I have to admit that I really enjoy being able to interview face-to-face. It makes the conversation flow and the questions can spring from the comfortable dialogue.
This interview was with Kyle McNatt (director) and James Kelly (investigator) from Arizona Paranormal Investigations; the most professional and forward-thinking ghost hunting team in the Southwest. I was thrilled they were willing to sit down with me and let me get them talking about paranormal investigations and their methodology.
I had seen James in action on hunts and his exceptional talent as an EVP collector impressed me a lot. He said when he started out he had been curious about EVPs and wanted to see if he could capture any. Over time, he learned more and more about how to control the EVP sessions for validity. His integrity is one thing that really caught my eye on hunts. He lines up recorders and then marks if they were near a window or door or where they were located. These sort of tagging techniques are critical when listening again, not only to know which recorder captured the voice, but to also consider if it was near a source of potential sound like a noisy street outside the window. He is now a believer in intelligent interactions with these voices in which a specific answer to a specific question can be obtained. He is curious by nature and, like me, open to lots of explanations for the paranormal. I made a mental note where James is concerned that he is the EVP expert I would want beside me on a critical hunt.
Kyle, the director and computer “techno-guy” explained to me that there is about a year-long training period for recruits. They try not to keep the team too large and they often get hounded by people wanting a spot when one opens, but on a team such as theirs, I understand they probably don’t lose members easily and that’s due to their standards and integrity. This logic-based approach to picking a team and getting a good mix is crucial and one reason why API is so sought after.
A majority of their cases involve private clients in homes and buildings with issues. They are so often approached that a method for weeding out the more critical cases has been designed. As well, businesses are interested in being evaluated and legitimized as a potential haunted spot. You can be certain that if this team has combed over a site and come to a conclusion, they are giving you a very well thought out and nonbiased answer.
When asked if they offer any cleansing techniques for clients, they said that they remain open-minded in working with clients; a combination of counseling and advisement along with any methods that apply to the clients’ belief systems are considered and applied.
I don’t know why I haven’t interviewed these bright boys before, but they impressed the hell out of me and in a field in which there are plenty of egos, boasting, territorial skirmishes and plain old nut cases, I was thrilled to find some hunters and a team that I would be proud to be associated with.
Now, that’s an Autumnforest Seal of Approval!