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The Gettysburg Ghost Gals
The Gettysburg Ghost Gals
Michele, Brigid, Pamela and Heather. Photo by Jeffrey B.
With all of the recent publicity about the making of the new
Ghostbusters movie with an all female cast, it is very timely that this team has
caught the attention of the media. It was pure serendipity that led my reporter
friend, Jeffrey B. Roth, and me to The Ghost Gals. One of them just happened to
recently move in next door. When we told them we were writers, I with my
blog and Jeffrey, the real reporter, who does this for a living, well, that got
us an interview. I was very interested in how a female team is different from
the teams I have worked with, which are predominately male.
The Ghost Gals of Gettysburg, GGG for short, founded their
group two years ago, in 2013. The team is made up of Brigid McDermott-Goode,
Pam Spicknall, Michele Snow, Heather Johnson and Melanie Rogers.
Brigid has been a paranormal investigator for over 24 years.
Now living in Gettysburg, but formerly from Long Island, New York, she spent 16
years as a medical lab technician. She also worked in show business off
Broadway, and as a dancer on Club MTV. Her interest in the paranormal began
when she had a paranormal experience with a shadow figure at the age of 14.
As a lab tech, Brigid takes a scientific approach to
investigating. She draws her conclusions based upon science and debunking
research methodologies. Brigid stays informed about new equipment introduced
into the field, and is always seeking new methods to add to her investigative
skills. She has gained expertise in the field of historical and paranormal
research, specifically of the battlefields of Gettysburg, PA. She is also seen
as one of today's foremost EVP analysts. She has edited and analyzed thousands
of hours of audio and video in the past 20 years of investigating. Brigid
describes her belief system as Celtic-Pagan-Catholic. She is a skeptic and
looks for the rational explanation to activity.
Pamela Spicknall has been interested in the paranormal since
the age of six, when she had her first paranormal experience. She began to
study the paranormal in earnest in her 30s, moved to Gettysburg, began
investigating with her husband, and then became a GGG. Pamela is an empath, a
trained spiritual healer, and a certified Reiki Master. She lectures on the
metaphysical and enjoys providing healing to all those in need. She brings the
"light" side to the team, using her abilities as an empath and her
ability to read the vibrations and energy of a location.
Michele Snow's passion for the paranormal also began in
childhood. She is originally from Long Island, New York. She co-founded GGG
with Brigid and soon moved to Gettysburg. She has spent many years as a paranormal
investigator and tour guide in Gettysburg. Michele is a practicing Wiccan. She
describes herself as very spiritual and connected to nature. She also brings
the "light" side to the team, using her sensitivity to emotions and
Heather, the newest member, grew up with a lot of paranormal
activity in her home and has been very interested in the paranormal all her
life. She describes herself as very open to it all, but is yet to have her
first real paranormal experience on an investigation. She is really looking
forward to that experience.
Melanie was born in Youngstown, Ohio. She joined
the Navy at 17 and was a Navy Air Traffic Controller in Guam, then in
California. She currently resides in Georgia and still works as an Air Traffic
Controller. Her main passions are animal welfare, natural health, air shows and
the paranormal. She entered the paranormal field in 2004 after looking online
for true-life haunted stories. She then began investigating with Historic Ghost
Watch Investigations in Kennesaw, GA. Melanie's interests continue to
expand in the paranormal. She went on a Big Foot investigation and is also very
much interested in Ufology.
"I am part of their group, just starting
and somewhat part-time for now,” Melanie said. “Brigid extends every
opportunity the Gals get to me. I haven't investigated with them yet. I am
slated to be a co-host for Mysterious World TV, and do not know if that will
pan out in the future, so that was part of my desire to start off slowly with
the Gals. We are going to start attending some events together this year and
enjoy our time together no matter what."
Melanie will also be helping to write the
Jeffrey B. Roth and I sat down with Brigid,
Pamela, Michele and Heather to discuss their experiences as female
The feeling among the members is that it is very
different to be working with all women. Unlike the mostly male-dominated teams,
there are no egos to get in the way. In male groups, there has to be a
hierarchy-titles, specific jobs delegated to certain members, a leader and
followers. It tends to be very rigid and dictatorial.
With the Ghost Gals everyone does everything.
There is no leader and no followers. They work as a team, doing whatever job is
needed and using whatever gift or ability is needed at the moment.
Brigid says “It just flows. We all get along. We
can laugh or be serious. There is no ego in the way. In male groups, women tend
to do all the legwork (I can personally attest to this. I spent every
investigation taping cords down to the floor). Specific functions are assigned
to specific members. In the all-female group, whatever needs to be done gets
done. There is no drama, no fighting, no leader or follower. We work together.
We respect one another."
Michele stressed the importance of having the
feeling of trust; that someone is watching your back, that you feel safe.
"We trust our fellow team members, we can
depend upon each other in any situation, Michele said “It's very important in
paranormal investigating to be safe, to feel safe, because it can get
dangerous; you never know."
They describe themselves as either light or dark
investigators. Brigid and Heather are dark, Pamela and Michele are light. The
"dark" uses technology, logic, form hypotheses, and depend upon
The "light" investigators use
feelings, vibrations, energy and empathic senses to gain knowledge about what
might be going on in a location, or with a client. The light depends upon the
spiritual aspects of investigating. The dark-technology and science.
The Ghost Gals use both.
Brigid is the skeptic and is science-oriented.
She debunks and looks for natural explanations. Pamela uses her senses as a
Reiki Master to feel the "vibrations" of a house. Michele can sense
the "negative energy" of a place.
They do not use the term demon. Brigid has
never, in nearly 25 years of investigating, come upon a demon or experienced
true demonic activity. "It is extremely rare”, she said.
When asked about whether they used provoking
techniques on spirits in their investigations, they said they never provoke in
a private residence, but will do so in a public location.
"The residents have to live there,“ Brigid
said. You don't want to stir anything up by provoking that the client will
later have to deal with. However, at places like Pennhurst or Waverly Hills, no
living person lives there. It's abandoned, so there is no harm in provoking if
you want. Why not try it if nothing is happening?"
When investigating a private residence, they
always interview the clients extensively. Like folklorists, they do not judge
the client and what the client shares of their experience with the paranormal.
They listen, gather information, do their investigation, gather their evidence,
share it with the client, and allow the client to do with it whatever they
want. "There is no judging of people."
When asked about how they felt about the
commercialization of the paranormal field, they all let out a collective groan.
“Everything on TV is a demon now,” said Brigid.
“Sure, there are dark, or low energies, perhaps elementals-who knows.But in all my 25 years of
investigating, I have never come across a demon. It's shown to sell tickets, to
sell TV shows.”
It is the opinion of the GGG that many of the tour
groups fake investigations and really know nothing about authentic paranormal
investigating. “The field is filled with fakers. We just ignore all that,”
When asked why they investigate, they all
agreed, it was primarily to help the client; to help people to explain what is
happening to them, or to help them to cope with it. Michele admitted “she
investigates in order to prove to herself that it's real and that she is not
They do cleansing of homes, requested. However,
unlike many of the TV shows which depict groups smudging and guiding spirits
into the light, the GGG make sure that they thoroughly understand what specific
herbs or herbal combinations are used for specific purposes and how to
correctly use those symbolic aids.
Brigid is the expert on the use of herbs and
rituals for cleansing. The group is very careful and demonstrate respect for
the rituals of other cultures.
Brigid: “The client has to believe in what you
are doing and the ritual has to be authentic.”
When asked what they think of belief in orbs,
Brigid laughed out loud. “Orbs are total nonsense. I believe in dust.”
When asked to share their scariest moments on
investigations, they told us some truly amazing stories.
Heather shared her experience when her mother died,
shortly after Heather gave birth to her son. Her mother missed her grandson’s
birth.Her monther really was
looking forward to the birth. On one particular day when Heather was in her
son's room, she noticed that his pacifier was on the floor. She left the room.
When she returned, the pacifier was in her baby's mouth.
She knew in her heart that it had to be her
mother who retieved the pacifier from the floor and giving it back to her
grandson. There was no way the pacifier could have gotten to her baby by itself
and no one else had been in the room. It scared her and it delighted her as
Michele shared an experience she had while
investigating the Rolling Hills Sanitarium. There were clear, moving shadow
people on the walls, everywhere she looked. The activity went on and on. They
were so clear and obvious; and it just kept happening. It was very scary and
thrilling, she said.
Brigid shared an experience that was truly
terrifying. The group investigated a home of a client who believed she had an
attachment. A dark force was in the home and seemed to be attached to the
client. When the group went home, Brigid began having experiences with a dark
entity harassing her. Eventually she was badly scratched down her back all the
way to her lower leg. It was extremely painful and very terrifying. She called
in a friend of John Zaffis, (The Haunted Collector), for his help.
I asked the group about the use of psychic
self-defense protection techniques. What do you do to protect yourself from
attacks, or from bringing something home with you?
Each member had different things that they do
for personal protection, prayers, rituals and routines. Pam and Michele said they
spend the day in meditation, prayer and relaxation. To be effective you must be
clear of anxiety, worry, or any negative feelings, or have any illness. You
should not be tired, but well-rested and you should eat healthy and well. Just
prepare yourself as best you can according to your beliefs.
When asked what they thought of the issue of
paranormal unity, they all rolled their eyes. They feel that those who try to
push paranormal unity are really covering up for their own bad behavior, their
own jealousy and back-stabbing.
It's a bad place to be if you are too sensitive
emotionally. There is a lot of disagreement. Everyone has their own way.
“We are happy working with each other because we
all get along,” Brigid said. “We don't always agree, but we like each other and
work together really well. Unity is not an issue with us. We're all friends.”
Brigid, along with her fellow (or would that be
fem-low?) ghost gals, are the hosts of a radio show. Gettysburg Ghost Gals
Live. They interview top celebs in the paranormal field.
They also attend many of the east coast paranormal
conventions. They will be at Salem.com in Salem, Mass, April 10-12, Hudson
Valley Paracon, in Poughkeepsie, NY, June 26-28, Ocean State Paracon,
Harrisville, RI, July 18-19, and the Gettysburg Paranormal Gathering, August 1.
They have also recently done interviews for Playboy Magazine, Movie Pilot News and MTV. The group is represented
by Ideal Event Management.
Their current project is writing a series of
books about real haunted towns. Instead of highlighting the places that are
commercial locations, but not really haunted, Brigid is doing extensive
research and the group is collecting a body of evidence to document the
hauntings. The book is about real paranormal cases, within real Ghost Towns,
with actual, documented paranormal cases they have investigated. The first book
in the series is titled, “Gettysburg Ghost Gals—True Hauntings of a Ghost Town.
The excitement could not be contained in the
room as the GGG shared news about a very special upcoming project. We have
permission from their agent to share with the readers that they are being
considered for a TV show by several production companies. It seems to be
perfect timing because of the reboot of Ghostbusters featuring an all-female cast.
They certainly are in the right place at the exact right time.
I was very impressed with GGG. I find them very
engaging, knowledgeable, serious about the subject, experienced, and very real
people. I think they possess something unique to this field: integrity,
likability, intelligence and a uniquely feminine point of view. The Gettysburg Ghost Gals website is: gettysburgghostgals.com You can listen to their radio show on: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gettysburgghostgals and also liveradio1.com. You can also find them on facebook and twitter.
Photo by Jeffrey B. Roth
Article from interview on Saturday, February 28, 2015, in Gettysburg, PA,
with journalist/photographer Jeffrey B. Roth. All photos used with permission.