|As the world of paranormal tries to dish out a new show at least once a week, the original and fan favorite series “Ghost Hunters” returns to Syfy for their seventh season. The crew takes on several of the most haunted locations including Hill View Manor, a former nursing home in New Castle, PA, and even a special “Dark Shadows” episode in which fans of the cult-classic television show can come along for their first paranormal investigation of Seaview Terrace, the location where the show was filmed and where the hunters discover the loudest ghost evidence.
The series made its debut in October of 2004 when Syfy introduced Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. Jason and Grant started TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), a close-knit organization of volunteer paranormal researchers who try to figure what otherworldly spirits surround us. The hunters have dealt with everything from speaking entities, moving furniture and ghostly visages.
The first episode, titled “Urgent,” found the team assisting a family who was being terrorized by the spirit of an elderly man they believe inhabits their home. During a conference call, Amy Bruni and Adam Berry spoke about their experiences and what makes them stand out from the rest of the paranormal world. Amy started out by turning her daily hobby into a way of life.
Amy was raised in a haunted house and her family embraced it. Her father was an amateur paranormal investigator, and at times he and Amy would investigate haunted sites. Amy began reading everything she could about the paranormal. Professionally, Amy started with a paranormal team in Sacramento, California. Amy’s knowledge of the paranormal drew the attention of Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of TAPS and the hit Syfy series “Ghost Hunters.” She began assisting with TAPS activities and their satellite team, TAPS West.
Amy recalled some of her experiences, going back to when she was just 10 years old, in which she would go to cemeteries with her dad, becoming a way for the two to bond. She said her personal experiences made high school a little difficult for her, because others did not understand. She continued on doing what she loves, and it has been a lifelong spiritual experience for her.
Adam Berry is an actor, singer and a paranormal investigator, a jack of all trades. He grew up in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to attend college. He earned a BFA in Musical Theatre. Adam’s interest in the paranormal took over when he began experiencing a lot of strange activity in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He has had many ghostly experiences as a child, but as an adult, paranormal investigating went from a passion to a full fledge career move. Adam started out on Syfy’s original series “Ghost Hunters Academy.” Adam won on the show and joined the TAPS team on “Ghost Hunters.”
Adam loved things “that go bump in the night” when he was a kid. He loved anything that involved Halloween or scary movies, and he knew there was something else out there that was beyond the human eyes. His first ghostly encounter came when he was in college. There was always a drive for him to discover the unknown, and it fully progressed from there. He compared it to finding out what “lies behind the closet door.” He is always anxious to find out.
One of the scariest moments for these two took place during an investigation at an older prison in New Jersey. Amy said she was in the prison tunnels and found a manhole cover which she lifted up, discovering she was in someone’s house. There was a homeless man standing there staring at her, and she thought to herself, “I should not be here.” She advised the camera man that they would not continue that area of the investigation.
Adam’s experiences often start with strange sounds that he described to be similar to “crazy animal sounds.” He talked about their experience at Benhurst Asylum being absolutely frightening. The entire investigation was terrifying for him. He said a lot of times it is not even ghostly inhabits that are the cause of the terror, but human or building problems. He will take the ghosts over anything any day of the week.
Halloween is a paranormal investigator’s version of Christmas. Both Amy and Adam love the holiday, leading up to their live show. They have events every weekend, and there is always a great buzz for them during the month of October. They find it exciting and step up the ghost hunting. Adam finds that there is no better way to celebrate than being locked in a dark, scary place with Amy for six hours on television.
Amy and Adam’s personal lives can be just as scary; the two discussed some of their scariest personal moments. Amy found that when they were heading to Mackinac Island, taking the icebreaker ferry across the lake, that they got stranded and could not find a ferry back to land. They had to fly out on a small four-seat plane, and it took multiple trips to get people and equipment back to land. Snowstorms bother Adam, and he recalls driving up to Maine to do an investigation at Fort Knox. They had to drive through a severe snowstorm that took over four and a half hours. It was terrifying for them both.
Compared to other seasons, this current one is just as exciting, as there is a lot of new equipment, including a full spectrum camera. They have collected a lot of amazing evidence and have been consistent about paranormal activity. They also have a lot of new exciting locations and some secrets they could not reveal.
Their investigations often take a lot of time and depending on what time of year it is, especially winter months when it gets dark outside faster, the team must get to an investigation very early. They spend a lot of time packing and unpacking. It is a very immense process. They must research the locations and make sure the buildings are safe. The cameramen must know where they are going with the camera and all the cables. Amy said it takes about two hours just to set up. The most time consuming part is going over all the evidence. Adam compared it to opening a “Christmas present that you unwrap very slowly,” then finding out what you were searching for, and a moment of “ta da.”
Amy and Adam credit the fans for all the support and think of themselves as being very different in terms of how they investigate. They tend to stay away from the severe provoking out of respect for the spirits of whoever inhabited the locations they investigate. They believe that is one of the things that make the fans appreciate them. The fans are great and always share their stories with them. Amy says it is great that it makes them feel when the fans feel safe telling them their own experiences. Adam joked that he only gets recognized when he is with Amy, but he loves the fans. The team also appreciates the social networks and what the viewers have done for the series.
They stay grounded and up to date by being skeptical. Despite all the experiences and years of working in the paranormal field, they still question what is happening and Amy feels being a skeptic is very healthy. She admits she believes there are some people who take it too far but she feels if you are opened minded anything could happen.
The episodes that stand out this season are Hillview Manor, which Amy said “was a great investigation,” as well as Pearl Harbor. They could not go into exact detail, but did say it is going to be an exciting season. They also discussed using a technique called the “flashlight technique” this season. They have discovered that when you use a mag light, and turn it to where it’s almost to a point where it would turn on by itself, that it can be a natural way for the ghosts to communicate.
Discussing where they will be in about ten to fifteen years, Amy hopes to continue to travel the country and do what she loves in the paranormal world. She would love to write a book and go further into the educational side of investigating. She said there is an endless capacity to what can be done. Adam agrees that the field is constantly changing, always with new researchers and techniques. He believes he’s come a long way and just wants to continue the learning process.
There is already talk of season eight, so it shows just how exciting the series is for Syfy and the viewers. They hope to continue doing what the love and stay fresh and innovative. Don’t miss a single episode of “Ghost Hunters” every Wednesday on the Syfy channel at 9PM ET/PT.