Recently, Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes of Sci Fi’s “Ghost Hunters” held a conference call with reporters to discuss their explorations into the paranormal. Don’t miss the season premiere of Ghost Hunters on Wednesday, March 5th at 9:00 p.m. on the Sci Fi Channel!
Also, FORT will be announcing a contest in the next few days. You could win a Sci Fi Channel t-shirt, or a set of Ghost Hunters DVDs! Stay tuned for the announcement!
Q: I watched the - your episode last night. It was really cool. And I was wondering if you guys could explain what the cold spots are -- because entities draw on energy?
Jason Hawes: Well that’s one of the theories, is that an entity is drawing the energy from the air, in return making that area around it colder.
Q: Fair enough. Okay, well with that being said I was wondering, what’s the explanation for them showing up on the thermal imaging as a heat signature?
Jason Hawes: That’s actually a good question. The thing is we got the thermal energy camera in hopes to see these cold spots that we’ve been experiencing and that doesn’t - it doesn’t work like that. Instead, we are catching these other things that don’t really stick in with that theory, so to speak. So it’s kind of new ground for us. I mean, just catching what we catch on it.
Grant Wilson: Yeah. A lot of times we’re catching things that are giving off a signature. But - and you’re able to see it through the thermal but not with the naked eye.
Jason Hawes: Actually in Season Four you’re going to see something that fits that theory a little better that we caught on the thermal.
Jason Hawes: So yeah, it’s all, you know, learning ground for us. You got to remember that. There’s no - it’s not really - it’s not like there’s a scientific field for this so we’re pretty much learning each case by case as we’ve been doing for the last 17 years.
Q: Fair enough. I also wondered why didn’t you guys put Steve in the - in that solitary confinement cell?
Jason Hawes: Actually we - oh, are you talking to Fort Mifflin?
Jason Hawes: We tried to get Steve in there, didn’t we? Let me think - yeah, I’m sorry - I don’t remember the exact details, but I think we were trying to get Steve in there. I’m not sure if they showed it but Steve wasn’t too keen on the idea of there being spiders and stuff down there.
Q: Oh right on. Yeah, in the episode he is nowhere near that cell at all.
Jason Hawes: No, that’s not how it happened though. But I haven’t seen the episode. How was it, good?
Q: Yeah, it was really good. There was like - right in the middle I got a little spooked when you guys were talking about the woman hanging herself.
Jason Hawes: Oh yeah, the lady who hung herself over at that house.
Q: Yeah, and then you guys got the recording of that mommy thing. That was a little spooky.
Jason Hawes: Yeah, that was different. That place was really interesting, though we had to deal with planes being 100 feet over our head. But it was a great place to investigate and I’d love to really go there and spend more than the three - we spent, I think three days investigating over there and I’d love to head over there for at least a week or two.
Q: Nice. I only have one more thing. I noticed that the - that place actually had a connection to Eastern Penitentiary. You guys planning on going back to there any time soon?
Jason Hawes: Well we went back there once on the show and since then we’ve been back a couple of times doing private investigations. And, you know, each time we come across the same type of phenomena - the (shadowy) stuff. We’re just trying to - the more each time we spend in a location, the more you can really figure out what’s going on. And we’re starting to figure out that some of it is trick of the eye, but not what we caught.
Q: Have you ever actually had the feeling that maybe a ghost or some sort of, you know, paranormal entity followed you home after doing one of these expeditions?
Jason Hawes: The way I look at it is I’ve got five kids. The least thing they want to do is come to my house.
Jason Hawes: But on a serious note, you know, we’ve had some people say that they believe things have followed them back. I’ve never personally - this is Jason, I’ve never personally experienced it myself. You know, we’re not the kind of people out, you know, blessing ourselves with holy water or doing smudges. That’s not what we’re about. We just feel, you know, your strength comes from inside of you to keep these things away and keep yourself safe.
Grant Wilson: Right, I’ve never - this is Grant. I’ve never had that happen either. I’ve never actually seen it happen. What I have seen is that some people who start investigating them eventually will start to think their house is haunted. And whether that’s just because now they’re in the field, that they’re just kind of going that way and they hear sounds or, you know, it’s hard to say something ever has followed you home. I mean, it’s not like you can even - you’re lucky if you catch a picture of these things, you know, much less identify it well enough to recognize it in a different location.
Q: And has there ever been a particular moment for either one of you where you were ghost hunting and you just got so extremely scared you wanted to stop right then and there?
Grant Wilson: No honestly, we’ve never had that. Don’t get me wrong, you know, some of these places you’re in you get an uneasy feeling like you got to look over your shoulder. You’ll be startled by things. But, you know what? You were called in by people to investigate this. They called you in as professionals, looking for your help and guidance. If you run out of their house or, you know, you just tell them I can’t do this, I got to leave, then those people are stranded. And not just stranded, but now they’re even more fearful when the professional that they called in is terrified to be in their house.
Grant Wilson: And now you know what? We’re there for them. I don’t care how scared you can get at certain times. You’ve got to keep yourself in a professional manner and try to help out those who need you the most.
Q: Okay, perfect. I know you mentioned your children and everything. What do your families kind of make of your job? And I mean, do they like your line of work? Are your, you know, are your kids into like following in your footsteps or anything like that?
Jason Hawes: Well yeah, my - you know, I’ve got five kids. I’ve got three daughters and twin sons. And all my children are highly interested in the paranormal and they would love to follow in my footsteps. You know, but mainly my kids look at me as, you know, their dad’s a plumber. Yeah, he investigates the paranormal but my main job is I’m a plumber. So…
Grant Wilson: Yeah, you ask my kids what dad does for a living and they say oh, he’s a plumber. But they watch a lot of Scooby-Doo which is good because, you know, it’s always Old Man Jenkins…
Grant Wilson: …instead of a ghost, you know. So they’re good. They investigate. They think my barn’s haunted, but I know that it’s just the light outside that’s reflecting on the window.
Q: Yeah, definitely.
Grant Wilson: And I go get it - love to get it out.
Q: And I have to ask you - I know that you do plumbing during the day and everything, what is scarier: plumber work or ghost hunting work? And has there ever been a point in either one job - in either job where you were just so frightened?
Jason Hawes: Well the problem is, half the plumbing jobs you get can actually be listed under paranormal.
Grant Wilson: When I was alone.
Jason Hawes: So yeah. You know, of course plumbing is more frightening. You never know, you know, what if you make a mistake and somebody’s house blows up? Yeah, so…
Grant Wilson: There are a lot of similarities, though. I mean, in both situations you got people who…
Jason Hawes: Call you in because they need your help.
Grant Wilson: …they don’t understand the situation. And then you go in, you - with the knowledge, you help them out and you leave them feeling better. And, you know, you never know what house you’re walking into. Some people are crazy (unintelligible)…
Jason Hawes: And it’s also problem-solving. Plumbing, just like the paranormal - you’re going in trying to figure out what is going on. You try to help these people, as you are in the paranormal field.
Q: And since you are obviously experts in like different piping and everything like that, can you hear a difference between like creaky, leaky pipes -- actually like plumbing problems in pipes -- versus like, you know, creepy ghost noises in a house?
Grant Wilson: Well people bring us into their homes for that reason, you know. What - to fix their plumbing. And if you don’t - you can’t recognize the sounds then, you know, you’re not a very good plumber. But you - yeah, definitely most plumbing - most ghosts disappear when you find out they’re plumbing problems or electrical problems.
Jason Hawes: Or and also, yeah like Grant was saying - I mean, you can definitely tell the difference if, you know, they’ve got a, you know, a pressurized - a 30-pound pressurized water line feeding into the house that, you know, is leaking or, you know, a drain line that’s dripping, or whatever. And it’s not really paranormal, you know.
Q: Will we see you guys appearing on Ghost Hunters International in the future, do you think?
Jason Hawes: Well you know what? That’s up in the air. But we wish them the best of luck over there, overseas. But the main reason Grant and I are not on that is because first off, there’s enough cases here in the United States that request our help. And also, we’ve got families and children. And, you know, being overseas for long lengths of time, it’s kind of rough on us. You know what? It’s kind of up to Sci-Fi Channel, Pilgrim Films and Grant and I as - to all be in agreement that if we do appear on that show, what point we will appear on that show.
Q: Nice. I just thought it’d be neat to see a little crossover, if maybe those guys come over here or you guys go over there once.
Jason Hawes: Well we’re in the first episode.
Q: It looks like an awful lot of work, dragging in equipment, the travel, the long nights. What is it that really keeps you guys going every time?
Jason Hawes: Well I think there’s a couple different things that keep us going. First off, being able to help those people who need us the most and give them the power to have their home back and their children be able to sleep at night. That right there is, you know, important enough to us. But also the endless possibility that we might be able to catch that one piece of evidence which is the holy grail that we could put out there for the world that, you know, people are just wow, there is something out there in the (unintelligible)…
Grant Wilson: Yeah. I’m motivated mostly by the fact that, you know, everybody seems to have, at one point in their lives, had no concept of what was going on around them and they had questions that they needed answered. And it was someone- you know, we all have that feeling of having no one to turn to. And we don’t want people to live like that, you know. There’s a place they can turn to. We’re here for them and each case can present huge answers that can be used on the next case. And slowly you build this tower of knowledge and you get closer to your goal.
Q: Excellent. And has anyone ever intentionally faked phenomena in order - either just to try to get some airtime with you guys or to see if they could trick you?
Jason Hawes: Absolutely.
Grant Wilson: Of course.
Jason Hawes: We have gotten that, you know, but that - we’ve been doing this for 17 years and, you know, we go in with a skeptical mindset. We’re going in trying to debunk the claims of paranormal activity. We did have one gentleman who built a speaker inside a wall. He would try to make sounds come from that wall. We were able to track the speaker wire up to the wall. We did a restaurant which I don’t think we will air. But, you know, the whole place was rigged with fake paranormal activity and Grant and I were able to figure it all out, and find that.
Grant Wilson: We actually fixed a lot of it.
Jason Hawes: Yeah.
Grant Wilson: So it worked right.
Jason Hawes: Yeah, just as like, you know, just being I guess wise-asses would be the best term to use on that one, you know. But yeah, so you do get that. But that’s a rarity, but it does happen. And people always need to keep their eyes open for that.
Q: And you said something interesting - when you talk about going in to debunk, what’s the difference between going in to debunk or going in to prove I guess would be the opposite?
Jason Hawes: First off, anybody can walk into a house and say this place is haunted. Where’s the proof to solidify those claims? If you’re basing that just on feelings you have, then you’re not helping the field. You’re setting the field back. If you’re going in to try to debunk what’s going on and you catch evidence, and you try to debunk that evidence, and you cannot - well that’s more substantial evidence that you’re able to put out there for the world to see where it’s not going to be torn up by the skeptics. It’s not going to be torn, you know, it’s not going to be that middle ground for, you know - so I think that’s the main important thing. Also, if you go into a place believing that it’s haunted and going in trying to prove that it’s haunted, you’re willing to accept any evidence you catch as proof of the place being haunted.
Grant Wilson: Well think about it - I mean, the homeowner already thinks the place is haunted or they wouldn’t have called you in. So I mean, you’ve got to come at it a different angle in order to help the homeowner. You’ve got come at it from a different angle and that’s it.
Q: Excellent. Well I always appreciate the show. I get shivers, which I always think is so silly afterwards and I get scared watching you guys do this.
Grant Wilson: Nice to know we’re scary.
Jason Hawes: Yeah, thank you.
Q: No, I did not mean it that way. But, you know, it’s a great show and I’m looking forward to seeing more. Thanks.
Grant Wilson: Great. Thank you very much for your time.
Q: I’m from New England and I have a question, and it’s - I’m coming on late to this call, so if it’s been asked I apologize in advance.
Jason Hawes: No worries.
Q: I live in California now and I was wondering - you know, I’ve been all over the country, back and forth, up and down - and do you feel there are areas of the country that are more psychically active than other regions?
Jason Hawes: Well it’s - when - well do you mean paranormally active than others?
Jason Hawes: Okay. Well it’s funny because you’ll definitely find them in like New England. It seems to be a lot more active around Halloween into the winter months. And now there’s a reason behind that.
First off, that’s when all the spooky movies are coming in. Secondly, it’s when everybody is spending more and more time in their homes. Your (unintelligible) system is turning on which is, you know, it is actually removing the moisture from the wood and everything. So your house is popping and cracking. You’re getting sounds of footsteps and it’s not really going on. But, you know, the imagination is of course kicking in more. It’s actual paranormal activity? No, it’s pretty much distributed evenly across the United States and overseas.
Grant Wilson: Do you know how many flippin’ towns tell us that they’re the most haunted town in the country? I don’t even know who does that sentence, but no it’s equal everywhere - even old houses. You know, there are ancient houses that look straight off Scooby-Doo that aren’t haunted and there are brand new houses that are more haunted than old houses. So it’s just - there’s no rhyme or reason to it, you know.
Q: Follow-up question - what’s the most, for lack of a better word, haunted -- I hate that word, but I - it sums it all up -- residence or home, you know, that you’ve ever set foot in? And can you be specific about where it was and what it was that was the issue?
Jason Hawes: That’s a tough one.
Grant Wilson: Well yeah, it’s tough because some of the most haunted locations we’ve ever been in have been far before the show has been on. We’ve done cases for state senators, police chiefs, you name it, lawyers, doctors. We did a Police Chief’s house in - right around Rhode Island I should say, that we caught some activity being that it was some of the best activity we’ve ever caught. But those fall under a confidentiality agreement. So - but, you know, since the show has been on, some of my favorites have been the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado and St. Augustine Lighthouse. Now that being said, that was within the first three seasons.
The fourth season, we went to some incredible locations, caught some of the best evidence we’ve ever caught on any of our shows throughout the fourth season.
Jason Hawes: Oh man.
Grant Wilson: And I’ve definitely got some new favorite locations, but I can’t say those yet.
Q: Okay, darn it.
Grant Wilson: Sorry. No, but you have to look forward - I think probably one of the best (unintelligible) we’ve ever caught.
Jason Hawes: Oh yeah, that. But we’ve also…
Grant Wilson: Amazing.
Jason Hawes: Yeah. They - people definitely want to watch this season and that’s not just us trying to push that - push the season. But…
Grant Wilson: I can’t wait to see it.
Jason Hawes: Yeah. And honestly, the first episode -- Fort Mifflin was an incredible location and an incredible investigation. And we came away with some great stuff.
Q: I just have a question about your gear. What would you say is the most invaluable tool that you guys have?
Jason Hawes: Honestly, I would say it’s not any of our electronics.
Grant Wilson: Yeah.
Jason Hawes: It’s common sense.
Grant Wilson: The investigators.
Jason Hawes: Yeah. The - you know, each person individually on the (cast) team. But with that being said, you know, I like thermal imaging and I also like, of course, video because, you know, it’s hard to dispute.
Grant Wilson: Yeah. I think that you’ll never be able to build a device that can do debunking, which is the main goal. But I like EVPs probably best because they’re evidence in and of themselves, but then that evidence can give you clues. It can give you a name. It can give you a motivation…
Grant Wilson: …that you can then act on where most other evidence doesn’t do that. But yeah, video is - you can see it straight up. But the EVPs are good. You get that clue.
Q: Right. What about the Geiger counter? Are you guys going to employ that again?
Grant Wilson: I don’t even - honestly, personally I don’t understand the logic behind using Geiger counters so I’m not a fan. I don’t see what they’re going after - radioactive isotopes? What the heck does that prove?
Q: Actually, that was going to be my next question. Like what do you actually use that for?
Grant Wilson: Yeah, to find…
Jason Hawes: We’re looking for the hidden missiles in Iraq.
Q: Hey guys, I’m back - the New Englander here.
Grant Wilson: Hey.
Jason Hawes: Oh yeah.
Q: Wicked awesome.
Grant Wilson: Totally.
Jason Hawes: Wicked awesome, wow.
Grant Wilson: Totally wicked awesome (unintelligible).
Q: That’s right. I had my (heart attack) coffee milk yeah, I’m right there with you with little (roadies).
Grant Wilson: (Unintelligible) lemonade.
Q: I actually (unintelligible) buy the cake. My question is actually related - it’s food related. I know Grant, in your bio it says you’re quite the Italian cook. You want to tell us what your signature dish is? Feed the ghosts.
Grant Wilson: That kind of got exaggerated on TV. I love to cook and people tell me I cook well, but I’m not an accomplished chef. So I don’t know where that came from. But…
Q: Well I didn’t say that. I said…
Grant Wilson: Yeah, well that’s what they said on Sci-Fi.
Q: I asked what’s your signature Italian dish?
Grant Wilson: Well I like to make up stuff and I make a nice Lemon Chicken Alfredo. Send your email and I’ll send you the recipe.
Q: Fair enough.
Grant Wilson: Okay.
Q: What’s your favorite behind the scenes thing with your crew? I do a lot of crew pieces. I know that you’ve got a limited size crew that travels with you.
Grant Wilson: Yes.
Q: Sure. What’s a favorite (unintelligible) story from the last season of, you know, something that happened with the crew or maybe that was off camera that you can share with us?
Grant Wilson: Okay, hold on. At one point we were challenged - Steve challenged us to a go-kart race.
Jason Hawes: Oh yeah.
Grant Wilson: And whoever won - you know, if we won - if they won, we would have to review the evidence. If we won…
Jason Hawes: It wasn’t even just Steve. Steve and Brian challenged…
Grant Wilson: Brian, right.
Jason Hawes: …Grant and I to a go-kart race. And it was if Grant and I won, Steve and Brian would clean our yards. They’d rake up all the leaves and mow our grass.
Grant Wilson: Which we have big yards.
Jason Hawes: Yeah, we do have big yards. And if they won, Grant and I had to analyze the evidence. Well…
Jason Hawes: So either way - but as we were racing, Grant and I came up with this thought where it didn’t matter if I won or Grant won, as long as one of us won. So we manipulated the scenario so I could wipe out Steve and Brian, and Grant could make it to the finish line in time.
And that worked out great. We won. Our yards look spotless.
Grant Wilson: But the reason I bring that up is because they wanted to film it and so the camera crew had a good time because they got to - got all sorts of cameras to the go-karts and actually had a pacer go-kart that was following us around with cameras rigged all over it. And I mean, we do that kind of crud all the time.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, talk about St. Augustine’s on the mopeds.
Jason Hawes: St. Augustine, yeah - think of 12 guys, you know, cast, crew and production guys driving around on mopeds. We were like the 80-year-old Harley Davidson bike rider guys. We can’t control the big bikes, we’re on mopeds.
Grant Wilson: I don’t know if that’s what you were looking for.
Q: Yeah, sure. Absolutely - little chestnuts there.
Jason Hawes: We’re also very big on passing shocking instruments to each other.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, gag pens that shock you or lighters, or gum - whatever.
Q: I’m from the Boston area, but I lived on the Cape for awhile. Did you - do you ever go to Cod and investigate any - I mean, there’s some really interesting places?
Grant Wilson: Are you kidding me? We’re on the Cape right now.
Jason Hawes: We’re in Cape Cod right now investigating.
Q: Oh really?
Jason Hawes: Yeah, but I’m not telling you where.
Q: You’re not in (unintelligible) - okay, not in Falmouth?
Jason Hawes: We’re in Yarmouth.
Q: Oh Yarmouth, okay.
Jason Hawes: So yeah.
Grant Wilson: It’s pretty - that’s crazy.
Q: Wow. Did you guys ever go to the Dan’l Webster Inn? That’s reportedly a hot location. That’s in Sandwich.
Grant Wilson: Nope.
Jason Hawes: Nope, haven’t been there yet.
Q: It’s supposed to be quite the haunted place.
Jason Hawes: Yeah, I know what you’re doing. You’re going to keep on asking us which - if we’ve been here, we’ve been there and you’re finally going to hit the place we’re at, right? I know this game.
Q: I’m going to whittle you down.
Jason Hawes: I’m just kidding.
Grant Wilson: So we’re (unintelligible). Why not?
Q: Thanks a lot guys.
Grant Wilson: All right.
Jason Hawes: Thank you.
Q: Hi guys, one more. I saw - you’re going to be out at the Queen Mary, which is my neck of the woods.
Jason Hawes: Yeah, we fly in there on Sunday.
Q: And have you been out - that’s about the only place I think I’ve been to that I could say this is a haunted place.
Jason Hawes: Well we’ve been to the Queen Mary a few times. We investigated a bunch of places in California and we’re in the midst of setting up a couple other investigations out there for the end of this filming schedule for us.
So yeah, it’s - I love heading to California. Of course, I’m an East Coast boy so I, you know, the best part is when I head home. But, you know, it’s definitely - we like being at the Queen Mary, checking out. A lot of great people over there.
Q: But you’re doing like a big - it’s like a big event, not just an investigation?
Jason Hawes: Yeah, what we do - we do these events with - we try to keep it down to about 250 to 300 fans and we do these events. And, you know, we do an actual - a fundraiser for charity. You know, at one event Grant and I were able to raise almost $18,000…
Jason Hawes: …for, you know, a family that was dealing with severe cancer to pay medical bills.
Grant Wilson: And that’s out of 150 people, it’s incredible.
Jason Hawes: Yeah. So that and I think the last one we were - last time we were at the Queen Mary we were able to raise almost $27,000 for charity. And that’s what it’s about. It’s about giving back as much as we can. And I think that that’s the most important thing.
Q: Wow, that is great.
Jason Hawes: Well and the last one we did was for a Shriner.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, a children’s hospital.
Jason Hawes: Yeah, a children’s hospital. And, you know, these are things that are very close to our heart. Actually, Grant and I are working along with Citadel Broadcasting, a radio company, to work with Cure Kids Cancer this year. Last year we worked with them and all of us combined were able to raise over $850,000 for Cure Kids Cancer, and we’re going to try to see if we can beat that this year.
Q: Wow, that’s very impressive.
Jason Hawes: Well that’s just what it’s about. I’ve got five kids. Grant has three, so these are things that are very close to our heart.
Grant Wilson: Well it’s not like we gave that money, man. We just have (unintelligible)…
Jason Hawes: Yeah.
Q: You worked for it though in your - and that’s - I mean, it’s great.
Jason Hawes: Well it’s definitely the work of - it’s due to everybody, you know.
Grant Wilson: Right.
Jason Hawes: You know, Citadel, you know, running the commercials, you know, doing - spending an entire three days doing interviews with these children. Grant and I were able to go and sit down with a young kid, (Chase), about a week and a half ago and do an interview with him. And his cancer just came back, so he’s fighting his second battle. And, you know, so it’s pretty much - it’s everybody putting their foot forward and trying to make this happen.
Q: Excellent. It’s tough, I know, on a parent too and it really does color your, you know, your thoughts on things like this. It’s a difficult thing for these parents to handle.
Jason Hawes: Yeah it really is.
Q: And lastly, and I know you’ve probably been asked this many times, but I just - why are we fascinated with the paranormal and, you know, and ghosts? And why is it popular?
Jason Hawes: Well see I, you know, I’ve seen a bunch - some people, of course, get - have their own experience and they want to understand it. But what I’m seeing more and more of is people who just want to know that there’s something after this life, that when they pass on they’re going somewhere. And I’ve just seen more and more of those people getting involved in this field.
Grant Wilson: Well, you know, we’ve been to the depths of the ocean. We’ve been to the dang moon. You know, what’s left? The Earth is all - we know it, you know. And so I think the last frontier is really paranormal and everyone just wants a little bit of mystery in life because science has taken over and they’ve got answers for everything.