In November Ghosts of Oz conducted interviews with range of Aussie Paranormal People who made up some of the Australian Paranormal Media Scene! The interviews took a peak behind the podcast, magazine, blog or camera to celebrate and get to know the people who create great content for us to enjoy and debate,
We asked each interviewee to submit one (or two) questions that would become a community interview of Alex Cayas, the man behind the GOO.
Big thanks to Dan McMath - The Haunting Hours, Beth Luscombe - Access Paranormal, Sharon Rowland - Oddities e-Club Magazine,
Richard Saunders - The Skeptic Zone Podcast, Jacqueline Vesey-Wells - The Ghost Writer Oz, Attila Kaldy - Moonlark Media and,
Sarah Chumacero - Living Life In Full Spectrum for taking part.
From Sarah Chumacero: How did you go from having an interest in the paranormal to running major paranormal events like paracon?
Like many of my stories it started with a cocktail. Ghosts of Oz was invited to be part of Paracon Australia as hosts of the opening night social event. Beth Luscombe and Kerrie Wearing were the directors at that time. Paths and Passions changed for Beth and Kerrie and Paracon Australia was handed over to Ghosts of Oz. I spent a year reimaging the event and its place and purpose and honestly was absolutely terrified to host the first one in 2014 at Maitland gaol. I’m here now and my interests in the Paranormal have widened. Let this be a lesson kids, you might take a conference out for one drink and end up married to the her. Shout your drinks mindfully.
From Beth Luscombe: Some people know you are not a Paranormal Investigator and yet you provide events and media for people who are. What is your answer to those who question your experience to be a voice in this field?
No community or field is made up on just one “job title” so my answer is that firstly, there is plenty of room for people with a wide range of experience to contribute to the field and community and secondly, no one person or one group gets to decide who can play and who can’t. If you are willing to participate, to be contribute, to be down in the arena then you are the decider of your own fate in this community.
My contribution is I build places (both physical and metaphorical) for people to meet and discuss ideas. History is littered with people just like me who didn’t play in the band but were there to turn the sound up.
From Dan McMath: What hair products do you use to keep your hair so soft 'n' shiny? The tears of cynical Skeptics everywhere.
From Richard Saunder: Skeptics are often called closed minded, but we are dedicated to accepting good evidence even if that contradicts our worldview. What then would it take for a believer in the paranormal to rethink their worldview? After all these years does the lack of hard evidence for the paranormal concern believers?
I rebuke, REBUKE I say, that many who claim to be true skeptics follow your mission statement but I’ll allow it as it is your question after all. I have witnessed many paranormal investigators and enthusiasts challenged and then rethink their ideas and understandings. I mean we all at some point believed orbs were something spookier. I do think that belief and rationality can live in the same building. You can have believe in the Paranormal and approach paranormal phenomena critically.
We MUST also move away from Skeptic being the opposite to “believer” or as implied in your question “Paranormal Investigator”.
The opposite to Skeptic should be gullible.
As for concern, I’m not worried one bit. To borrow from your own interview real critical thinking has only been around in the last few decades. Our own understanding of psychology and how the brain works and developments in technology are blooming. I think interesting times ahead.
From Attila Kaldy: What kind of paranormal content would get your undivided attention from beginning to end? What would you like to see in a series or documentary? Honestly, these days I am far more interested in the living then the dead. So something that captured a very human story would be most interesting to me. Whenever I visit old building or venues on tours I let my mind bring the place to life and imagine alive and what the day to day looked like. Who were the people who inspired the ghost stories? I got ideas Moonlark…come see me ;)
Also from Attila: Where would you draw the line in content? What do you consider as ‘going too far’?
That seems to be the million-dollar question. Not only in the Paranormal but in many forms of creative content.
I will riff on this question around an example. It is considered to be crossing the line to speak of recent deaths and particularly victims of violent crimes or accidents. I have wondered why is it unacceptable to feature these stories and okay to feature similar stories from decades or centuries ago. If you answer is you could offend or upset the family then you are basing your morals on if you’ll get caught. Why is the brutal murders of the victims of Jack the Ripper okay to discuss, make content out of or feature on a tour and not the victims of a modern serial killer.
It’s about intent and how you present it I think and being thoughtful with how you do it.
From Jacqueline Vesey-Wells: If you were a spirit, describe your haunting.
Infrequent and gassy
Also from Jacqueline: What do you think spirits (or what we're investigating) are?
Memories and fragments floating about looking for someone to dance with them. I think we (us human folk) leave a little bit of something everywhere we go, live, work, play and that is left there until someone comes along looking for it. I don’t think we are ever dancing with a whole people. Nastiness is felt and come across in prison because that is where people leave or are their most nasty. It could all be totally psychological of course and the nasty in us dances with what we imagine to be left behind which to me is equally fascinating. To sum it up, no fucking idea, I’m here for the stories and the banter and that’s what I got so far.