GINA LANIER is a New Orleans native who has studied paranormal activities, the occult and hauntings for nearly thirty years. She has participated in and conducted large-scale location hauntings and recently has shifted her focus to include the investigation and study of haunted toys such as dolls, toy furniture, games and other hallmarks of childhood.
Gina’s paranormal studies stem from several childhood experiences with the unknown including witnessing full body apparitions and clairaudient encounters with deceased relatives. These experiences continued beyond childhood and this is when Gina resolved to learn as much as possible about psychic and paranormal phenomenon to determine what, exactly, was making contact with her and with others who claimed to have been contacted from the Other Side.
Gina owns and operates a construction and refurbishment company in the Greater New Orleans area and this has afforded her exposure to many allegedly haunted locations and people over the years; several of these clients welcomed Gina’s expertise and insight when it came to documenting and investigating their haunted homes and businesses.
Gina Lanier has been selected by Haunted America Tours as one of the lead investigators for its soon-to-be-launched Haunted Investigations Team (HIT). If you would like to contact Gina, please submit your request and as much information as possible about your situation to her care of the Haunted America Tours web site.
20 QUESTIONS Gina Lanier
1. Where do you see ghost hunting and Paranormal groups, web sites or Ghost information, tours, Books like your own in 10 years?
I am not a psychic and am not in the habit of making predictions. However, I do anticipate much more interest in these areas of the paranormal, the unexplained and Ghosts in general. I think that with technological advances further proof of the paranormal will be available to us very soon. I use conventional and sometimes just out of the ordinary equipment. I once encountered a a real Ghost once at the Babylon Mardi Gras Float Den that would unplug a radio if he did not like the music that was playing.
I feel that Groups need to stress the & steeps of ghost hunting. The fear of failure to face your own fears, more than anything else, holds people back. It paralyzes action. Couple this with ghost hunting and all is amplified by 10. And it makes failure inevitable. They may take the first step but you must learn to follow through in a timely manner. Tell your self you will investigate a location, by such and such a date physically, that is known to be haunted. So, go research it on the computer first. Then talk to people. Start with your friends and their friends. Then call or visit the haunted location. you don't need to bring anything with you or even go inside. see what you feel about it inside. go as many times as you need to get comfortable with it. Only to bring your equipment when your ready to investigate it. Well, think of it this way. Often you go on vacation, you take photos of what? the things that interest you.
Fortunately, even if you know nothing about the world of ghost chasing, you can begin with a dream of finding or photographing a real ghost, an apparition, or orb in the air, and then build a foundation under it. Once you got it research it further, show it to friends, document their reactions and feelings about what the Ghost photo is, or isn't of.
These Seven Simple Steps To Becoming A Ghost hunter/Paranormal Investigator have helped many that I let tag along with me, I hope it is a help to you and getting your ghost hunting, chasing, or paranormal Investigation under way:
The starting point of many great haunted adventures has been these seven simple steps. This is how many have begun. Remember most in the field of ghost hunting It is a profession that is mostly self taught.
1. Set a goal to capture a ghost on film, or EVP's or witness a haunting.
Back it up with a burning desire to research and get out and do it... Just sitting their reading this is the start, but go seek out a haunting. Investigate the known facts of what others say is happening. Question it! And of course do you believe it?
Did the ghost of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau of New Orleans just visit a downtown Hotel in Florida? It is said she appeared to 300 people and her head flew off and then the furniture shook then she disappeared not before saying " I'll be back"?
Sounds really Crazy? Go find out for your self. Investigate the haunting see if it's the truth! No matter what you hear it is yours to discern if it is true.
2. Begin accumulating friends and family's Ghost stories, ghost photos, or talk about a haunted location, other then already documented cases.
This also a great thing to start for a novice. Talk with friends family or people you work with or meet. You might be surprised at what people close to you know or what they have had happened to them or their family, don't be surprised at what they may tell you. With a regular get together you might start your own haunted group. Or you might go join one with an established group.
Nothing else is possible without this. You can't move forward until you start a learning program. Either your personal learning or as a group it will only spark you to go out and seek a haunting.
3. Use your current Ideas as a springboard to later ghost hunting success. Learn while you earn valuable new insights.
Take the long view. Decide what you can handle and what you won't. Many people will not investigate the spot where a recent murder has occurred. Others will not investigate Suicides, or where the terminally ill have been or mentally disturbed have died. Specialties in haunting and type of ghost, or the choice of what type of haunting you investigate is yours. Historical or recent.
4. Experiment in ways to set up finding a new or different really haunted location and documenting what people have to say.
You might need a little courage to walk up to a stranger and say
"Do you think this place is haunted?"
I have a friend who met his wife from that statement. It's a great opening line. you might be shocked at the answer you get. Or ask do you believe in ghost.
5. Search for ghost hunting equipment that you already might have.,
Camera's, video or digital recorders voice recorders, flashlights, and etc. Look through the newspapers and on the web for ghost hunting products or equipment you can afford at a good quality and at a reasonable prices.
6. Read everything you can find on your chosen haunted ghost investigating field. Take a haunted walk or city ghost tour. analyze the haunted location and the story you hear. Remember this is a form of research. Check out a haunted cemetery, or haunted American battle Field or haunted house or haunted hotel. Ghost may be right in your back yard and you don't know it.
Remain flexible. Be willing to change your mind if you get different information. It is always good to remain skeptical of anyone's claims as well as what you might uncover. Just because this is one persons account of a haunting it does not mean that yours will be the same. and if it is then your investigation gives validation to theirs. don't be afraid to investigate a well known overly investigated haunting.
You'd be a fool not to, you will see how much new information and details surface to your investigation that will answer your questions and give you more to ponder.
7. Implement your plans with courage and persistence.
Do you know how you will react if you see a ghost? Will your heart
race, will you run away? Have complete faith in your ability to succeed
and never, ever give up. No two experiences are the same. And here
are two steps you can take immediately to start moving toward your
personal ghost hunting success:
The most important thing is just to begin. To move forward one step at a time, learning and growing as you go. There's enough haunted ghost stories and their information available in virtually every location of the United States of paranormal happenings for you to become knowledgeable enough to achieve success. But taking the haunted ghost filled first step is a necessity.
Every novice haunted investigations requires an act of faith and courage, a bold leap into the real unknown. Only one in ten people who want to start their own ghost hunts or haunted investigations ever develop enough courage to begin, and enough persistence to continue. They really don't know their fear level until they get out there and do it. And the only thing to be afraid of is that first step. Here follows my 7 steps to starting you on the road to becoming a Ghost Hunter.
Ghost Hunting & Investigating Paranormal Activity may be Adventurous and Fun but Permission should ALWAYS be sought so that Private Residences are Respected, Public buildings Not Trespassed! Abandoned areas should STILL be respected and permission sought to be on them, while Condemned areas should not be trespassed, period - This includes cemeteries also.
Stop by the local police station and ask if it would be permitted for you to be on any area or place, and to also let them know you will be there if it's ok for you to do so, (including permission of owners should be sought). Vandalism is unacceptable, and could land you in jail or any other amount of trouble.
2. What would you personally consider to be the definitive proof that ghosts are real?
Having an experience with ghosts is usually proof enough for most people. All Proof lies with the person who experiences it. I get so mad when someone claims something has happened to them and no one believes them. Life and happenings are subjective to your reality and if you say it happened why should you not be believed. But again people do make false claims.
The proof of ghosts by looking at ghost pictures, stories and other proof of the existence of ghosts is fine and dandy. But what makes a believer out of me and not you is puely subjective to what I feel and sense as truth to me, and not necessarily truth to you.
We are all in this field searching and documenting proof of what we believe are real ghosts and the paranormal. I also personally think many from all walks of life have their own ghost stories to tell, but often fear telling what really happened happened to them in any detail because the fear ridicule or bring the terrifying encounter they had back in to reality for them.
We know from Dan Rather's own testimony that he has communed with the ghost of his hero, Edward R. Murrow, who haunts the third floor at CBS headquarters. Rather says he chats with the ghost of the legendary CBS newsman but neglected to report what the two talk about.
Also I just read on the internet that" Scientist Claims Proof Of Afterlife Research Finds Accuracy Of Mediums Channeling Dead People" http://www.newsnet5.com/news/2893543/detail.html
Scientists at The University of Arizona have done extensive research, and say that they have the proof that when we die we continue to live beyond our physical bodies.
"Almost anyone who sees the data says there's something real here," said one of the researchers.
Allison Dubois is a spiritual medium, or someone thought to be able to communicate with the dead.
Christine Vettore was brought in for a reading with Dubois, who attempted to contact Vettore's dead relatives.
"I'm hopeful that there's an afterlife so I can see everybody I've lost already," said Vettore.
It doesn't take long -- within seconds, Dubois says Vettore's daughter is coming through.
It is a gift Dubois says she's had her whole life, but it comes with a lot of criticism.
"I think there are some people that are Charlatans, and with any profession there's going to be some bad apples, so I mean that just goes with the territory, so the ones that are accurate and are legitimate just have to prove themselves," said Dubois.
This reading is part of a science experiment -- Dr. Gary Schwartz, of the University of Arizona, is observing.
The Harvard-trained doctor looked for what he calls hits and misses, or the accuracy of the reading.
He's building on his hypothesis that there is life after death, and that mediums can talk to those who have died. After Vettore's daughter is contacted, Dubois contacted Vettore's brother and mother. She is able nail facts, giving details about the relations that she could not have known beforehand.
For instance, Dubois tells Vettore that her mother knows there's a carrot cake and a bowl of peanuts in her house.
"None of those things do I ever have in my house. I have those things in my house this month, carrot cake and peanuts, so that was weird," said Vettore.
The accuracy is amazing to Vettore, because she had never met or talked to Dubois before. She said Dubois was accurate in 80 to 90 percent of everything she said.
3. What is the most real evidence you personally have uncovered so far?
In one such investigation, my sister and I were working on a project, we experienced a paranormal phenomenon of a board about 6" W x 1" thick x 4' long bang up against a concrete wall about 15 feet high about three times. The board then fell to the floor. No one was within 50 feet of this area. This place is not rigged in any way. The owners of this building are in no way interested in the paranormal and have no idea of this occurrence or many others that have been experienced by many workers in this building. The building once was a prison. The energy there was caused mostly by a violent riot where many died. Several prison guards, Italian inmates and drunken Irish immigrants were involved in the riot. That is all I can say about this incident that has been recorded in history because the owners of the building wish for this place to remain anonymous.
4. Are you skeptical of the claims other make of their findings?
Of course. If not then I would be not worth my salt as an investigator. You need to walk into every situation with your eyes wide open. I investigate Haunted Dolls and possessed toys, Teddy Bears and Voodoo Spirit possession phenomena also. I also hope people or others in the field or skeptical of my findings, this way others can find out if my findings are true or not also. Remember to go into something as a believer helps no one. Take on every new experience with the idea that it needs to prove itself to you as positive proof that ghosts are real
5. If you could investigate your "Dream Haunted Hot Spot" where would it be?
I'm not telling until I do! No Just Kidding, The haunted hills and battlefields of Gettysburg. I plan on doing that this summer. after that The Catacombs of France. And the Coliseum in Rome. The Most crowded of Real Haunted Cemeteries the Rookwood Cemetery - Sydney, Australia. Real My dream is to investigate real ghosts and hauntings, and all the Haunted places around the world, The World's Most Haunted Places may make you a real believer in ghosts. But I want to understand and find out for myself if they are really the most haunted best, scariest ghost filled hotspots ever? I guess I want to investigate everything and every place ghost are known to haunt.
6. What was your first Paranormal encounter?
I was about 10 years old. Some of my family, Granny, Paw Paw, Brother, Mother and I were sitting at the dinner table at my grandparents' house. It is a two story house, we all heard someone come up the stairs, (located adjacent to the kitchen where we were all sitting.) All of us were anticipating the door to open at the top of the stairs and see who it was. No one ever came in. Then I got up to look in the stairwell. No one was there, nor did the footsteps descend the stairs. To this day, none of us can explain the occurrence. I believe it was my Aunt Toni Mae because it sounded like her walk and she had passed away about a year before at the young age of 32.
7. What scares you about Ghost Hunting or Paranormal Investigations?
Other people involved as to how they will react if or when something paranormal should occur. Many I find freak out and go into hysterics. The actual encounter with a real ghost can be very traumatic to some and affect them in a devastating manner their whole life long. Also hearing that someone just decided to go ghost hunting with a group of friends on a lark and someone got hurt.
To begin searching for the answers, I suggest reading all there is about real ghosts and paranormal haunting information, so you may gain wisdom concerning the world of spirits.
Some religions, have taught many that ghosts do not exist. And because of this people will not even consider the existence of ghosts. This is also due in part to the "Hollywood" teaching of ghosts & the fear that has been created through horror movies.
We have been taught to fear the spiritual, the paranormal, ghosts
& hauntings. Ghost movies with haunted houses such as The Amityville
Horror, Poltergeist & The Haunted Mansion have burned scary images
into the minds of many. Therefore, it is important for us to seek
an open mind while trying to understand the spiritual world of real
ghosts, hauntings and the paranormal from a fresh perspective.
8. If you could work side by side with one of the Paranormal Investigator greats, who would it be?
Edgar Cayce, he made his name in the first half of this century in America as a psychic healer; perhaps the greatest that the United States ever produced. During his lifetime he was credited with assisting thousands of people suffering from all manner of ailments. But there was also a lesser known aspect to Cayce's psychic revelations. Occasionally while in a self-induced trance, Cayce would speak of events to come. He predicted the First and Second World War, the independence of India and the 1929 stock market crash. He also predicted, fifteen years before the event, the creation of the State of Israel. His most disturbing predictions, however, concern vast geographical upheavals which by the year 1998 will result in the destruction of New York, the disappearance of most of Japan, and a cataclysmic change in Northern Europe. Also Hanz Holzer, Mark Nesbitt, Jeff Belanger, and Dale Kaczmarek.
9. Read any good Paranormal Books lately?
Mark Nebitt's Haunted Pennsylvania: Ghosts And Strange Phenomena of the Keystone State, Hanz Holzer's Travel Guide to Haunted Houses: A Practical Guide to Places Haunted by Ghosts, Spirits and Poltergeists, and How To Be A Ghost Hunter. And Loyd Auerbach Ghost Hunting: How to Investigate the Paranormal. I always like to read what others have to say . You can never stop learning new things and others perspectives as you well know.
10. What Question do people ask you most when you tell them your a paranormal investigator, Ghost hunting article writer?
Most have no idea because I run a small construction company. So, they ask if I am telling the truth. The second question is do you really go to haunted cemeteries at night, or Can a ghost follow you home. Do ghosts exist? ghosts & proof of that afterlife - the spirit world. It has been a goal of many to understand life. Why am I here? Is there life beyond the grave? Do we live on after we die?
11. In your opinion, Where is the most Haunted city in America?
New Orleans, Louisiana; by far. I have traveled the United States and it seems that Southern Ghost or more apt to come out and show themselves more readily. Southern Haunted Hospitality I guess. Chattanooga, Tennessee is very haunted and so is Galveston, Texas and Gettysburg Pennsylvania. I would have to say it is a tie between those three place as to who is most Haunted American City to investigate.
12. Do you feel more people should get involved with Ghost hunting or Paranormal Investigation?
The more people involved, the more evidence will be provided. So, yes! But only people that are not out for just the thrills and haunted chills. Those people should stick to haunted house attractions at theme parks or at Halloween. Sci-Fi's Ghost Hunters has opened the door and shown people how easy it is to investigate ghosts. But also they have promoted that anyone can do it.
I have read stories recently of people getting shot at, arrested and in all kinds of altercations because they don't follow the guidelines of how to Ghost Hunt properly. Taps should start stressing on the show a segment of what and how to ghost hunt. This is something I have never seen done on any TV show.
13. What does the future hold for you?
"Many, Many More Real Paranormal Adventures! I plan on investigating a few old line Mardi Gras Krewe Dens, several real Haunted Buildings in The French Quarter, Haunted Dolls and Teddy Bears and publish my book.
14. Paranormal Conventions do you see them growing?
Lately I stay away from conventions.
I am extremely busy with work, rebuilding the great City of New Orleans and have no time left between work, investigating and keeping up with my Paranormal Investigations and my personal life.
Conventions need to grow. And so do the perceptions of the afterlife.
15. What is your most favored tool of the trade?
A camera. An Emf Meter and my own keen perceptions into a haunting. Always pay attention to details and go over everything more then once. Often /I am asked to review the findings of others because I have such a keen eye and will watch and scrutinize every detail set before me. I get very absorbed by what I am doing at hand.
16. Tell us about your best moment in investigating or conference attending for you?
The best moment in any investigation is making contact of any type, be it on film, recording or just plain experiencing the phenomenon.
At a conference I believe it is when you find a like minded individual that is on the same page. Be it novice paranormal investigator or a well respected great persona.
17. What is the hardest part about being a paranormal writer?
Making the time to sit down and write. Especially when there is so much to go out and investigate. Findings are often important to the point that it is hard to decide what to write in an article and what to save for my book.
18. How do you document your investigations?
In many ways, i.e.: photos, recordings, electromagnetic readings, thermometer readings and of course human experiences of those present.
19. Have you ever taken a ghost Tour?
Yes. And, What about it did you not like? The theatrics by the tour guide. She was afraid of her own shadow. It was un nerving to say the least. I have taken Cemetery Tours, Voodoo Tours, Haunted Building and Hotel Ghost walks with top Psychics and even a once in a lifetime funeral home tour and abandoned ruins of Waverly Asylum, Sloss, and one of a old molasses factory.
Tour Guides usually stick to a script and often get board with the tour unless they can interact with those on it.
20. What in the field of ghost hunting and Paranormal Investigating needs the most attention?
The Spirits that are all around us often think they are trapped and some often guide us to them because they realize they need help to get on their way.
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