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A Break From The Norm – Three Paranormal Questions Answered

What can I say… I received an email from Kim Thurston – a fan of the para shows I previously worked for – containing three questions… and although I have avoided para talk like the plague for the last several years – I felt like responding.

Maybe it’s my return to the USA that’s got me in a good mood? 😉

Instead of answering Kim directly through email – I decided to share my answers here for anyone with an interest in reading what my silly ass has to say.

That said… here we go!

First Question: “Did you ever see a no doubt, clearly seen, absolutely, positively, clear as day, “ghost”? During 18 years as a police officer in the south, I have been in many civil war era homes and some used as hospitals that the owners say are haunted, but I never have seen anything. I do believe there are such things but my belief is they are more interdemensional beings somehow and in some cases actual demons presenting themselves as “harmless ghosts”

No, I have never seen a “no doubt, clearly seen, absolutely, positively, clear as day, ghost”. Not once. I have seen and experienced odd things – shadow figures, disembodied voices and the like – however I still am not sure what I had seen or what I experienced nor do I feel comfortable labeling something I do not fully understand. There is still the chance my past experiences could be explained.

I will be completely honest and say, as soon as I hear “interdimensional” and “demons” my eyes glaze over and I tend to lose all interest. In the 4.5 years I had actively looked for signs of paranormal activity, I had never encountered anything – not one thing – I would dare classify as demonic.

Does that mean I don’t believe in the possibility of demonic activity? Currently – having no experience with it personally – I leave some room for an open mind… However, with how freely and often the words “demon” and “demonic” are thrown around these days – they hold little weight for me. Its like the whole “boy who called wolf” story. For that reason – the mention of such things are more likely to receive a queit eye roll from me instead of fear or interest.

Unless of course, the stories come from investigators I trust whole-heartedly – who don’t throw such terms around willy-nilly.

Second Question: Did the shows ever re-create something for the cameras? Not make something up (unless they did make something up, and if so, what) but re-create something that actually did happen but just wasn’t caught on camera?

As far as recreating – I have not been involved with recreating or faking anything regarding paranormal experiences.

However, once the investigation session was finished in a room the filming crew might have asked us to re-enter or exit a room if they missed it. Had they not caught one of our questions during an EVP session – they might even ask us to repeat it. But that was the extent of interference or “do overs”.

With the clients, who were not used to being in front of a camera, there could be a lot of stop, starts and do overs… This did not interfere with evidence or our investigation at all since they were simply telling us the story of the location, claims, etc. However, once the investigation started – it was usually on our (investigators) terms.

I say usually because GHI was very different from GH – unlike GH it was more production lead.

If I happened to experience something odd and the cameras did not catch it  – I did not recreate it. If the experience was worth mentioning (was similar to a client’s experiences, etc.) I might mention it but under no circumstances would I do a “do over”.

For the most part – if we didn’t catch the experience with the cameras rolling – the experience didn’t count.  

Third Question: “Do you still do investigations for fun or as a hobby?”

No, I do not.

Unlike other investigators – investigating was not something I was into my whole life. It was not a love or a passion. My family always enjoyed sharing odd stories we experienced over the years and had an open mind – but I didn’t live for the paranormal.

I lived for history. My father has always been a history nut and it rubbed off on me at a young age. Then I got into genealogy at the age of 11 – from there my history obsession only grew.

When I was asked to join GH by Jason and Grant – as much as I appreciated the offer – I turned down the opportunity several times. Like I said, I had an open mind and my family and I had stories… I just had no interest in being seen as a “ghost girl”.

When I finally agreed to join the team – it was following a year I had lost 5 family members and friends in 11 months. At the age of 26, I had not experienced the death of a family member since I was 4 years old. I had not grown up in a church, I had no faith background to fall back on – I found myself lost.

To be honest, I was absolutely broken.

At that point – joining the team became a need. I needed to know there was more to death – I hoped that we didn’t just end. So, when I finally agreed to sign on – even though I didn’t want to be a “ghost girl” I put everything I was into being what I needed (hopefully) for others… an honest voice.

I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling with the death of a loved one, so I wanted to be as honest and straightforward as I hoped someone would be with me on the topic.

That said – by the time I tapped out in October 2011 (the last show I filmed) and 2016 (the last event I had done) I felt the field in general had changed so much – I couldn’t stomach being involved.

As I said above – the word demon and demonic were thrown around like the words “if” “and” and “but”. Skepticism seemed to have been tossed aside completely and those who questioned were verbally beat down and unfairly written off as non-believers and haters.

So, I removed myself for these reasons (along with others).

I had tagged along on one investigation with a friend in 2016 (it was the first investigation I had been on without cameras) for fun. It was nice to be back with friends – a little visit to the past of sorts.

Outside of that, I have spent the last nearly eight years focusing on the living – which is something most of us don’t do nearly enough…

I hope this answered your questions Kim, and I thank you for your support and kind words. I would also like to say – as I always do – I can only speak for myself and my own personal experiences.

I ask that you please keep that in mind when reading my answers.

Hope everyone is having a happy Monday!!! I cannot tell you how amazing it is to be back in the USA! 🙂

Lots of Love,

Kris

44 thoughts on “A Break From The Norm – Three Paranormal Questions Answered

  1. I must echo the others, your honesty is very refreshing.

    In 2009 I used to host a paranormal radio show with Josh from Berkshire Paranormal, and we got into some nice debates regarding what was “right” and “wrong”. I argued that no one can call themselves an “expert” in a field where nothing has been proven yet. We may find out the gurus of the paranormal had it all wrong.

    I must admit though that the paranormal interests me as a way to hopefully help to answer some genealogy questions someday. Having a civil war ancestor led to my love of history, which is why I love Gettysburg, the place where all my interests converge.

    Welcome home!

  2. Hi Kris,
    I though you and Amy were the best part of GH. I loved the scientific approach GH employed. These clone shows are all ridiculous. I’m a history nut as well. You should check out a new book called “The British are Coming” by Rick Atkinson, great stuff.

    1. Will def have a look for it – thank you! 🙂

  3. Kris,
    I really appreciate your honest answers. That is one of the things that I liked about you and a few others on the two shows, your honesty and healthy skepticism. I thought that was way a more valuable insight than the growing degree of complete acceptance that I saw becoming more prevalent on those shows. I have to admit, that shortly after you left GHI, my interest in those two shows dwindled dramatically, due to the loss of that skepticism. That says a lot about your contribution to those type of shows.
    I have to say, of all the ‘weird’ shows out there over the years…the ones I did enjoy and still love to watch (with a definite degree of questioning) are the ones that deal with cryptids. I love the thought that there might be unknown creatures out there, it appeals to that 10 yr old boy who ate up those books and movies back in the 70s. I know many of those shows are just as much into the dramatic double turns as the paranormal shows of today, but they just seem more ‘fun’ (with less blood letting.lol).
    The current host, that I enjoy watching each week is Josh Gates. He brings the fun back into exploration and history. I would happily watch a history/exploration/night-vision-cameras-chasing show that starred you, Josh, and Erin Ryder any day of the week!
    BTW. I had watched that video you made of exploring Deadwood and that was a very informative and fun video. Please make more of those historic location videos to share with your unscripted narration.

  4. For sure you got me thinking very seriously about it! And we bought my Dad the 23 Me thing… trust me, with much skepticism! And you had confirmed my fear is that we would essentially be giving away our DNA. I believe you had said something to that effect. Anyway, we are Basque, and apparently there is a book out there that pretty much ties our name to the Mayflower/Nina/Santa Maria voyages that I’d like to try to confirm.

    1. Yes! The whole genealogy DNA is currently a dangerous game – there are no regulations or restrictions on these companies. Once you hand your DNA over – that’s it. You are giving them the right to handle that information in what ever way they see fit. Trust me – you aren’t the only one who fell for it – I did too. The best we can do now is push for regulations that would force them to protect the information of their customers.

      If you descend from the Mayflower – we could be related! I descend from 10 Mayflower passengers on my Dad’s Mom’s side. 🙂

  5. What do you think about the guys coming back to do a show on the travel channel?

    1. I’m not really sure what people expect me to say when they ask me this question, lol. I am happy for Steve and Tango – we have stayed in contact over the years and they are two of the best people I had the pleasure of meeting through my para work. I have a lot of respect for them both.

      Steve I have a ton of respect for – I looked to him as a mentor of sorts. For someone who is skeptical – seeing how hard he was on evidence and how seriously he took his job and the field and the love he had for it made it easier for me to believe in things I wouldn’t have otherwise. He was always quick to say – the harder we were on the evidence the better. He never waviered, never compromised himself or his beliefs and once you gained his trust – he would listen to your suggestions and ideas.

      Tango was like an instant little brother when I met him. He had just joined the team about a year before I did and to be honest it was a clicky group. Very tight knit team and since so many people joined the team and didn’t last long – people were hesitant to let you in until they knew you were there for the right reasons. Tango understood what it was like to be new to the group and instantly took me under his wing – quick to help, quick to explain, quick to walk me through equipment. Instant buddy while I worked to find my feet and earn my place on the team.

      I am very grateful for them both and could not say enough good things about either of them.

  6. Hi Kris! I really appreciate reading this blog, and I enjoy your tweets! I’ve always thought of you as the “core” group of GH and even I wish sometimes it still aired. But on the other hand, I’ve been delving more into my family’s genealogy, and I’ve been asking my Dad for more history of our lineage lately. Certainly, I’ll be looking for some advice/ direction in the near future if you have time. : )

    1. Wahahahahaha!!! Did I get you hooked too?!?! 🙂 This makes my heart happy!

  7. Dear Kris,

    Thank you so much for this post. I think it is one of the most honestly open things I’ve read in a long while. I had the pleasure of meeting you at a GH event back in 2008 and, I must admit, while i enjoyed that experience, it did open my eyes on what reality television was really about. I was an avid fan of your show but ended up losing interest because of, as you said, the feel of the “field in general” changed.

    I went to ‘ghost hunts’ because I was curious about an after this life existence but I also just enjoyed old buildings and nothing is more special than spending quiet time in an old building at night. You lose your reliance on your visual sense and you are able to ‘feel’ the structure more. However after a couple of seasons of Ghost Hunters and the bandwagon shows that followed shortly there after, it seemed like every location was full of people running around in groups with goofy acronyms and ‘tactical gear’, waving electronic gadgets and making an abundance of noise. Basically trying to recreate their favorite moments from TV.

    My last ghost hunt was in the fall of 2010. Unfortunately my wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and since that was our hobby together, I have not been interested in taking it back up since she passed. I’m not even sure if I would enjoy it anymore to be honest but my daughter has expressed interest. So, I’m going to try again next year, after she turns 18. I hope it’s far enough past most of the paranormal shows that her and I can enjoy a quiet time, in an old structure, looking for something out of the normal and feeling her mother’s presence with both of us.

    Thank you, again.

    1. Scott…

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I am so sorry to hear about your wife – I am sure it has been extremely difficult for you, your daughter and family. The fact that hunting was something you did with your wife for fun and your daughter is now showing interest… it sounds like a really great opportunity for Dad/Daughter time. I am sure it would probably make your wife smile knowing the two of you were now off continuing the adventures.

      As for the field – it did change a lot. I saw and felt it the most at events. In the beginning, fans would approach us asking us about our experiences on certain episodes. They would question, they would ask us if we checked certain things (was a window open, was it an electrical issue, etc.), they would try to help us solve the mystery long after the show had aired. By the time I left, they would bring up something that happened on the show and if I said “oh, it was nothing – we were able to debunk it – it was X, Y and Z…” they would get annoyed – even pissed at times.

      In the beginning – if they showed you a photograph and wanted your opinion on something and you said, “Oh, that orb isn’t paranormal – it looks like the handle strap on your camera, it looks like a strand of hair, it looks like a bug, dust, etc.” They would thank you for your time, they would take your words and experience into consideration, etc.

      By the end, they would get defiant and pissed off. God forbid you tell them it is anything other than a demon. It was quite frustrating. Our job went from debunking and being respected for debunking to people getting annoyed and pissed for questioning and debunking.

      I think it is worth doing still for fun – sounds like a good bonding time for you and your daughter. 🙂 Like you said – its the time in old buildings, wandering around in the dark which is pretty special. That I do miss a great deal.

      All the best,

      Kris

  8. Have you ever done an investigation where the police show up wondering what was going on?

    1. Not that I can remember…

  9. Interesting read, the field has changed these new “hunters” are quick to jump to conclusions and toss the phrase demonic around as often as we take a breath.

    1. It has changed a lot. I remember we’d get called in to investigate – the client was thrilled if we were able to debunk claims. When i left – many would actually get upset or even pissed off if you debunk their claims. Some locations – you could tell – wanted the “haunted” seal of approval which would have brought para related tourism. It was a bit frustrating. That and locations that had on their business cards that their location was “certified” haunted. Certified by what or who? Its not something that can be certified…

  10. I made it a priority that I would avoid asking you any para-questions once you started making a point to people you were no longer interested in entertaining them. Your response was a good read. Honestly over the years of conversing with you I enjoyed learning more about you outside of the “ghost hunter” stuff, but if you are willing to entertain one question. What are your thoughts regarding Bobby Mackey’s? Most people I have ever heard speak of the place label it evil, demonic, negative.

    1. Hey Randall,

      I really cant comment on Bobby Mackey’s because I’ve never been. So, outside of stories I have heard, I have no personal experience with the location. Could be something to it or… could be a whole lot of hot air. Can’t say one way or another.

  11. Thank you for your honesty, a few years back on a Facebook chat you said that we needed to spend more time with the living. That comment really stuck with me. I took your advice which I cherish now. We lost my 92 year old father in March from a brain tumor. So thank you for opening my eyes and realize living people are more important to us then snooping around trying to talk to dead people in old asylums,hospitals,etc. Again I respect your honesty !!!

    1. Thank you, Rick. So sorry to hear about your father… losing a loved one is never easy. I hope you were able to squeeze in some extra laughs and life long memories. The para can be fun but I did find it funny how much it distracted us from whats important right now – the people still with us. Balance is everything which is something GH and GHI made no room for.

  12. Kris, I appreciate your candor in looking at the paranormal through an objective lens. Now that was refreshing.

  13. Hey Kris, I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed reading this. Loved all your answers. I always wondered about how the show was done and you enlightened me on the subject.Also welcome back to the USA. Take care girl. And good luck with whatever you get into over the years. Be safe.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it, Taria. 🙂

  14. Great article, I enjoyed reading this.

  15. This was a great read, Kris. You’re an excellent writer! I have dabbled with the paranormal and think much like you do, it would seem. Thank you for the honesty and for taking the time to post this! By the way, I love following you on Twitter. Your tweets always crack me up 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Mike! 🙂

  16. Very candid, very honest. Thank you, Kris, for being so straightforward. I enjoyed GH mostly because they did “debunk” a lot of stuff. That, is crucial. I am glad that, in your experience, they didn’t make stuff up for the camera or do…”do overs” … that also is crucial. I am enjoying Amy Bruni and Adam Berry lately. I like them. But some of the “other” shows have really turned me off since GH went off the air. One such ( I won’t mention names) had a “device” that turned any sound it ‘heard’ into intelligible “speech”. English, of course (even if the dead were French…???). My “BS” Meter went off immediately. And it’s filters got clogged when on one show, a “voice/evp” was heard over the “device” and it of course said something “eerie”. But as they tried to figure out what happened and what this might mean…it was found that someone had scooted a chair out of the way to get a camera shot….and the “sound” of a chair scooting across the floor was what this “miracle device” had picked up and rendered into “intelligible” speech. At least they admitted that. But for me? I never watched again until Amy and Adam started up their show (or I was able to catch a GH rerun). I am like you. I mainly watched for the “history” of a place. I also loved vicariously walking around in the dark in interesting places with people I had come to enjoy and respect. But once it got so “commercial” and then more and more devices were added (most post GH) I had to wonder how do they know that’s effective? What’s the science behind THAT? I lost interest rapidly because, in my opinion, it was becoming very much a case of….”If we don’t ‘FIND’ ….’SOMETHING’….people will stop watching…so we need a “hook” or a “catch” at each commercial break to bring the audience back. I do understand that need for production values to a certain extent. Again GH might come back from commercials and then “debunk” what caused Jay or Grant to say, “What THE?……!” just before the break. I too love history as I said. And I am not a hard core Ghost Toastie … but I too had a lot of experiences growing up that had me wondering, “What the heck was that?” I don’t scare easily and I wasn’t scared then. But it was, in a word, “fascinating”. I’ve had many such experiences. I do not claim to know even now what they were caused by (and believe me, my mind worked over time looking for logical explanations …usually finding them too!) But what ever it was, on some few occasions, it was definitely outside the realm of something I could easily pass off as just “stuff”. So, thanks again for being so REAL. It is refreshing to say the least!!! Thank you, Kris for that.

    1. Hey Philip –
      Yes, that’s where I struggle. There is A LOT we don’t know – when those unknown things are then sold as fact, 100% real, undeniable, etc. I have a hard time taking things seriously. What happened to the “may be”, “could be”, “the theory is…”, etc.?

      Same with the “tools” of the trade… In the beginning (when I started), it was recorders, EMF detectors, IR cameras, etc. The basics… and all of those devices were not made for the purpose of finding ghosts. When I left, people were pumping out new equipment which they claimed detected ghosts… how exactly do you make a tool to detect something we have not proved the 100% existence of?

      Some of the gadgets made sense… tools that detected vibrations, cameras that detected movement, etc… but many “tools” were just so far fetched. Granted I would play around with some of these devices for fun – however I never would have used them on a serious investigation which involved a client.

      It is a weird field with a lot of room for people to be dishonest.

  17. Brilliantly articulated, Kris… thank you!
    Your perspective on the “industry” is refreshing… In a time where everyone and their second cousin want to start their own cable-access-grade “Ghost Thingys” show, that some folks have the integrity of skepticism. On a sidebar, your postings about genealogy sparked my own interest in my heritage which has resulted in a wonderfully wild ride! I thank you whole-heartedly for that!

    1. Joe,
      I am so glad to hear I helped get you hooked on genealogy! It is so much fun, so addictive and so rewarding. 🙂

      Skepticism and integrity are a must. Unfortunately, some take skepticism as being negative which is so off the mark. I would have fans of the show arguing with me over my own experiences. I would explain why the experience I had was not paranormal and they’d get bent out of shape as if I was clubbing a baby seal. It was maddening and mind boggling. But, what can you do. I think to some degree TV made the “field” bigger than all of us (investigators) and took a wild turn on its own.

      1. It’s fascinating. Research/Investigation, by it’s nature, is a quest for the truth. Skepticism is the best way to hone down findings into ACTUAL (possible) evidence. Agreed, I think the TV influence brought more of an “entertainment” slant.. which has it’s own value.. but not if you are looking for PROOF!
        Back to the genealogy… do you have any tips/tricks? I’ve gone the “big name site that I think you were affiliated with” (rhymes with shmancestry.com) and it has been decent… but not that great internationally. Have you done any deep dives internationally? Thanks again for all you do!

    2. Thank you, again, Kris. Call me an agnostic when it comes to the paranormal. I don’t believe or disbelieve. I observe. Then I try to process the experience in as logical a fashion as possible. When no answer is forthcoming? I give it time to process. Everything you said in your comment to me…ditto. And I DO think there are many things we cannot explain readily and that is why I have enjoyed those who I felt were trying to be as objective as possible on a very subjective subject. What made that flashlight drain that fast? Why did the infrared camera pick up some sort of image but the digital camera did not? All wonderful questions. But, so glad that you found your “getting off” point. Some people seemed to have become obsessed with this subject and forget to live LIFE! Glad that doesn’t include you. So, keep us informed as to what EVER you get involved in. You made a lot of friends on GH and since. We’re interested in your life journey now. Because…we care! All the best!

  18. Was sorry you left the team you were one of the best of them, I agree on the over use of demonic

    1. Thank you, John! Yea – it was a bit out of control, lol. But what can ya do!

  19. Love it! I think Greg Neukirk posted a pic of open cabinets in a kitchen with a header that read “No, I don’t think a Demon traveled all the way from hell to open your cabinet doors”. I laughed so hard at the reality of that. I do however subscribe to the Daemonic, but it’s not what most people think. Daemonic Reality by Patrick Harpur is enlightening. Thanks for opening up and sharing. We’ve missed you. And if you decide to join the Food network, I’ll definitely follow u on that journey too 😉😜

    1. LOL “No, I don’t think a Demon traveled all the way from hell to open your cabinet doors” How did I miss that?!?!?

      Thank you, Mikel! 🙂

  20. Thanks for the honesty. It was nice having you share things that most don’t know, and very few in that field ever discuss.

    1. Thank you, David! It is a weird little field. Many of us do enjoy it – however there are weird aspects for sure that can turn you off. I had a love hate relationship with it for sure. Not to say I don’t miss it at times… the environments just changed SO much since I first started.

  21. That was so great to read! That level of intimacy and outright sharing was so refreshing! Do your thing! We appreciate the time we had to enjoy your adventures with you.

    1. Thank you, Carl. 🙂

  22. I always loved you on all your hunts. hope you had a good time at Hells Gate in British Columbia Canada here. would love to meet you in person. you are awesome. take care Kris

    1. Henry – thank you so much for your comment and kind words! We did enjoy Canada – god that was SO long ago!!!! I cant even get over how fast time is flying.

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