But in the episode, the women -- Rachel Hoffman, Danielle Minacapelli, Tina Storer -- proved their mettle and captured the most stunning audio evidence [watch evidence reveal portion] yet aired on the Travel Channel show, now at the mid-season mark.
In the end, they didn't win the competition, but the decision was so contentious the judges nearly came to blows. The women may have called some of the equipment "thingies" but they knew how to use it, and they may have been stylish but they were tough.
I talked primarily with team leader Rachel about the group's paranormal pursuits, with Danielle and Tina joining in from time to time as well.
What is your organization?
Paranormal Xpeditions, three female paranormal investigators who travel to haunted locations to uncover the truth about life after death.
Who are the primary members?
Having been touched by the afterlife since birth, I have ventured to explore and understand what happens when we move on for as long as I can remember. Running towards andventure and danger in every situation, I have uncovered quite a bit of evidence.
Tina is the expert photographer with a keen eye and heart of gold. Bravely, she overcomes the impulse to run, staring the paranormal in the face and asking it to smile big for the camera. She has won the title "Brave Heart" since she faces her fears in the name of our paranormal expeditions.
Danielle, a skeptic, keeps us grounded by questioning and debunking. She is unbelievably gorgeous and has no limit to her artistic style and talent.
How did they get involved?
I was talking to Tina about my ventures to hunt ghosts. When I found out Tina is an expert photographer, I felt she would be a perfect fit as a partner. Only weeks later, my sister Danielle, raised in Florida, came to join us, adding the skeptic perspective and an awesome personality and style. We became a trio "Like no other."
When did the organization form?
The organization began July, 2010.
What are your interests and activities?
My first passion was crime scene investigation. It fueled my passion for “solving” things. With my sensitivity to, and ability to see spirits, it seemed a good fit to use equipment to record these experiences.
Danielle - My personal interests include music-playing, watching, listening. I like old movies, older music. I was born too late. Lol. I spend free time (in a perfect world) playing drums, watching crappy local bands, sitting on the beach with my iPod, watching horror movies (anything by Sam Raimi or George Romero), and hanging with my sister and my girl Tina causing trouble!
I do this because it’s amazing. No matter what the outcome, it’s always an awesome time. We get to go to incredible places, learn the historical backgrounds on each of these locations, and explore and spend time in these locations. Also, it allows me to dabble into what I hope will become my lasting career, media arts.
Tina - I love learning... yeah I was that kid in school. I guess I could say I'm a Renaissance girl because I have an interest in all the major art forms: singing, acting, dancing, photography, drawing, painting. I'm an artist. I must create. I especially love being inspired and influenced by other forms of art and have them work off one another.
Being a singer, I appreciate all genres of music and love finding new artists. I sing anything from rock, pop, R&B, to Broadway. Singing is as second nature as breathing is for me and I can't live without it.
I also love watching movies. Scary movies, funny movies, sad movies, bad movies... you name it, I'll watch it. I love getting that chance to escape reality and become part of someone's story. I think that's why I love ghost hunting much, you get to explore the history and essence of someone else's life - their story.
I love history, American and English being my favorite. I love every time period in American history and I love the Elizabethan era in British history. I hope to someday visit Shakespeare's house in England and investigate old castles and torture chambers.
During our investigations we get to play roles and become characters in the spirit world. We get to interact with some pretty interesting "people." I don't know what I love more about ghost hunting, the history or the evidence. You have to know the past to understand the future... And it's very true. We need to know what happened in these locations in order to have a proper investigation.
The evidence blows my mind. It's kind of scary actually. To think the there's someone one the other side, not of this world, communicating with you. The realization that we're not alone sometimes hits me all at once and it can be overwhelming. But it's THAT feeling that keeps me going through investigations and only drives me to want to find more evidence.
I also love investigating because I love all the different theories on WHY these things are happening. Why are these people left behind? Are they even people? Who are they? Where do they think they are? Why are they contacting us? I love anything that makes us as human beings ask questions and speculate the world we live in. Challenging different concepts and ideologies is what keeps ghost-hunting on a forever state of evolution, and no idea is too crazy ;)
Why do you do this?
Rachel - I have always seen spirits. I saw a little girl with brown hair and blue eyes as long as I can remember. She was my first spirit. Her name was Maybelle. She was 3 years, 5 months, and 8 days old; and when I was 13 we found out she was buried in my yard, explaining the sightings and fueling my pursuit of these hunts. She was buried in an indigent unmarked lot. She died around 60 years before I was born. She opened the door for me. She is still with me.
Do you charge for services?
We don’t charge for our services generally. We are always grateful to have access to a new location, and we do accept travel expenses if we must travel to get there.
How do people get in touch with you?
People can get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org, our YouTube channel, Facebook, or Twitter.
Please detail a typical case.
A typical investigation for us includes a routine: setting up, splitting up equipment and mapping out a plan. Generally, I like surgical rooms or nursing stations if we are in a facility that has them. I am empathetic and have an excellent response record. Danielle likes to recreate the history of the location by wearing a costume, using props or trigger objects.
Poor Tina! Tina always gets the "storage" units: meat lockers, freezers, and morgues. The reasoning behind this is these intense scenarios allow her to face her fears and conjure up spirit activity.
It is safe to say "typical" is not a word we use to describe any investigation! However, we routinely run through the location with a tour guide, review history, daywalk to “hot spots,” enter into the investigation, where we assign “Bravery Rooms” where each girl is alone for 20 minutes at a time. “Bravery Rooms” are typically assigned when we are tense or getting activity spikes on our equipment.
Please detail an extreme case.
WE LOVE our extreme cases. We have a record for "not running," so we have sat through intense situations letting activity rise and doing our best to capture it on film. "Intense" to us is a personal experience through the forms of touch, soe kind of communication, the feeling of "GET OUT" (the loudest EVP we have ever caught on the USS Salem).
What equipment do you use?
Video recorders with night vision (infrared light), digital voice recorders, the Mel Meter created by Gary Galka, trifield meters, temp gauge, full spectrum cameras, trigger objects, and a thermal imaging camera.
What makes you different from other similar organizations?
We have a certain charisma and chemistry together. Nothing is faked or forced. It is a nice flow that is easy to relate to. Each girl has a unique perspective and incredible reaction in regards to each location and circumstance.
Do you have advice for individuals/organizations looking to get into paranormal investigations?
Danielle doing cartwheels usually helps bring out the spirits (tee-hee). Don’t drop your stuff, lol. Make sure you have everything charged fully, and back-up batteries. Study your history of the location, always try new things, and most importantly is to HAVE FUN!
Anything else you would like to add?
This is Paranormal Xpeditions starring Rachel, Tina, and Danielle traveling fearlessly through the most haunted places known to man and doing it in style.
Our goal is to bring the viewer the truth as to what happened in these haunted locations, find the truth about the existence of life after death through audio, visual, and physical confirmation.