Ghost Nation is back! Veteran paranormal researchers Hawes, Gonsalves and Tango are taking us on a whole new array of investigative adventures.
“Each one-hour episode spotlights locations with bigger, edgier mysteries, the danger is more in focus and the mission and what’s at stake are always in the forefront for the team. Not only will the team be helping terrified homeowners, they’re also investigating a deadly, abandoned glass factory, a demonic tattoo parlor and a mansion with a secret room sealed shut for a century, all to help people and their businesses survive.”
Crooked LLama had the awesome opportunity to chat with Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango about their intriguing (and sometimes unexpected) experiences while filming Season 2, reuniting with friends, pushing through the pandemic and so much more! Check it out…
Linda: Congratulations on Season 2, I’m glad you’re coming back.
Dave: Thank you so much.
Steve: Thank you, thank you very much it’s great to… when the country kind of went down a little bit, we didn’t know how long it would be until we could finish up Season 2. But luckily we got it all done.
Linda: Yeah, I’m really happy about that. And you kind of touched on what I wanted to talk about first… What has been the effect of the pandemic on filming and the investigations?
Steve: The effect on the investigations really hasn’t been too much. We investigate the exact same way we did before. The limitations, when it comes to research and that sort of thing, [is that] not every historical society is open. Not everybody is as opening of their doors as they would otherwise but we’ve been able to do everything we would normally do. We even get the research done… whether it’s through conference video chats or we actually do get access to certain places. It’s been challenging, but not damaging to what we do, luckily.
Linda: Well, that’s definitely good to hear. I don’t know how much you can talk about Season 2, but I guess this could apply to either Season 1 or 2… What location, and I’m not going to ask your favorite, but what has yielded the most surprising results for either of you?
Steve: Good question. I would say for me, we use a low line misting machine at times [and] it does a great job of letting you see if something with mass is moving in a certain area. It’s a bit of a low lying stimulant just to give you a visual cue. And we’ve actually seen something move through that, approach us, and actually walk away from us on command which is pretty exciting. It gives us a visual of what that disturbance looks like. And utilizing a new piece of equipment we have this season, a handheld sonar device that is portable… it’s amazing. We’ve gotten some instant results and evidence with it a few different times, pretty much every time we’ve implemented it on an investigation. So to me, those are probably the two biggest surprises. That low lying mist worked awesomely and that sonar, because it’s a new piece of equipment and it’s only been tested. I didn’t quite realize it would work as effectively as it did. So, that was great.
Linda: Very cool.
Dave: Yeah and in Season 2, coming up on Ghost Nation, we did an antique shop in Connecticut and in my opinion, it’s some of the best DVR evidence we ever got. I can’t say too much, but it was something that happened while I was in the room and I didn’t even know it was happening. And that, to me personally, is pretty spooky. When you see yourself in the footage when there’s something there with you and you don’t even realize it’s happening… so that happened this season. There was a hotel we did in Pennsylvania, we have a guest investigator with us, are we allowed to say who they are, Steve? Do you know? Okay, well maybe not. But anyway, we have a guest investigator with us, Steve and I and Jay were very, very excited to have, and we got some incredible evidence there as well. But we also did a Halloween special that’s coming up [that] we did with Amy and Adam at the Carey Mansion. We did a lot of real-time analysis and there are some things that definitely wanted to talk with us in real-time. And that was, to me, incredible.
Linda: That’s awesome. And you’re bringing up something, Dave, that goes right into my next question about you guys reuniting with Amy and Adam. How did that come about and what was it like working together again?
Steve: We had talked to Amy and Adam many, many times over the years and thought of how much fun it would be if we ever got the opportunity to work together again. We were investigating Seaview Terrace in Rhode Island, and it’s a huge, huge mansion and we decided, after a little while, after some things unfolded in the research, we realized we needed to spend more time there, that we needed to get some local investigators involved, ones that we trusted… some investigators that could also help with the research side of things. When it comes to the research, you honestly don’t just trust anybody with that. You got to make sure that it’s really [accurate] because we change the history of certain locations and people’s properties and even in the history books. Some of the things that we find go in as historical facts. So we’re very, very careful when it comes to research. And Jay just kind of looked up at us and said, “Doesn’t Amy kind of live right nearby, like 20 minutes?” And then we were like, “Yeah. So does Adam, he lives like an hour and a half away or something.” And we made some calls and luckily they were available. They weren’t off doing their own show Kindred Spirits, they were available and they said, “Of course we’ll work. Let’s do it.” They were excited, we were excited and Travel Channel thought it would be a great idea for us to work together. We were into it. And so it happened, but it happened just like that. Let’s give them a call.
Dave: Let’s do it. I mean, anytime I hang out with Amy and Adam is amazing. Any excuse to see them, it’s just the best thing ever.
Linda: I can’t wait to see the episode, that’s Halloween weekend right?
Steve: Halloween night. Yeah, that’s a Halloween special.
Linda: I’m looking forward to that one for sure. What you see on TV is definitely not indicative of all the work you guys are doing behind the scenes, they obviously have to fit the show. What is the biggest challenge for you guys in adapting an investigation for a TV show? Is there anything you want people to know about that?
Steve: There are some limitations, obviously. But the time, and I’m going to speak openly if you don’t mind, in our previous work, it was very difficult. It was a preliminary investigation and that’s all you really saw. We had a lot of aftercare with local teams and that sort of thing, just because of the television limitations. But [there is] 100% transparency with Ghost Nation. Since the beginning, they’ve said, “You take as much time and as much resources as you need as paranormal investigators to really help these local teams and of course the clients that they’re working with.” And so when it comes to the time limitation, we really don’t feel that with this, they’re very gracious and let us do what we need to do. I would say some of the limitations come in things like, if you’re in a place like Seaview Terrace, or in our opening episode on the 17th, we are in a tattoo parlor… there are some things that happened, but you’re limited to 42 minutes or so. And out of those 42 minutes, only a certain amount is the investigation time. So how much do you cram it in there without having enough room for people to really be able to soak in the experiences and the evidence? Sometimes a lot of things end up not in the episode, not because it shouldn’t be [in there] but just because it’s so difficult trying to figure out what should and what shouldn’t and what the audience wants to see or what we think of as investigators as being important. So there is a bit of a dance there, sometimes trying to figure out what goes in and what may not. So, a lot of the viewers may think, “Well, why didn’t they use the thermal in the basement? I would have done that.” Most likely we did, but not everything makes it to the episode. That sort of thing I would keep in mind, but a lot of limitations you would think could be there at Travel Channel or with the production company, Ping Pong [aren’t there]… we don’t have those limitations. They’re very, very gracious and really let us investigate how we need to. Initially we go from the case and we take it straight to resolution, where on a previous work we weren’t able to do that. So here we’re able to do that, and through that we’ve captured some amazing evidence that we didn’t think would be the focus of the show, but is a very nice byproduct. [By] focusing on our techniques and our protocols, procedures, and equipment, and helping the clients and the local teams, we’ve actually caught our best evidence without it even being our main focus.
Dave: When we first get there we see the fear in the homeowners or the business owner’s faces, and when we leave and you see the relief in their faces and how we’ve helped them, that to me is all the motivation I need to be doing what we do. That to me just makes me feel amazing that we’re actually doing something. We’re not just doing an investigation, we’re not just looking for the best evidence. Evidence comes, that’s icing on the cake and we’ve been very lucky with that. Especially in Ghost Nation, we did great stuff. But the main thing, and my driving force, and I think for Steve and Jay, is helping the families and also the paranormal teams that need help. That to me is the most important thing there is and it makes me feel great even in knowing that we did something to help them.
Linda: That’s one of the main reasons I enjoy to your show. You also touched on something, Steve, about the audience and I wanted to ask you, what has been the fan/audience reaction to Ghost Nation? Are you drawing in new people?
Steve: The fans have been very receptive. We get messages all the time, emails, phone calls, even our clients are saying, “My gosh, you guys really, really care about this. And we thought it was just a TV show, but we can see how much this means to you and how serious you take it.” And I think the fans can see that, and they really enjoy, because when we do signings or appearances and really talk to the fans of the show, one thing they say is, “We can really tell how much this means to you.” And they like that. And on Travel Channel, everybody wants to watch an adventure. They want to see, they want to explore places, they want to get scared, and that’s all happening while we’re able to help people. So I think it’s been great. To be honest, I haven’t really heard any negative feedback when it comes to the show and the format and what we’re doing, so that’s been really, really cool.
Dave: Also, because we’re doing a lot more research to really try to figure out things for our clients. I think we’re also bringing in some newer people as far as history buffs, people who love the history, people who respect research, and I think that’s a new group that we might be bringing in to watch the show.
Linda: I’ve seen you guys in action at conventions and well, Lord knows when we’re going to get back to that again, but I’ve seen that you guys do really care and that definitely comes across. It’s good to hear that everybody seems to have a positive reaction to everything that you guys are doing.
Steve: Thank you.
Dave: Thank you.
Linda: Of course, you’re welcome. You guys are inspiring and it causes so many people to want to run out and do their own thing. But, in your opinion, what is the biggest mistake these novice investigators are making, and what can they do to improve?
Dave: For me personally, my advice would be don’t assume everything’s a ghost. That happens all the time. And, do your research… like I said before, know what you’re talking about. You don’t want to lead the homeowner down the wrong path. You can be looking for something that’s not there. So do the research and take a flashlight and watch your step.
Steve: For me, you do need flashlights that’s for sure. For me, when it comes to the people who are just sort of jumping in or even investigators who have a little experience, is really taking into consideration a bit of (even if you’re a spiritual investigator or a psychic type of investigator), keeping a bit of the science in mind, right? If what you’re seeing disobeys the laws of science and physics, you need to remember that either you’re misinterpreting what you’re seeing, or it’s in your head in some capacity. And that doesn’t mean in your head like, they’ve gone a little bit off the deep end, it means in your head like, there are ways that you can see things that aren’t there. Audiophonic, telephonic sounds and visuals, all these things, it’s real scientific phenomena, but that doesn’t mean a ghost, right?
So, if it disobeys the laws of science, most likely you’re misinterpreting what you’re seeing, or it’s something happening inside your head that you just don’t quite know about. So keep that in mind and give a little bit of groundwork in terms of energy and how it works and basic particle physics. And that’ll get you a long, long way in the paranormal. Because you don’t want to fool yourself or anybody else. It doesn’t do your clients any good. It doesn’t do your team any good. Doesn’t do the field any good. It’s just keeping that in mind I think is quite important.
Linda: That certainly makes a lot of sense. I know I’m right up against my time limit for you guys so, I guess the only other thing I’d like to ask is if you guys have any new projects on the way? Anything new that you can talk about?
Steve: Oh yeah. Travel Channel, we’ve put together the whole second part of Season 2 here, and it’s going to air for quite some time. We have 14 episodes coming and a Halloween special so we’ve been focusing on that quite a bit. I have a documentary out called The House in Between, but our focus right now and hopefully will be for quite some time is Ghost Nation.
Dave: For me, I mean, my focus right now, [because] we’ve been filming for a long time, [is] I’m home, I’m going to relax and then play some video games. But, I agree with Steve. I mean, we’ve been really hitting this hard with Ghost Nation and we’re very proud of what we’ve done. And I think you’re going to see that being portrayed on these upcoming episodes. Pandemic or not, we got things done and we helped people and like I said, that’s the main thing.
Linda: It’s nice, given everything that’s going on and everybody being stuck in quarantine, to be able to have something to look forward to. I wish you guys continued success and hope to see you in person soon. Best of luck with everything and stay safe.
A big thank you to Steve and Dave for taking the time to chat. Don’t miss Ghost Nation Season 2, premiering on Saturday, October 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Travel Channel! Check out this sneak peek of episode 1…