After time spent with a one or two local Ghost hunting groups Steve co-founded Para.Science; described by Parapsychologist
Dr. Ciarán O’Keeffe as “Undoubtedly the leading haunting investigation group in the world." Para.Science remains dedicated to
conducting paranormal research and investigation to the highest possible standards.
Day to day Steve, continues to focus on Infrasound and it’s associations with paranormal phenomena and has recently completed an
experiment that demonstrates the Orb Phenomenon has a mundane rather than paranormal explanation.
Steve can also draw upon extensive media experience and has appeared and advised on many TV and Radio programmes including
those for the BBC, The Discovery Channel together many other UK and international broadcasters. He has also contributed to many
books, magazines and journals over the years, working alongside some of the leading International Academic Parapsychology Departments.
How did you first develop an interest in the Paranormal?
If you'd asked me that question a couple of years ago I'd probably have answered that my interest developed as a teenager, reading about haunted houses and ghost hunters such as Harry Price which is what I can recall doing. However, last year my parents told me some stories about my childhood when apparently I used to ask to go to look for ghosts when we went on family holiday or daytrips. It also transpired that as a child I also had an imaginary friend too. So, perhaps the interest was always there from the earliest days. Pity I lost touch with that imaginary friend though!
You are the co-founder of Para.Science, please tell us how the group came about, and a mission statement?
Prior to Para.Science I was for a time, a member of a local amateur paranormal investigation group on The Wirral and it was there that I met Ann Winsper. We soon found that we were both dissatisfied with the way that the group was operating - to even call what they were doing investigating would be wrong. We thought that there must be a better way. Our mutual and shared interest in the paranormal lead us to the conclusion that if we were ever going to make any headway then investigations must be unbiased, evidence lead and methodical. The groups name Para.Science or to give it its full title "Paranormal Science" reflects this. We do not set out to debunk or to prove. Para.Science promotes the study of spontaneous & anomalous phenomena using scientific principles, critical thinking and common sense.
What are your thoughts on wannabee ghost hunters claiming to be the UK’s leading paranormal investigators?
The internet of full of ghost hunters, both individuals and groups claiming that they are the best, No.1 etc. The basis for the claims seems to be either entirely of their own making. Some, have appeared on TV guaranteeing which of course proves they are the best. For those who are less fortunate they might have their own YouTube channel to spread the word. Of course, some are bound to be thinking 'Hang on a minute, hasn't he been on TV?' and of course the answer to that is Yes He Has ...............................
Following on the previous question, what are your thoughts on people claiming to be Parapsychologists without relevant qualifications and/or experience?
Parapsychologists don't really exist as an academic entity, qualifications are usually in Psychology. The use of the term 'Parapsychologist' is often credited to J.B. Rhine an American Researcher who himself was a Botanist but the term was used by Ghost Hunter Harry Price several years before Rhine, to describe those who were academically interested in the study of Metaphysical and Psychological phenomena. In the USA 'Parapsychologist' is an accepted term for those (including non academics) who study ghosts, hauntings etc - akin to the expression Paranormal Investigator over here.
To answer both this and the previous question about people claiming to be the "UK's Leading This or That" - Rather than being concerned about what people go around calling themselves I am much more concerned about the qualifications and / or experience an individual or group actually has and how they use their skill & experience to promote our understanding of the subject & the manner in which they go about it. Investigating a deserted castle with a group of friends does nobody any harm and as an activity is more like taking part in your very own scary movie albeit without the popcorn. Being asked to help with someone who is having disturbing experiences within their own home or place of work is a completely different thing. Few investigators, regardless of what they call themselves have any real understanding of the social and ethical considerations of what they are doing and they potential harm they might do, even when they go in with every good intent. So many times, I see on internet & Facebook pages appeals from Paranormal Investigators, Mediums etc for people who believe their house is haunted to get in touch & the offer that it will be investigated. Every time, I read one of those requests I cringe at the thought of the potential harm that could be unleashed by accepting the offer to let someone in to investigate someone's home.
If you had to recommend a location which was allegedly haunted, where would it be and why?
If you've ever seen Margam Castle on TV or visited it you will know why I would suggest you putting this on your list of Spooky places to visit. I don't live too far away from Margam these days & sometimes get the chance to make return visits. Margam ticks all the boxes as your archetypal Haunted House.
What was your first TV appearance as a paranormal expert, and how did you contribute to the show?
I don't think I have ever appeared on TV in the role of a paranormal expert - investigator, ghost hunter, stunt double for Ciarán O'Keeffe certainly, but expert...... My first TV appearance was eons ago for Cable TV Channel One in which me, together with others from Para.Science were filmed carrying out an investigation of a Museum building in Cheshire. The producer thought it would add to the ambience of the scene if it were partially lit by candles placed around on the floor. I was then asked to walk around describing the location and the investigation..... What I didn't know is that I stepped on a lit candle whilst being filmed which promptly set fire to my training show and so throughout the 2 minute interview I was on fire. The director was very impressed that I had been so professional throughout, finishing the interview before beating out the flames. In truth I never felt a thing as it was only my shoe that was on fire, although I did wonder what the burning smell was!
If you could investigate any location around the World, where would you choose and why?
In the UK, certainly that would be The Tower of London but I would certainly not wish to spend just one night there. The place has so many stories attached to it that I think the only way to really get to grips with the stories and tales & do the place justice would be to spend months perhaps even years investigating it. Overseas, probably either Alcatraz Island or The Queen Mary - both have so many accounts of peoples experiences and so many unanswered questions - again, not places I would be happy just spending just one night investigating either.
If you could have four guests round a dinner table (dead or alive) who would they be and why?
Guest Number 1 - Harry Price, as the first true Ghost Hunter Harry has inspired my own and countless others in their quest for knowledge and understanding. I would love to hear what Harry thinks of modern TV celebrity ghost hunters and their methods.
Guest Number 2 - Professor Sir Olive Lodge. One of the foremost Physicists and Psychical Researchers. As a scientist he had few equals. As a psychical researcher he made an important contribution to our knowledge.
Guest Number 3 - Sir William Crookes, A leading Physicist & Chemist and a key investigator of early spiritualists & mediums including D.D, Home and Florence Cook. Like Oliver Lodge, Crookes was a key member of the Society for Psychical Research & made a number of important contributions to Psychical Research.
Guest Number 4 - Professor Brian Cox. The bloke off all the TV science shows! A Physicist and leading protagonist of the Sceptical Science lobby who believe that the paranormal doesn't exist and to quote Prof. Cox those who believe in Ghosts are "Nobbers".
I would love to be around the dinner table when he tells two of the World's leading Physicists that they are 'Nobbers' too...........
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start investigating the paranormal?
Buy a night vision camcorder and an EMF meter and form a group with a gang of mates. Learn all you can from watching old episodes of Most Haunted or Ghost Hunters. Make sure you turn off the lights and always, always listen carefully to the person in your team who claims that they are a sensitive and can talk to dead people. Don't forget to sell places on your investigations to people and promise to show them how a Ouija Board works. But don't forget to make it clear your group is Not For Profit.
Or......... Read everything about the paranormal you can, look at all sides of the argument - do ghosts exist? are they a figment of the imagination? Learn to question everything! Join a reputable and established organisation such as The Society for Psychical Research. Do not assume or presume anything. Ask yourself why you want to investigate the paranormal.
Orbs, or just a load of old balls?
Orbs - definitely, absolutely, without hesitation.....................................................ARE BOLLOCKS
At 20 degrees Celsius, and standard barometric pressure what is the wavelength of an Infrasound standing wave having a frequency of 18.9Hz?
Speed of sound in air at 20 Degrees C is 340.29 metres per second. Wavelength is Speed of sound divided by Frequency, so 340.29 / 18.9 which of course is 18.01metres, Simples!
Boxers and briefs? :-)
That's a bit limited, no option for thong, G-String or long johns or even commando.....Very poor question..................
We would like to thank Steve for a very interesting interview, we at Silent voices wish you good luck and best wishes for the future