If you love watching the Sci-Fi channel, or now known as SyFy channel, you probably have seen the hit series Ghost Hunters with Jason and Grant as they lead their team of paranormal investigators across New England and the rest of the United States searching for some scientific evidence, or evidence of reasonable acceptance that ghosts do exist.
Ghost Hunters became one of the first shows on television that actually took you around to these different places and showed you a real ghost investigation. The investigators come out to each location and set up some amazing high tech and oh so expensive equipment which makes viewers sit in awe to see what they can capture.
The group featured on Ghost Hunters is actually TAPS, and TAPS has really set the bar on the standards for investigation groups across America in terms of how to investigate and how to call a place based on evidence. TAPS also has a huge network of ghost hunting teams across the globe; to be one of their teams in their network you must apply and accept their basic beliefs.
However, for one of their former members, Brian Harnois, his humble roots in ghost hunting began by a personal experience, and living both sides of the spectrum he truly believes that ghost hunting should remain simple and fun.
Brian’s love of ghost hunting and the paranormal started back when he was very young, around 11 years old. He spent the night over at one of his friend’s houses, and his friend told him that the place was haunted. That didn’t deter Brian from coming over and having a fun sleep over with his friend. However, this particular night he would see first hand that his friend wasn’t joking. Brian remembers settling into bed that night; his friend had the bottom bunk, and Brian took the top. He laid there about to shut his eyes, when out of nowhere a full bodied apparition appears and walks through the room only to disappear as fast as it came. Only a true ghost hunter could fall asleep after seeing something like that.
From this point on, Brian’s fascination for the paranormal blossomed. He started reading up on ghosts with books that told of ghostly tales to more scientific books that focused on topics such as demonology for instance. Finally around the age of 16 to 17, he was able to drive himself around at night and that’s when he started his life of investigating. He would stay out till the wee hours of the morning, or whenever his curfew brought him home, gathering evidence and trying to find another spirit like the one in his friend’s house. No matter where that took him, he didn’t care if it was a cemetery or a house, he was going to find one.
So, what keeps Brian coming back for more? It’s the idea that there is no real or scientific proof that ghosts exist. It’s his mission in life to capture that one piece of indisputable great piece of evidence that wows everyone. He is also bugged by the fact, and any real investigator will understand, that the more you investigate the less you find. If there are ghosts around, they are diligent on not being found. If they are out there, Brian is diligent on making them known; they can’t hide forever with him on the job.
In 1999, Brian was interested in joining a paranormal group and his first and only group came by a fluke as he says. One day he sat at his computer with a mission, to find a paranormal group, so he Googled “Rhode Island” and “paranormal” as keywords, and the first listing was TAPS. Brian started from the top of the list, and clicked TAPS. He found that the group was located right in his home city of Warwick, and Jason Hawes was one of the co-founders. He e-mailed them his name and request, along with a phone number and upon clicking the send button, hoped they would respond. Ironically, within a few minutes, he got a phone call from Jason who asked to meet him at Bess Eaten Donuts in Warwick, and from that point on he came on as tech-manager for TAPS.
While on the TAPS group Brian got the chance to visit some pretty impressive places. Some were truly haunted and some were not; they were able to debunk all the claims the owner experienced. It was at Eastern State Penitentiary where he coined the phrase, “Dude, run!” This happened when something spooked the camera man, which spooked Brian in a rare occurrence. He never really got to live that one down. However, one of his most memorable cases was here in Florida at the St. Augustine Lighthouse.
“It was amazing. We were shooting that part of the show and Jason and Grant went in, then said there was something in there they wanted us to investigate. So, me and Dustin went in there, and all hell broke loose. The things were talking to us, we said hello and it said hello back. We saw full body apparitions walking up stairs, full battery drains on everyone in the whole crew in the lighthouse. Everything you could possibly get while dealing with a ghost you got in that St. Augustine Lighthouse that night. I was totally flabbergasted; it was the Holy Grail of ghost hunting. Funny thing is, they didn’t want us to investigate the lighthouse. They said nothing ever happens in there.”
Throughout his tenure with TAPS, he left once and returned, but in his return he was no longer the Tech-Manager. That title went to one of his best friends, Steve Gonslaves. That didn’t bother him at all; he knew Steve earned it. Despite leaving TAPS and coming back, Steve and Brian remained close. It was Brian, after all, who convinced Jason and Grant to bring Steve on board. The pair was magical when they investigated because they knew what each other was doing. There was no need for talking, which Brian laughed at because it really got the producers of Ghost Hunters irritated. They wanted them to talk and didn’t know what to do with the pair, so they compromised and talked more. Brian was also taught by one of the best, Keith Johnson, who he credits as his mentor and today still shares a tight bond with beyond the Ghost Hunters realm.
Today Brian is a happily married man, a role he takes very seriously. He is also the proud daddy of two beautiful children whom he loves spending time with. Brian has also left the TAPS team and is currently pursuing new ventures in the paranormal realm. He has a new website that is coming out soon, and has a paranormal talk radio show called “The Brian Harnois Hour” which is set to take the airwaves in October, close to Halloween.
The Brian Harnois Hour is a project by his company, Beware Promotions. “ It’s not your mother’s paranormal radio show. I am going to get down to the nitty gritty of things. I am going to take the drama and bring it to the forefront; there is just too much drama in the field now and I am sick of it. I want to call attention to it so the drama dies out and we can get back to investigating before Ghost Hunters started. We aren’t a community anymore, and that is why I want to do this. I hope it kicks off and becomes a success, so we can do a lot more things in the future with it,” explains Brian.
Beware Promotions is Brian’s “baby,” something he is trying to put together quickly so it can benefit ghost hunting groups and paranormal affiliates everywhere. It will even benefit those who need the services of these groups.
“Beware Promotions will connect different para-celebs, para-events. You know, be like an agent for the people in the paranormal fields. We connect groups with groups; I call it a big umbrella. We are going to be like the the TAPS family, and get other groups where they can all communicate on cases and help get groups to get the case done. Right now it’s got a good review; lots of groups that want to be represented, radio stations, and a bunch of people that want to be represented. I want to bring the whole paranormal community together and it’s growing fast,” states Brian.
Brian has had the opportunity that not many ghost hunters will ever get, and still he prefers the old fashioned way. He was on television, radio, and now he brings his experiences and connections to ghost hunting groups across the world. His ambition to find the invisible is unmeasurable; it’s what makes him so good in the field. Like many investigators in any field, Brian’s ways are based on knowledge and truth. He reports only what he finds and what is true, leaving his emotions aside to give us cold hard facts. There isn’t anything that makes one more true in life, making his words credible. I look to see some great things for this amazing individual in the future. Believe it or not, with all he’s done already his career is just beginning.
If you want to contact Brian or know what he’s up to, check out these sites and look for his radio station set to air in October 2009. These sites will have the details:
Click here to read the actual transcribed interview with Brian and The Expressionist Magazine, or listen to it on our podcast. It can also be found at our paranormal magazine,Beyond The Limits.