It takes a bit of crazy to walk into a house that is purported to be haunted in the dead of night with little more than a flashlight. Having said that, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson must be bat s*** insane.
The pair founded The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) back in 1990 to try to understand the phenomenon of ghosts and all other spooky things. They're also the subjects of Sci-Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters, a docudrama that follows the TAPS team as it investigates all sorts of places most wouldn't even look at.
Hawes and Wilson, former plumbers, use their experience in the field to help bring understanding to things that just can't be explained with conventional science. Despite the fact they both believe in the other side, they initially go into each job trying to disprove the presence of paranormal activity rather than prove it, as they say most claims are bogus.
The two chatted with TV.com while they were on location in Nevada to talk about the season four premiere of Ghost Hunters on Wednesday, March 5, why they aren't scared, and give a brief explanation of why ghosts are very real.
TV.com: Well, you guys are still alive, so I'm going to assume that season four is going pretty smoothly.
Jason Hawes: [laughs] Season four has been going phenomenally. We've hit some great locations, [such as] Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia. Its claim to fame is holding off the British while George Washington [was stationed] at Valley Forge. That'll be the first episode coming up on March 5. We've been to some incredible locations, including this: the Goldfield Hotel in Nevada. It was one of the top-requested places by the fans for us to come out and investigate.
TV.com: I think this has to be asked. Why do you do what you do? Ghost hunting isn't exactly on the top of most people's lists of career aspirations.
Jason Hawes: We were both nonbelievers until we had our own personal experiences, which thrust us into the field and made us believers. No, we're trying to come in and debunk things...there's so much garbage out there. Everyone is so willing to say a place is haunted but they never have any proof to solidify those claims.
Grant Wilson: We do what we do because if someone breaks into your house, you can call the cops. If your house is on fire, you can call the fire department. But who do you call if you have paranormal activity? You have to have someone you can go to who will approach it from the right angle. And that's what we're here for and the message we're trying to spread.
TV.com: So you started as nonbelievers and are now hardcore believers in ghosts and other bumps in the night?
Jason Hawes: We're believers of the paranormal, but believe that 80 percent of the claims can be disproved.
Grant Wilson: Yeah, we don't believe everything that comes our way. We have to get to the bottom of things and separate science from fiction.
TV.com: How scared do you guys get on the job?
Jason Hawes: You get startled. That's going to happen no matter what.
Grant Wilson: You can be the toughest guy on the planet, but when someone jumps out, you get shocked but not scared. You can't be [scared]. Because if you run out, where does that leave the people who called you for help?
TV.com: What's your explanation on the phenomenon of ghosts?
Jason Hawes: That's a long discussion. I don't know if you have enough time to cover it. Whether it is something traumatic that happened that made the energy stay in that area or someone who didn't want to pass over for whatever reason, there seems to be stuff out there beyond what we know.
TV.com: It can't be all business out there in the field. Do you guys ever have fun with each other out there?
Jason Hawes: Absolutely, we have fun. We're a big family. We've been doing this for 17 years now. We'll bust on each other.
Grant Wilson: We like to mess around with the camera crew too...scare them. That's always fun. Jason actually walked toward one camera man with a sheet [over his head], and the camera man just folded to the floor. [laughs]
TV.com: The common perception is that paranormal activity is mostly evil. Is that correct or are there a bunch of Caspers out there also?
Grant Wilson: Mostly Caspers--you have to think. What we're dealing with are people most of the time--people without a body. Hollywood has done a heck of a job trying to scare the snot out of us, but it just isn't that way.
TV.com: How do you help those who ask for your help with paranormal activity?
Jason Hawes: You try to figure out what's going on, maybe even prove that there's nothing paranormal going on. If it is paranormal, you can teach [people] to coexist with it, not to fear what’s going on.
Grant Wilson: All fear is is a lack of knowledge, so you just educate them.
TV.com: Thanks for talking to us. Be safe out there!
Jason Hawes: Thanks!
Grant Wilson: Thank you.
Season four of Ghost Hunters premieres tomorrow night on Sci-Fi Channel at 9 p.m. For more on the show, check out TV.com's previous coverage.