Team Impact will soon be appearing on UK TV in a prime Halloween slot. They’ll be staring alongside Team GPS who’ll use scientific equipment to try and investigate paranormal happenings at an apparently haunted location. Here’s the interesting part. Impact will be using traditional techniques such as Ouija boards and scrying for their side of the investigation. At least some readers will consider that the “scary side” of the investigation.
There are four people in Impact; Paul Hobday, Anthony Hughes, Ola Semenova and Chloe Hodder.
Q1: Thanks very much to TeamImpactTV for agreeing to this interview. First question is really easy! Who’s there? Who’s being kind enough to be answering these questions? Will all of you be trying to tweet from the TeamImpactTV account or has some bravely stepped forward to be tweet coordinator?
Hi Andrew.Thank you for inviting us to talk at In Pure Spirit. This is Chloe. Paul and I have been doing the Twittering. As we are both self employed, it is easier for us to be plugged into the internet. Twitter is fairly new to me though, but I’m trying to get into the habit so that I can keep everyone updated with the latest happenings. We are all active on Facebook. Both Twitter and Facebook have been so effective for interacting with fans of the genre, by allowing them to have an impact, excuse the pun, on the show.
If you want more details of IMPACT’s Twitter presence then we’ve their details alongside GPS available in our Most Haunted replaced by Paranormal Invesigtiations: LIVE post.
Q2: I’ve seen a lot of really positive reactions to the announcement of Paranormal Investigation: Live. You’ve been caught up with the news about Most Haunted Live too. You’re not responsible for decisions around Most Haunted and without you we may have had no live paranormal show at all… but what has been your experience with fan reactions been like?
Well firstly thank you for appreciating that fact! Most Haunted had a great run, with a huge fan base that are understandably unhappy that it came to an end. Some of the unhappiness has blown over to Paranormal Investigation: LIVE, but we are not the reason that the show ended, that is a separate matter. We will to try to fill the gap that it left for paranormal investigation. So to get back to your question, the fan reaction was mixed at first but people are really starting to get behind us now. We are more than happy to listen to suggestions and look forward to the feedback. So far, I would say that overall people are happy and open to giving us a chance. We want to say thank you to all those who have posted positive comments and good luck messages on our Facebook pages and official Paranormal Investigation: LIVE website.
There is still some confusion as to what our show is and what it isn’t. We are not the new Most Haunted team. We’re a completely new show. We appreciate the fans were not given a statement from the MH team but that is not our fault. We are serious about paranormal investigation and nothing on the show will be staged. Both teams are volunteering our time, (particularly our sleep time!) to work with Paranormal Investigation: LIVE and we would not risk our reputation on something that wasn’t completely straight and honest. Some people feel that the show looks Americanized, but that is just what the popular look on TV is. While the show is British and will be produced by Scottish Television, the main website is courtesy of Living TV; and of course they want to make it look good. I can tell you though, it’s not very glamorous at 4am when you’ve been working on investigation techniques all night, and then have to drive, or catch an extremely long train journey home! It’s been fun though and we are all very grateful for the opportunity. STV are producing the show and they have been wonderful to work with. I’ll admit that I was a little wary of what the show would be and if we would be expected to “act up”, but I can now truly say that hasn’t been the case. We can just be ourselves and if we’re not scared, that’s fine. If nothing paranormal is happening, that’s fine. I was impressed by that, since this is TV we’re talking about! It’s a very hard task to please a wide audience with a true paranormal investigation show. As any paranormal investigator will tell you, there is an awful lot of waiting!
We’re respectful to the paranormal show fans, after all that is what we are too. We’re more than happy to listen to their suggestions and look forward to their feedback. What we would ask though is that if you want to voice your opinion, make sure it is a researched one, otherwise wires get crossed and it just confuses other people. More than anything we just want to use our time on Paranormal Investigation: LIVE to conduct some informative investigations for our fellow enthusiasts.
Q3: What sort of techniques do you tend to use in your paranormal investigations. Would you mix scientific with traditional methodologies while investigating on your own?
For our own investigations we take with us a range of traditional equipment to use, including an Ouija board, a table for table tipping, a glass cup or planchet, dousing rods, crystals, a camera and your good old notebook. We are a small group and have had to fund our own equipment, or borrow it, so we don’t have anything fancy, but then we don’t think we really need it. I myself only have bought a crystal pendulum. Paul and Anthony have bought an EMF reader, EVP recorder and an infrared thermometer off E-bay, and while of course electro-magnetic fields are everywhere, we still like to have a range of equipment to try out -even if it is just to debate about and evaluate. We also use trigger objects, which Anthony usually supplies, such as a necklace pendant. I think all the different kit is interesting to use but much of the time we will just use our senses. We have been labelled as the “spiritualist” group but that doesn’t mean we are believers. We do take the scientific angle too, which is very important to us. Approaching investigations with an open mind but keeping that sceptical edge is our philosophy.
Q4: Can you highlight some of your best memories and experiences from earlier investigations?
Some of my favourite experiences have been with table tipping, and whether it may be paranormal, collective energy and intent, or something else is fascinating. If I had to choose, I would have to go with the collective energy and intent theory, but that is still remarkable. I have never seen an apparition, just the occasional ‘something’ out of the corner of my eye, which we all experience. My strongest experience was at The Skirrid Mountain Inn in Wales. There where about 25 of us standing in a circle holding hands, with a medium in the middle. The medium asked for the spirit to lift up someone’s hand and enter the circle. My hand starting moving upwards and I know it was not the person holding my hand.
It was a most bizarre, powerful and disturbing feeling. I then felt like a force was pushing me to the floor. I ended up in a kneeling position with my left hand feeling like a lead weight on the floor. The medium got me up but then my hand started moving forwards and I ended up practically sprawling over a coffee table in the dark! Although it was not a pleasant experience to say the least, I still wanted to carry on, so we all moved positions. Then I started physically rocking in a circular motion getting faster and faster. A lot of people were freaked out by this and ran out of the room, breaking the circle. The most logical explanation I have for that is a sudden onset tiredness and disorientation form being in the dark, though it is not any feeling I have experienced outside of a paranormal investigation.
Paul has some experiences to add: “We have had some amazing experiences on investigations over the years. Anthony and I were using a Ouija board with one other friend, and made contact with a spirit who gave some quite detailed information which was later confirmed to be accurate to the location. In another venue I was stood in a corridor by myself and had 2 stones thrown along the floor towards me but no-one else was there. We have heard lots of strange noises, from dogs barking (when there were no dogs around) to women shouting or screaming. We have been sat on chairs which have had knocking or even loud bangs coming from underneath them. In one vigil Ola saw a young lady’s face transfigure into that of a “scary old witch”. We have all experienced impressive table tipping. I have even had an item taken from the base room and hidden somewhere else in the building! All team members have felt like they have been touched by something, most recently being Chloe who felt something soft brush past her hands in an area reported to have the ghost of a large dog! It’s difficult to remember them all now without reading through all our reports, but we will soon be putting them up on our new website for everyone to read.”
Q5: How many years of investigation experience do you have between you as a team? Do you think any amount of investigation experience prepares you for a live appearance on TV for Halloween?
I think only experience in live TV can prepare you for live TV! But yes a certain amount of investigation experience is crucial otherwise you really are just stumbling about in the dark!
Paul and Anthony are the most experienced members of the team, they have been carrying out investigations in many different locations for three and a half years. Ola and I joined the investigative team this year, although our interest in the paranormal goes back many years. I was brought up with holistic therapies and alternative viewpoints, so the possibility of the universe containing paranormal energies is less ‘para’ for me and quite natural. Again, that doesn’t mean I am a believer just that I appreciate the possibility. We may be a young team, but we work well together, bouncing theories off each other and combining scepticism with open-mindedness.
Q6: There are quite a few paranormal investigation groups throughout the UK. Do you keep abreast of the work done by any of these groups? Can you name any particularly worthy of a mention?
There are so many paranormal investigation groups out there, that we unfortunately do not have the time to follow them all. However, we do browse their websites every now and then, to see their findings. The group that we follow the most is Haunted Happenings, they have been extremely kind to us and we have made some friends there. They are lucky enough to have access to many of the more famous haunted locations. They also have a very good forum detailing what happens at each investigation.
Q7: The location of Paranormal Investigation: Live is being kept top secret. The assumption is that the show’s producers have not even told Impact where you are going yet. However, you are allowed to use techniques like scrying as part of your investigation – so have you attempted to devine any clues as to what will happen on Halloween? Does anyone on the team have any premonitions?
*Laughs* That would be hilarious if someone on the team had premonitions, I can just imagine the faces of the producers after they have been trying hard not to accidently let it slip. As for scrying, no, no one has tried that. We don’t want to know where the location is, it would take away from the excitement.
Q8: Is there any other sort of preparation work you’ll be doing? Sleeping well the night before and being careful about what you eat during that day. That sort of thing?
Personally, I am passionate about nutrition so I eat well anyway and take a daily supplement containing concentrated fruits, vegetables and berries. I will also have a SCIO treatment. This is a device linked to specially programmed computer that detects and treats problems on an energetic level. The first treatment I had was immediately after the experience I mentioned above – which had affected me quite badly. The practitioner didn’t know that I do paranormal investigations and she said that an “entity” had passed into my aura and that I had also collected a lot of energy from other people. Now I don’t quite know what to make of that. Of course I could have collected negative energy from people around me, but the entity part really intrigued me. So to prepare for the show I will be having another Skio treatment to make sure my energy is flowing well and I’m just me!
Our investigations usually run through the night, finishing between 3am to 5am, so lack of sleep and extreme cold, this time of year, are the main problems. Although the live weekend will be hectic, we are quite used to that. Paul holds our record of four paranormal investigations in a row. We typically try to break them up though as they can turn you nocturnal if you are not careful!
Q9: The team page on the official site gives the impression you’re quite a physical group of people. Ola met the rest of the team at a self-defence class, for example. Do you imagine you’ll be taking any of that physical prowesses into the investigation?
Well yes, to a certain degree. Taking part in individual sports and outdoor adventure pursuits prepares us physically and mentally for the challenges ahead, but it is our shared passion for martial arts and the fact that we have trained together for many years, that makes us a strong team.
I do not imagine we will have to do anything too physical, but maybe have to stir up any spirits vocally. I think that we will bring a certain ‘prowess’ to the investigation as we are inclined to go towards, for example a sighting or a noise, rather than running away screaming!
Q10: Finally, do you have any hopes or fears for the show and the team that you would like to share?
We’re all hoping that this won’t be just a one off show on Halloween. We would love it to go to series. It has been a fascinating experience to be involved in a TV project. It is such an interesting and creative world. We are all creative individuals; I love writing and graphic design, Ola is into photography, Paul is into web design and Anthony is a big horror film fanatic. Therefore, we have absolutely loved being part of the project, and getting the opportunity to delve further into the paranormal world and expand our experiences has been incredible.
As for fears, well that whole live aspect is causing some jitters! Obviously we want people who have voiced their doubts to watch it and go “Oh, I didn’t expect that, that’s different, fair play”. Most of all, we want to do as good of a job as we can and bring something new ad fresh to the genre.
In Pure Spirit
You will be able to follow Impact (and the GPS team) on Paranormal Investigation: Live in the UK on LIVING from 9pm on 30th and 31st of October.