Ghost hunting has always been popular, but it the past decade or so, it’s become more socially accepted as a hobby perhaps more than it ever has been in history. People today, who perhaps during their own childhoods were told to never speak of such evils, can participate publicly in group hunts, and many of them have even started their own clubs. Denise Goodman of Oklahoma City is one such ghost hunting enthusiast, and I recently interviewed her about herself and her group OutKast Paranormal. Below is the text of our interview.
KL- To prove to people that every day, ordinary people are participating in ghost hunting, tell us a little about yourself.
DG- My name is Denise Goodman, and I was born and raised in upstate New York. I joined the Army in 1984, and I honorably discharged in 1994. I moved to Texas in 1991, then to Oklahoma in 2000, and I have been here ever since. I am divorced and I am a single mom of 5 beautiful kids; Demetria 23, Lena 17, Christopher and Edward 12, and Giavanna 10. I completed my BSBA in 2009. I work in the aerospace industry here in Oklahoma City.
I have been fascinated with the paranormal since I was a young child. I always enjoyed the horror/thriller/paranormal genre, whether it was a book, movie, or TV show. I also loved magic and the occult; anything that could not be explained by religion or science.
KL- What sparked your interest in the paranormal?
DG- I have had experiences throughout my life that are unexplainable, from the time I was 10 years old until now, ranging from hearing things, seeing things, being touched, or witnessing my own children talking with someone or something that was not there.
Growing up in a Catholic family, talking about things like this was a no, no. I could read and watch all the “nonsense” I wanted, but it was all make believe, and things like this did not exist- or it was a sin to think God let the dead talk with us. I was told it was demons, and we should not talk with them, or about them.
It was hard growing up and witnessing things that you couldn’t talk about with anyone. Then, in 2008, I started watching a show on the Syfy Channel called TAPS. I was ecstatic! There was finally someone out there that thought the same way I did. They had experiences, wanted to find out answers, and in the midst of all of this, they wanted to help others.
KL- When did you get involved with actual ghost hunting teams?
DG- I joined my first paranormal team in Oklahoma City in May, 2011. This is where I met my current team members Chelsea, Josh, and Laura. We went through a couple of teams together before we decided it was time to start our own. OutKast Paranormal is the name of our new team, but we are not new to each other. We have learned from being on other teams that empathy, respect, communication, trust, and knowledge are the key to client satisfaction, as well as a successful team.
KL- What is the most amazing experience you’ve ever had with the paranormal?
DG- I think the most amazing experience we had was when our team was investigating in Guthrie, Oklahoma. This was the first time I had ever had the experience of being touched. We had been on a lot of investigations in the previous 2 years with different teams, and I seemed to be the only one that never felt anything. Everyone on the other teams were scratched, had their hair pulled, had been pushed, etcetera, but not me.
When we investigated in Guthrie, it felt as if someone was stroking my hair, and I had gotten the creepiest EVP of an old man getting annoyed with the females in our group. Three other females and I were setting up a camera in the basement and running up and down the stairs getting equipment. After the fourth time of running up and down, one of the ladies mentioned that she needed her voice recorder and she said, “why didn’t I bring it with me?” Later, when reviewing the audio, we heard a man’s voice answer her question. “‘Cause it’s upstairs,” the voice said.
What made it creepy was the fact that there had only been females in the basement, and that the spirit was intelligent enough to answer her question.
KL- Many people still do not believe in the paranormal. What could you say to them to perhaps sway their opinion?
DG- I am not here to sway anyone’s opinion. I am not here to make you believe. I am here to learn, teach, and help others that have had experiences, need consoling, and who want answers. Experience is the only way a person’s opinion can be swayed. But even after the experience, as human beings, we still try and find the logic, or the reasoning as to why something happened. Even when paranormal teams have proof- legitimate proof- we are still accused of doctoring evidence. I am still a bit of a skeptic. Even though I have had experiences, there are times I still question things, but that is what makes a great paranormal investigator. Not everything that goes bump in the night is of the paranormal.