Jason Hawes Talks New Season Of Ghost Hunters And The Show Without Grant

It’s that time again, and Ghost Hunters is returning to Syfy for more all-new episodes. Grant may not be with the team anymore, but that isn’t slowing down the investigations. I had a chance to take part in a Q & A session with Jason Hawes recently, and it was pretty interesting. The new season has a Southern flavor about it, and Jason talked about the upcoming episodes, the show without Grant, the continued adventures of the canine member of the crew, and a lot more.

Check it out below, and then catch a clip. Be sure to tune in tonight on Syfy. 

 

Heading into the season, how tough was it to adapt to the investigations without Grant. Can you touch on that just a little bit?

Jason Hawes: Honestly, it wasn’t that tough at all because I still deal with Grant daily on other things and he’s still there. He had to take a leave of absence from the show but, you know, our families are extremely tight and we’re like brothers.

And, for many years I investigated without Grant being there. So it’s – of course it’s a little odd not having a guy I refer to as my brother standing beside me all the time. But, you know, I think it wasn’t an issue for me at all. And to be honest with you, the team, there’s just a new energy with the entire team. Everybody’s just so alive lately and yes, it’s been interesting.

I’m curious, it seems like the upcoming season you’re going to be focusing in on some ghost stories down in the South. Why take this focus for the new season down there and can you give a preview of some of the good things you guys find… some of the bad things.

Jason Hawes: Some of the good or the bad things? Well, we’ve had some wild investigations. We were actually able to investigate a zoo, which has been -you know, that’s tough enough if you think about it. We were called in by an actual town that had called us in the past to investigate some locations.

We spent some time down in Charleston, South Carolina because they’re such old areas and a lot of the areas we headed off to, they have such a history, some insane history. One of the locations we had to do had the first so called female serial killer. But just to be able to get out there, hear these stories and to be able to investigate some of these locations, it’s just – it’s incredible.

What do you think about the evolution of Ghost Hunters throughout the years?

Jason Hawes: Oh my gosh, I didn’t think we were going to make it out of first season, so the fact that we’re at 8.5 is incredible. To see that this field has come so far that – a field that used to be laughed about and people felt that they had to whisper experiences that they were having, now they feel that they can openly discuss it, that’s just incredible.

It’s such a great feeling to know that we were a part of that movement to try to really get this field ahead. And also the amount of new people – new investigators – who have been stepping into the field just really shows that it’s advancing, and it’s becoming a respected area. So that does mean everything to us.

I noticed that in this season you guys are looking into some different types of hauntings, for example, in the “Cape Fear” episode. Is there any difference between looking for more like the typical ghost vs. looking for something like an elemental spirit?

Jason Hawes: Absolutely. When you’re looking for a typical ghost you’re able to a lot of times, if there is something actually there, an intelligent type haunt, you’re able to make contact with it, you’re able to get these things to communicate back and forth with you. When you’re dealing with what some believe to be an elemental type of activity you’re dealing with something that is purposely trying to avoid you, but create fear in order to make you leave an area, to sort of push you out of these highly wooded areas that we’ve now encroached into.

Yes, it’s a total different style of investigation. Also being outside and investigating cabins and stuff into all these areas, you’re dealing with animals, you’re dealing with insects and a lot of other contamination issues that come into play.

So, now that Grant has left, do you see an end in sight for your involvement with the show and when do you think that would be? And do you think Ghost Hunters could continue without you?

Jason Hawes: You know, I don’t – I’m never looking that far ahead to wonder when I’m leaving or if I’m leaving or anything of that nature. To be honest with you, every time I go to do a season, every time I’m requested to do another season, I sit down with my wife and children and it’s a choice that we make as a family and I spend a lot of time at home. Even though it looks like I’m always on the road, I’m not. But, if my children come and say, you know what, dad we prefer you not to, well then I would walk away knowing that I’d been able to bring it this far. But as of right now, my children love the fact that I’ve been doing this since even before they were born and, you know, to see how this has advanced.

I remember my oldest who’s 21, she used to come downstairs as a little kid and see Steve and me and Grant and everybody sitting around trying to figure out cases, so she sees how this whole thing has grown and how it’s become this international thing now. So, yes, I will stay as long as my family wants me to stay. And if the show can survive without me, I think it could. I don’t know, I guess that would have to be from the viewer’s standpoint.

You know, I know that if I was to step back Steve, who is 100% adequate and able to could easily run what is going on. I don’t know how he would feel about doing that on his own though. So, I don’t know, time will tell. I guess you’ll have to tune into the show and find out.

Will there be a Halloween special and will we be seeing Maddie again this season?

Jason Hawes: Okay, to start off with the Halloween special, I am not going to do a Halloween live show this year. It’s just – my twin sons are eight now, I spent a lot of these Halloweens away from them and I just – I want to spend time with the family on that day. We’ve always loved that holiday and I just – one thing I can’t stand is getting picture texts to feel like I’m there, so I’m staying home with them this year. I’m going to celebrate it with them and go from there.

As for Maddie, yes, I actually just had Maddie on some cases we just did. I try to keep her somewhat to more local type cases just because the amount of travel. I don’t want her sitting in the back seat of a car for two – three days while we’re driving out to these locations; it just takes a toll on her. But you will definitely see her on these cases.

After so many years doing the show and doing all these investigations, and obviously having, I’m sure, way too many options to pick from, how do places make the cut? What does it take for a place that’s trying to get you, you know, what tips it over the edge that you’d go to one place over another?

Jason Hawes: Okay. Well, the TAPS website last year alone received 96 million hits. We receive about a thousand to 1,500 emails a day with possible case requests. Honestly, out of those it’s going to fall under are the people terrified. If they are, what type of activity’s going on? Are there children involved because if there’s a child involved that jumps to the front of the list because that’s – I’m a father and the last thing I would want is for my children to be fearful, in their own home to feel threatened.

So, you know, of course, these things all – those are the main factors that will bring us to an area. It’s going to jump right to the front. But, also with residential cases, a lot of those cases either we do with absolutely no cameras there because the people don’t want to be on camera or we just – we need to be cautious with a lot of those because sometimes those don’t air. There’s a lot of cases we do that never make air. So – but yes, anytime there’s a family and children and activity that is active at that point, we – we’ll get there ASAP.

Is there a particular haunting or episode that sticks with you? 

Jason Hawes: Yes, I think every case sticks with me because I look at it – cases I’m able to figure out are just as exciting as cases that actually have paranormal activity. So, of course, Waverly Hills, 63,000 people passed away there. Just walking through that building, you know, you feel – you could feel that. Stanley Hotel, you know, but also personal cases. We’ve got two personal cases that’ll be coming up rather early in this season that are real – they hit close to home and so, of course, that stuff sticks with me.

What continues to fuel your passion for this type of investigative work after all these years?

Jason Hawes: First off, it’s still such an unknown field. You know, of course, I’m looking for answers in it and also trying to help out as many people as I can along the way. You know, and I don’t know – and I sat there and I thought about this, surely, because I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out these answers that I’m looking for that people are hoping I’m able to find for them. But if 100, 200, you know, 300 years from now somebody does and we even played the smallest little role in the foundation that led them to that, then that’s all that matters to me.

It’s just trying to figure this out and trying to be a part of that – of possibly what it is, and I think that’s really what fuels me and just trying to understand how these things are possible because there’s so many – there appears to be so many different types of haunts. We’ve – over the years we’ve found that, you know, you can have intelligent type haunts, you could have residuals, you have poltergeist type haunts. But also, you can have intelligent type haunts that aren’t like everything that we’ve ever thought about these ghosts communicating back and forth. Now, for whatever reason, some of these intelligent type haunts are spirits that are still stuck in their time, they’re still living a normal day in their life.

Well, how is that possible? How is it possible to have time that seems to be folding on itself and if so does that now lead into maybe that’s what a psychic or sensitive is? Somebody who’s still in their time but they are able to hear voices as these things are able to hear us. So, it’s just – it’s so interesting and there’s so many different layers that that’s just what keeps us going.

You’ve researched a lot of great people, you always recommend reading up on the paranormal before investigating. Is there a new technique or a latest study or an author that you have explored or employed in this new season coming up?

Jason Hawes: You know, no. Honestly, there isn’t. I’ve always tried to stay away from reading books from other paranormal investigators. And the main reason behind that is because I never wanted to follow in someone else’s footsteps, I sort of wanted to blaze my own trail, look at it my own way, be my own person.

And it’s – initially when TAPS – when we came out with TAPS we – so many people used to attack us because we used to shoot down these orbs that everybody thought were spirit activity and everything else. And we were able to recreate all these things just by slapping pillows or, you know, taking pictures outside when it was high moisture times and things of that nature. So, it was just we always wanted to look at it our own way.

I know Steve was big on reading books by (Hahn Hosier), you know, other investigators like to read from other people. I just try to always stay away from that stuff.

Do you have a limitations on what TAPS recognizes in the technology they use or do you try new things? Will there be technology this season?

Jason Hawes: There will and actually I’m working with a company right now on an app that will be able to take any Android and iPhones and iPads and all that stuff and be able to work off of meters that are built into them. And can’t get into too much detail on it but, I’m – I was actually just using a prototype of it the other day.

But there’s also a lot of equipment out there that becomes rather laughable that I’ve seen that I guess other people have brought into this field where, you know, these boxes that are generating voices, well the voices are words that are actually put in or programmed into these devices. So, you know, there’s a lot of things out there that I think are holding the field back and there’s a lot of technology out there dealing with infrasound and stuff like that that we’re really trying to bring to the forefront. So I think you’ll be able to see a lot of newer stuff coming out from us and to other areas.


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Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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