Vince Wilson - Author and Creator of Ghosttech.net

Vince Wilson has always been interested in science, history, and the unexplained since as far back as he can remember. Together with a long-time high school friend, he founded the Baltimore Society for Paranormal Research. He soon set his sites higher and formed the Maryland Paranormal Investigators Coalition — a collection of groups dedicated to serious paranormal research and scientific observation. Wilson is the author of Ghost Tech and Ghost Science. He has lectured on ghost hunting technology and has also appeared on TV and radio in regards to his work in paranormal research. He has also been featured on Creepy Canada in 2005 aboard the USS Constellation and the Discovery Channel in 2006 for an investigation he did at the Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore. Wired Magazine said that “… Wilson is perhaps the foremost expert on the technology of ghost hunting in the US.” He lives in the Haunted Cottage of Harpers Ferry in Harpers Ferry, WV.  You can follow Vince at http://ghosttech.net/

1. How did you become interested in the supernatural?

I used to watch shows like “In Search Of...” and “That’s Incredible” that really turned me on to stuff like that. The Catholic School I went to in the 3rd grade also had books on the paranormal! I was particularly fascinated with the book they had on ghosts. This, and 1984’s Ghostbusters had me hooked for life.  In 1998, I began going on ghost hunts with a friend from High School. I was always a bit of nerd and began applying scientific methods to our investigations of haunted bridges and battlefields. I was very interested in making sure I was doing this right before we would go into someone’s home.   So, I began talking to others around the country who had more experience than me. Loyd Aeurbach, Troy Taylor and Mark Nesbitt to name a few. Only then did I start my 1st group in Baltimore.

2. What’s the strangest or most interesting paranormal experience you’ve had?

THE WAVERLY HILLS SANATORIUM

Now, of the places I have been over the years, this is the place that scared me the most. The main building was constructed in 1923 to replace an older wooden structure for tuberculosis (TB) patients. It remained in operation for 51 years. Before an antibiotic was created in 1943, many victims of TB went to Waverly simply to die. Little was known about what was called “consumption”. The best they knew to do was wheel your bed out to the balconies on one side of the building (to this day, still exposed to elements). Fresh air was all they could give the patients to try and help them.  I have read some greatly exaggerated statements about the number of people that died at this place. Some accounts claim 63,000. Clearly, that is impossible. More likely it was around 6,000, still, a very large number indeed. It is hard for many people to fathom when you talk about so many people dying in a single location despite the building’s impressive dimensions.


In 2006 I visited the Sanitarium before lecturing at a conference in Louisville. I was there with some other authors and well known paranormal investigators. Our team of five was allowed to spend an hour at a time on each of the five floors. Earlier that day I was on the phone with the conference organizer, who happened to be very experienced with Waverly, and was instructed by him to bring a laser pointer. I asked why, but “you’ll see” is all he would tell me besides that I should point it at a distant wall and wait. Before going to the sanatorium we stopped at a store and purchased a laser pointer and during our investigating we tried the experiment he suggested. It was on the third floor that I learned what supposed to happen with this device!  It was about 2 o’clock in the morning. I was pointing the red laser dot at the far end of the hall like I was instructed. We were on the third floor and we had done this experiment on every floor going up from the lowest level. At this time there was no electricity and no lighting but for our flashlights (which were off) and the moonlight coming in from the open side of the building where they used to wheel out the patients. As our eyes became more and more adjusted to the light we began to see movement in the shadows around the area the laser was pointed at. We knew we were the only ones on that floor since the only entrance was behind us. The far wall was about 50 feet from where we stood and we were seeing, what appeared to be, human silhouettes. Actually, what we saw was just heads and shoulders, scuffling in the dark corridor. We were so focused on seeing more details that we almost didn’t notice the dot was getting bigger and bigger. It had struck one of the figures and that figure was walking straight at us! 50 feet. 40 feet. 30. 20. Then it was at 15 feet. We were getting nervous. It is one thing for a ghost to walk through a wall and disappear near you, but when it is coming right at you… 12 feet and I turned on my flashlight… It was gone

3. Where/how does science fit into ghost hunting and the supernatural?

Suffice to say what we need to do is apply science to ghosts and hauntings.  This is how scientific advancement is done. So convinced are some that ghosts don’t exist they can only use science to try and prove why they can’t exist. Why don’t they try this, use science to explain how ghosts can exist and then see if you can prove it through experimentation? First you will need some theories that are scientifically plausible. Ask the question, “If ghosts exist, how?” Then use applied science to test your hypothesis.

4. Do you have any moral/ethical obligations in ghost hunting or communicating with the dead?

Nope.

5. If it were possible to contact or bring back someone from the dead, who would you bring back and why? Try to think of someone who is not famous.

I really don’t have any dead relatives I would want to bring back. Mostly because I doubt they would have anything interesting to say. Maybe King Croesus of Lydia. I would ask him how his experiment with the Oracle of Delphi went wrong.

6. Do you have any other thoughts or interesting theories you’d like to share?

I think there is not enough common sense in paranormal investigating these days. All we have is data now, not evidence. We have to look at the anecdotal research and eyewitness accounts and compare new studies against this. Then you can ask yourself, “does this theory makes sense?”

 

Loved all your answers, but found it interesting most of all what you had to say about Waverly. I've not been there yet. Not sure I could go. Would like to try, but that's one place I think I'd be freaked out by. (Not usually scared of places. But that one bothers me even just watching from a far.)

And REALLY liked your last answer. AMEN! I haven't seen any evidence, but I have seen a lot of data. That's what I've been trying to say for a while now (very long-windedly/half rantingly most of the time), but you summed it up in 20 words or less PERFECTLY!

Great answers.

March 1, 2010 | Courtney Mroch