Interview with Syfy’s ‘Deep South Paranormal’
What would Halloween be without a good, old-fashioned chill? We spoke with the explorers of the unknown over at Scarefest this September, as summer died an agonizing death and yielded to the decaying season of fall.
Even if you aren’t into the whole craze of ghost hunting shows, there’s something for you in SyFy’s Deep South Paranormal. The show debuted in April and became an instant fan favorite. During the horror and paranormal convention, Scarefest, I got a chance to sit down with Deep South Paranormal’s own Jonathan Hodges, Benny Reed, and Keith Ramsey to talk about some of their favorite investigations so far.
What has been your favorite local so far that you’ve investigated?
Favorite location on the show would have to be Prattville, Alabama. We actually conjured up something while using voodoo and we got a shot of what is supposedly known as The Lady in Black. I mean anytime you try to do a recorded hunt like that, nothing like this ever happens. This was one of the rare times that it was actually caught on film. Our plan went through and it worked out great.
What about before the show began?
Before it began, we had a local group called DOA Paranormal up in Huntsville, Alabama and there’s a hospital called the Lincoln County Hospital over in Lincoln County, Tennessee. I was actually born in that hospital and we had a lot of stuff happen there. We actually believe the nursery is like a portal because there has been so much bad stuff happen there. Once we had it get darker than dark, if you can imagine that, and you start to hear scratching on the nursery windows. We’ve seen massive figures standing in the doorways, so it’s a really crazy place. It’s been abandoned since the 1980s and when they left, they left everything.
So it’s exactly how it was when it was in use?
It’s exactly how it was. Everything is still in it’s place which makes it even more creepy.
If someone is starting out in paranormal investigation, do you have a location you would recommend them to visit?
It would depend on their location, but I would go somewhere that you have to pay. I know that sounds stupid, but that way you know you’ve got people there who have done it and they can teach you the basics. But if you’re just starting out and you don’t want to spend the money, go to your local cemetery, get you a camera and a little equipment, you don’t need much, and just do it. Now be careful because you can open up some doors that you don’t want opened.
Is there anything you won’t do in an investigation? Is anything off limits?
The only thing that I won’t do is go to Bobby Mackey’s. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about that place that I have horrible feelings about. I know other shows have done it, but I won’t.
I’ve heard a lot of the investigators say they won’t do voodoo. Anything like that you won’t do?
Well, we don’t do voodoo, but there’s a guy on the show that does a lot of old fashioned, folklore style of conjuring. It works well, but we won’t go in and try to intimidate or torment something because we’re going into their house. We aren’t there to try and run something off, we’re just trying to find out why it’s there. That’s one thing we won’t do.
What are some of your dream locations you haven’t been able to investigate yet?
There’s a bunch. Ashmore State is at the top of the list. The other that is a really big one is Waverly Hills, we really want to go there.
Oh you haven’t been to Waverly Hills yet?
No and we really want to get in there. Oh! The Trans Allegheny Asylum is one that we really want to get into. That place is crazy. Have you heard of the Bryce Hospital down in Tuscaloose, Alabama?
I don’t think so.
You have to look that place up, that’s one where we really want to go.
What is it exactly?
It’s an old mental hospital that they’ve actually condemned so no one can get into it anymore, but it is crazy. Really crazy.
Oh, Graceland! Graceland, man. You’ve got a cemetery out back and Elvis died on the pot in the inside! You can’t get no better than that! (Laughs) It’s the perfect location. We have to go there soon.