Conversations with a Paranormal Investigator .... Penny from Haunted Histories Parasearch Radio
Last year I struck up a few friendships with the lovely crew from Parasearch radio in the UK. It amazed me that the blog had travelled that far. Not only that, but they asked me to be a guest on the show. It was not long after the first show I appeared on that one of the hosts and I struck up a friendship. That was with Penny. She is a very caring person with a big passion for history and the paranormal. So much so that she is the host of a radio program 'Haunted Histories' which focuses on the history and the paranormal side of significant locations all around the world. She has interviewed paranormal celebs and will one day have a book on the way. She is a bubbly friendly person always up for a chat. Meet Penny.
Please provide a short bio of who you are and what you do in the paranormal field:
My name is Penny Griffiths-Morgan and although primarily I am a historian, my interest in the paranormal goes back years and I am an investigator, a blogger, writer and podcaster for Parasearch Radio.
How did you get started in the paranormal field?
I had always believed in it, but didn't realise until relatively recently (thanks to watching Ghost Asylum with the Tennessee Wraith Chaser lads!) that you could actually investigate it, as soon as I decided I wanted to have a go, I found an events company that was looking for trainee investigators and went from there.
What is it that draws you to the paranormal?
It's the unknown, and the historical aspect, I mean, how cool would it be to ask people who actually lived in that particular era what it was really like?
Do any members of your family research/investigate the paranormal as well?
(Does it run in the family?) No in a nutshell! but my two sons (8&5) are both interested in it now thanks to mummy so I may have bred the next generation of investigators……….
What is your area of expertise in the paranormal?
Correlating events with the history most definitely, and also interpreting information to ask more probing questions rather than generic "so did you die here…" type stuff.
What do you believe a ‘ghost’ is? Do you believe in ghosts/spirits?
Million dollar question! yes I do believe in them but I do think there is a distinct difference between ghost and spirit. I always liken ghost to a video that’s on permanent repeat, the same thing will be done over and over like groundhog day but cannot be changed. Why this happens? I don't have an opinion on believe it or not! a spirit is the energy of a past life that wants to converse with present lives, they have the same emotions, personality and thoughts as the living, they just cannot be seen by many people.
Why do you believe history is so important to the paranormal field?
I think history can be used for many things, interpreting findings for example….if you knew from historical evidence that a place wasn't built until 1950, there's probably little point thinking that you've seen a victorian woman walking through it, although, if you find out that it was occupied before the 1950s the victorian woman could be plausible. The other thing I think you can use history for is to ask trigger questions, if you're in an old workhouse, you can ask something like "did you really drink beer instead of water" or "how did it feel to have your children taken away" things like that. I have had a lot of response asking historically appropriate questions that are slightly unusual.
What approach do you take in researching/investigating the paranormal?
Spiritual, technical, theoretical etc all of the above! the more I learn, the more I look at theories and the technical in my approach, but my go to is probably the more spiritual side though as I think it's so hard to prove a lot of what we see and feel that regardless of all the gadgetry in the world, it's down to the individual at the end of the day because even with technical "evidence" it's down to the individual to interpret it. So to answer that, I try to look at everything, but I am learning all the time from people like you, Ashley Knibb, William Tabone, Beth Darlington and hundreds of others.
Do you believe an investigator should know the history of a location before they investigate it?
It's really personal opinion, it's up to them, I prefer it but I can understand why a medium or a sensitive may not want to. For me it's a pre requisite of an investigation. What I don't do is read up on ANY of the past haunting evidence/stories, that is something I do not want to know.
How often do you investigate out in the field?
I try to go out once a month cash permitting, but it's not unknown for me to switch on the voice recorder on my mobile phone if a place feels like something is going on……….
What sort of equipment do you like to use on an investigation?
I'd use everything available if I could afford it! probably a K2 (to check for EMF if I'm feeling a bit light headed not just to see if a "ghost" is about), voice recorder, PsB7, laser grid and then me myself and I.
When putting together your radio programs, how do you decide who to interview?
It depends, some people are referrals from other guests, but normally I find a location I think would make a good show and then start looking for someone who knows it from the paranormal side….if they have contacts who I know, I will probably ask them if they believe they would be a good guest and go from there - not everyone says yes.
What makes your radio show different to a lot of the other paranormal podcasts out there?
Because I try to have fun with it! and there aren't any that I have listened to which combine the history and the paranormal quite as much, many do it from time to time, but not exclusively. Most are more of a pure interview with the guest, in mine, it's the place which is the star………. (although don't tell my guests I said that ;-) )
If you retired from the field tomorrow, what legacy would you want to be remembered for? (Achievement, Tours, theory, experiments, attitude etc)
Hopefully the book I'm nearly finished writing! if not, my enthusiasm for the combination of history and paranormal. I don't have any theories I've released, or tours I've done (yet….) but if I have switched one person onto believing that history isn't dull and has a place in the paranormal field then I can die happy.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the field?
Don't be afraid to ask questions, don't be afraid to challenge opinions but be ready to LISTEN! oh, and remember not everyone is your friend.
If you could educate your peers or pass on knowledge, what would it be?
Any of the history element I have researched for my podcast, it's not boring, it's real!
Plug yourself! Do you have any websites, Facebook pages - advertise them -
Parasearch Radio on facebook and twitter, and our website, www.parasearch.org for the blogs and everything else. I have a book I will be publishing on amazon later this year all about the history and my experiences of places, no release date as yet, but we'll be talking about it as much as possible!
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