Several locations across the country have been marred by tragedy and death, leading a trail of unexplainable events. Now the investigative team known as the Paranormal Syndicate will visit some of America’s most haunted locations and use their unique approach to collect and record tangible evidence of paranormal activity. Founded by the Paranormal Linebacker & Tech Manager Helmey, the roster is rounded out by lead investigator Daniel Hooven, case manager Jordan Murphy, psychic Chelsea Damali, and K9 Investigator, Captain. Collectively, the Paranormal Syndicate takes you on an exciting journey to some of the darkest places in America.
Helmey, tell us more about how you became involved in the paranormal field prior to Haunted Encounters: Face to Face:
I have always been fascinated by ghosts. I was reminded by this last week. My folks brought over a few boxes of mine that they had kept in storage since I left the nest about 20 years ago. I immediately opened heaviest box to find it was packed full of books on ghosts and other paranormal subjects. I also noticed my old complete series “Mysteries of the Unknown”. When I was a kid I had to have these books. My mom thought it might be a good time to teach me the value of working for something I really wanted. We struck a deal. I would do extra work around the house to “pay” for these books that I wanted so badly. Looking back I’m sure I didn’t hold up my end of the chores in our bargain. Fortunately for me, my mom let it slide. Fortunately for her, I did eventually learn that value of hard work and its rewards.
While growing up I also learned to think freely and draw my own conclusions. This is quite different from being intentionally arbitrary. As to ghosts, I must experience first-hand their possibilities before considering conclusions made by others. I must experience the energy of the scenes where extraordinary events occurred. I then incorporate traditional and unconventional methods to acquire credible validation of the experiences. My goal is to discover the truth wherever that takes me.
Helmey Kramer – You are the founder of “The Paranormal Syndicate”, what can you tell us about the team and how you selected the individuals?
I have assembled each component mentioned into the unique dynamic known as the Paranormal Syndicate. My associates, Daniel and Jordan use history to convert documented historical reenactments with a twist in a way not only brilliant but also incredibly effective. Daniel’s unique and analytical thought process is a priceless asset in the field. His focus and determination is unparalleled. Jordan is a dedicated researcher and is knowledgeable about sub fields and theories. Her interests include string theory and other related areas that are believed to hold the secrets of hauntings and the afterlife. Both Jordan and Daniel’s collective creativity is an incredibly valuable asset to our studies. I had worked with Chelsea in the past, as I struggled with the psychic concepts with which I am neither sensitive to nor proficient. Over time Chelsea discovered things from investigations that I had not shared or recognized as significant. Chelsea adds yet another layer to what we do. She is an asset in identifying areas where we need to focus or refocus our efforts during sequences. I hope it becomes one of the most comprehensive and effective teams ever built. With our progressive and constantly evolving methodology, we are able to consistently achieve astonishing outcomes. We continue to work on expanding our methods while incorporating new concepts to raise the bar even higher. We shall continue our efforts to obtain the best possible results.
Helmey, Haunted Encounters is one of the first shows to feature a canine investigator, what unique skills does The Captain bring to the team?
I find myself thinking of new methods that could work in the field and lead to improved accuracy of results. I grew up with dogs that I’ve trained in many disciplines. A couple of years ago while reading a report by someone who had a spirit “sensitive” pet. I was intrigued. This led me to do weeks of research, whereupon I saw it was highly possible to train a dog to identify the presence of electromagnetic fields and alert the handler of its proximity. Based upon canine scent-work, the fundamental training behind drug/bomb sniffing dogs and that of search & rescue dogs, this concept was obviously feasible.
The Captain, my purebred Yellow Labrador, would become my test subject. I also have a female black Lab, Bailey that had already had some scent-work training; however her reactive nature was such that I would not use her as a subject. Allow me to explain, dogs can actually smell and identify fear in people. Humans produce adrenaline and other pheromones when they are frightened or sense danger, and we generate a pungent scent to canines. That unique scent can make a more timid dog become frightened or defensive. The Captain however with all of his bravado and desire to please was the perfect candidate. Bailey was not.
After countless hours of training, Captain became more and more proficient at identifying synthetically generated magnetic fields. It was a new game that he thoroughly enjoyed and eventually excelled. As he worked in the field, I learned something very important. Through my years of working with dogs I had failed to actually decipher what dogs were truly “saying”. The default, we have as people, is to humanize animal behavior which is completely inaccurate. As an example, when we smile it’s a generally showing pleasure. When a chimpanzee smiles it’s submissive and fearful showing it feels threatened. With orangutans a smile is threat and the precursor to an aggressive action. Canines are much further away from us as a species, and so is their behavior. Thus began a new cycle of countless hours of research and observing Captain’s behavior and reactions to everyday situations, and long discussions with canine behaviorists. Eventually I learned a new trick and truly understood how dogs speak, and more importantly how Captain speaks.
Helmey, you are the official technical manager of the team and known as the Paranormal Linebacker, what do these roles consist of?
My role on the team as the Paranormal Linebacker is quite broad. Besides holding everything together, I handle a good portion of the technology and work on new concepts through execution in multiple capacities. My crown jewel, besides developing the first formal training for ghost K9s, is the Para-Line device. The Para-Line recorder is a combination of old and new technologies which give me the ability to listen live for possible direct and immediate spirit interaction during EVP sessions. The device adds additional advantages over standard recorders by generating white noise at the point of recording and by using a magnetic recording mechanism, both of which are very important when attempting to capture EVP.
Jordan Murphy, you have been a familiar face both on screen and in the community. For viewers new to yourself and Haunted Encounters: Face to Face, how did you end up in the paranormal?
Growing up in West Virginia, I’ve always had an interest in the paranormal because of all the ghost stories and folklore about the state. I grew up in a small town called Fairmont, which is very close to both the old WV state penitentiary and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Hearing all of the local legends and stories sparked my interest, but it wasn’t until the age of about 9 that I actually saw an apparition in an old house that has ties to the Civil War, Native Americans, and a murder. Then, after losing my brother in 2009, I decided to actively pursue the paranormal. I knew there was more to life after death, but it’s such a puzzle to figure out. I had so many questions only the dead could answer.
I started my journey by joining a local team and learning some information about equipment and locations. Soon after, I met Daniel and another mutual friend, and the three of us decided to team up traveling the country. Filming at the most haunted locations in the country, we would self-finance and self-produce our own e-series “Resident Undead”. We soon gained popularity and notoriety in the paranormal underground, meeting a lot of great people like Helmey and Chelsea. Helmey had a vision of combining respected individuals in the paranormal that were “ahead of the curve” to create the Paranormal Syndicate.
You have professed a strong interest in string theory, as well as energy theories. How does this interest play into your work on Haunted Encounters: Face to Face?
I’m a huge believer in energy theories and string theory, so I think that paranormal activity is based on a lot of energy that individuals give off. Just like meeting people in real life, certain people can give off a certain “vibe”. That is why I may get a different response than any of the other three and vice versa. Also, using our special techniques of a “ripple in time” and Pandora, we elicit some of the most unique responses to date. By putting ourselves in situations that actually happened at these locations, we are giving something familiar to the spirits and stirring up that raw emotion surrounding these situations. This isn’t waiting four hours for one response from the dead; this is real-time, intelligent responses. The dead are willing to talk; they just have to be given the right platform. It’s all about raising the bar and pushing the limits.
Tell us about your role on Haunted Encounters: Face to Face and the overall experience of filming this season?
My role on the show is technically case manager, but I would like to think it dives deeper into more of a historical aspect. I love learning the history of these locations and revolving our “ripples in time” around it. History is so important, because we can actually get answers from the dead to confirm or deny any unanswered questions that may be attached to these locations.
Filming was an amazing experience and we were very blessed with both the opportunity and production crew. Everybody was great to work with and we really appreciated the fact that everybody at Ping Pong and the network truly embraced us for who we were and allowed us to be ourselves. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people and can honestly say we all came out with great friendships with the crew.
Daniel, you have also been a familiar face due to your work with Resident Undead and television appearances, for new viewers how did you become interested in the paranormal?
My friend was the one who got me into the paranormal in 2010, when he took me on a road trip to the Villisca Axe Murder House in Iowa. I was always a fringe believer based on my experiences in a haunted fraternity house in college, but needed tangible evidence to really believe in the “other” side. Within an hour of stepping foot in the Villisca House, we had captured an EVP of children laughing and from that moment I was hooked. I’m also a huge fan of travel and history, which added to the allure of investigating so many different locations. Like Jordan, I met Helmey through running in the same online circles and we had always wanted to collaborate based on our love for thinking differently, so when he approached me with this opportunity there was not one doubt, it was time to go full sequence.
Daniel, Haunted Encounters: Face to Face features some non-traditional techniques such as the Ripples in Time, tell us more about these Ripples in Time.
Like my teammates, I believe in thinking outside the box and I think that you can’t rule anything out when exploring the unknown. I was always a huge fan of the show Quantum Leap and the Butterfly Effect movie. The idea of waking up as somebody else in their time and the repercussions of changing history really intrigued me and were the basis for the ripple in time concept. Every location the Syndicate enters has key events that took place, for our ripples in time we re-enact the events with a twist ending, essentially turning us into trigger people. Through changing key events and essentially going undercover with the dead, we have been able to obtain some of the very best real time intelligent EVPs out there.
The Lizzie Borden ripple is a great example, in this Ripple, myself (dressed as Andrew Borden) wakes up before Jordan (dressed as Lizzie) was able to hit me with a hatchet and killed her in self-defense…by changing history and taking away what may have been Lizzie’s proudest moment, well, the results speak for themselves. This strategy only works with the whole team involved, because these ripples rely on the energy of the group, this is not a game of dress up, this is putting yourself in the mindset and understanding how to lose yourself in a role. I remember the first time Nurse Jordan appeared in a ripple, Jordan not only obtained the correct uniform for the era, but showed up with a vocabulary of jargon used by the nurses of that time period.
Daniel, tell us more about your role as lead investigator and what the viewers can expect from Haunted Encounters: Face to Face
Prior to every investigation the Syndicate gets together to review the location’s history and develop a strategy on how to extract the very best evidence. As lead investigator, my main responsibility is the same as everybody on the team, to make sure we execute our game plan and help support group synergy. My ability to focus and communicate on the ground is my largest contribution to in my role and is important due to our tendency to split the team up when covering large areas. I think this show is going to be very different based on the diversity of talents, you have myself and Jordan who specialize in Pandora sessions and because we are such different personalities, we are able to capture different reactions which is something I find very interesting. We call Helmey the Bill Nye of the Dead because of his vast knowledge on technology, he is able to explain how certain tools may help or hurt our investigations. I also think the ripples in time are going to really stand out as an innovative strategy and the emphasis on the teamwork, many people who have watched the sneak peeks in BIO.com have said this show looks very different from current programming. We’re all very excited for the premiere and thankful to Ping Pong and the production crew for this opportunity.
Haunted Encounters: Face to Face airs Fridays at 10e/9c only on BIO.
Haunted Encounters Face to Face Cast on Dead Air Paranormal Radio:
For more information on the show, please visit the following:
- Biography’s official Haunted Encounters website
- Haunted Encounters Official Facebook Page
- Haunted Encounters Official Twitter