Tonya was born and raised into a house that believed in spirit phenomena, though it was something she never spent much time thinking about. Raised with a very young mother, Tonya was introduced to the world of audio communication in 1982; right before her 8th birthday when her mother conducted a seance and asked her to run the big, bulky tape recorder for her so that they could later "listen to the dead".
Ironically, Tonya never had any personal experiences until 2000 when
she bought her first home. Since then, she has been actively involved
in helping with research and audio and in 2006 formed her own team;
The Greater Pittsburgh Paranormal Society.
Today, The Greater Pittsburgh Paranormal Society is composed of people from Law Enforcement, to Psychologists all with two goals in mind-to help people and to further our research on the paranormal.
GPPS has investigated over thirty homes in the Pittsburgh area and work with different community programs on a regular basis to help educate the public on the paranormal. The primary objective of GPPS is to investigate and collect data pertaining to the paranormal, and to offer assistance to those who believe their lives are being affected by a haunting and to help them take charge of their lives.
Tonya Boff 20 Questions
1. Where do you see ghost hunting and Paranormal groups, web sites or Ghost information, tours, Books Paranormal Radio and Television in 10 years?
Since technology changes every day; I would have to say that the paranormal field will be much more advanced technologically and there would probably be much more organization to the field. Also, I think there might even be some sort of protocol or specific guidelines for investigations as more and more non-profit registries are being recorded for paranormal investigators.
With this, there will be more grants, more access to better technology and access to research offices and labs.
Investigators have been viewed in a much better light in the medial as of the last few years; so I believe that it will only get better.
Since the interest in the paranormal has been a timeless one, I could not imagine that the field would ever end unless of course, someone has that world exclusive interview with the deceased. :-)
2. What would you personally consider to be the definitive proof that ghosts are real?
I would say that definitive proof would have to be something of a physical nature. Maybe an interview with the deceased.
3. What is the most real evidence you personally have uncovered so far?
An E.V.P. that answers two of my detailed questions.
4. Are you skeptical of the claims other make of their findings?
It depends on the claims and the evidence they produce of the claims.
5. If you could investigate your "Dream Haunted Hot Spot" where would it be?
Dixmont located here in Pennsylvania. The actual asylum has been torn down, and they have tried to erect a department store there. Due to the landslide they were unable to do so.
6. What was your first Paranormal encounter?
In 2000 I bought my first home. The first encounter was a horrible feeling of uneasiness in the bathroom, to the point of becoming actually physically sick. I later found out that an elderly woman died in the bathtub and was left there for two weeks in the summer.
There were many more encounters in that home, but that was the first.
7. What scares you about Ghost Hunting or Paranormal Investigations?
Everything. The unknown itself both scares me and piques my curiosity. The more I fear, the more I want to know.
8. If you could work side by side with one of the Paranormal Investigator greats, who would it be?
Only one? There are so many greats out there that this one's tough for me. I'd like to work side by side with many of the paranormal "greats'".
9. Read any good Paranormal Books lately?
10. What Question do people ask you most when you tell them your a paranormal investigator?
Are there really ghosts?
11. In your opinion, Where is the most Haunted city in America?
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But that's my opinion so far!
12. Do you feel more people should get involved with Ghost hunting or Paranormal Investigation?
More serious people should get involved. The more researchers and good minds working together; the closer we come to the truth.
13. What does the future hold for you?
Working with more investigators, furthering my research and knowledge, and more ideas for educating others in the field.
14. Paranormal Conventions do you see them growing? And which ones are the Must go to ones?
Yes, paranormal conventions have been growing, and I think at the rate they're going they will continue on a successful path.
I would have to say that Univ Con in State College Pennsylvania is very informative, educating and entertaining, and a must-go.
15. What is your most favored tool of the trade?
My Digital Voice Recorder.
16. Tell us about your best moment in investigating for you?
My best moment in investigating was when a terrified couple came to us because of strange and violent activity in their home. We were not only able to confirm suspicions of activity that was of unknown origin; but we educated them to the point that they weren't afraid anymore.
In fact, they started their own paranormal team!
17. What is the hardest part about being a paranormal Investigator?
Not having enough time for family or friends.
18. How do you document your investigations?
Pen and paper, computer filing, paper filing, audio and video.
19. Have you ever taken a ghost Tour? And, What about it did you not like?
Yes I have taken a ghost tour. I did not like the fact that it was in the worst part of town when the town had heavy traffic-both pedestrian and vehicular.
20. What in the field of ghost hunting and Paranormal Investigating needs the most attention?