Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google Bookmarks Share via e-mail
Welcome About OWNE Social Feed Our OWNE Thoughts Research Interviews Contact us
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share via e-mail

Otherworld North East
Studies in the Unexplained

Website design and content © Otherworld North East 2003-2015
unless otherwise stated

The opinions expressed on this website belong to the individual authors, who also retain copyright of their own material

North East Paranormal | Newcastle Paranormal | Durham Paranormal | Northumberland Paranormal

Otherworld North East
Studies in the Unexplained

Website design and content © Otherworld North East 2003-2016
unless otherwise stated.

The opinions expressed on this website belong to the individual authors, who also retain copyright of their own material.

North East Paranormal | Newcastle Paranormal | Durham Paranormal | Northumberland Paranormal


An Interview with Steve Parsons

Interview by Lee D. MunroSteve Parsons, Photo credit: Matthew Dalton/The Wall Street JournalSteve Parsons is one of the UK’s most well regarded paranormal investigators and co-founder of Para.Science, one of the country’s leading and most respected investigative groups. While often associated with research and critique of ghost hunting gadgets, Steve has extensive knowledge on the history of psychical research and many an obscure or forgotten ghost story.Also an active member of the SPR, Steve has presented at conferences including the SPR and Ghost Club, consulted on documentaries and been interviewed for various print and online sources.

OWNE thanks and welcomes….Steve Parsons

You’ve been involved in the subject for many years. How have your personal perspectives, views or specific interests developed or changed to date?

If I think back to the very start of my interest in the weird and the paranormal as a child, back then things were much simpler, ghosts were real but elusive and fascinating. Although I have no real recollection my parents sometimes remind me of holiday trips to haunted places where I would demand to be taken to “look for the ghosts” – life for a 7 year old was much simpler!

There was little questioning the how or why just a desire to have the experience, to share the thrill of seeing a ghostly figure on the stairs or see objects being hurled around without obvious cause. Never a child interested in fiction, I was fortunate to grow up in the era of Apollo and Concorde and I don’t think I missed an episode of Tomorrow’s World on TV. I have always been addicted to gadgets and technology, so, when eventually, I joined the local paranormal investigation group on Merseyside I was keen to apply technology to the hunt. Ghost hunting was a great excuse to buy loads of tech! The contents of Maplin & Tandy quickly found its way into my ghost hunting kit. After leaving school I initially trained to be an Instrument Technician, later as a Registered Nurse, so I have always been taught that there are standards that need to be met when measuring ‘stuff’ and that in order to be meaningful, measurements and observations must be properly undertaken. Looking back to those early days, I was probably convinced that technology held the key to solving the puzzle of ghosts. As we progressed from analogue to digital methods that belief was strengthened. However, deep down there was still that strong desire to have my own personal encounter with a ghost and to capture that experience on film or video as proof of my encounter.

The application of technology very quickly led to me becoming deeply dissatisfied with the manner in which the local team were carrying out their investigations. All too often upon reviewing the results of the various cameras or sound recorders we started to discover that the team members themselves were the cause (witting or unwitting) of the various paranormal events that were experienced and reported. Together with Ann Winsper, another member of that first group who shared the dissatisfaction and increasing despair as we realised that the group were little more than thrill seekers led by one or two who were fully prepared to commit fraud in order to bolster their ego and standing within the group, we regularly presented the footage from our cameras and recorders to the post investigation monthly meetings. Somewhat inevitably, they didn’t take kindly to our increasingly frequent exposure of their actions and eventually we were ‘asked’ to leave!

Ann and I decided that if we were ever going to satisfy our desire for knowledge then there was really only one way we could do that. Both of us understood the need for critical thinking and the sensible application of scientific methods, and so in response we decided that we needed our own team. A team that would conduct its investigations using a measured and critical approach, drawing inspiration from many branches of science, forming conclusions from the evidence rather than belief.

Personally, I don’t think my interest in studying the paranormal has been driven by a question of belief. Rather, a desire to try to answer the question; why do people see ghosts? Personally, there is no doubt that they do and that for the majority they are very real experiences that demand an explanation. Are they purely subjective, as some would have us believe or are some ghosts real apparitions of the living and the deceased as others maintain. There is compelling evidence for both cases. Technology has certainly benefitted the ghost hunter but in my case it has been the ability to be better able to measure the environment and provide an increased ability to detect and weed out mistaken and sometimes fraudulent claims rather than any ability to detect ghosts and spirits where its usefulness lies. Para.Science has always focused on the investigation of ghosts, apparitions and related phenomena and avoided getting side-tracked into areas of the paranormal such as UFO’s – but we do draw extensively on associated relevant research as required and maintain a broad research base out of necessity.

Next page