Do you believe in ghosts?
Heather Dobson does. She is an Atlanta-area stay-at-home mom by day and seasoned paranormal investigator by night. She travels the country looking with Paranormal Georgia Investigators for evidence of the afterlife and is now the author of her first book, Memoirs of a Future Ghost, scheduled for release August third this year.
Heather joins me on Southern Life Indian Wife to discuss mom stuff, how people here in the Bible Belt offer to pray for her, and what exactly goes through her mind when she hears a ghostly voice on a recording tell her to get out of a house.
If you get goosebumps during the episode as I did during our conversation, I want to hear about it. And I implore you to pre-order her book for even more tales of her experiences with the paranormal.
Subscribe to Southern Life Indian Wife where you listen to podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Tunein. Keep up to date with the podcast and my upcoming book news by following me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
To learn all about Heather Dobson and pre-order “Memoirs of a Future Ghost,” find her here: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and her website and Paranormal Georgia Investigators.
I’m a lifelong Southerner married to an Indian man who grew up in South Africa during apartheid and I am fiercely proud about. If you don’t like that Well bless your heart. I’m Cheryl Prabhu and this is southern life Indian wife. Do you believe in ghosts.
Or whether you do or not you’re going to love today’s guest Heather Dobson.
Heather and I met over sidewalk chalk and play dates when our kids were little. She’s an unassuming looking suburban mom three kids minivan you know the whole shebang. But to my absolute delight I discover there’s much more to Heather. She is a paranormal investigator who travels the country looking for evidence of the afterlife and now she’s the author of the book Memoirs of a future ghost. Coming out this summer we talk about raising twins and our writing process and about people here in the Bible Belt offering to pray for her. Bless their hearts and what it really feels like when she hears a ghost tell her to get out of a house. So brace yourself for some goose bumps. And now a very big welcome to Heather Dobson.
So welcome to the podcast. Thanks for having me. So did you do boot camp this morning.
I did and Miss Bailey works out as she put it she cooked us she cooked you know.
Yeah. So hopefully you’re not too cooked to talk to me this morning. I’m ready. Good good good good. OK. So you and I used to be neighbors that’s how we got to know each other. Did and our kids hung out together. Yes it’s funny I’m a hermit and if it weren’t for my kids I wouldn’t know anybody. Yeah I kind of feel the same way. So it was through Jared that I met you. Yeah. Yeah yeah. It’s kind of funny especially when you have kids you’re either a hermit and you’re stuck in the house and cooking and cleaning and trying to recuperate right or you’re running out with all the friends on the lacrosse team and stuff like that. But exactly. That wasn’t really me when my kids were little when they were in high school for sure. Yeah but yeah we bonded over sidewalk chalk and play dates for a long time. Yes we did. Yes. So you let’s see what are your interest Tell me about what you just normally do.
Normally I am. Of course I’m in the chauffeur phase of motherhood because you know this one has horseback riding lessons and this one has taekwondo now and his piano and so it’s a lot of back and forth. And of course I am the the homemaker of the house so I’m taking care of the House and feeding five people but my personal interests are. I just started taekwondo. Have a goal of getting my black belt before before I’m 50. How well has that. How long is that supposed to take. It takes about two and a half years so I’m forty seven now. So actually if I if I pass all my tests so it’ll be right before my fiftieth birthday. Oh OK. So that’s that’s a thing I’m doing right now. I’m also into needlework. I do cross stitch and black work embroidery that type of thing. And I investigate the paranormal interesting.
So you’re not really the typical stay at home mom that we usually run into in our little community.
We are in such a little island here and it’s you really have to get out of the island to understand how much of a little insular place it is and we’re not anything like this place right. Yeah yeah.
So you’re kind of like a I wouldn’t I don’t know would you call yourself a misfit here in suburbia. I feel like one. Yeah. Yeah I do too. A lot of the time because you know most of the people in this little community are you know upper middle class white. Yes. And they play tennis on Thursdays and sundaes and they do PTA and all of these different things and they go to the big mothership Baptist church down the road on Sundays and Wednesdays and.
Yeah yeah yeah. I’m not anywhere in there.
Yeah. That’s not you and that’s not me. No my husband is Indian. So you know we certainly don’t do all that right. And you know it’s kind of funny when I introduce myself to somebody you know new from the neighborhood or whatever and I tell him oh my husband is Indian. They either kind of their eyes glaze over or they think Native American I bet. Yes they ask yeah. What tribe. And then a lot of the time the very first thing they say is oh my gosh I love Indian food. Okay.
What does that have to do with that. That’s great.
So what do people do when you tell them that you’re a paranormal investigator or do you when you just meet somebody around here.
Well I kind of feel it out and our society does not like. I don’t want to say they don’t like. But as a woman they expect you to do more than just stay at home and cook and clean and raise kids. Right. So I feel an obligation to say I’m a stay at home mom. But I also do this. So finally I can add author to that but you know one of the things that I wanted I would tell people I investigate the paranormal and the reaction was usually either oh my gosh that’s so cool let me tell you about all of my ghosts or because we live in the bible belt I would get the oh let me pray for you.
Oh my goodness.
Like to your face people will say oh yeah I’ve had I’ve had people just OK. Really. That that’s dangerous. Honey I’m just I’m just gonna go home and pray for you because that’s just really bad. Well they’re just looking out for you. Bless their hearts their hearts as we say in the south you know. And usually the other reaction would just be Oh are you are you crazy. That’s just I don’t want to hear any of your stories that I don’t want to. I don’t want to stay up all night tonight because it freaks them out. Yeah.
Freaks them out. Yeah I kind of feel that way when I first met you and we started talking about it. It does freak me out of me and it’s almost like OK if you think about it and talk about it then maybe it’s going to happen.
If I associate with it it’s gonna happen. Yeah. Yeah. I feel like it’s like a measles sort of thing right.
Yeah. Yeah. And I think for me it’s also because we’ve had kind of weird things happen in our house over the years there’ve been a lot of things that I’m always telling myself oh that didn’t really happen. Yeah. Yourself out of it. Yeah totally. So when I met you you’re somebody that actually investigates it because you think it’s actually real then that’s making me think Oh my God maybe it is real and I don’t want to face it. So maybe you know people are like that.
I think so yeah it’s a combination. Never know what I’m gonna get.
Yeah yeah my skin crawls when I think about it.
Yeah. And I have a different reaction. I’m all jump up and down that’s cool. Tell me more.
Let me come to your house. Yeah well let me tell you last night I was up super late because of Game of Thrones and you watch Game of Thrones.
I do not. I’m one of the five people on the planet. Yeah. Well you and I definitely cannot connect on that level. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. I like to wrap my brain with Real Housewives was my indulgence. Yeah.
That is definitely wrong. But that’s okay. Okay. Well last night so I watched Game of Thrones and it was so intense because the white walkers all these dead people are gone. Yeah that’s what I’ve heard. The White Walkers are coming in. Oh intense. So yeah I had a hard time falling asleep. Then I got into bed and my 11 year old came down around twelve thirty or so freaked out because he heard a door slam upstairs and he heard footsteps scurrying across the hallway. And so he got into bed I didn’t have the heart to make him go up there. So he got into bed with us and his knee was in my back the whole night. SOFTLY So I thought it was really appropriate that it was on the night before you were gonna be on the show. Yeah.
And my response to those types of incidences are you know if something wakes you up in the middle of the night and frightens you with the footsteps or we had one client who she felt like something sat down on the bed next to her you tell it. I mean you know if you’re if you’re if your roommate was waking you up in the middle of the night unnecessarily you tell your roommate to bugger off.
So why can’t you tell the ghost that will they listen.
They should OK so that brings me to another time because I think that we have a ghost here. Or maybe I’m just insane. It’s just me one time I was down in the kitchen and I heard I was yelling for one of the kids and I heard from the upstairs where there was no one really really loud. Yeah. So if I tell this ghost to be quiet. Are they going to yell back at me.
You know ghosts are were once living people and living people are gonna do what they’re gonna do. They’re sassy. Yeah they’re grumpy they’re silly either funny they’re pranksters you know they’re Moody idiots. So if they want it if they want to follow your direction maybe they will maybe they will. But you do have to take ownership of your home and let them know that this is your space and not theirs and you don’t appreciate it.
I never thought about that. Yeah OK well tonight maybe if that happens we’ll just go up there and say go back to bed. Yeah. To what time is it. What exactly is a ghost. I know you know people that are super religious are afraid of them because maybe they think they’re demons right. You know as in I think you’re an atheist. So do you believe that it’s a soul. Is it just an energy that’s like a physics thing. So. Well explain.
There are so many hypotheses out there about what ghosts are. You know there is the idea of elementals and elemental being you know like a nature spirit. So when you think about the Japanese Shinto or Druids you know that kind of thing you know yeah the tree out in your front yard has a spirit. The rock has a spirit the you know the daily in your yard has a spirit. So it’s all energy that’s connected. So Elementals are really ancient nature spirits and they get unhappy if you cut down a bunch of trees or if you disrespect the land or that type of thing then you have you do have inhuman spirits that are evil. OK. That’s what I don’t want to know about. What’s interesting is that I’ve been doing this now for over a decade and I’ve never come in contact with anything inhuman. It’s very rare. Typically what people think of as inhuman spirits usually is mental illness or they’re just overreacting to a regular haunting. So we’ve never had any contact with anything inhuman.
That’s a good thing. Well OK. What would you do if you ran into something like that would you totally quit investigations.
Because I think I might know I wouldn’t quit but we’re affiliated with an organization in Tennessee that specializes in inhuman demonic hauntings. And so we at least can recognize that one is happening OK and refer to them and have them come in and take care of it because we don’t where we are not equipped to take care of that.
Yeah. So you’re sitting in the middle of the night in a house. You have cameras going.
We have cameras we have audio equipment we have you know electromagnetic field detectors just all sorts of gadgets. OK.
Do you wear Depends as well. Because I would be and if you ever make me go on an investigation I will have that. I do not.
Now you know some people wear crosses some people wear you know charms you know whatever they feel like protects them. You know my my idea of protection is just I state out loud. You’re not allowed to come home with me. You’re not allowed to touch me. You’re not allowed to come near me. That kind of thing. Yeah.
But so yeah I mean we have had things follow us home as investigators.
But what’s great about that is that you have a visitor for a couple of days and then it dissipates because it’s not connected to it’s not connected to anything in your house it’s just there to see what’s going on and then it returns to wherever it came from. Wow.
Yeah. Yeah. I don’t even know what to say to that. So what. Yeah.
But anyway back to what we’re talking about. So you have elementals you have inhuman. And then I do believe that ghosts are people who were once alive that for whatever reason have not passed on either they have unfinished business or they’ve gotten stuck for some reason or maybe they like the earthly plane more than whatever’s going to happen next and they prefer to stay here. Who knows. OK. I don’t know.
As an atheist what you think happens to him. Because right. I think I believe in a higher power. I would like to believe in a higher power. I was raised Christian. We have Hindu in our family right. I don’t really know what I believe. Right. I don’t think that I believe what I believe or don’t believe is any better than what anybody else believes. Right. But I don’t know what happens after death. As an atheist what do you think.
So we have these spirits or this energy. Where does it go when it goes away or does it ever leave the earth. I think it gets recycled.
It’s interesting that I’m you know I was born and raised Christian and didn’t you know come to the decision of theism until I was an adult. And but I do feel and I’ve always felt like that we get recycled in some form or fashion and that we are the divine. It’s not that there is some you know supreme being sitting out there waiting for us to join it. I think we are all of us together make up the divine and that we all make up the opposites of the universe the good and the bad. And that for whatever reason we’re we’re experiencing life over and over again I guess to learn.
That’s a lot like Buddhism. Yeah I’ve been reading some books on Buddhism one of them is I can’t remember the Buddhist Book of Living and dying or something like that. Right. And that’s all about it’s about experiencing what we have here right and experiencing death and not being afraid of it. And you know that you’re going to be going on and I don’t think that they believe in God. They just believe in reaching enlightenment. Right. Exactly. It’s interesting to me that it seems like there is a theme in most religions especially eastern religions. They are definitely more accepting of that. Right.
And I don’t and you know I don’t think we always recycle and I don’t necessarily think it’s I’ve become enlightened so I’m not going to go back. I think it’s a personal choice as whatever your consciousness is do you want to. Are you going to come back or are you going to stay behind. OK. Because I can’t just brush away the stories of reincarnation that I hear about of people with previous memories and I you know and I always wonder why was my son so fascinated you know as a child as a 5 year old he picked up a book about the Titanic and was absolutely captivated by it. Wow. So is that because he was on the ship. Was he a family member of someone on the ship. You know why did I as a child become glued to anything dealing with ancient Egypt. You know why why do we all have these interests that we stick to throughout our lives is it because we have a connection to that to that or is it you know I don’t know or was I an Egyptologist in my former life. I don’t know. I don’t know. Yeah that would be so cool. Yeah. So cool. Anyway that’s what I think.
Yeah. Happening my mother in law is going to kill me for saying this but when my husband and I first got married of course they’re Hindu and they believe in reincarnation. And she explained to me because you know I was from this church called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Yes very much like Mormon. Yes. And I didn’t learn about ghosts or anything like that or reincarnation that was just totally new to me. And she said that he and I had obligations to each other from another lifetime. And now we are paying for them just because we are together. Oh my gosh. Now I have to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was a language barrier or something like that. That’s the impression that I got.
So but that is the you know the reincarnation thing Stone and I do think that we we we continually circle each other throughout our different existences. You know my my children have been with me in some form or fashion throughout our existence. You know whether they were my parents or relatives or friends or you know what have you. I think for some reason we’re drawn to people because I think we’ve been connected to one another so much.
Yeah. Oh I definitely agree because I’m sure. Have you ever had a time when you’ve met somebody and you just realized I was supposed to meet this person. Yeah well I feel like I already know that person right. Yeah pretty much yeah. The other day DA had my husband da mesh. He had a doctor that was studying with him at his office. He was learning some procedures from him and so we went out to dinner with him and his wife and I had never heard of them. I’m not friends with them on Facebook didn’t know anything about them. And when we met it was like wow I think I already know you. And she opened up to me and was telling me her life story and wants to share her life story. And because I’m a writer she was asking me for help right. And this woman survived the killing fields of Cambodia as a child. Wow. And she has this amazing story and it’s of life and death and we’re just crazy so you meet people and you know it was meant to be for sure. Yeah yeah. Wow. I don’t know.
And that’s the thing is that so many people like when we investigate their homes they’ll be like well what is this. What. I need answers. I’m like This is the one area of life that we can’t definitively answer until we make that passage ourselves. Yeah. And even then once we come back we can’t answer it because you know you start fresh.
Right. Right. So what does your husband think of all this. Because he doesn’t do the investigations right. He stays home with the kids. You know he always tells me Don’t bring anything home with you.
I’ll try my best time. It’s sort of like you going out on a date with else. Right. I don’t bring anything back.
I think back he’s been there with me from the beginning and I used to have horrifying panic attacks about death. And you know when we first got married there were many nights that I woke him up in the middle of the night. I was like I can’t breathe. I need you to call me down. And when I was a kid the way that I would deal with it was to sneak in and turn on the television in the living room or grab a book or something like that. And with him I would either just go into the other room or watch TV or he’d wake up and call me down. And you know gradually I adjusted and figured out how to deal with that. Then when I had kids it got 100 times worse. Why do you think that is. I think it was because I was worried about their ending. OK. Well I think you know it wasn’t just anymore about me OK fine I’ll you know because at the time I still had a very I had sort of Christian viewpoint about life and death and I was convinced I’m going to hell eternal punishment y’know just because just because of my weight I’ve been raised like fire and brimstone Yeah Heaven and Hell yeah. And and I eventually realized OK that’s a human construct to keep people in line. It’s to control people. And so but still I was terrified of it. And I thought OK I don’t want my children going to hell. I don’t want you know what’s going to happen and so I absolutely had to do this to know get answers for myself and to call my own anxiety. And and so he said Go for it just don’t bring anything home OK. All right. Yeah. He was born and raised Southern Baptist. He doesn’t go to church. He feels like organized religion has really ruined religion. Mm hmm. You know what. You know it’s yeah it’s just especially here in the south with the evangelical you know religion.
I think all over the world now I respect everybody that had you to belief in religion. But yeah you’re right. I think it is control the extremism has.
I think you just turned him off. Mm hmm. And so you know he is still very much considers himself a Christian. Mm hmm. But he doesn’t talk about it a lot. It’s very personal.
Yeah. And I think that’s the beauty of a good marriage. You know you can do your own things have your own interests and you don’t have to be the same on everything. Exactly. Yeah. So that’s good. Yeah. And it seems like he kind of does that with everything for you.
Yeah he is that way and I’m that way with him. Mm hmm. OK. Go. Go see the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie. I’ll see you when you get back. Yep. How long have you been married. It’ll be twenty four years next month. Yeah. Time. We got married is baby sitting.
Yeah. How old were you. Twenty three. Twenty three. I can top that. I was 19. You go girl. Yeah. But I didn’t make it. Well we made it twenty four years before we got divorced.
Yeah. So there you go. But now now you just add on. Right. The New Year’s right.
Yeah. We’ve always tried to figure out you know since we got married what a year and a half ago we got remarried. Do we start back at where we ended or do we say we’ve been married the full amount of time because we were divorced for two years. It was twenty four years. Got divorced got remarried two years later.
So you just add it all together and tell people we’ve been married for twenty five and a half years.
Yeah I guess we do that. Yeah. So what’s up silver anniversary congratulations.
Hey he needs to take me on a trip somewhere right. Yeah. Right. Text him and plant that seed in his mind. Time for a to go take her to Mexico so she can buy silver things. It’s her silver anniversary or he can just buy that for me here and take me to Mexico. How about that. I like it. Yeah. So another thing that we have in common you know we’ve got the twins. So we’ve kind of commiserated on that Wyndham. Yes yes.
Although you had it more difficult. I had twins right out the gate and then And then Jared. Heath or my twins and then Jared. So I knew nothing. I knew I didn’t know anything had the twins. And then when I had Jared I was like Oh this is easy we had singletons and then twins. Yes. So your expectations you already had an idea and then it got.
That’s true. Slammed and torn apart. Yes. Yeah. So I had a five year old a three and a half year old and then twins. Bless your heart. And I was 27 when that happened. You know what guys. So talk about you know a change in lifestyle so yeah. Twenty seven everybody else my age that I went to college with. They were still partying or maybe just getting married or just settling down. Yeah. So talk about some postpartum depression right. That was fun right. Mm hmm. But you know you get through it you get through it do you do you find things to you know is your outlet. So like when my twins were maybe three or so that was at a point where I actually was able to sleep a little bit. Right. And so I would get up and I would write and I didn’t know what I was going to write but I would just write at the beginning of a short story or just write my thoughts or whatever and I knew that that was what I wanted to do to kind of get out of the house. Right. But I didn’t know that I’d ever be able to send it to anybody. Right. But it helped me survive. My twins for sure.
And that’s what I did with you know I had the twins and then 20 months later I had Jared who Irish triplets.
Oh my goodness. So then and they all really look so much like I do and for a while there they were all the same height.
People thought they were triplets or that the boys were twins. Yeah. So about six months after I had Jared that’s when I started blogging. OK. And I didn’t I didn’t monetize it. I didn’t. I just did it to get out of the house without getting out of the house. That makes sense just to have adult contact and you know started you know getting in touch with other bloggers and started reading blogs that made me laugh interacted with people and found this online tribe that even though maybe only one or two of us still blog on a regular basis. I’m still in touch. I text those people now. They’re friends if I’m going to their town I’m like Hey let’s get together let’s hang out in there. They’re family that is wonder you know and it’s amazing that you know I always tell people I’m like if you can’t literally get out of the house get get online. I mean some people you know dis the Internet Facebook and social media and I admit I’ve I’ve had a Facebook addiction that I’ve had to step away from. Same here but blogging. Oh my gosh. That was amazing. Not only did it give me a creative outlet it allowed me to meet people that I never would have met before.
Right. So yeah I definitely experienced that with my blog. Yeah. So what was the topic of your blog and you’ve had several haven’t you.
Yeah I had my the one Russ was you know had for the longest it was Confessions of a coal miner’s granddaughter. I want to know the story behind the Well my grandfather my father’s father was a coal miner. OK. I was trying to come up with a name for it and in West Virginia yeah in West Virginia. And you know of course the Loretta Lynn movie was on the night that I chose the name. And so yes my grandfather was a coal miner with the Kingston Pocahontas coal company. OK. And my father and uncles grew up in a little tiny coal town in Kingston West Virginia. Mm hmm. And so you know eventually they you know my grandfather retired coal mines shut down you know everything started to decline in the 60s and 70s and it’s still been on the decline in West Virginia the coal industry. Right. And so but yeah I’ve you know grew up around my father’s family who were all coal miners you know the men in the family. And so some of my cousins and my uncles and they all did that as a job. And it’s it’s hard industry. It really breaks down physically and it’s sure it’s not good. So but anyway so what would they think of your paranormal investigations. Actually my grandfather who was the coal miner probably would not approve. Was he very Christian very Christian very religious from what I understand very you know a good man you know kind man but I don’t think he would have approved. I think my dad would have been fascinated. He’s one of the reasons why I’m so fascinated with ghosts and and and creatures you know like Bigfoot and that sort of thing. You know he would he would tell me scary stories and you know we would exchange because West Virginia there’s a reason why Chris Carter set so many episodes The X Files in West Virginia. Weird stuff happens. UFOs the moth man the Braxton County monster the Greenbriar ghost.
I’m going to let you guys look that up Google those moth man the moth May I am dying to know about that because supposedly that is a real thing. Yes. Maybe I don’t want to.
I don’t know. We need to talk about that more later.
We could talk about that more I could go I could do like five episodes but so it’s because of him that I have this interest and I think he would have been fascinated with my investigations.
So he passed away many years ago. Twenty one years ago. OK so hang on. Have you ever felt any presence of him.
I have. I’ve had a couple of C a couple years after he died I had a dream about him and I knew it wasn’t just a subconscious thing I knew it was him just because of the context of the dream. And then when I had to go through fertility treatments to have the twins. OK. And so when I was going through fertility treatments it was actually the night before my fifth insemination which took five times have to. Wow. So the fifth one took and the night before that appointment I had a dream about dad and his brother my uncle where it was just me complaining the entire entire dream about oh my gosh all this stuff that I have to go through. They’re like oh no we understand honey we’re in. Wow. And then about four years ago I was having a major life crisis and I was. I’d gone to the doctor and she’d put me on an emergency antidepressant prescription then and I was laying on the bed trying to get my mind off of things watching TV and I felt a hand brush my bangs off of my forehead. Oh my goodness. And I knew it was Dad. It wasn’t it wasn’t my house ghost. That’s a whole other story. I knew it was my father because I felt him.
Wow. Is that something that he used to do. Yeah. Alive. Yeah. So it’s interesting that you said that you felt him or talked to him when you were going through the in vitro insemination examination. OK. Because my dad passed away about a year and a half before chase. My youngest was born and I had a C-section with him heavily drugged in the recovery room. The baby is sitting in the bassinet. I was heavily drug but I was awake and I knew everything that was going on. I swear to God that my father walked in. All right quiet. No one else noticed I was the only one. He walked over and looked at the baby in the bassinet looked at me and smiled and walked out. It was him. Yes I know it wasn’t wishful thinking right because I didn’t believe in ghosts at the time of course. Yeah. You know it was just something that just happened and I felt him and I feel like that was when I started to think maybe this whole paranormal thing could possibly be real. Yeah.
And that’s the pleasant one to think about but I don’t want to think about those scary and then I don’t like thinking about those either. They’re terrifying. No they’re scary.
Yes I admit. Yikes. So when you watch horror movies you know ghost movie. Right. What do you think. Are they accurate.
They’re accurate as far as like when you have a negative inhuman demonic. OK. Because you know the demonic can do horrifyingly awful things. They they take the things that you love and destroy them and they’re they’re trying to break down your spirit. And you know so I do thinks Hollywood does get some things correct. But the problem is is that all the ghost movies that come out from Hollywood are all negative and scary. Whereas we’ve never had in the over 10 years that we’ve investigated anything negative or scary. If you made a real ghost movie about what real paranormal investigators do nobody would go see it. There’s nothing boring. Well yeah I guess so. Come mean you know because I’m sitting on a couch for five hours with a recorder going. Is anyone there so silent. You just talk. Yeah. We just talk and you know sometimes when we investigate you know we have two groups of investigators who go in. We have a group that knows everything about the location in the client’s name and the activity they’re experiencing and I think it’s I think it’s Aunt Fanny And You know they know that they have an idea I know the story. They know why they’re there right. OK. So that group will ask specific pointed questions. Are you the clients are you. Are you Jill’s aunt. Why are you here.
And then we have the control group that knows nothing. OK. All we know is the address. OK. We don’t talk to the client. We go in and we ask generic questions.
And so what we’re trying to get is we’re trying to get evidence from the control as well as from the group in the know to match.
OK. Does it sometimes.
How do you know that the ghost if you get Katie if you get similar voice if you get voices the sound the same you know if you get the same female voice if you get you know if this group asks Are you Jill’s Aunt Fanny. Mm hmm. And then the control group asks Are you related to the client.
So if you get I’m the aunt and yes you know it.
So then you’re getting information that matches you you have an intelligent spirit there to the voices actually answer you sometime way sometimes. Holy crap. So then we also have moments of silence. OK. We just sit we’re just quiet listening but what’s interesting is a lot of the times most of the EVP is electronic voice phenomena we get are we’re sitting around just talking Hey cheryl how’s it going. How are the kids what you’ve been doing. What have you been doing lately. You know. Yeah. Etc. So we chit chat amongst ourselves and we will get voices adding to the conversation.
That makes me catch my breath. So that makes me wonder if there is something listening to us. Yes probably. And how would we know. Like if I said you know go talk to me and then something happens tonight there’s another door slam.
I don’t want that to happen. I know I know.
And what’s fascinating is that we’ve had things add to the conversation and you know I don’t feel like answering these pointed questions like oh wow these people are interesting they went shopping for a leather coat the other day and I’m going to I’m going to comment on that. How do you hear the comments. Is it on a recording or is it actually it’s on a recording. Very rarely do we actually hear it. OK live it’s mostly on a recording that you go back several days later and you listen to in the comfort of your home right away from the location in broad daylight. You know you hear get out.
You heard that before. Yes I have heard. Get out. I just I just got chills all over my body. OK. I don’t know that I ever want to go on an investigation with you but that’s the thing.
It’s normally the investigation is extremely boring it’s mind numbingly so you know it’s a snooze fest. Yeah it’s not until several days later when I’m folding my laundry and I’ve got my headphones on and I’m listening I’m taking notes that it’s what does that.
So you know oh I guess it makes sense. You don’t know that it’s telling you to get out. So while you’re there you’re just oblivious. You’re totally oblivious ignorance is bliss. You don’t feel in danger.
You know the ones that that are telling you to get out do you feel like that’s you know not necessarily negative it could just be dude you have been sitting here talking in my ear off for the last five hours you get the heck out of here already. Could you just leave me alone. Just like the neighbor that why leave your house done and especially we don’t get that at people’s homes. We tend to get that you know once a year we we all fork out 100 bucks and we’ll go investigate Waverly Hills sanatorium or we’ll go investigate Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary and that’s our fun investigation. And so when you think about it places like that they’re getting investigators there every single night of the year. Big. Yeah. I’m going to tell you to get out.
Yeah I guess so I kind of feel like maybe that’s like the primates at a zoo. Yeah. You know they’re constantly being watched. And they’re they’re well they’re not human beings but they have that your weirdness.
You’re tired of it. And I get that and whereas you know it’s our first night at Waverley and in our first time ever and we’re all excited whatever is there at Waverly is had investigators come in every night and they’re over it.
Yeah. So why. What is Waverley and why do so many people go there.
It’s it was a tuberculosis hospital OK. And it shut down in the 60s after the advent of streptomycin and the discovery of you know the antibiotics and it started not that the antibiotics were discovered in the 60s but by the 1960s tuberculosis was mostly cured. OK. And so it shut down and then in the 80s I think in the 70s or the 80s it reopened as a retirement home as a senior living facility. And it was shut down in the late 80s due to abuses abuses against the rather residents. OK. And then it stayed empty for a long time and now the people who own it of course you can go investigate. You can go take historical tours that type of thing and what they’re doing with the money is they’re slowly restoring the building and they want to turn it into like the East Coast version of the Stanley Hotel. OK OK. So. Well yeah it’s taking a long time to. Yeah but you want to investigate there because I mean it’s this grand gorgeous structure on top of a hill in Louisville Kentucky. You had many many deaths there. I mean tuberculosis was not a happy disease it did not. You know you you very rarely did you come out of tuberculosis cured right without antibiotics. And so it was you know not a good place to go but it was a place that tried to keep people upbeat because the cure for tuberculosis was fresh air sunshine and you know positive thoughts positive energy.
Right. If only that could cure people. I wish it would cure me. Well you know you have to wake up every day and think of your affirming motivation and what’s going to get you out of bad coffee the silver lining. PAUL Yeah. Is he out of it every day. Yes. And sometimes I get out of bed just to have the coffee even when I don’t need to get out of bed. Yeah that’s what that kind of motivation that was my motivation to function this morning when I was up at 4 o’clock. Yeah. Because of the knee in my back. Yeah. Hey you chase. Yes. Yeah. The Waverly horse is it sanatorium hospital sanatorium sanatorium. I had heard of it because my family is from Louisville. And I actually was asking my aunt about it last week because I thought that I had heard that there was a relative that was there and I think it turns out that he was there for a short time. They don’t really know the history of it. Yeah. But my cousins it’s one of those forbidden places. And so my cousins I think when they were teenagers were dumb asses. Yeah. And they tried to run up the hill just because they thought it would be fun on a dare and they have dogs that are circling the place and they got the crap beaten out of them.
Oh yeah by the dogs and they now have security cameras up around the perimeter. And you know if you pay to do an investigation they’re expecting you they let you in the gate you park and everything but unless if you’re not expected yeah they’ll call the cops on you this they’ll sic the dogs on you. Wow. But you don’t have to go there. Ghost hunting you know investigating the paranormal you can go up there during the day during I guess between March and September. They’re open like seven days a week. You can go up for like a historical tour during the day and the place is fascinating. So I highly recommend it.
I wonder if people ever see things. I’m sure they do on those too. I’m sure they do. Let’s go Cheryl. Yes. I’m becoming more fascinated but I’m also becoming more folk down just so you know. OK your kids what are your kids. Thank goodness. How much do they know. Oh they know everything know it all.
OK. I know everything you know my kids are so different. I mean everybody’s kids are like that you know. They’re very different from one another. Amelia is interested but she’s she doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. Like I can’t ever see her going on an investigation ever doing anything with it. Heath is very much unless it involves an interest of his he doesn’t care. OK. So he’s like oh yeah my mom hunts ghosts or whatever but it’s no big deal.
So I owe Gary to them. Yeah. Jared Jared wants to do it when he turns 18. He wants to go on an investigation. Do you have to be 18 to do it.
Yeah. Just because all paranormal things aside.
I mean you can trip down somebody’s stairs in the middle of the night or a ghost could push you. There you go. You we’re going to the homes of strangers. Like when I go on an investigation I tell my husband. Okay here’s the address of the person where I’m going. Here are the fellow investigators I’m going with because I don’t know these people.
Right. Yeah I guess any kind of job or. Yeah. Reason to go into strangers homes that that’s sketchy it is sketchy.
And so yeah I just I don’t want to take my 11 year old on an investigation to a house of someone I don’t know.
Yeah that’s true. So I totally hear you. Well you can bring him here. OK. And you can do an investigation here. Yeah. I don’t know if I ever told you that one night Darvish and I were in bed. We have a master bedroom on the main. So we can see the floor from our open door. Yeah. And we’re both watching. I don’t remember what it was watching TV and out of the corner of eye our eyes. Both of us saw a woman glide across the floor. Holy crap. Cause I was like Did you see that. And I said Did you see that. It was both of us. It was not just imagination it wasn’t a floater in my eye or something like that. And the dog had been in the bathroom and he came running out of the bathroom pushed the door open and went in there and started barking. There was something there. Yeah. And I heard that the first owner of this house was an elderly lady and passed away.
So I texted my realtor and asked her Do you know if she’d lived in this house when she passed away or was it somewhere else.
And she said she didn’t think it was in the House but is it from your experience could it still be that lady like what she would have. Would she have come back to you. Could I come back.
I mean you know I’m not going to haunt the cemetery where I’m buried. That’s just depressing. Why would I want to wander around a cemetery. True that I’m not going to haunt the junior high where I went to school because oh my god junior high all that. That’s depressing. You’re going to want to go somewhere that made you happy. I’m going to haunt the island of bonfire. Oh yeah. OK. I mean so I. I think people when they return they go to the places either where their loved ones are or where they felt the most happy the most comfortable the most content. So maybe this was the most her favorite place where she ever lived. Right. Maybe she’s checking in on the House to make sure you guys are taking care of it.
Well we are taking care of it but we are getting rid of a lot of old fashioned decor. Yeah maybe that’s why she’s reappearing and doesn’t like that we’re taking it. Yeah.
And sometimes when you when you renovate your house that’s when the activity will pick up because you’re changing their environment. They don’t know what’s happening. Why are you doing this. This is my place.
Well I have a feeling we’re going to have a surge of activity because on our stairs going upstairs to the bedrooms and the hallway we have this black carpet that has all roses and lace in it. And we’ve been needing to get rid of that for a very long time. It’s very Bombay Company. Very elderly taze you know. And we’re about to rip that up. So she’s probably gonna have a hard time with that.
You might. Yeah. She might not be pleased but you just say hey it’s not your house anymore You’re welcome to come visit you’re welcome to come see what we’ve done to it but it’s ours. Now we paid for it fair and square.
Or maybe when we have a guy bring the carpet squares to you know to view to match up maybe we can ask her opinion. There you go and see if she speaks to us. Yeah. If we had a recording like if I were to record with my podcast equipment do you think we’d hear you could you could try.
You could lay out the squares and say all right if there’s a square that you like to move it forward and leave it overnight. And if you come back you know and the squares moved either DRM is just playing a trick on you or your lady.
I hope it’s just DRM let it go. Oh my God this just boggles my mind. So what drove you to write your memoir you are about to publish a book. Right. So what’s the name of the memoir. Memoirs of a future ghost. OK. And so what what made you decide to get all this out on paper.
Well like you when I started blogging I was a technical writer a long time ago by trade. And so when I started blogging that’s when I really started enjoying writing and storytelling and that type of thing. And so over the years of my blogging I knew I wanted to write a book. I just didn’t know what about. And so you know I’d I’d spit out a couple of things OK. Here’s a chapter about you know a romance novel or here’s here’s a mystery chapter here. And nothing really clicked. And I remember I couldn’t even tell you if it was a podcast or a movie or a blog that I’d read. But you know the idea of you need to write what you know. Absolutely. Yes. And so I thought OK well I know about scuba diving I know about because I teach scuba diving. I know about child rearing and I know about investigating the paranormal and that’s pretty interesting to most people because a lot of people have done the other thing.
Yeah. A lot of people have done this paranormal investigation.
Well and you know not only do I investigate the paranormal I watch all the TV shows because every now and then you get a nugget of information about you know you know a new a new piece of equipment or a new way of asking EVP questions or that kind of thing. And most of the time it’s OK. That’s how I don’t want to investigate because they’re all over the top. I mean you know the ridiculousness is what sells in Hollywood. Right. And so I thought I want to write a book about what it’s really like OK. And but I couldn’t just write. I knew I wanted to explain myself why I got interested in the paranormal why I got into this. And so it’s actually going to end up being three bucks. Wow the first book covers my childhood and my youth and my first paranormal group that I was a part of. OK the second and third books will be a mixture of the group I investigate with now so you know client homes but I’m changing identities and genders and names and locations and you know that gets tricky thing it is tricky and I don’t you know I don’t want you know I don’t want people to know where these things happen right. And it’s a combination of that as well as traveling around to different haunted locations.
OK yeah it’s funny that you talk about the changing identities because you and I share the same Ed and I just got the edits or the comments from my memoir back and the very first character that I talked about there was a big red comment there. I trust that you know not to divulge this person’s true identity make sure you cover it up and that’s kind of scary.
Yeah it is and it’s it’s been it’s been interesting trying to. OK OK. So OK. So this client lives in Buford OK so that’s like Northbrook. So where do I want to put them now as far away as possible and how am I going to see some of them I’ve changed their gender I’ve you know changed as much as I can about them hoping it doesn’t come back to bite me in the backside. Right. But I’ve tried really really hard to change as much as possible so that it stays true to the activity that was happening in the home and in the storyline and like my fellow investigators it’s it’s totally their names and you know the dialogue and what we’re talking about. And what we’ve found but everything else is locked down. Did you ask their permission to use their correct names or just go ahead and do. I just want my fellow investigators. Yes. Yeah I asked them I was like Are you guys OK with me using your names are like heck yeah yeah fine That’s good.
So yeah I asked my kids if they were OK with me using their names because four of them are over 18 they’re adults they can make their own decisions. Yeah. And they just said yeah you can use our real names but switch em around.
The twins wanted to be flipped around. They wanted the youngest Chase to be called Nacho. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do that but I’d just very well might but that.
So much more. That’s that’s funny. And my three kids you know they they play a part in the book a little bit talking about being a mom and a ghost hunter and you know they were they were fine with their names being in there.
Yeah yeah. Because I mean you’ve been in the public eye for a long time I’ve been in the public eye for a long time and you know if you google someone’s name you can track them down in a heartbeat. Oh yeah. So you know to give fake names for your family it’s like what’s the point.
I know it’s kind of difficult. Yeah. And so yeah family wise everybody’s got their names. You know it’s just the clients and the the you know where they where they lived and you know type of thing and any personal information of theirs. It’s totally been changed right.
And that makes sense. Yeah makes sense. Yeah yeah. In my book I guess I don’t have like it’s not a business situation where I would have to change the names out of just legal reasons I’m sure. Right. But I do have a character that I dated when I was divorced and I’ve been really careful to try to disguise the identity but what he did in the book is actually real what he did he did stalk me. He was super creepy. Yeah. So anybody that knows the situation is going to know who that is. Yeah but that’s an integral part of the story.
Well and I think if my clients get a hold of this book they may be able to see themselves. They may be able to peg which chapter they are but as long as they don’t say any. Does that make sense right. I don’t don’t. You know I have made every effort possible to make sure that the general public does not know right. SUE SMITH Yeah. That you are actually this person.
Yeah. And I think as long as you don’t depict them as a terrible person or lie about something that done you know to say that they’ve done something illegal. All right.
Stalking and letting yourself into someone’s house is illegal to legal you know he is heavily disguised but if he’s listening he’s totally going to know.
Just don’t tell everybody that it’s you and everything.
That’s right. I would think he wouldn’t want to tell anybody out that that was him. Yeah. But that’s the fun of memoir because I do it kind of you get to get your little revenge with memoir as long as you’re just very careful with it. But the purpose of it is not there’s not revenge. No sir I’m trying.
Yeah. I want to tell people about what it’s like investigating the paranormal.
You want to tell people what it was like you know marrying a different culture or marrying into a different culture and yeah all the fun and the fun stuff the gory stuff the you know all of that kind of thing because I think the ultimate goal is for people learn from it. Yeah. You identify with your story and you know even if somebody hasn’t seen goes they’re going to love to read that because we all think about it. Yeah we do. We do it. I mean it’s death is inevitable and you can’t help but think about it. Right. And so when is the book going to be out. I’m dying to know this summer.
OK there is no set date yet. OK. But for those of you listening who don’t live in Atlanta every year on Labor Day weekend the storm troopers and the Star Trek you know fans everyone all the sci fi people descend on Atlanta for Dragon Con its arm Con. Big sci fi convention.
And for the last five or six years you know there are different tracks for Dragon Con There’s the track track and the Star Wars track and the Firefly track. You know and there’s a paranormal track and every every year for the last six years PGI has been part of the my paranormal group. OK. Paranormal Georgia investigations we’ve been part of the paranormal track and we do panels and talks.
So I applied this year as an author. OK. This puppy’s got to be done. There is no going back on that. You’ve gone public.
Oh yeah. So I don’t know if I’m speaking a dragon con yet I’ll find out in the next couple of months. But so yes this summer is the drop date.
Okay. And it’s called Memoirs of a future ghost. Memoirs of a future ghost. That’s exciting. It is exciting and I think that’s also going to be leading into a podcast.
Yes. Doing yes. The future ghost podcast where we will be talking about all things paranormal and strange and weird and yes. And I get to be like voice of the Nisei are you getting stabbed you said. Yes I will be the ghost and you will be the alive person.
Fun fun fun. Oh yeah. So I will definitely be educated about everything weird and unexplained yet I’ve avoided all my life. Yes it’s me. We’re going to talk about the moth man. Yes. That just reminds me of a really scary horror movie that I don’t want to see but I’ll see if it’s OK as long as I don’t have to go to the place where the moth man has been sighted Point Pleasant West Virginia homeboy.
Road trip. Yeah I know right.
All right. Well I look forward to your book being out I’m very excited and very nervous about reading it.
Well don’t worry you’re only in the acknowledgements. Oh. You’re not a chapter it’s OK. None of the podcasts I get to go along for the ride.
See you on that. There’s no launch date for that. Just let me get this book out. Yeah.
One thing at a time for that busy mom of three. Yes awesome. Well thank you so much for talking with us. Thanks for having me. You too.
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