OUR BOOKS TAKE YOU BEYOND
What got you interested in the paranormal?
The thing that got me interested in the paranormal was probably my mother letting me watch “The Shining” with her at something like 9 or 10 years old. It scared the hell out of me, and afterward I remember checking out what few ghost books our little elementary school library had. My interest drifted as I got older and rebelled against my Catholic upbringing by becoming more of a rationalist - “the world is exactly what I can see and touch and no more”, etc., and it wasn’t until moving into my first apartment in 2002 that I had some experiences which called those beliefs into question. Then, after starting work on “Strange” in 2012, I had two very obvious, visual experiences that completely changed the way I see the world. Those experiences - both from 2002 and 2012 - are documented in the book.
Have you had any experiences you can’t quite write off with a mundane explanation?
My first two encounters with shadow people were irrefutable: they didn’t happen on a dark stormy night, or in a dark room where you could easily mistake the outline of your laundry for something else. The first time I saw a shadow person was on a bright April morning after my first research trip to Revelstoke, and it made sure I couldn’t help but see it. The second one was just as obvious, and even more unpleasant.
Another thing I have a hard time writing off, is sometimes knowing things about strangers which I shouldn’t really know. For example, years ago I was working as a luggage handler and check-in agent for a small passenger ferry in Washington State when a customer approached me asking a question. Exactly what the question was I no longer recall, but the answer involved me having to pluck a name out of thin air to use as an example. The name I chose, at random, was “Biedlebaum”, as in “Mr. Biedlebaum, there’s a message waiting for you inside the terminal.” The customer cocked her head at me and gave me a strange look, then said, “My cat’s name is Biedlebaum! How did you know that?”
Favorite paranormal subject.
This has changed over the years but right now I’m particularly interested in stories of “astral spiders”, or spider-like shadow entities often seen on the way in and out of sleep. This is something both my wife and I have experienced at different points, so you might say it’s a very personal interest. So far I haven’t found anything reliable in terms of actual knowledge, but there are stories floating around out there.
I also have a long-standing interest in abduction phenomenon and missing people. In my life I’ve known what I’m told is an unusual number of people who have gone missing, and that probably contributes to this curiosity. It also makes me sound like a serial killer.
Most unexpected story you came across or documented while researching, ‘A Strange Little Place’
The most unexpected story I found while researching “Strange” was something I wasn’t able to share publicly for various reasons, but second place definitely goes to the Roger’s Pass Fireball: multiple witnesses recalled seeing a fireball light up a mountain valley like daylight, which is something you might be able to write off to a meteor if not for its strange behaviour, including slowing down and “crackling with electricity.”
Even more surprising than the story itself was the behaviour of one witness - he actually threatened me if I ever connected his name, in any way, with what happened that night.
Is there an encounter documented within, that you would not want to experience yourself?
Without a doubt, the missing time experience in Roger’s Pass. As I mentioned before, I am deeply interested in missing people and abduction phenomenon, and part of that is because I have a fear of such a thing ever happening to me. The notion of missing time, where people lose themselves for hours - or even days - with no recollection of where they’ve been chills me to the core.
Do you feel it takes a certain “type” of person (call it sensitivity, etc) to have several or many paranormal experiences, or is it just luck of the draw.
To me, it’s a combination of factors. There are definitely people who are far more sensitive to the subtle world than others, but there are also places which are so strange I believe they become apparent even to people who are “closed.” Whether or not these people understand what it is they’re perceiving is another question entirely. I also believe there are “luck of the draw” experiences which combine a transitory phenomenon with the correct atmospheric conditions, whatever those are, and just the right level of sensitivity in the witness. Those experiences are the ones which impact us most, and are often something the experiencer will spend a lifetime trying to duplicate.
Are there places in or around Revelstoke that could be classified to be a “hot spot” or a place where more than one type of anomalous activity has occurred.
The area around the Court House, which I called “Court House Square” in the book despite no one who lives there ever referring to it that way, is definitely a major hot spot. Walking in the area at night, I can feel the air change the closer I get. Another major hot spot, one I believe to be even more powerful and which I absolutely will not approach on my own, is the Arrow Lakes area south of town.
What is the best thing about executing your show, The Ghost Story Guys Podcast
There are so many good things about making GSG that it’s hard for me to name just one, so here are a few:
1. I get to hang out with my friend Paul, who I am constantly both learning from and laughing with. Paul is a humble, driven, and talented dude who constantly inspires me to do better.
2. I get to learn from my audience. The breadth of experiences people send in is truly incredible and when someone tells me that they feel better because another person has seen the same thing as them and they no longer feel alone? That’s a good feeling.
3. It’s helped me identify what I enjoy doing. Over the course of my adult life, I’ve worked a lot of jobs: budtender, grocery clerk, janitor, mover, office manager, to name a few, and I’ve done all of them well, because that’s what I do, but I’ve never enjoyed them. Broadcasting, which I wouldn’t have discovered without the show, is something I’m both good at AND enjoy. It also has so many facets that I never stop learning, which taken with the other two is sort of like the Triple Crown of “keeping Bren interested in a job.”