going to do what we normally do. If production catches - I mean if - I think that's more of a concern for production to what they're going to do. We're just going to go and we're going to investigate the way we've been doing it and hope that something shows up.
Grant Wilson: We honestly don't do anything different on a live show than we do normally. You know, we may talk a little bit more because, you know, otherwise people would fall asleep. That's about it.
Jason Hawes: Yeah, we just go. We have fun. We enjoy what we're doing.
Q: And how many investigators will you be taking with you? You usually have I think about six.
Jason Hawes: Yeah. This year it will be…
Q: Will it be a larger crew or…
Jason Hawes: …Grant, Steve, Dave, Dave Tango, Dustin, we'll have Chris Williams, Heather Drolet and Kristin Garland. We'll have eight.
Q: And are there any places that you've wanted to go to that you haven't had the ability to yet?
Jason Hawes: I'd love to get to the Amityville and shoot that place down, but…
Grant Wilson: I always say I want to go investigate the haunted mansion down in Orlando. I think I can debunk that place. No, I'd like to get over to Japan because they got some interesting historical hauntings, but it got some - quite the distance.
Q: Do you have any advice for people that are trying to start off investigating the paranormal?
Grant Wilson: Well sure, you know, just make - the best advice is, you know, don't go crazy buying thermal cameras and stuff. Just get a Sony camera or something like that with night shot, get a digital recorder - that's the best bang for your buck.
And, you know, start off in like a friend or a relative's house. You don't have to worry about a homeowner pulling a shotgun on you or something like that. And then take everything you read with a grain of salt. I mean big grain of salt.
Q: And have there been since filming with the Sci Fi channel crew, have there been cases where you like - much like the Queen Mary where you were able to find somebody was tampering with your tapes that you've gone to houses or to businesses and it's obviously them trying to trick you into believing that there is activity?
Jason Hawes: It doesn't happen that often but you have to always keep your eyes open because it can happen. You know, we've had a few cases here and there but no, most people truly believe they have something going on.
Q: Very nice. Have you felt that there's been like an increase in the scientific community in their belief and the trust in the paranormal now like since you guys come aboard and having going more about the debunking, more scientific methods towards research?
Jason Hawes: There's definitely been a lot more - a lot more scientific people coming into the field and it's doing nothing but benefiting the field which is great. So we're so happy to see that.
Q: Where do you see yourselves in, say, ten years from now? Are you hoping to still be out there yourselves?
Jason Hawes: Oh, we'll still be out there ourselves, because…
Grant Wilson: We'll be investigating…
Jason Hawes: …we were going long before the show; we'll go long after the show.
Q: All right. So you guys had some staff turnover. Is there any kind of bad blood going on with Brian? I understand he's doing a different show.
Jason Hawes: You know, it's so funny because I see - people send me these posts and stuff and they're like oh, Donna left, Andy left, da da. Donna is like one of my closest friends in the world. I talk to her all the time. Donna - you got to remember that when we're filming the show Ghost Hunters, sometimes we're on the road for 10, 11 weeks straight. That's really not a good thing for some people. Some people have to do their normal jobs; they've got family commitments and stuff like that. So Donna really can't be on the road for that long. Donna's going to be involved in the show Ghost Hunters International.
Andy Andrews who is another close personal friend, we talk all the time, his wife - you know, they were trying to start a family. Well Andy's wife is pregnant and stuff. He's able to be involved in the Ghost Hunters International, go overseas, do the show in two weekend increments, come back and still spend more time with his wife than if he was on the show Ghost Hunters bouncing all over the United States.
Grant Wilson: Well you got to understand that, you know, Jay and I have been doing this together for a while. Before that, we were doing it separately and not everyone on the show has been with us for that long.
People come in the group; they investigate for a while. Some leave and start their own group and we support them. Keith from the show did that. Other people, you know, they come in and they find out well, this isn't quite what I thought and they move on. It's constant rotations.
So for us, you know, people - if Donna says, you know, hey I got to go take a job in New Hampshire or something, we're used to that. Okay, we'll miss you. But to the fans, you're like ‘wait, what a minute, wait’…
Jason Hawes: What's going on? So no, there's…
Grant Wilson: It happens all the time.
Jason Hawes: …with Donna and Andy. Brian, you know what, we wish the best for Brian with whatever he does. There's always been turmoil when it comes to Brian and, you know, it's all the power to him.
Grant Wilson: Yeah.
Q: Well, I'm really glad you guys cleared that up.
Grant Wilson: Well not a problem.
Q: And I just wanted to really give you kudos for the way you approach your cases, I mean, we as viewers we have shows like Most Haunted where it seems to be all mediums and they're all screaming anytime they hear anything. And it's just really refreshing.
Grant Wilson: Thanks.
Jason Hawes: Thank you very much.
Grant Wilson: Well, you know what? It's the medium angle of it all has been covered a lot and it's time for the other one to come out. And not that one's very better than the other, but hey, if they catch stuff the way they do it, great. If we catch stuff the way we do it, great.