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Brandon C. Sites - Critic of Modern Day Horror

Interview with Barry Fitzgerald & Kris Williams of "Ghost Hunters: International"

Season three of Ghost Hunters International premieres July 13th at 9/8c on the Syfy channel. Join Kris Williams & Barry Fitzgerald as they use their principles of scientific techniques, to explore some of the most legendary haunted spots around the world. Each week the team travels to the far corners of the globe, searching for answers to bizarre supernatural mysteries. We here at Big Daddy Horror Reviews had the chance to ask Kris Williams and Barry Fitzgerald a few questions about their own personal experiences and their own feelings about everything. Here's what Williams and Fitzgerald had to say about being a part of Ghost Hunters International.

Out of all the back stories of the various places you have investigated, which one of these stories personally resonates with you?   

Barry Fitzgerald: I think for me, Brandon, it would have to be Spike Island in Ireland. I am a big history buff in Irish affairs. And as I have said before, knowing that that Cobh Harbour was the last place, port of call for the Titanic was amazing to be at.  

Barry Fitzgerald
I lived 13 miles from Belfast where she was built. And to go there and see that and understand that data and that amount of people got onto the ship at that particular port, the last port was just amazing. And that case really resonated with me, I find.  

Kris Williams: I actually had a couple this run. One was in Ireland, it was Roe Valley, right, Bar, that we did.  

Barry Fitzgerald: Roe Valley, the hospital? Yes.  

Kris Williams: Yes, it was an old union workhouse. And for me it's like, I know my family's history here in the States, but I didn't really know what was going on in Ireland at the time that my family came over. So to kind of see the conditions of some of the people who are living there were forced into gave me an idea of what times were like when my family left. That was interesting. 

And then Rising Castle in England I just love because part of the story was this princess - it was Isabella, I think. God it's been a while. She was there, it was her castle. She was married to the king of England. And basically she overthrew him with her lover. And she just took England. She took control of it for a good four years until her son was old enough to take power. And he actually killed off her lover. So it was just this whole story of this strong woman who was missing romance in her life. And it was just kind of sad to see her be pushed away by her husband, fight back against him, win control and then find somebody she did fall in love with who was then killed by her son. It is just a wild story. 

I've always loved history. So I think that's the thing I really enjoy the most about the cases is the idea that history could somehow still be living in the places we were going to.  

Speaking of legends, in your first episode this season, it is going to revolve around Trinidad regarding Count Lopinot. Can you tell me a little bit of the legend of the Count Lopinot?

Kris Williams
Kris Williams: As far as I know, he was was a count that came from France and he just set up this cocoa plantation in the middle of Trinidad. And, you know, they said that he was very cruel to his slaves. And they had a hanging tree. That was one of the locations we were investigating. 

But basically, they say that he'd raise from his grave on a white horse and he would ride the horse over to this tree, along with several other reports. But he was known as a very cruel slave master. 

Barry Fitzgerald: As we find out from many other locations, of course, Brandon, sometimes legend isn't always what it seems. And then a historical aspect, sometimes, are very, very different. But for us, we try to remain balanced in our objectives, especially with Lopinot. And I think - I haven't seen the episode myself yet. But I think it has come off - it has come off pretty good.  

Kris Williams
Kris, you've recently been promoted to co-lead investigator. Congratulations on that. Can you tell us how much research time that you had to put in to study in the craft of paranormal hunting before you joined TAPS? Or was it more of an on-the-job training sort of thing. 

Kris Williams: Honestly it was more of an on-the-job training as far as the investigating went. But, you know, when I first came into TAPS my job was as a researcher, as a historical researcher, researching locations and the people that could possibly be haunting them.

That I had already done since I was about 11. I had started getting into genealogy, researching my ancestors, where they came from, you know, finding out what they died from, if they owned any land, where they lived. 

So really when I started at TAPS, I had that all down pretty well. I'd been doing it for years. So it was just a matter of learning paranormal theories. And, you know, the biggest thing for us in a lot of cases is just common sense, you know, using common sense to try to pick something apart, pick the experiences apart, or the claims apart.  

And I've just always been really hard on things. So that's pretty much the reason I'd been brought in originally. But, yes, it was just pretty much on-the-job training as far as the paranormal is concerned. 

And, you know, I've had my own experiences growing up. I wasn't completely new to it. It's just I was new to looking for it. I didn't think there was anybody out there doing it until I met (Jay) and (Grant). 

Barry Fitzgerald (left)
On the subject of personal experiences, what has been the most life-threatening paranormal encounter you've experienced? 

Barry Fitzgerald: ...would be the biggest one for me, would have been off the show. And it nearly drowned me in Slovakia - or sorry, not Slovakia, in Snagov in Romania, just a little Transylvania. And whatever that was that was in the water, it's not good. And that was the most challenging thing I have come up against to date.  

Kris Williams: Honestly I haven't run into anything paranormal yet that's been, you know, that physical with me. I think that's why (I'm still) kind of ballsy with the provoking. Once I learn my lesson I might reconsider it.   

But as far as life-threatening, a lot of times it's just the places we're in. I mean, we've been in old, empty buildings with open elevator shafts or just floors that you could fall through. We had one of our camera guys almost go through the floor in American Samoa. We were told that the floor was safe, the cement was safe and his foot went through. So you just really never know what you're going to run into, whether it's the building falling apart, a cliff that you didn't know was there.  

Like the island we went to, Spike Island in Ireland, they kept having to warn us about this wall. It just looked like flat ground. But if you went so far out there is a 40-foot drop. And we're running around in the dark with this stuff. So it's just, you always have to be very aware.  

And when things do happen you have to really keep calm because you can't just go running off in any direction because you could seriously get hurt or killed if you're not smart about it.  

Barry Fitzgerald: Now, we shouldn't forget about Joe's driving either. That could kill people.  

Kris Williams: Joe's driving, yes. Could be worse. It could be Paul driving.

Barry Fitzgerald: Yes. That's for sure. 

Ghost Hunters International
Can you tell us about any paranormal experiences you may have encountered in the last few years that didn't make the show? 

Kris Williams: Usually if we have one it makes the show. I can't think of any.  

Barry Fitzgerald: I know for - I know for me, and Joe Chin was part of this as well, that when investigating a French chateau down in the Bordeaux region. The - whatever was in the chateau actually followed the cast back to the hotel and we were all woken up at the same time in the morning.

I know that I had woken up and there was a guy standing inside my room. I jumped up to confront him and he just stepped back in the darkness and was gone. It was only when we discussed this the next day that we discovered what was actually going on. But that was a fantastic case. I loved it. 

Kris Williams
Finally, Kris, do you still consider yourself a skeptic despite being raised as a believer. Do you still or why do you still consider yourself to be a skeptic?

Kris Williams: Because I believe in the paranormal and that I've had a lot of strange experiences that I still can't explain. But I don't believe that every place that we go to is haunted. And it's our job to kind of try to figure out what's going on there.

And, I think, in a lot of cases you can figure out from the claims. Maybe not all of them, but you can figure out a good majority of them. And I've always been one of those people where I'm still kind of like, is what's going on what we're labeling it? A ghost, a person who has passed on or is it just a matter of something our science hasn't caught up to yet that's completely rational and explainable?  

But I'm constantly fighting myself because I know the experiences I've had, but even the big ones I've had - you don't have huge experiences every day, you just don't. We might go to a location and maybe two or three people will have an experience there and the rest of us won't or one person will and the rest of us won't.  

So you'll go so long in between without a big, in your face experience and you really start to kind of question yourself and what you saw. But it's just constantly battling with myself. And poor Barry has having to deal with it. 

But, no, I just - I enjoy what we do. I enjoy the history of it. And I'm kind of hoping I can prove the skeptic in me wrong, I guess. You know, I'm still at it for that reason. And it seems like every experience you have, you might leave with a couple of answers but you're left with a whole batch of new questions. It's kind of addictive.    

Thanks for chatting! Thank you.

Barry Fitzgerald: You're welcome.  

Kris Williams: You're welcome.

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