“Chasing Ghosts” With Paranormal Investigator Brian Harnois

May 21, 2010 at 10:17 AM (Interviews) (, , )

Photo Courtesy Of Brian Harnois

As long as I can remember, I’ve had encounters that were paranormal and I never quite understood them.  I did stupid things like use an Ouija Board and got an undesired effect. When Ghost Hunters, a program that features the paranormal group TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) headed by Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes,premiered in 2004 on the SyFy Channel, I was hooked and learned more than I thought I possibly could and I didn’t feel so alone in my experiences.  Brian Harnois was a investigator on both Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International. He has now founded his own group, The Paranormals.  I was ecstatic when Brian agreed to do this interview.  Brian is extremely talented and one of the most knowledgeable in his field.

You have been investigating the paranormal for a long time; what specifically happened to you that made you want to learn more and chase ghosts so to speak?

I got into the paranormal when I was about 11 years old. I was sleeping over my friend Josh Gravel’s house one night. As anyone knows, when parents tell kids to go to sleep they never do. Josh had bunk beds in his room and I was on the top bunk and he was in the bottom bunk. It was about midnight and we were joking around like kids do. All of a sudden a full body apparition walked through one wall of his room, walked right in front of us and through the opposite wall. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Needless to say we didn’t sleep in that room that night. But after that experience I was hooked. I started reading everything I could about ghosts. I went to all the libraries and did all the research I could. Then I started to do little cemetery hunts when I was 15 or 16, and the rest is history.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching you on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International. You really made the show great and I was sad to see you go. Can you elaborate on why you left the shows? Also, how did you become to be on the shows?

I left Ghost Hunters because of all the drama and the way they treated me for the whole time I was on that show. GHI was a little different, because there was no drama and I liked everyone that I worked with. The only problem was the travel time and the time away from the family. We would be gone 5 out of 6 months and that was a big problem.
I was on the Ghost Hunters because I had been with the TAPS team since 1999 and I was the case manager/training instructor for the group. GHI was a little different because I pitched the spin off show to Pilgrim Films and they loved the idea. The only problem was I didn’t pitch an international show, that is a whole story on its own how it got to that point.

Duuude, Run! It had to be one of my favorite episodes on GH. Seriously, how scared were you? I was scared just by watching you!

I really wasn’t scared out of my mind. Me and Dave Hobbes(Cameraman) were on some downtime taking some photos of the prison and I had one of my funny feelings while walking down cell block 4. As Dave took a picture we saw a huge black shadow come out of one cell, walk right across our path and go into another cell door. We both froze, but Dave screamed in my ear. I freaked out and yelled “Dude,Run”. That’s how it all happened.

What is the most frightening thing that has happened to you out in the field?

Photo Courtesy of Brian Harnois

Photo Courtesy of Brian Harnois

It is a very long story, and not one to be told here, but my most scariest experience had to be when we had a case up in Maine. Myself, Keith and Sandra Johnson, and a couple of other investigators went to go check out an 80 something year- old lady that was supposedly possessed by a demon. And OH YEAH she was possessed. Her eyes went completely black and Keith had to perform and exorcism on her. It was a crazy and petrifying night.

You started “The Paranormals”. How is that going and can you talk about some of the investigations you are doing?

The Paranormals are going strong. We have a lot of work to do, but we are getting to where we want to be in the paranormal community. I can’t talk about the investigations we are going on, but you will hear about them soon enough.

You and Donna LaCroix formerly of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International had your own radio show for awhile and it was very informative and entertaining. Will you be doing another radio show?

I have no plans to do another radio show, but I have been asked by a bunch of different internet radio networks. I don’t think I will ever do another one, but you never know.

What is something new you are working on and are doing?

The Paranormals are working very close with a producer to get back on TV. It is very close to being a done deal, so keep an eye out for it.

I saw that you are writing a book; when can we expect that to be released?

The book should be released in the spring of next year. It is going to be about all my exploits in the paranormal over the last 18 years. It is going to be a good read.

You appear at paranormal conventions across the country. What are the ones that are coming up and what do you teach and talk about at them?

I do not have any coming up in the near future, but you never know when I will be asked to come to one. As for teaching and talking, the audience at that time is responsible for the topics. Whatever they want to hear about is what I talk about.

What advice can you give to aspiring paranormal investigators? What equipment is a must have? Also, what can they do to join a local group?

The best advice I could give is to read, read, read. Knowledge is the best thing to have when dealing with the paranormal. The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you are to handle the situation at hand in a clients house. The best equipment you can have is an audio recorder, an EMF detector, camera, and a flashlight. You don’t need all the expensive equipment you see on TV to be a good investigator. You just need the basics. If you want to join a local group, make sure you know the groups background before you join, and make sure you are good fit with the people in the group. The internet is the best place to search for a group in your area to join as well.

You have two daughters; will you be teaching them paranormal investigations when they get older? Perhaps have your own family business?

Well, I don’t know if Michelle will let me train them in the ways of the paranormal. But, if she does and they are interested, I could see this being a very good family business.

How did you get your nickname Wheezy?

I was nicknamed Wheezy because I had the flu one day back in 2005 and tried to smoke a cigarette. My lungs didn’t agree to the smoke and I started wheezing. Hence, the nick name Wheezy!

What cool hobbies do you have?

I really don’t have many hobbies. I love hanging with my family, reading is a must. I love to read. And the best time is sitting down after the kids are in bed and watch some TV with the wife.

You are a huge Star Wars® fan; have you been to any of the conventions, have any collectibles?

The last big convention i went to was Wizard World Con. That was an amazing convention with tons of Star Wars stuff going on. I used to have a huge collection of Darth Vader collectibles, but I got rid of them because I had no room for them in the house.

You have come out and said you are Bi-Polar. I admire you for your strength and honesty. Does it feel like a big weight has been lifted now you can get the help you need and know now what hasn’t felt right in a long time? What advice can you give others with this disorder?

It was a definite huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t even know I had the disorder until August of last year. So it was a relief to finally find out what was wrong with me and get the help I needed. The only advice I can give is to make sure you keep taking your medication and get the therapy you need to battle this disorder. You can beat it, and I think I am doing just that.

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