Now, if you’re over the age of, say, 30, you should be imagining a wildly-clapping amphibian, because this is the best Kermit The Frog impression I can do via the written word.
That being said: WELCOME! Failte! And even céad míle fáilte! It’s 2012, which means our family is brushing up on our Gaelic (really), and dusting off the maps and guidebooks to prepare for our we-do-this-every-four-years-and-yes-we-get-that-it’s-always-during-the-US-Elections trip to the Emerald Isle. I’d like to say I’m starting to practice driving on the left-hand side of the road, but since Craig Alaska’s finest and assorted Alaska State Troopers may be reading this, I’ll just say I’m DREAMING about driving on the left-hand side of the road… at least until they catch me at it.
Through the wondrous thing that is Twitter, I had the good fortune to meet Paul Moynihan (Historian/Investigator) and Maedhbh Larkin (Location Manager/Investigator) with THE IRISH GHOST HUNTERS! They’re positively fantastic people! When I got tangled up in this Blog Hop, I thought — wow — what better guests for a St. Patrick’s Day Hop with horror/paranormal writers than The Irish Ghost Hunters? And when they agreed to appear, well, that was too much awesomesauce to imagine! You should follow them on Twitter (@MLarkin_IGH @paulmoynihanIGH @ighosthunters) and love their Friends of the Irish Ghost Hunters group over on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/196999173648883/). When you scroll down to the bottom of the interview, you’ll see links to footage of their investigations at Connolly Station in Dublin (we’ve been there!), in County Mayo (we’ve NOT been there!), and the three-part series at Wicklow Jail (we WANT to go there, but in a good, we’re-not-staying-long kind of way!).
AND…. because this is a Blog Hop, there’s a contest with way-cool prizes. Of course, click the hop link at right to go on to other blogs, and there’s the BIG prize of the Kindle Fire and lots of gift cards, but if you want to win the awesome awarded-by-the-Alaskan-horror-writing-chick prize, check THIS out! Once again, thanks to our GOOD FRIENDS over at Raven’s Brew (and you should love THEM on Facebook, too: https://www.facebook.com/#!/RavensBrewCoffee) I’ve got TWO Deadman’s Reach hoodies (XL) up for grabs! All you have to do is leave your SCARIEST TRUE ghost story or FUNNIEST TRUE ghost story in the comments section and you could win BIG! Paul & Meadhbh (um…surprise?) are going to help judge, and the winner will be notified and lauded loudly here by Monday! Because it’s March and we’re in the throes of what is locally known as “Fish Egg Weather” on the island, it may be awhile before the wind dies down and the packages get out, but it’s all good.
I’ll shut up now, and without further ado, please WELCOME (Failte!) The Irish Ghost Hunters! (Did I mention they’re FANASTIC?)
Amy: What is the scariest moment you guys have experienced on an investigation?
Paul: For me, one of the scariest moments happened on an investigation of Wicklow Jail when, while conducting a session in one of the cells, I heard knocking on one of the walls when I was completely alone. Knocking is a very common form of spirit contact, but what followed is what gave me the chills! I asked ‘Do you want me to stay here with you?’ The response was as clear as day, and a very angry male voice yelled in my ear ‘No!’ That was a great moment, unforgettable for sure!
Meadhbh: I would have to say the scariest moment for me would have been in the library of Charleville Castle. There was a group of five of us sitting around a table and we heard heavy footsteps walk slowly around the table, they walked in between me and another girl and the EMF meter, which detects changes in the electromagnetic field,began to spike. There was just a very threatening feeling in the air with that incident.
Amy: Hmm… library, huh…? Um.. on the lighter side… What is the funniest moment you have experienced on a paranormal investigation?
Paul: Anything to do with our Tech Supervisor Gavin Canavan is funny! He is just one of those naturally funny people and, much to his delight, he is the subject of pranks and tomfoolery! One of his classic quotes, while trying to make contact witha spirit, is ‘Knock once for yes, twice for female’! He is a great guy though, and he is brilliant at what he does!
Meadhbh: I’d have to agree with Paul! Also, on a public investigation, a member of the public once asked a spirit ‘Can you make the lights on the EMF meter light up if you are not here’! How is that possible!
Amy: When was the first moment you realised you were not alone?
Paul: Last June, we conducted a paranormal investigation in Connolly Station, Dublin, which is Ireland’s most used train station. We had the entire station to ourselves for the night. We had heard reports of poltergeist activity which had been occurring in one of the disused platforms of the station and went down there to investigate. I was joined by Thomas Borza, our Tech Manager, and we began to conduct an EVP session. All of a sudden the door leading to the platform slammed shut. This happened again in response to questions, as if someone was standing there slamming it! Meadhbh joined us with our team-mates Tanya Brady and Damien Douglas who all experienced it also! Irish Ghost Hunters founder and Lead Investigator Tim Kelly set up a night vision camera and we captured the door slamming on camera various times! We checked the area for draughts, but there were none present! As a scientific and sceptical team of Investigators, it is our job to debunk these experiences but this one in particular just couldn’t be logically explained! Check out our youtube episode to judge for yourselves! Another strange experience I had was when I ventured into the dungeon of Charleville Castle, Tullamore, County Offaly, on my own! It is, without doubt, the scariest place I have ever been! The dungeon is covered in what appeared to be torture implements and what can only be described as a dark altar! I decided to go in alone to take some photographs and, after a few minutes, I had the strangest feeling that somebody was standing in the shadows watching me! I got out soon after! I am sure that this experience was pure adrenaline and the chances of it being paranormal are slim but it still gave me a good fright!
Meadhbh: I agree with Paul about Connolly Station, that door slamming was an incredible thing to witness! For me, the first time I realised I was not alone was at the Hellfire Club in the Dublin mountains. It is a disused, run down gentlemens club which bore witness to much debauchery and the dark arts are said to have been conducted here! It was a freezing cold night and to set the scene, a fog had rolled in off the sea, I was sitting on one of the upstairs windowsills of the building and under my breath I was asking for something to happen if there was somebody there with me. I was wearing a big heavy coat and had a scarf on, in the next few minutes I heard and felt the zip on my jacket being yanked down and my scarf started to tighten on my neck! That was one of those things I can’t explain!
Paul: I respect all opinions in the world of the paranormal, as there is a reason that these things remain unexplained. Nobody has all of the answers, and, even though we have experienced some incredibly unusual things, we are all still sceptical! To quote Edgar Allan Poe, ‘Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?’
Meadhbh: I feel the same as Paul but I had this discussion with some people recently who were adament that ghosts did not exist and were in the same league as Santa Claus. They told me to prove to them that ghosts do exist. I told them to prove to me that they didn’t.
Amy: What is the strangest thing that you have seen?
Paul and Meadhbh: On the 31st of January 2012, we conducted a paranormal investigation in Cabra Castle, a truly magnificent location in County Cavan. While doing a session in the bar area of the castle, Meadhbh spotted a shadow fly in front of her down the hallway. One of the staff members also witnessed this and ran away, terrified. The two of us walked down the hallway to investigate when all of a sudden a man appeared to the right of us and walked slowly from right to left in front of us. We called the figure, expecting a response as we thought perhaps it was one of our team members, but the man continued to walk slowly and disappeared around the corner. When we rounded the corner immediately after, the man was gone!
Amy: I hate to ask this question, but my son Patrick (did I mention we have an Irish thing going on in our family?) brought it up, and it’s something I’ve wondered about, too. Has anyone ever tried to discredit your team or your methods?
Paul and Meadhbh: There have been certain members of the public who have made their feelings quite clear about paranormal investigation, and these feelings have been far from positive. We have total respect for those people as they are entitled to their opinions and it is healthy to have this. The field of paranormal investigation is a strangely competitive one and we do not know why. Luckily, most paranormal teams are very supportive to one another but, like anything in life, there are teams who are involved for the sole purpose of trying to be the best. We believe all teams need to work together to either prove or disprove the existence of life after death, rather than to compete to see who gets the best footage!
Amy: Did you go into this thinking you’d find evidence or were you convinced there’d only be negative evidence? I mean, how has being paranormal investigators changed your view on the subject of ghosts?
Paul and Meadhbh: We both entered this with open minds and a healthy level of scepticism. To this day, we maintain both of these attitudes but, due to the level of activity that we have experienced, it is only fair to say that we have more belief in the existence of paranormal activity than we had before!
(Told you they are all sorts of awesome!)
Now, check ’em out online here: The Irish Ghost Hunters
and contact them here:
And WATCH them HERE and NOW! (Sorry, not yelling, it’s just so cool, I can’t stand it)
And a bonus — The Hellfire Club in the Dublin Mountains that Meadhbh referred to earlier… 0.o
Many, many Thanks to The Irish Ghost Hunters! Go raibh maith agat go leor to everyone who stopped by! (okay, I’m using Google’s translator on that one, call me on it if it’s incorrect!) Don’t forget to love up our guests and friends on Facebook and Twitter, leave a comment to win the blog hop prizes AND, leave a story to win Deadman’s Reach gear!
(And if you don’t have a ghost story, leave a comment to win a Deadman’s Reach ball cap!)
Oooo ….. Leave a comment for a chance to win a Deadman’s Reach ball cap!