He probably would prefer I didn’t, but I have to thank paranormal pop culture expert and journalist Aaron Sagers (whose work can be found on Pop Matters and who founded Paranormal Pop Culture) for making this interview with Kris Williams of Ghost Hunters happen. I view it as a big coup for my little blog and I’m really grateful to him for hooking me up.
I also have to thank Ms. Williams. She took time out of her busy schedule to thoroughly answer all of my questions. I hope you enjoy learning more about her as much as I did.
HJ: What’s something you absolutely don’t travel without?
KW: One thing I never travel without is my iPod. Not only do I love music but it’s nice for downloading movies and is great for just about any travel situation. It’s perfect for flights and a long car ride. It’s amazing how music can keep you sane.
Lately another thing I have started to pick up is reading. I was never big on reading before. Over the summer a friend of mine gave me a book about Jim Morrison and before I knew it, I was picking up another one about him, then moved on to “The Alchemist” and now I’m onto some true crime books. With travel it’s all about finding things that you can put down and pick right back up whenever you have the time.
HJ: I can appreciate that. I used to love to read…when I had more time. (And I wasn’t addicted to the Internet and social networking.) Speaking of addictions, is there any place you could investigate over and over again and never get tired of?
Waverly Hills is a place I have only had the chance to investigate once that I would love to go back to. It was the first Halloween Live show that I was involved in and I had only been with the team a few months – but that is where I had my biggest experiences since I have been doing this job.
That night I was teamed up with Dustin Pari and it was the first time I had ever investigated with him. We both had two big experiences we couldn’t explain and still talk about with each other to this day. Dustin and I had started off in the body chute, this underground tunnel that originally was used to bring goods from the train at the bottom of the hill up to the hospital. Later it is said it was used to bring the dead out of the hospital without other patients seeing.
While standing at the top we heard footsteps and saw lights coming from the bottom of the tunnel. When we ran to the bottom, there was nothing. At the bottom you were just in the middle of the woods and there was no one there. Then we started hearing the footsteps and seeing the lights coming from the top of the tunnel, so we went running up the hill to figure it out. After chasing this thing up and down hill a few times we decided to set up in the middle, leaving half the distance to run in either direction. It was then both of us saw this soccer ball-sized white mass rolling at us along the floor so fast the first thing we thought was that were going to get attacked by an animal. By the time we both started screaming, two feet before it got to Dustin, it completely disappeared.
It was just gone, leaving us both completely confused. We spent the rest of the night joking about our “ghost skunk.”
The second experience we had there took place after the live show was over and all the production crew were out of the building. It was just our team in the building, picking up our equipment and getting ready to head out for the night. Dustin and I were up on the fifth floor; we had one flashlight between the two of us.
We were picking up cameras and cords when we started hearing footsteps. I remember saying “Really…?” to Dustin and getting a nervous laugh back because we weren’t ready for it – the show was over, our equipment was down, and NOW it starts?
We grabbed all of our stuff and headed for the second floor where center command was set up. Once we got to the second floor and passed the first room on our left we heard a few footsteps coming from that room. We pass the second room on the left and again, foot steps were heard coming from that room…
We started walking faster when we heard what sounded like six or seven running, stomping footsteps come right up behind us.
Dustin yelled for me to flash the flashlight behind us, figuring we would find one of our teammates trying to freak us out and there was nothing. We checked the floor and we were 100% alone.
It is funny because I am a huge skeptic, and I still question every experience I’ve had thinking maybe I missed something. I hate saying a place is haunted and it takes a lot for me to say that it is. Nor do I say it is just because other people have had experiences there; I need to experience them firsthand for myself. I need to try to be able to pull it apart, try to debunk it myself.
But Waverly, it’s one of the few places that I will say is haunted and the only place I will admit that whatever is there is 100% aware of us, what we are doing and waits till we aren’t ready.
I totally want to go back!
HJ: Holy cow! All of this just makes me want to go even more. (Waverly Hills tops my bucket list of Haunt Jaunts I want to make!) What fantastic experiences. Thanks for all the details.
Something you alluded to above was running. Here’s something us girls want to know…how do you keep your cute figure when you’re on the road and having to eat out so much? Got any special tricks or an exercise regimen you follow/try to stick to?
KW: Cute figure?! Thanks! Honestly it’s a daily battle. Even now I am struggling with it. It seems like I’ll get on a roll of being good, eating right and exercising and I’ll drop some weight only to fall off the wagon and gain it all back. I have been battling the same seven pounds for the last couple years.
Staying healthy on the road is really impossible; every meal is at a restaurant, out of a vending machine or at a gas station.
Over the years I have tried everything, the normal crap every teenage girl goes through. Then I found Weight Watchers and the weight just flew off. Honestly, if I wasn’t on the road all the time, I would still be doing it. After losing 35 pounds with it in 5 months, I had started modeling and over and over again they told me I needed to lose weight. I was 5’8” at 124 pounds and I was still being told my butt was too big.
So what did I do? I told them to go to hell. I had lost a lot of weight and the more I lost, the more I looked anorexic from the waist up.
I was a girl born with a butt and it shouldn’t be a curse. Girls are supposed to have curves and they shouldn’t fear them – they should embrace them and be proud of them.
All it really comes down to is being happy, healthy and realistic. Not everyone was built to be a size 0-4. Hell, I sure wasn’t. However, I do know what’s attainable and where I need to be to not only be happy but healthy. I eat as healthy as I can, and a lot of it is just learning portion sizes, then I get off my butt and excersie whenever I can and for those on the road a lot, or if you can’t afford a gym, try videos you can do in your home or hotel.
HJ: Kris Williams, I do believe you’re my new hero. HOLLA! I have a big booty. Always have, even when I was skinny. LOVE your advice and your attitude! You go, girlfriend!
Okay, so back to travel talk…In all your travels, have you been anywhere (be it a town or just a place within a town) that seemed to be particularly paranormal investigator/ghost enthusiast friendly?
KW: There have been a few places that were extremely open to paranormal investigators and having “Ghost Hunters” rolling through their town. Those were Savannah, New Orleans and St. Augustine. They all just seemed to be really proud of their local history, beliefs, folklore and ghosts. We really enjoyed our time in those spots and completely felt welcomed. Outside of the paranormal they are all beautiful spots, especially Savannah. I loved the architecture and the Spanish moss. It just had an old feel that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the States.
HJ: I so know what you mean about the Spanish moss! I used to live in Jacksonville, FL and miss the mystique of the Spanish moss so much. (And St. Augustine’s just wonderful. I was so happy to see it on your list! The other places are beautiful too, but Auggie will always have a special place in my heart.)
Speaking of hearts…I heard you have a love for music. Beyond The Doors, what groups/artists do you like? And do you have a road trip theme song or playlist?
KW: Music is big part of my everyday routine. In the car, on the plane, at home or in the hotel, something is always playing. Yes, usually it’s The Doors!
However I am also a huge Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Beatles fan. I could listen to those four groups all day, everyday and not get bored. I also love David Bowie and saw him live a few years ago (he still kicks ass, by the way. Who couldn’t love the Goblin King?)
At night I tend to listen to older stuff like Sinatra, Bobby Darrin, Jimmy Durante, etc. The only time I’ll really listen to new stuff is at the gym – that’s when the newer pop or dance music comes in handy to get moving. I am a classic rock girl at heart though.
HJ: This is an expression I use a lot and in this case the pun will be totally intended: Rock on!
So what do you see yourself doing when your time with Ghost Hunters runs its course? Do you think you’ll still try to travel a lot, or would you like to have a career without the travel?
KW: I’m so focused on what’s going on today I really haven’t given too much though to what comes next. To be honest, I have always been the type that likes to work as hard as I can at whatever it is I’m doing, and just see where life takes me. Everyday is an adventure; the biggest challenge is having the guts to jump when an opportunity presents itself.
I have always loved to travel so I could still see myself planning trips and hopefully planning vacations. Outside of that, the thing I have been desiring most is to be in a situation that is relationship friendly. More and more, as time goes by, I want to be a mom. I am a huge family person, so not having my own or having the time to work towards it – or having enough time to spend with the family I already have – is my only worry.
It all comes down to balance; I just haven’t gotten there yet.
HJ: Ah, the age old dilemma of a woman with guts, gusto and purpose striving to find the balance. I certainly hope you can find a happy medium one of these days. And no matter where the road of Life takes you, I sure wish you nothing but continued success.
Thanks so much, Kris, for taking the time to answer all of my questions with such great answers. Much obliged!