The "Ghost Nation" Crew Discuss All New Investigations for Season 2

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When it comes to paranormal investigations, things are always changing — which makes sense when one is pursuing phenomena based on theory, and not rule books. Still, it’s noteworthy that some 15 years ago, when I first met Jason Hawes — and Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango shortly after — they were largely thinking of ghosts in terms of intelligent, residual, poltergeist or inhuman. A lot has changed since then, and now Jason mentions theories of time-slip hauntings, and other temporal anomalies he encounters.

But while many things change, some things stay the same. Jason, Steve, and Dave are still out there, responding to cases of paranormal activity, which comes to their attention via a vast network of paranormal investigative groups.

With the second season of Ghost Nation, the paranormal trailblazers continue their exploration of the other side. I was able to catch up with Jason and Steve about the new season, and the approach they took for these investigations. And in the following interview, we also chat about how their theories of the paranormal have evolved, their thoughts on advancements in technology for investigations, and even how they’ve been hearing of an increase in activity while more people are staying at home.

How did you approach paranormal investigation this season?

Jason Hawes: Well, people reach out to us, and they always have, through our different websites. They make contact asking us to head out and investigate the locations, or their teams reach out to us all the time. So that’s pretty much how those cases come to us and then of course we get an abundance of them. So, we have to sit down, go through which ones seem to jump to the front, and be priority type cases.

Steve Gonsalves: In this second season, we also wanted to maintain sort of our original focus, which is taking on cases where we are actually helping people — not necessarily just running to try to get the best piece of paranormal evidence of whatever’s going to push the field. These were places we could help, and impact the people and clients directly.

What do you think is the most exciting thing going on in the paranormal field right now?

Steve Gonsalves: I think equipment is definitely getting there and the ability to capture evidence in ways that we haven’t been able to. It’s quite at a different level now. But I think the collective consciousness that everybody has together is definitively different now. We’re working towards a common goal in this field, which I think is pretty awesome.

Jason Hawes: We’re working on different types of equipment that we think can further the field. Having them involved is a highly exciting thing for us, because we’re able to come up with these ideas, and they’re able to build equipment and implement them.

When you look at cases around the nation, what gets you more excited: A place that has been investigated by a lot of people or a place that has never been investigated?

Jason Hawes: Well I love going to the place we’ve never investigated before. Because we’re going in, there’s no expectation of anything. We’re going in being the first and being able to get our hands on it. A place that’s been investigated a thousand times really isn’t that exciting to me

Steve Gonsalves: Yeah, I would definitely agree with that. There’s a different energy — and I don’t mean a paranormal energy, I mean an energy amongst the investigators.

As you head into the second season of Ghost Nation, have you found that your own personal theories or paranormal beliefs have evolved recently?

Jason Hawes: Well I would say that it’s not that our philosophies have really changed, but our theories on types of hauntings. We’ve found that instead of there just being these intelligent, residual or poltergeist-type haunts, or human-type haunts, there’s also other types of haunts — whether it’s time-lapse haunts, and time overlapping haunts, things of that nature. Some of these things we’re catching are as if [activity] is living a normal day in its life, still doing its routine as we’re in ours. For whatever reason, their time and our time seem to be overlapping in some of these haunts. Those have been the most fascinating cases as of recently.

Steve Gonsalves: For me, it’s a little bit two-pronged. I thought [advances in science] would dispel some of my beliefs in the paranormal, but it has actually done quite the opposite which is surprising to me. On the philosophy side of it, I’m coming to a place where I realize that the paranormal sort of means different things to different people. To me, it’s very much based in science. To other people it’s very spiritual. They’re looking at an orb as, you know, their mom and that sort of thing. Maybe I don’t need to swoop in to say “Hey that’s just dust,” you know? Everybody’s sort of on their own journey when it comes to the paranormal, and I’m starting to realize that.

This season you guys visit the Beetlejuice theater on Broadway. Talk about the excitement of investigating the theater as well as how that felt as a film fan.

Steve Gonsalves: Being a fan of Beetlejuice the Musical, it was amazing to be there, and be with the cast, and see behind the scenes. When we were there filming, that was actually my 10th time seeing the show. But it wasn’t an investigation in that sense where we were really diving in deep. This was very much a come together of minds. In terms of investigating the Winter Garden Theatre, we didn’t come across anything, but they do claim there are some ghosts there. Not just Beetlejuice, but realistically.

During this time of isolation, do you think that paranormal reports will increase as people are home more, and perhaps more attuned to the energies of their homes?

Jason Hawes: During the fall, claims of paranormal activity pick up because people are home, and they’re home earlier. And usually at that point it’s getting dark earlier, so they’re able to hear all the pops and creaks in the house. Right now, we’ve been getting an abundance of cases because people are home all the time. Beyond that, people are stressed. But a lot of people are in contact with us. We’ve got groups all over the world Aaron, and we’re getting an abundance of cases, but we can’t get out to them right now. So those cases are piling up. As soon as everything calms down, we’re going to get back out there and start helping as many as possible.