20 QUESTIONS WITH Mitchel Whitington
1. Where do you see ghost hunting and Paranormal groups, web sites
or Ghost information, tours, Books Paranormal Radio and Television
in 10 years?
Hopefully a lot of the ones started just to make a few bucks will
have fallen by the wayside, and the people with a genuine interest
in the paranormal will still be around. There is also quite a bit
of conflict between groups, so I would love to see that end and have
everyone concentrate on the single cause of investigating the supernatural.
2. What would you personally consider to be the definitive proof that
ghosts are real?
When I was writing the book “Ghosts of North Texas,” I
was investigating a nightclub that used to be a theater. I tracked
down an actress who had been in a play there years ago – she
now lives on the west coast. She described a man that she saw walking
up the steps beside the stage one night, although no one was in the
building. Upon investigation, there was no one there but her; she
felt like the man was a ghost that she’d seen. Separately I
found a young lady who works at the nightclub today, and she described
seeing the exact same man one night while locking up. Neither of the
two women knew of the other, they are separated by half a country,
and were a generation apart in age. The younger one didn’t even
know that the nightclub had once been a theater; yet they saw the
same man, and described him perfectly. I was talking to a policeman
who’d read the book, and he told me that if two independent
witnesses could place a person at the same place, it was enough to
convict. He went on to say that people had been put to death on less
evidence that that – I don’t know how much more proof
of a supernatural occurrence that someone could want.
3. What is the most real evidence you personally have uncovered so
See above. I’ve had many experiences while investigating places:
seeing spirits, hearing their voices and footsteps, smelling their
odors… but a skeptic could easily dismiss all those with the
wave of a hand. The incident that I described in the last answer constitutes
the best proof that I’ve ever seen.
4. Are you skeptical of the claims other make of their findings?
I try to walk a line between being skeptical and being completely
open-minded. I live in an 1861 house that is haunted, but if I thought
that every little creak was a ghost, I’d go crazy. Things do
happen in the house all the time, but it also is constantly settling.
What did Freud say? “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”
Still, I am certainly open to reports of other paranormal investigators.
5. If you could investigate your "Dream Haunted Hot Spot"
where would it be?
My dream spots to investigate and write about are public places that
are haunted, such as restaurants. I love stories where different,
ordinary people experience the same thing at that same time –
not ghost-hunters or paranormal investigators, but regular folks.
I love to interview those people.
6. What was your first Paranormal encounter?
At a hotel in New Orleans – it was just a feeling, and nothing
more dramatic than that. My wife and I were accompanying a paranormal
investigator to a hotel where he’d been checking out some activity;
he told us to separate and walk around, and that we’d talk later.
After a few minutes, I’d found a couple of places where my skin
prickled and the hair on my arm stood on end – it just felt,
well, odd. When we got back together, my wife had experienced the
same thing in the same places, and the investigator told us that they
were “hot spots” for the hotel, without knowing that we’d
each felt something there. It was incredible, because it taught me
that not every supernatural experience would be seeing a ghost, catching
an EVP, etc. Sometimes it’s just a feeling.
7. What scares you about Ghost Hunting or Paranormal Investigations?
Ghosts don’t scare me – people do. If I’m in a remote
location, I worry about being robbed or assaulted, but never about
having a supernatural experience. For example, my wife and I were
in New Orleans one evening visiting haunted places, and we were walking
several blocks off of Bourbon Street to visit an Irish Pub. Halfway
there, something didn’t feel right, and I was terrified. We
ran to the establishment, and then back to Bourbon when we were through
there. Nothing to do with ghosts, mind you, just the thought that
we were vulnerable and that someone was watching us.
8. If you could work side by side with one of the Paranormal Investigator
greats, who would it be?
No question – Harry Houdini. That may sound strange, because
most people view him as a skeptic who went around debunking mediums.
If you study his life, though, he desperately wanted to contact his
mother after her death, and just exposed the mediums that were using
trickery to make him think that the connection was made. He wasn’t
out to prove everyone wrong; he just wanted to prove someone right.
I think that it would interesting to accompany him on his quest.
9. Read any good Paranormal Books lately?
I read a ton of books on the paranormal, but my favorite authors (in
no order) are Loyd Auerbach and Troy Taylor. Both are talented paranormal
investigators, and compelling writers. I think that I’ve read
everything that they’ve both done… c’mon guys, give
me some new books – I’m going on vacation next week and
need something to read!
10. What Question do people ask you most when you tell them you’re
a paranormal investigator?
“Do you REALLY believe in ghosts?” When I tell them yes,
they then proceed to tell me about a paranormal experience that they
had, but never shared with anyone. You wouldn’t believe how
often that happens.
11. In your opinion, Where is the most Haunted city in America?
Jefferson, Texas. It has many of the original buildings from the 1800s,
since the Union Army was defeated at Mansfield, Louisiana. Had the
Federal forces won, they would have marched into Jefferson and burned
the town. Since the South won, the town was preserved, and most of
the houses and structures still stand, and many seem to have spirits
associated with them.
12. Do you feel more people should get involved with Ghost hunting
or Paranormal Investigation?
I wouldn’t encourage or discourage people either way –
I think that everyone has to follow their own path.
13. What does the future hold for you?
As a writer of books about the paranormal, I’m continually visiting
haunted places. Sometimes nothing happens, and other times there are
incredible occurrences. I plan on continuing to write in this genre,
though, so I hope to find many places to visit in the future.
14. Paranormal Conventions: do you see them growing? And which ones
are the Must go to ones?
I love paranormal conventions – I’ve spoken at them across
the country, and I always find that getting together with people of
a like mind recharges my batteries, and gets me excited about the
interests that we all share.
15. What is your most favored tool of the trade?
I don’t have a favorite electronic gadget – I rely on
feelings more than anything else. I accompanied one paranormal investigation
group who said, “We don’t consider anything genuine that
we can’t measure scientifically.” In my experience, a
staunch skeptic will deny the most genuine, compelling evidence, and
a hopeful believer will see a ghost in piece of lint on the camera
lens. I can Photoshop you a photo that is incredible, but I can’t
induce feelings… I remember walking into a stairwell and being
overcome with extreme sadness, as if someone had thrown a blanket
of it over me, and that kind of thing can’t be faked.
16. Tell us about your best moment in investigating or conference
attending for you?
My best moment is being able to tell someone, “You’re
not crazy.” Since I investigate and write about haunted places,
people who would normally deny any supernatural activity seem to feel
like it’s okay to share it with me – like I won’t
think that they’re crazy. Of course, I don’t! I listen
to each story with an open mind, which is something that the person
usually hasn’t encountered before… most people assume
that if they’ve had a supernatural experience, they’re
crazy. I love being able to say, “No, it’s okay…
I’ve had them, too.”
17. What is the hardest part about being a paranormal Investigator?
For me, it’s dealing with the people that I love where ghosts
don’t fit into their belief structure. For example, when I was
writing “A Ghost In My Suitcase: A Guide To Haunted Travel In
America” one of my relatives sent me Bible verses to show that
there couldn’t be any such thing as ghosts, since when we die,
we lie in a coffin in suspended animation until Jesus returns (her
belief). I didn’t respond – how do you take up a philosophical
fight with someone that you love? I just ignored it all. In the years
since, that dear person that I really do love has passed away, so
hopefully now she understands it all, much more than I do.
18. How do you document your investigations?
For me, it is personal interviews with people who have had multiple
experiences at the places that I’m visiting. I always have a
camera and a recorder, but I mostly rely on interviews that I conduct
with people who are at a location day in and day out. For example,
if I’m investigating a hotel, I may be there for two or three
days. The person that I really want to talk to is the maid who has
worked there – and experienced things – for the past ten
19. Have you ever taken a ghost Tour OTHER THEN YOUR OWN? And, What
about it did you not like?
My wife and I take ghost walks around the country, from one coast
to the other, and generally have a good time with them. The one that
I really didn’t like (and I won’t say were it was) had
a guide who did magic tricks throughout the tour, but purported them
to be his own “mystic ability”. Now, I did magic as a
teenager at little kids’ parties and such, and I could do most
of the tricks that he performed for the group under the guise of his
own psychic talent. It ruined the tour for me; since I knew that his
words about the tricks were BS, then I figured his ghost stories were
20. What in the field of ghost hunting and Paranormal Investigating
needs the most attention?
I’ll probably catch a lot of flack for this, but my answer is:
ORBS. I know that there are some people in our field who say that
EVERY orb is a reflection of some type or another, and then there
are other people who say that EVERY orb is of supernatural origin.
I have to come down in the middle. For example, if you want to get
a hundred orbs in a photo, just go out and take a flash photo with
a digital camera during a rainstorm, and you’ll see them everywhere.
On the other hand, I’ve seen a few photographs that defy explanation.
I just think that we need to step back and take a careful look at
the whole ORB phenomena before assuming one way or the other.
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