Conversations with a paranormal investigator ... Brian from GhostQuest.net
There is not one size fits all when it comes to researching and investigating the paranormal. You don't have to be out on an actual investigation every weekend or run tours to make a contribution to the field. In this series, I am not only wanting to highlight people that are in a paranormal group etc. I also want to shine a light on some of the great content creators we have in the field as well. I have known Brian for a while now from our interactions on Twitter. It became obvious early on that he puts his heart and soul into maintaining a website called ghostquest.net. As someone who knows how much work is actually involved into running and maintaining a website, I reached out and asked if he would like to be interviewed for this series. In the past Brian has helped to grow my site by sharing articles and even featuring LLIFS and other content creators on his website. Not once has Brian ever asked me for anything in return for his efforts (not even a share). Now it is his turn for his work to be highlighted. It shows that all you need is an idea, and you are on your way to making your mark in the paranormal field.
Please provide a short bio of who you are and what you do in the paranormal field:
My name is Brian, and I run the GhostQuest.net website. I'm working hard to compile a huge online database of haunted locations and other paranormal resources. I plan to keep working to make GhostQuest.net the best online resource for paranormal enthusiasts. In the future I hope to travel to the locations listed on my site to investigate them, and write about my experiences first hand in a blog or a book. I have lots of big plans for the future of GhostQuest.net!!
How did you get started in the paranormal field?
I've always loved learning about the history of local places, especially ones with mysterious and macabre stories behind them. Back when I was in college, some friends and I decided to look up some allegedly haunted locations in our home state of New Hampshire, USA. The information I was able to find was vague, unreliable, and poorly written. Most pages appeared to have been created during the internet's early genesis, before the wealth of knowledge we now have available on Google, Wikipedia, etc. As the years went by, I ended up revisiting these websites again and again just to read the weird stories and history. Eventually, I had read them all, and years went by with no updates, and no new information... that's what made me decide to compile my own list!
What is it that draws you to the paranormal?
When I first started learning about all this allegedly haunted history, I was a complete nonbeliever in anything spiritual or paranormal. I really just loved the history aspect, and looking at the pictures of all these cool abandoned places, or sometimes exploring them in person when given the opportunity. There were a few times my fellow investigators and I experienced some strange phenomena; weird vibes, cold spots, and spooky noises, but nothing I could allow myself to consider as undeniable evidence of something inexplicable. However as I get older and learn more about certain elements of science and spirituality, the more I'm convinced of the existence of the human spirit and soul. In particular learning about String Theory, which states that the universe consists of tiny particles that vibrate at different frequencies, and we as humans in our physical form can only perceive and interact with certain frequencies. This means that according to current scientific theory, alternate universes and planes of existence can (and likely do) exist in the same space that we occupy, but resonate on a different frequency that we're not able to experience with our current abilities of perception, such as sight and sound. String Theory coupled with the Law of Conservation of Energy, which states that energy can never be created or destroyed, creates a huge question in my mind - where does our energy go when we die? Does this explain scientifically the phenomenon of ghosts and spirits? Is there life after death? These questions are what draw me to the paranormal!
Do any members of your family research/investigate the paranormal as well? (Does it run in the family?)
No, but when I was a kid, my mom used to purchase haunted dolls and other artifacts on ebay... creepy!
What is your area of expertise in the paranormal?
Right now research and documentation is my main field of expertise, but I would love to expand that in the future to include investigating, theorizing, and trying to find a scientific explanation for the questions being raised in the paranormal community. I also have ideas for some cool ghost hunting gadgets that I'd like to invent some day.
What do you believe a ‘ghost’ is? Do you believe in ghosts/spirits?
That's the exact question I some day hope to answer! Is a ghost just our living energy converted into another form? Do we continue to exist on another frequency? In a parallel universe? Is energy stored in the area where a person dies? In my mind, it's not a question of "if," but rather "why," and "how?"
What approach do you take in researching/investigating the paranormal? Spiritual, technical, theoretical etc
Despite being a believer, when researching I always take a very skeptical approach. It's really important to me that all the places I list on GhostQuest.net have credible sources as to their history and claims of paranormal activity. Many of the locations I end up researching turn out to be nothing more than urban legend, or something that is explained scientifically.
What is your day job? Are some of your professional skills beneficial to paranormal investigating?
I currently work from home doing technical support for small business clients. I do feel that my job helps me to think critically and improve my process for analyzing and processing information, solving problems, and thinking critically. Some day though, I'd like to make this website into a career!
What inspired you to start your website?
A lot of things, but mainly the fact that no website quite like what I'm creating exists yet. Right now I'm just writing brief descriptions of each location, with a little history, but eventually I want to take it to the next level, and I want each location to have it's own full wiki-esque page, with a much more comprehensive overview of the location, history, and paranormal phenomena. I figured there must be other people out there who want the same thing.. so I'm making it!
How do you come up with the topics you discuss in your blog/website?
Mostly it's just whatever I think would be interesting and useful for my readers. For example I noticed a lot of my followers are really into podcasts and blogs related to true crime and other paranormal-related topics, so I recently added a Media section to help people find new podcasts, websites, etc. Later I plan to write guides for investigators, as well as a folklore/paranormal encyclopedia... it's really wherever my whims decide to take me, and whatever I think would be fun for me and my readers (PS - you guys are the best!)
What makes your website different to a lot of the other paranormal blogs and webpages out there?
I think just the sheer volume of haunted locations and paranormal hotspots listed on GhostQuest.net is enough to set us apart from the rest. I also take great care to provide as much reliable and accurate information as possible about each location. I currently have over 3,300 locations listed, and that doesn't include the ones I've listed and haven't had the chance to write about yet. Once I finish I'm estimating I'll have around 10,000 locations listed just in the USA - I plan to add a lot of awesome features to GhostQuest.net over the years so that I can truly make my website stand out!
Do you have a favourite article you have written or topic you like writing about on your site?
That's a tough question because after the first several hundred locations, they all kind of become a blur!! I think my favorite article to write so far has been for the "Famous Hauntings" page of my website where I wrote about Waverly Hills Sanatorium, because I got to really go into a lot of depth. Sometimes when I'm just writing a brief description it's hard to only include just the most relevant details, especially when some of these locations are so rich in history. I can't wait to start writing more "wiki"-esque pages like the one I did for Waverly Hills ( http://www.ghostquest.net/haunted-waverly-hills-sanatorium-louisville-ky.html ) so I can really start getting into the juicy details and stories.
You highlight a lot of ‘haunted locations’ on your website. How many have you been to?
I've been to a small handful of locations in my home state of New Hampshire, USA, but I hope to really start exploring more places once I'm able to afford the costs of travelling so I can write a book. I also plan to make some cool video walkthroughs of the places I visit so that my users can "explore" some of the locations on GhostQuest.net from the comfort of their home - I hope that someday GhostQuest.net will be a name that's well known in the paranormal community.
What are some of the locations on your bucket list to investigate?
Oh boy, so many! I've always wanted to travel the world and explore some of the creepy old locations in Europe and other countries where I can learn about some of the history and geography I haven't had the chance to study yet. I've always wanted to see one of England's old haunted castles!
Do you believe research is an important part of investigating?
Absolutely! Good research can make the difference between finding good evidence, and having a bad investigation, and that's one of the main things I hope my readers will find helpful about GhostQuest.net. Knowing the history of the location and the entities you may encounter is important for a number of reasons; first off, safety. Is the location physically safe? Are the spirits who reside there said to be dangerous? Do you know what you're getting yourself into? Never go into a potentially dangerous situation unprepared!! Another reason is that knowing how to communicate with the spirit you're trying to contact can make gathering evidence easier; asking the right questions, using the right props, and knowing the era in which the spirit belongs in can really help to get good evidence, and encourage the spirit(s) to interact with you and your group.
How often do you investigate out in the field?
I haven't been on any investigations lately, but I hope some day that will change!
What sort of equipment do you like to use on an investigation?
Most of my investigations were using video and audio recording software on a cell phone.
If you retired from the field tomorrow, what legacy would you want to be remembered for? (Achievement, Tours, theory, experiments, attitude etc)
Another great question - all of the above! I really hope to someday take GhostQuest.net to a new level where I can perform experiments and theorize and study the big questions in the paranormal field. I also hope to leave behind a legacy by participating in conventions, lectures, making videos, books, etc. But of course, having a positive and open-minded attitude is a must!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the field?
Whatever it is you want to do, just keep at it! It requires a lot of time and dedication to do the things that you want to do in life. When I first started GhostQuest.net in April of 2016, I had no followers, and my website didn't even show up on Google.com searches. Three years later, I've met some really incredible people and had some great experiences, all while watching my tiny project become larger and larger. Don't quit!
If you could educate your peers or pass on knowledge, what would it be?
Well, the point of my website is to pass on as much knowledge as possible! But I think my main advice is to keep an open mind; always be skeptical, but always be open to new techniques and possibilities; always improve yourself, always grow, and never become stagnant in what you're doing!
Plug yourself! Do you have any websites, Facebook pages - advertise them
Yes, I do! GhostQuest.net is where you can go to find my huge list of haunted locations, and other content, but you can also add me on Facebook ( https://goo.gl/XwkGg5 ) and Twitter ( https://goo.gl/ULEv5z ) ! You can also help support the costs of hosting GhostQuest.net by checking out my Etsy store ( https://goo.gl/eCEbFS ) and Patreon ( https://goo.gl/bcN8pZ ) . All purchases and donations contribute to the cost of hosting GhostQuest.net, and helping me to expand my operations into as many new areas as possible! Thank you all so much for reading, and I hope you enjoy all the great content at GhostQuest.net!
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