Before proceeding I feel like I should offer you a small glimpse into my own experience with the paranormal. I have always been sensitive to the unseen world around me. I have head, seen and felt spirits and often had to do some research and figure out why they were still hanging about. Rarely was I able to do more than observe. As I got older it became more difficult for me to use my gift as the cynic in me grew. Now I work to keep my gift as strong as I can, but I know I have lost much. I have friends who do more.
Dark Side Paranormal is a local Central Florida based Non-Profit Organization based entirely on helping people to find out if their homes etc are in fact haunted. They do not charge for their services and are unique in the fact that they can also perform cleansings and blessings to remove these entities when found helping people to feel more comfortable in their homes.
Here are quick bios for Justin and T.J. the founding members of Darkside Paranormal.
|Left, Justin Right T.J.|
TJ: T.J. grew up in the south spending most of that time in Mississippi and New Orleans. He has studied the paranormal for ten years and has been investigating for the last five. T.J. spends his days working a regular job here in the Orlando area at a major theme park corporation. He spends his free time hunting what scares you in the dark because he has been there. He has been the victim of the paranormal and wants to shine a light into your worst fears.
I asked a few questions to get a little more info on the team and their experiences as paranormal investigators.
Q: How did you become interested in the paranormal?
Justin: I became interested in the paranormal after several occurrences I had as a child. Shadows used to visit my old home frequently. I decided to pursue paranormal investigation on the professional level after an experience i/ had as a firefighter. I was led out of a house fire by a firefighter that was not there. the building had been evacuated already but I had become disoriented and lost. A familiar voice called out and told me to grab his boot leading me out of the house. I later realized that the person belonging to that voice had died two years ago.
T.J.: I became interested in the paranormal when I was growing up as a kid in a house in Tennessee. Nearly every night around three am, I would hear my name called by a female voice that did not belong to my mother or sister. Taking a shower was also an interesting time as 90% of the time there were hands that would push on the shower curtain. As many times as I would quickly throw open the curtain there was never anyone there. I took it upon myself to talk tot he owner of the house who told me a sad story. It turned out a woman had killed herself there after her husband left her and took her children from her. She had thrown herself out of a second story window onto ma cement slab next to the house. After that it seemed to make sense that there was an entity there. It also made sense that she was so protective of my sister and I, after losing her children like that. My sister never saw anything, only I did.
Jenn: A couple of reasons put me on this path. First, I had a paranormal experience as a child, after the death of my Grandfather. I have had more experiences more recently, as an adult after the death of my son. It's also something I can do, and have truly memorable experiences, with Justin.
T.J.: My first investigation was very scary!! I really didn't know what I was doing and was just following what i had seen on T.V. This was a bad idea! I was teasing the spirits to get a reaction, and I did, but not the kind I wanted. that night I was scratched, pushed, hit and given some terrible nightmares. Since then I have learned my lesson and proper investigation techniques, as well as a firm respect for the other side.
Justin: My first investigation was pretty intense, and successful! It was a place i worked in New Orleans. We stumbled across some activity one night and decided to really investigate. We did an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) and actually got a couple of voices.
Jenn: I was a little nervous and a little excited at the same time!
Q: What was your most active investigation like?
Justin: The most active investigation I have ever been on was a demonic case on the Mississippi gulf Coast. Through the course of the four hour investigation we heard several voices, all evil, saw several shadows and light anomalies. We also had some poltergeist activity with nails being thrown at us and wood moving apparently on it's own. One of the team members investigating that night was even possessed for a time!
T.J.: One of the most active investigations I have ever been on happened right here in Florida! It was in St. Augustine and we had activity in every location we visited. We heard breathing in our ears, things being slammed on the ground, I caught several EVP' (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) as well, we hard lots of things from a little girl laughing to someone dragging something on the ground. So much happened during that investigation that it is hard to recall everything, but there was never a dull moment.
Jenn: It was very active, but not in a good way. A lot of bad vibes and feelings. Like we were unwanted. We definitely were not welcome at that time.
Q: What percentage of your investigations lead to evidence of the paranormal versus your average old creaky house?
Justin: We usually produce a 70/30 ratio with only about 30% of investigations producing an actual haunting.
T.J.: I would have to agree with Justin on this one, it's 70/30. Most people scare themselves, lord knows I do after watching a scary movie or even a paranormal show! Almost everything can be debunked, and trust me we try to. If we can debunk an issue it means the family can rest easy at night, but sometimes there just is no explanation.
Jenn: Surprise! I agree with the boys. It's about a 70/30 ratio of non-paranormal to paranormal.
|what on earth is that!|
T.J.: The thing that sets us apart is that in a normal investigation they come in, stay for a few hours, show you the evidence they collected (or lack thereof), and they leave. We truly care for what this family might be going through and we will stay until the issues are solved and any entities are removed from the home or location.
Jenn: I think it is more personal for us. It's more bout truly wanting to help, making things better and setting them right. We want to make sure they feel safe and at ease, that the problem is truly solved for them.
Justin: We are a full service group. We will investigate, provide any evidence caught. the difference is we will go beyond that, we will cleanse and bless the area making sure you are safe from any harm. We will not just leave you to fend for yourself, or rile up an entity making it worse. We will see very case through to the end.
Q: Tell me about your most frightening or nerve wracking investigation.
T.J.: The one I mention above as the most active was a rather tense night for me.
Jenn: the one I mention in your earlier question. It was just a really bad, and unusual investigation. A lot of bad energy and vibes. Terrible feelings of dread and sadness.
Justin: The most frightening investigation I was ever on was one that involved someone using a Ouija Board (Bad Idea Kids!) these people ended up releasing a very demonic being that attacked several people including me and took several weeks to get rid of.
Q: Is there a funny story that you can share about your fellow team members?
Jenn: Well, being the only female at most of the investigations, the funniest thing for me is really just listening to Justin and TJ. Needless to say the conversations they have can get pretty interesting!
Justin: I have a funny story forma while ago. We were doing a group investigation in a graveyard and someone got touched. They proceeded to strip naked in the midst of their freak out!
*** Photos from the Darkside Paranormal Facebook Page.***