In recent times, there’s been a resurgence in ghost hunting in America, and perhaps for the first time, the activity has been widely accepted. Such television shows as TAPS and Ghost Hunters have inspired such activity. Recently, I interviewed co-founder of a ghost hunting group in Oklahoma City, Laura Spriggs, about her group OutKast Paranormal. The text of our interview is below.
KL- What can you tell us about yourself, to show that you an average, ordinary person like most of us?
LS- My name is Laura Spriggs. I am a 37 year old divorced single mother. I live just outside of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma, and I’m an arbitration insurance adjustor. I have worked for the same company for 10 years.
KL- What can you tell us about your earliest paranormal experiences? What sparked your interest?
LS- I’d heard other people’s stories over the years about ghosts, but I never actually had my own personal paranormal experiences until I went searching for them. I began investigating the paranormal approximately 3 years ago. I’d booked a room at a notorious “haunted hotel” my first time searching for ghosts, and I witnessed a black, shadowy figure standing on the staircase, staring back at me in the hotel. I think I was in shock at first as my brain tried to comprehend and make sense of what I was seeing. I came to the conclusion that what I was seeing was real. From that moment on I was hooked!
KL- What is your most memorable paranormal experience?
LS- I’ve traveled to several states for investigations. One of my most memorable experiences occurred in July of 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama. I had a ghost, or a spirit, walk in front of me and then disappear into thin air. This happened in broad daylight, at noon! I can still vividly see the image of the man that I’d witnessed disappear in front of me; a middle aged white male, brown bowl cut hair, wearing a blue t-shirt and blue jeans. He was walking as if he had somewhere to be and then poof- he was gone. The entire experience lasted approximately 10 seconds.
KL- What other experiences have you had with the paranormal?
LS- Since I have been investigating, I have had numerous other experiences. I have been touched, I have seen several shadow people, I have heard disembodied voices, I have had a spirit whisper in my ear “get out,” and I have captured hundreds of EVP’s (electronic voice phenomenon). It is very exciting when you review your audio and you hear your name being spoken by a spirit.
KL- Tell us about OutKast Paranormal.
LS- Our team has been investigating for approximately two years. Our members were all once on a couple of other teams, but we decided to start our own team, OutKast Paranormal, in early 2013. We investigate residential and commercial properties. Investigations are free of charge.
KL- Many people do not believe in the paranormal. What might you say to them to sway their opinion?
LS- I am not here to change people’s opinions or convince them that the paranormal is real. I do however, enjoy helping to document and confirm experiences for people when they ask for our assistance. People seek our help because they are having things happen to them that they want answers to. Mostly, I do this to search for my own answers and to have my own experiences. What happens when we die? Is there really life after death? What is death like? Is there really a heaven and a hell?
I will probably never get all the answers to my questions, because I’ve learned that the more you surround yourself with the paranormal, the more questions emerge which keep you wanting to investigate more.