‘Tis the season for celebrating the supernatural — so why not consult with the experts?
Spring Hill Paranormal Investigators is a four-person team comprised of Bill and Lisa Benzie, Dee Thompson and JoAnna Thomas. In addition to consulting with private clients, the group also teaches one class per week on the ins and outs of the otherworldly.
Topics include personal and spiritual safety, an overview of the equipment used during an investigation and how to review evidence.
Below, the team talks about what drives them and the nature of their work. Answers have been edited for space and clarity.
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Q: What was your first encounter with the paranormal?
Lisa Benzie: Besides a personal experience I had when I was a young girl, which I prefer not to talk about, I have had experiences such as walking into a room and smelling roses, when there’s no roses in the room. I’ve gone home after work and would smell pork chops cooking. The only problem with that is, there wasn’t anyone home cooking pork chops at that time, in fact I was the only one home. I’ve been touched. I’ve seen doors close without any reasonable explanation. A more recent experience, I played tug-of-war with blankets on our bed but Bill was sound asleep.
Q: Many people would spend the rest of their lives running away from something like that. What makes you run toward it?
Bill Benzie: Helping people understand what they are experiencing, and having them understand that, no, they aren’t nuts, or losing their mind, is key for me. Some people who call us are afraid, and nobody should be afraid to be in their own home. Also, to be honest, there is a bit of an adrenaline rush for me, not knowing what will happen as the investigation progresses.
Q: How do you train or prepare for a job like this?
LB: Personally, I don’t consider it to be a job. What I do to prepare/train is a lot of reading and researching. I believe having in-depth knowledge and understanding of the paranormal is very important.
Q: What’s the most important quality for someone in your line of work to possess?
Dee Thompson: Staying calm and grounded. Being open and receptive without judgment.
Q: How are you typically alerted to potential paranormal activity?
LB: We’re normally contacted by those who are experiencing some kind of activity, whether in their homes and/or businesses. We talk with the client in depth to find out what activity is happening, when it started, etc., and based on that information, we research the property and/or surrounding area to find out if there’s any evidence and/or possible cause for the activity.