Bo Blackburn is a Lead Investigator with Myst3ry, Inc., a nonprofit paranormal investigation organization based in the Mid-Atlantic. Their main mission is to assist those who believe they have had a paranormal encounter, including sightings of ghosts, cryptids, and UFOs. The group also manages ghost tours in Winston-Salem, NC, and North Myrtle Beach, SC. Asheville-based amateur investigators can see Myst3ry, Inc. in June 2014 at the GeekOut popular arts convention.
Q. Tell us about a typical day of doing paranormal research, if there are “typical” days.
For doing research, a typical day consists of getting up early to contact clients and/or property owners to conduct interviews and get permission to conduct the investigation to start with. This can be your biggest obstacle of all.
Then, you have to do daytime walkthroughs to get your bearings, daytime baseline readings, and well-lit pictures of the area you will be stumbling all around in after it’s dark.
Next, you are off to the records office, library, or local historian, hitting the internet, and talking to any local priests, shaman, or town kooks who have any background on your investigation.
If you are like me, at this point you have forgotten to charge up all your batteries and devices, or you have an el cheapo charger that takes forever, so it’s off to the store to stock up on three times as many batteries as you’ll need. (REMEMBER: Two is One, One is None…. So get Three cause you know batteries will die without the help of ghosts.) While you are at the store, go ahead and stock up on bottled water and energy bars. It’s a long night and you have to stay hydrated, and you always have that one investigator who is broke, or “forgot to eat” before the investigation.
Now it’s time to assemble your team. This is why we have the Mystery Machine, ‘cause remember that broke investigator I told you about that can’t afford to eat… well, they can’t afford to buy a car either. Picking up your team takes care of a few issues, though. It looks better when your team all arrives together, and it keeps people from trying to leave early when investigations are going slow.
Once at the location, it’s time to get set up, distribute equipment, and dispatch your investigators to various areas. Then, it’s just a waiting game. Often waiting consists of fighting off sleep, so it’s good to rotate your people every hour or so to keep them frosty.
After a long sleepless night, it’s time to pack it all up, drop everyone off, then head back home for a nap before waking up and going over all the audio, video, and still photos taken over the night.
Then, it’s back to the clients to let them know what we found, or didn’t find, and to explore our options from there.
Q. How long have you been doing paranormal investigation? Do you still get scared encountering the unknown?
I’ve been “checking out” haunted places, bigfoot reports, and UFO sightings my entire life. I didn’t form a team and become an “investigator” until 2008 when I had someone call me and ask for help about activity happening around them because – I quote – “You know about this stuff, right?”
Growing up around the paranormal, I’ve only been scared twice when I was in my teens. Now I’m never frightened by the paranormal – the scariest thing about investigations is sometimes the clients you meet.
Q. Are there dangers involved with this type of work, or do you think anyone with interest should do investigations?
As I just said, the clients are often your biggest risk. Some sites can be in dangerous due to age, location, or the environment. I am former military and law enforcement, so I don’t worry about myself as much, but it’s definitely something you would want to consider before getting into this line of work. I would recommend always taking a partner, and still let others know where you are.
Q. Do you have any compelling photographic evidence you’ve captured? If so, what is it and can you share it with us?
I’ve gotten photos of apparitions forming, ghostly torsos, mysterious faces, and UFO activity. Some can be seen on our website at www.Myst3ryInc.com.
Q. What can we expect when you appear at GeekOut in Asheville, NC this June?
Expect lots of people taking photos with the Mystery Machine and getting their Scooby-Doo collectibles. Paranormal and horror enthusiasts coming up with a ton of questions. Great Dane lovers wanting more info about our Great Dane Rescue. More than a few old hippies coming up looking for “Scooby Snacks.”
Q. That’s definitely plausible in Asheville. When you die, what place do you want to come back and haunt?
Living forever. “There can be only one!”
Q. If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you say?
Bruce Lee. Teach me.