I recently got a chance to sit down and have a chat with my friend and fellow paranormal investigator, Jennifer McClain. Jenn and I met through a paranormal networking group last year. Most people seem to encounter negative things with these types of groups so at least something good came with our experience with it.
Jennifer is a stay-at-home mother and wife during the daytime and she spends most of the day playing with her kids. As soon as the stars come out and after putting the kids to bed, she joins a ghost or two on the paranormal playground.
John: Hey Jenn, it is awesome to have the opportunity to speak with you. Some folks might not know you and for those who don't, who is Jennifer McClain and what does she do?
Jennifer: I am a devoted wife and mother, battling the fight against autism by day and a paranormal investigator by night.
John: How long have you been in the paranormal field and what got you into it?
Jennifer: I have been investigating the paranormal for twelve years but actively researched for as long as I can remember. I've always been fascinated with the paranormal growing up. My mother is clairvoyant and I believe myself to be a bit more open than most people as well, so the spiritual realm has always been a part of my life.
John: Do you consider yourself a believer or skeptic?
Jennifer: I am definitely a believer but when I investigate I look at things from a skeptical point of view. Something you kind of have to do in this field for any kind of credible evidence or experience.
John: Have you ever had a paranormal encounter? If so, what have you experienced or witnessed?
Jennifer: Wow, I would not know where to begin honestly. Yes, and I have been a witness to many paranormal occurrences since childhood, some of which I have not told anyone in fear that they wouldn't believe me. After twelve years in this field I finally saw my first apparition on January 5, 2013, while investigating the Mansfield Reformatory in Ohio. It was an amazing experience that gives solid validation to what I've believed in all my life.
John: Are you involved with any paranormal groups, if so which ones and why?
Jennifer: I am the founder of my own group, GHOST (Ghost Hunters Objectively Seeking Truth). I created the team from the passion that I have of wanting to experience and document as many paranormal encounters as I can. The great thing about our group is that we see each other as a family. We don't do what we do to prove anything to anyone and we are not trying to turn skeptics into believers. It's just something we love to do.
John: If I called and told you my that my place was haunted and asked for help, how would you approach the case step-by-step? What types of equipment would you use?
Jennifer: I would first have you explain to me the types of phenomena you were experiencing in as much detail as possible; location, time, day of the week, etcetera. Then I would do an interview with you in your home with a basic walk-through of the location. The walk-through is important because it gives us the opportunity to get a feel for the location and people involved. Finally, we would set up an investigation date and time where we would investigate first with just team members to see what activity we get, followed by asking you to join us to see if that causes a change in the activity. Then after reviewing all evidence we would contact you and set up a date and time to go over anything we captured and to discuss any personal experiences as well. We use basic equipment, DVR system, EMF meters, spirit box, digital image cameras, handheld night vision video cameras, digital audio recorders, motion detectors, and twist flashlights for audio sessions.
John: Have you ever got proof positive evidence of the paranormal?
Jennifer: I have yet to capture anything solid on video but we have captured some interesting photos and some really incredible audio footage.
John: What is the most haunted place that you have investigated? Is there a place that you want to explore but haven't been to?
Jennifer: The most active location that I've investigated to date is the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV. The other place would be Anna Jarvis' birthplace here in my hometown of Grafton, WV. There are countless places I would love to explore throughout the country and hopefully one day will have the opportunity to hit them all.
John: Name a person or group in the paranormal community that you want to investigate with. Where would you like to explore?
Jennifer: With the boom of paranormal reality television today, there are so many groups and people that I would enjoy investigating with. I'm a big fan of John Zaffis and Chris Fleming. I'm also friends with Chad Calek whom I will hopefully have the pleasure of investigating with in the near future. In terms of a team, I would have to say TAPS. They made paranormal reality television what it is today and they are one of the more credible teams in my opinion.
John: Do you have any suggestions or advice for the new investigators just starting out in this field?
Jennifer: Be careful! Too many people watch television shows and think "that's cool, let's go ghost hunting". Many people see it as a thrill seeking good time, which don't get me wrong, I LOVE what I do and it is a good time but you must use caution. It's not a game and there are things beyond our comprehension that you must be cautious of in the spiritual realm. You must know the risks and realize what you're dealing with before you go seeking it.
John: Jenn, thanks for taking the time to hang out and chat with me. I can't wait to go on an adventure with you one of these days. Maybe we can meet on the Ohio and West Virginia border and search for the Moth Man. I will look forward to it. Seize the night and happy hunting!
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