Today’s featured paranormal investigator is the wonderful Betanya Vanlandingham with Ghost Rider Investigation Team (GRIT). I had the great pleasure of going on my very first investigation with GRIT, and I could not have asked for a better experience.
Where do you live?
I live in a small town in Carroll County Georgia called Whitesburg. It’s very small but I love living here!!
To what investigation teams do you belong?
I belong to Ghost Rider Investigation Team..acronym GRIT.
What made you want to be a paranormal investigator?
In 1998 my mother passed away and we were extremely close. She was my absolute best friend. About 3 to 4 months before her passing, my family started experiencing paranormal activity.Things in my home were moved, strange noises started, toys were going off by themselves, what I call the “water droplet phenomena” started happening. (“Water droplet phenomena”: A single drop of water the size of a tear will drop on your skin with no logical explanation to where it came from.) This, and much more, was going on, not only in my home, but in my mother’s as well. After she died, suddenly, of a heart attack, the occurrences continued to happen. I wanted to know what they meant. Was something giving us a sign that she would soon be leaving this world?? My insatiable need to know led to my becoming an investigator.
When was your first investigation, and what was it like?
My first investigation was in 2000 at a person who thought his deceased grandfather was causing the activity in his home. I was actually disappointed, because the group I was in at the time just KNEW the residence would be very active…it was not. It was then I realized many people believe, or want to believe, they live in a haunted house, but very few actually do. It’s a very low percentage of investigations that come away with real evidence to say, “yes, you are experiencing a haunting.”
What is your most memorable investigation so far?
It was the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky. It was used as a Tuberculosis hospital, and the residents there, died horrible deaths. The place is seething with activity and every member of our team experienced something that night. It was AWESOME!!!
What is your dream investigation?
If it’s outside the United States…I would love to investigate either Borley Rectory or Stonehenge. In the United States, the Amityville house. They all intrigue me. It would be hard to choose between the three.
What is your favorite method of investigating (i.e. EVP sessions, dowsing rods, etc.)?
They change, depending on what seems to be getting responses at the time. Right now, I am currently experimenting with the Ovilis. It was created to get real time answers in EVP sessions. I am REALLY enjoying it!!!
Who do you look up to in the paranormal community?
I really respect the older parapsychologists and investigators who paved the way in gaining acceptance in this field as a science. We were honored to meet with Dr. William Roll to discuss the paranormal world, and I really admire him. Ed and Lorraine Warren, and Hanz Holtzer, in my opinion, set the parameters in investigating alleged hauntings. They have forgotten more than we will ever know.These, are who has influenced me the most and I respect and appreciate all they have done.
What is your advice to people who want to get involved in paranormal investigation?
Read, experiment, read, experiment, read and experiment!!! The reputable paranormal community will not give a lot of credence to you if you don’t have SOME knowledge and, ideally, some experience. Try new things on your own. Learn everything you can. There are numerous books on the subject and I would recommend making sure you go to the REAL professionals for the knowledge such as the Warrens, Holtzer, Roll, etc. Create a website…a great way to get your name out there. Network with other groups. It really helps if you know other groups and investigators, in case you run into something you need help with. As a cautionary note, however,if all you want to do is take photos and record evps, don’t get into a group. Being in a team requires dedication and a serious attitude about this field, not to mention a lot of time and work. Also, be careful what other teams you network with. Since the television shows, “Ghost Hunters,” “Paranormal State,” “Ghost Adventures,” etc., there has been a big surge of fly-by-night groups popping up that are not truly serious about the investigation of the paranormal. Try to get with teams that have been established awhile.
What do you do outside of investigating (family, hobbies, job, etc.)?
I homeschool my 16 year old son, enjoy camping with my family, gardening, and lately, have decided to collect photos of “cemetery art!” Some of the most beautiful sculptures and carvings are in cemeteries, and I think they are over looked by so many.
Let readers know where to find you and/or your team! Post links, Twitter accounts, etc., here:
I can be reached by email… [email protected] or in our Facebook group, G*R*I*T Paranormal World, where our members discuss all aspects of the paranormal and, yes,we LOVE to get new members!!!
Are you a paranormal investigator who would like to be featured in a future Paranormal Investigator Profile? E-mail me and let me know!