When asked, every paranormal investigator will give you a different reason why they head out at night searching for ghosts. Some say it is because they are curious or it is exciting, while others want to find actual answers. Bill Payne, founder of Hopkins County Paranormal Society is one investigator who has been interested in the paranormal for as long as he can remember. It is more about research and finding explanations than the thrill of the hunt.
“I have always been skeptical of [the paranormal], even while researching and studying it. I have had a few encounters, but always found explanations for them,” Payne said. “It wasn’t until my brother passed away and things started happening that I started actually investigating it.”
However, it is not just his interest in the paranormal that keeps Payne continuing as an investigator. He said there are many people out there who need his help finding answers that they are unable to get anywhere else. Helping others and giving them peace of mind is his favorite part about being an investigator.
Typical for most paranormal investigators, he does not charge for his help and services. When asked why he doesn’t charge, he responded “If I didn’t do what I do, didn’t know what I know and couldn’t afford to pay someone to come help me if I had [paranormal activity] going on, I would still want the help and would hope they would help me.”
Though Payne prefers helping others and conducting private paranormal investigations for those needing his help, his dream investigation sites are Alcatraz and Attica.
During an investigation, Payne and his team collects evidence through voice recordings, video recordings and still photographs. All evidence collected is kept confidential, unless the owner agrees for it to be released to the public. After the investigation his team sorts through hours of recordings and hundreds of photos. Separating out what they determine to be true paranormal evidence.
Being a paranormal investigator is not as glamorous as television shows like to make it. It truly is a calling. You have to be patient and willing to spend time away from your family while helping others. It is also not the safest job in the world and investigators face both physical and mental dangers during every investigation they conduct. Payne said his top scariest moments were when he personally experienced a partial possession and when something followed him home and started scratching is children. “I have had to bless and cleanse my home a couple of times,” he added.
Payne is the founder of Hopkins County Paranormal Society in Nortonville, Kentucky. It is a non-profit organization he started five years ago to help others suffering from the unknown. His paranormal group believes in debunking claims before claiming it is paranormal. “Most times if you can find a logical explanation of why they may be having the experiences, it makes them more at ease,” he added.