June 21, 2024

Legends and Lore: The Supernatural Side of Hampton Roads With WTCW Paranormal

Legends and Lore: The Supernatural Side of Hampton Roads With WTCW Paranormal

In this episode, we sit down with William Abbitt from WTCW Paranormal, a paranormal investigator who has explored the eerie corners of Hampton Roads, Virginia. William shares some of his experiences from haunted locations such as the Ferry Plantation House as well as delving into local cryptids and folklore such as the Wendigo and Skinwalkers, adding layers of mystery to the region's stories.

Discover some of the unique places that make Hampton Roads a hotspot for the supernatural as William also shares his group's methodology and approach to paranormal investigations, offering invaluable tips and suggestions for aspiring ghost hunters.

My Special Guest Is William Abbitt From WTCW Paranormal

On Halloween of 2021, William Abbitt and 3 of his childhood friends decided to set out to see if the, often sensationalised, paranormal industry truly was as real as they say it is. Thus, the WTCW Paranormal Investigation Firm was born with the goal of showing the truth and nothing but the truth behind the life of a paranormal investigator. Since the formation of the group, they have conducted over 35 official paranormal investigations across the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, encompassing house calls, commercial businesses, historic museums, and so much more!

In this episode, you will be able to:

1. Explore some of the locations, cryptids and folklore of the Hampton Road area.

2. Discover more about WTCW Paranormal.

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Michelle: Welcome to Haunted History Chronicles, the podcast where we unravel the mysteries of the past one ghostly tale at a time. I'm your host, Michelle, and I'm thrilled to be your guide on this eerie journey through the pages of history. Picture this a realm where the supernatural intertwines with the annals of time, where the echoes of the past reverberate through haunted corridors and forgotten landscapes. That's the realm we invite you to explore with us. Each episode will unearth stories, long buried secrets, dark folklore, tales of the macabre, and discuss parapsychology topics from ancient legends to more recent enigmas. We're delving deep into locations and accounts all around the globe, with guests joining me along the way. But this podcast is also about building a community of curious minds like you. Join the podcast on social media, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share your own ghostly encounters, theories, and historical curiosities. Feel free to share with friends and family. The links are conveniently placed in the description for easy access. So whether you're a history buff with a taste for the supernatural or a paranormal enthusiast with a thirst for knowledge, haunted History chronicles is your passport to the other side. Get ready for a ride through the corridors of time where history and the supernatural converge, because every ghost has a story, and every story has a history. And now let's introduce today's podcast or guest.

Michelle: Welcome to Haunted History Chronicles, the podcast where we delve into the mysterious and often chilling world of the paranormal. I'm your host, Michelle, and today we have a special guest who brings his experience and intriguing stories from the field of paranormal investigation. Joining me is William from WTCW Paranormal, a team based in the Hampton Roads area. In today's episode, we'll dive into the background and inspiration behind WTCW paranormal. Well hear about the moment that sparked Williams interest in the paranormal and the specific experiences that motivated him to start investigating the unknown. He'll share the story behind the formation of his group and how his team came together with a common purpose and passion for uncovering the truth behind paranormal phenomenon. William will recount some of the most memorable experiences and compelling pieces of evidence his team has gathered. Well, explore some of the unique and intriguing locations they visited in the Hampton Roads area and delve into local legends and stories that have captivated their interest. We'll also discuss the methodologies and practices of WTCW paranormal to ensure their investigations are conducted scientifically and respectfully. William will walk us through a typical investigation, so prepare yourself for an episode filled with ghostly encounters, eerie locations, and the intriguing world of paranormal investigation. Welcome to Haunted History chronicles, and please join me in welcoming William from WTCW Paranormal.

Michelle: Hi, William. Thank you so much for joining me today.

William Abbitt: Hi there. How are you doing?

Michelle: I'm good, thank you. It's lovely to chat with you. I can't wait to find out more about you and your group. Do you want to start by just telling us what initially sparked your interest in the paranormal?

William Abbitt: Yeah, of course. When I was about seven years old, I moved into a home where the two previous homeowners had passed, and it went up for sale. And when I moved in, I suffered a pretty extreme haunting. You know, doors slamming, things moving, you know, your typical hocus pocus. But once I moved out when I was about ten years old, I kind of adopted the typical mindset of ghosts are real. You know, I was just being funny as a kid, and then when I was 15, I was getting into a lot of these paranormal shows, and I was thinking back on a lot of my experiences, and I thought, you know what? Why don't I just go to these haunted locations myself and see if ghosts are real on my own? And that's what got me started.

Michelle: And would you say it was that that kind of motivated you into investigating the paranormal in the way that you do?

William Abbitt: Yeah, I take a very somewhat skeptical mindset when it comes to investigating. I write off a lot of things, unless it's very directly, you know, non explainable, which is kind of reminiscent of how I got into paranormal investigating, whereas I didn't necessarily believe, but I just wanted to see for myself.

Michelle: And you've brought together WTCW paranormal. Do you want to just share a little bit about that? I mean, what does the name mean, how you came to form your team, the origins of the group? Really?

William Abbitt: Yeah, of course. So WTCW is the first four original members. I created the group, but it was me and three of my childhood friends. So I'm William A. And then there is Tate, Chris, and William B. So that is what stands for WTCW paranormal. And the group was formed on October 31 of 2021, and we've had some people swap out of the group. It's not all the original members these days, but that was the formation of it.

Michelle: So during your time investigating, do you have any particular memorable experiences you've had during some of those investigations?

William Abbitt: Yeah, plenty. I think my most memorable one was actually my first investigation. I kind of baptized myself through fire into investigating because rather than starting with a small scale case, when I first started, I immediately booked the most haunted house in Virginia by rank, which is the ferry plantation house. And that investigation was very scary, but I'm glad I did it. We caught a lot of things to start with. I spent the majority of the investigation alone because only a couple hours in, when we were settling in, Chris and Tate left because they said they were suffering the worst migraine of their life. And William Bateman inexplicably got really tired and went to sleep. So I was really the only investigator that was present. And there was a moment where I was doing a solo, where all the other team members were outside the house, and I was walking around with an EMF reader and a flashlight, and I caught on camera, and it's documented in our YouTube video of something was walking towards me upstairs very loudly. It was almost like stomping. And the house was built in, like, the 17 hundreds, so you can hear, like, if somebody were to stomp, it, like, vibrates the whole house. So it was just coming towards me, and I had a lot of really crazy things. But that was probably the most standout moment.

Michelle: There's something really special, I think, if you do get to take part in a lone vigil, whether, you know, just because you're the only one in the building and the location itself, or if it's planned, whereby you can separate yourself off from the rest of your team, because it does just allow that almost sensory deprivation. There's no other stimuli. There's nobody else talking to you. You are isolated. And I think there's something in that, in the sense that it does allow you to tune in more to the building and to be very receptive to what may or may not be there.

William Abbitt: Right. Yeah. I always say, or I try to tell people that are trying to get into investigating, that the equipment isn't necessarily the most important thing. I think the human body is the most important paranormal investigating tool. And, you know, all of the craziest experiences I've had while investigating came from just me being in a room, no equipment, no anything, and just seeing straight for myself. Something unexplainable.

Michelle: Absolutely.

Michelle: I completely agree with that. I think sometimes our own bodies, our own reactions and responses to things can be very much overlooked, but it's a part of the investigation. It's like you said, it's a tool that provides information. And yes, you have to be discerning in that you have to be aware of your own biases and be making sure that you're checking that, like you said, come with that skeptical approach. Be prepared to dismiss things or to look for the explanation but it's still something to take into regard, I think. As I said, I think it's sometimes very much overlooked and replaced by a lot of the gadgetry which have their place. But I think, so do we. You know, we have eyes, we have ears. We pick up on things as well.

William Abbitt: Yeah, absolutely. You know, when I first started, I kind of had the mindset of just, I want to go in and see for myself whether or not the paranormal is real. And once I started getting into it and people were finding out that I was running this group, and we got a decent following, people were. You know, when I would tell people, their first question would be, is it all real? And eventually, that kind of got to me, and I started thinking and looking at a lot of other paranormal shows and investigating teams, and I was like, you know what? It makes a lot of sense for people to think this stuff is fake. So I tried to switch all of my equipment from talk boxes and more, like pseudoscience type devices to more just motion sensors, temperature reading devices, electromagnetic field reading devices, just very, like, grounded in science type equipment. And I think that's helped a lot with our reputation.

Michelle: Yeah. Almost stripping it back a little bit to some of the basics, maybe in terms of and being less reliant on those gadgets that, like you said, there's no scientific proof that it actually shows that ghosts exist. We're interpreting in that way, but it's a collection. It's gathering all of it, I think. And again, just being able to analyze exactly what's coming through in the experience.

William Abbitt: Right. Yeah.

Michelle: You mentioned a moment ago a particularly compelling piece of evidence that you gathered in this location. Would you say that's the most compelling, or have you had other similar or more notable kind of experiences that for you were just really standout moments in terms of evidence that you've gathered or experiences that you've had?

William Abbitt: Yeah, that was definitely the most memorable experience because it was my first investigation. I was very fearful, so something like that kind of stuck with me. But I wouldn't say it's my magnum opus of paranormal evidence. You know, I think the greatest piece of evidence my team has ever caught was we went to. So William Bateman, who was our lead investigator, got a call from a group of teenagers who live in the area, and they told him that they had been frequenting this derail station by a lake at an abandoned railroad. And the more they went there, the more, you know, strange things started occurring. They would hear things. You know, they would see people in the woods. They would they said that they stumbled over what seemed to be remnants of rituals from what it seemed, skulls and candles and things of that nature. So they called William Bateman because they knew he was part of WTCW paranormal, and he forwarded that information to me. And it was only a couple days later we went out to that location, and the theory that the teenagers came up with was they thought it was skinwalkers. I don't necessarily know if it was that or not, but we went, and it's such a cartoonish piece of evidence, but it really was like, I don't even know. Like, if had I not caught that on camera, I would not expect anyone to believe the story, like, at all, I swear. But we're sitting there at the derail station, and we look behind us, and from within the tall grass next to the forest in the bog, we literally see, like, two red eyes and not like an animal, you know, it wasn't reflective of light because we didn't have lights on. It was luminescent. It was generating light. It was two red eyes from what it looked like that flashed up in our direction, and then we're gone. And so I pulled out my camera and started recording, and we were lucky enough to capture it happen one more time before it disappeared entirely. The craziest piece of evidence I've gotten for sure.

Michelle: That's just really eerie. I mean, yeah, that's just. That's very, very eerie. I'm not sure that's something that I would be going out looking for. I can, you know, I can guarantee that one. I think that's. That's very. That's very surreal, especially in that kind of isolated area, and just not knowing what that is, I mean, that's just. Yeah. Very strange. Very uncanny.

William Abbitt: Yeah, I think the worst part about it was in front of us was the lake, and behind us was our only way to leave, which is where the eyes came from. So to leave the forest, we actually had to go in the direction of whatever that was. So that was not. That wasn't a fun journey back to our car.

Michelle: No, I think I would have been going, making as much noise as possible in hopes that I managed to frighten it away, whatever it was.

William Abbitt: Yeah.

Michelle: So you obviously have the opportunity to investigate and explore around where you are in the Hampton Roads area. Are there unique locations and interesting places that you would like to tell the listeners about that you think have been really good places to explore and investigate?

William Abbitt: Oh, absolutely. You know, the Hampton Roads area of Virginia is very, like, historic. It was, you know, I'm pretty sure it's one of the original founding 13 colonies of America to start. And it was one of the first places that was kind of, like, industrialized, too. So there's a lot of, like, historic buildings around. I just recently investigated the Wells Theater in Norfolk, which was built in the 1850s. The fairy plantation house, like I said, was built in 17 something. And, you know, the. I went to Trinity Apostle Church for an investigation. That place was built in the 17 hundreds as well. Just. There's a lot of locations in the Hampton Roads area that are just so old, it's hard to grasp what building you're standing in. You know, to be standing in a building has so much history. I think the most historically rich investigation I've done was definitely the Trinity Apostle Church. They had civil War soldiers camp out there. They had, like, straight up pirates, like, actual pirates there. They had. I mean, it was so many historical figures that are so famous. Like Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter there to which the historian that works at the church actually gave me a copy of, which I still have, which, you know, obviously wasn't the original, but it was a copy, which was crazy. And even for the fairy plantation house, like, the real life Blackbeard, I forgot his name. But the real inspiration for Blackbeard tried to sail down the Elizabeth river, which is where the fairy plantation house was built on. And, yeah, I'm very lucky with the location I am in to investigate because it is rich with history. Absolutely.

Michelle: And, you know, just thinking about the examples that you just shared, all very different. So, again, I think this is what's great. If you live in an area where there is the opportunity to explore different types of residents and locations and buildings that have been used for so many different things, to see how collectively they have some things in common, but also how they can be unique as well in terms of experiences and moments in history. But then to have the opportunity to step inside them and to be part of that history and in exploring the stories of that location is quite profound, because these were buildings that have just been used by hundreds, if not thousands of people. And over centuries, however long they've been stood, you know, that's an awful lot of shared experiences, various different emotions. Happy, sad, terrifying, awful moments, joyful moments. You know, I think that kind of sense of strong emotions coming together like that in a building, it's just something that stays. It resonates. And I think there's something very much in that. And the connection then, with hauntings, that these are buildings that have real soul because they have been there for so long, and they've got stories that still want to come through in some way or another.

William Abbitt: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's a very simple rule to follow. You know, the longer a building is around, the more people will die in it. The more people that have died in a building, the more likely it is that one of them decides to stick around and maybe, maybe even cause a little bit of a ruckus in the afterlife, you know?

Michelle: And I think, again, something that you touched on that I think also plays into this is that, you know, again, that you're part of living in an area and investigating in an area that, from the sounds of it, there's also this kind of draw and connection with, you know, local legends and local characters and, you know, myth and ghost lore and all of that kind of stuff. Stuff. And I always find it fascinating how that interplays with real investigations and then real paranormal experiences to see how they cross over and how they connect and do they influence each other in some way. Do you want to just elaborate on that a little bit further in terms of maybe some of the local legends and stories that you have around where you live, if you know of any?

William Abbitt: Yeah. Virginia is, like I said, one of the first 13 founding colonies of America. So we have a lot of. A lot of native american legends, a lot of native american burial grounds. You know, even just like around the fairy plantation house, there's arrowheads they have in bags and bags, you know, a lot of folklore around native american type legends like skinwalkers and the Wendigo, as well as, you know, some more abstract things like cryptids, like the, um, the. There's a bridge in Fairfax, Virginia, and people claim that the. The Fairfax Bunny man lives there, um, based off a true story. Yeah. Which was essentially that a guy dressed up in a bunny costume and started killing people in the area. But before that, that was a cryptid legend. And, um, you know, there's. There's just a lot of local legends, and some of the areas I've investigated has, you know, legends around them. You know, like with the. I went to the Cavalier Hotel, and that place is a very, very popular haunted location around Hampton roads because it's believed that Mister Cavalier, the owner and founder, jumped off. I think it was like the 20 something floor, and I think it was like room 122, if I'm remembering correctly. And people believe that rooms extremely haunted investigated there, you know, caught some stuff. And, yeah, Virginia is very, like, tight knit, you know, and it's. There's a lot of legends, but for the most part, it's very like native american based stuff.

Michelle: So just coming back to your kind of approach and your group's approach to investigating, I mean, you briefly touched upon the types of equipment that you use in terms of stripping back a little bit and having that skeptical approach, and also focusing more on science as opposed to pseudoscience in terms of how you approach things.

Michelle: Do you want to just go into.

Michelle: That a little bit further in terms of maybe the methodologies that you approach and, and how you conduct an investigation in terms of being scientific as well as respectful to the location and what may or may not be happening within that location?

William Abbitt: Yeah, absolutely. So we use, for the most part, we use infrared motion sensors, and we use ultrasound motion sensors, as well as atdds, which are ambient temperature deviation devices which can catch cold spots, hot spots, things of that nature. And essentially, the first thing we'll do before even going into a location is we'll set up motion sensors. We have about twelve of them. We'll just set them up all over the place. And then we have motion sensing cameras as well that will turn on and clip the last 30 seconds. If anything changes in the frame, we'll set those up everywhere. We'll set up our motion sensors, we'll set up our at DDS, and for about an hour, we'll just let them run and see if we catch anything. And then beyond that, we'll go in with EMF readers and try and directly communicate with spirits, you know, is anybody here? You know, what's your name, etcetera. And from there, we usually like to do research on the history prior to the investigation. So in the event we catch something that may be relevant to the history, we can kind of tie that together. But we're not necessarily entirely opposed to, you know, anything that isn't scientifically grounded. We work with a psychic named Lorraine, and I'm usually pretty skeptical of psychics. You know, for the most part, I really didn't think they were real. So when, you know, Larae wanted to join the group, my first question to her was, okay, do a reading on me. No questions. You know, be specific. And then to that point, she just, like, described my entire life to me. I was like, oh, okay. So she joined. So after walking around with the EMF readers and black lights and stuff like that, I'll let Lorraine take a reading of the room. I'll write down any important notes that she made, and then after the investigation, try and see if there's any relevance there.

Michelle: If you've been enraptured by the chilling tales and enigmas unveiled throughout our podcast spectral journey. Now's your chance to become an integral part of our ghostly congregation. You see, as we delve deeper into the mysteries of the past, we need your support now more than ever. But fear not, for there are a myriad of ways you can help keep the supernatural flames burning bright. Firstly, have you ever considered treating our podcast to a virtual coffee? Picture it a humble offering to fuel our relentless pursuit of haunted histories. Just head over to ko fi.com hauntedhistorychronicles and join us for a caffeine infused seance. But thats merely the beginning of our spectral soiree. For those intrepid souls yearning for deeper communion with the paranormal, consider joining our exclusive Patreon family. From march onwards, our Patreon page will be a haven of clandestine content with weekly podcasts and daily long and short form offerings. Yes, you heard it right. Daily doses of the supernatural. A veritable paranormal advent calendar for your soul. So why hesitate? Journey forth to patreon.com hauntedhistorychronicles and become a patron today. But wait, the spirit of generosity lingers still. If you seek to flaunt your allegiance to the haunted history chronicles in more tangible ways, venture into our newly unearthed merchandise crypto. From mugs that whisper their secrets to clothing that echoes with ghostly laughter, our shop is a sanctuary for the discerning paranormal aficionado. Just visit teepublic.com and traverse to the Haunted History Chronicles shop page to adorn yourself with our spectral regalia. Whether it's bestowing a virtual coffee, joining our spectral society on Patreon, or donning haunted history chronicles apparel, your support keeps the ethereal flames alight. Remember, every spectral contribution fuels our pursuit of unearthly truths, propelling us ever deeper into the realms of shadows and whispers. So heed the call, dear listeners. The links to our spectral sanctuaries await in the shadows of the podcast description notes as well as our haunted haunts on social media. Dare to embrace the unknown, to journey deeper into the veiled corridors of history. For only together can we keep the ghostly embers glowing, illuminating the darkness with tales untold. Now let us return to the mysteries that beckon from beyond the veil. What spectres await? What secrets lie dormant, waiting to be unearthed? Let us venture forth, for the journey into the unknown has only just begun.

Michelle: I think you raised something really relevant, though, in terms of mediumship in general, because I don't think it should be something that's dismissed. I think it has a really relevant place. And actually, I think it sits really interestingly alongside scientific investigation and rigor, because by taking detailed notes, by using a multitude of different things alongside that, what I think you're able to do is start to investigate not only the experiences of what may or may not be happening within that location, but also starting to think, can we start to measure our own ability to access and communicate with something else? And I think when you start to then have things happening whereby it's being picked up by maybe some other types of devices, a multitude of them, as well as someone who reports to being sensitive to that, that in itself is really interesting data. And I think when we start to build up that kind of picture, we're able to ask some very interesting questions and interesting research just on that alone, because I think there's something very much into, you know, that wider question of how can we really scientifically prove that life continues after death, that there is something about the soul that continues, or consciousness that it continues? And, you know, personally, I think maybe the only way that you can scientifically prove that at the moment is through being able to validate something that comes through from mediums, because how else can we do it in any other way? I don't know. But again, I think it's an important thing to raise because it shouldn't be something to dismiss. It's something that can be investigated in its own right in terms of examining the quality of what comes through as a result of having someone in that capacity as part of your group.

William Abbitt: Yeah, absolutely. We have found ourselves in somewhat of a stalemate in the paranormal research world, where we've caught some decent evidence, but it's not up to scientific standards, and we can't really move forward with research on the paranormal until the scientific world acknowledges that it is real. And I don't think there's a better way to prove to them that the paranormal is real, other than using their own methods and posing an interesting question to them as to maybe there is something unexplained going on here. You know, I really want my team to stand out. And something of our slogan is pretty much just the most scientifically grounded paranormal team. I mean, that's what we are. You know, we do experiments, like, actual experiments, like, you know, as a little exclusive sneak peek here on the podcast, I'm working on a video right now where I decided to take in a haunted japanese doll from the 1850s. It's called a Kokeshi doll. And for the last four days now, I've had it in my bedroom, and I've been conducting experiments on it using thermometers and EMF readers and just asking it questions and, you know, researching its history and doing trials like real, you know, a scientific experiments on it.

Michelle: And again, I think that's where you get some really interesting things whereby if you have a group that has that mindset of, let's just not go in and replicate everything that we see as part of these paranormal shows, but actually, let's try and pose our own question to see if we can try and maybe create activity or have that activity heightened. Can we add in something that provides a catalyst, a stimulus? You know, it's those types of investigations. When you've got people who are prepared to try things differently, approach it differently, ask those scientific type questions, and be prepared to then look to see how it changes the environment, if it does at all. Again, I think that's where you get some really exciting data coming out and some really exciting experiences.

William Abbitt: Every member of my team shares the same mindset, even Loray, who is a psychic. But she herself even wonders how her gift works and has let, you know, me and my team done a multitude of experiments regarding her gift and trying out certain things, like using the EMF reader, seeing if it spikes or not, while she channels, you know, using control groups of people that will lie to her pretty much and tell her something that isn't true and see if she'll be able to distinguish the actual truth about them compared to the lie, you know, and she's. I mean, through everything, she's been able to, you know, always figure out the truth without any exterior information given, which is why I trust her so heavily as a psychic when I myself am a more scientific person.

Michelle: So what would you say are some of the common mistakes you feel that most people make when starting out in the paranormal field?

William Abbitt: Yeah, I've seen this trap happen plenty of times, and it frustrates me to no end whenever it happens to people. But when people start, so they first start out and. And they do their research, and they kind of fall into the trap of theorizing too much, you know? You know, rather than getting the experience and going out there with an open mind, you know, no information from anybody else, just going in and investigating. But before that, they'll start theorizing about whether or not ghosts live on a 4d plane or how it works or, you know, like, that's. That's a question that's impossible to answer. You know, we're working in the paranormal field, meaning that it is outside the norms of typical, you know, day to day life. So when they try to rationalize and they say, oh, they live in a 4d plane, or, you know, they work, they conduct electricity through them, and that's how they're able to manipulate devices. It's like, it's okay to theorize, but you need the credibility and the experience first before you start, you know, making theories about it.

Michelle: And you only get that if you actually take part in investigations and you do this and you gain that experience. And not only that, but gaining experience and experiences by repeatedly going back, sometimes to the same location. So you're collecting evidence and information over time so that, you know, you've got a body of work and a body of ideas and a body of experience, experiences to compare and contrast again, rather than just simply maybe doing one or two investigations in a variety of different locations of which they're just experiences in their own right, that you can't then scientifically begin to try and explain away or have those standout moments of, well, actually, across all the times that I've been here, this is something that really stands out that I just can't. I can't explain. You know, there's nothing that can. I can say that disproves what this experience was type thing.

William Abbitt: Yeah. You know, I've been on over 35 official investigations since I started this, almost three years ago now. And at no point in time have I tried to rationalize or explain how ghosts work, because that's not a question that anybody understands. So when I go on an investigation, I'm not looking at it through the lens of this is how I think it works. So I am expecting this to happen. For me. I just want to go in and collect data and collect evidence. And the theorizing really should only start after science has acknowledged that the paranormal is real, because those are the people that know how to make, you know, theories that are tangible and can be tested continuously.

Michelle: So is there any type of location.

Michelle: That you wouldn't feel comfortable exploring?

William Abbitt: No. No. I got this question on another podcast, and, you know, they asked me, would I go to the catacombs in France? And I said no. And I think a part of the reason for that, and I genuinely believe that I would go anywhere, you know, to this point. I've gone on investigations in houses where people have been murdered, and I got a house call about it. I've been to locations where people believe they're demons. I have a haunted doll in my room right now. You know, I've been to a lot of places that a lot of people would not want to go. And I genuinely think I can attribute the reason for this, for this lack of fear is because of the mindset that I've adopted of research and evidence is the top priority for me. So if it means ignoring my fear around a location, then that is a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Michelle: I think, as well. I think sometimes that fear that we have about a location is just oftentimes kind of imposed upon us because it's that, again, that collective experience of this is what everybody else believes it to be. So therefore, it's something you come to feel. And that can then be something very different when you then step inside that location in the sense that, well, actually, it doesn't have that oppressive atmosphere or that haunting atmosphere that you expect it to. And that can be quite refreshing, actually. So I think to have that have that mindset of I would never go to that location because of this, means that sometimes you can miss out on a really great location that is actually very different to what you expect.

William Abbitt: Yeah, I think that it's a product of marketing a lot of the time, all of the locations that are notoriously haunted across America, across the UK, across the entire world, they market themselves as haunted. And that builds a certain reputation of them being scary, which can drive away a lot of people when their intention is really to draw in people that are interested in the paranormal. You know, I think a lot of these locations, it's a big marketing ploy where, in my belief that the most haunted locations you'll ever go to are not commercial, are not marketing themselves as haunted. I think really the most haunted locations are, you know, regular houses out in the middle of nowhere, you know, and people are in the midst of experiencing things. Like some of the craziest paranormal experiences I've had were from house calls, people calling me and saying they need help and me going in and experiencing things rather than, you know, I went to eastern State penitentiary and I barely had anything happen there.

Michelle: And again, I think some of that is possibly product of the Internet, the world of the Internet, and how quickly information spreads and grows. And, of course, then stories can be expanded, they can be sensationalized, and those stories then quickly get away from maybe what was the nugget there. And again, I think it's part of the very important job and role that paranormal investigators have in trying to dispel some of the myths around properties that build up over time to really investigate and get to the truth. What are the experiences that you're having as opposed to, again, the bias of what you expect it to be based on all that information that's out there on the web. So, William, what would you say sets WTCW paranormal apart from most other teams out there?

William Abbitt: I think our ideology and the way we utilize our equipment is really the determining factor of what sets us apart from other teams. We really try our absolute best to follow the scientific method and use equipment that is very. I see a lot of paranormal investigators use equipment that relies heavily on pseudoscience, like I said before. So we try to kind of stray away from that and keep it very matter of fact with the evidence we catch.

Michelle: And how do you engage with the.

Michelle: Local community in terms of sharing your findings?

William Abbitt: Well, you know, over the last three years, working in just the Hampton Roads area, we've become a very tight knit community. You know, I've worked with historical museums, house calls, commercial businesses, you know, local radio stations, and stuff like that. I try to share my findings through YouTube and short 20 minutes videos, just showing all our best captures. You know, we also have Instagram, TikTok, just showing everyone kind of what we do, and hopefully that'll help spread the word. And on top of that, you know, see if any other people would be interested in working with us.

Michelle: So what would you say are the future goals for WTCW paranormal?

William Abbitt: I think for most paranormal investigators, we all have the same main idea, which is to prove once and for all that the paranormal is real, undisputably, and, you know, matter of fact, Alia. And that's a goal we share. But to be more specific, my dream is really to have the scientific community acknowledge the paranormal so that we can get more official and deeper research into the supernatural than just paranormal investigators like myself can do.

Michelle: And what would you kind of give in terms of advice to someone who is new and starting out in the paranormal field as an investigator?

William Abbitt: If I could go back in time and talk to myself when I first got into this, I would tell myself, just try not to get too lost in the theories. You know, like I said earlier in the podcast, you know, there's a lot of theories out there about the paranormal, and sometimes getting too lost in them will skew your perspective, make it harder to capture actually compelling research and evidence. Yeah, just, you know, use the proper equipment, stay grounded, you know, don't try to subscribe to too many theories. Keep an open mind, and do your research, really, which is something that I did starting out, but that's not something that everyone does starting out. Do as much research you can do about spirituality and theology and just try and get an all encompassing knowledge on the paranormal.

Michelle: William, it's been such a pleasure to talk to you.

Michelle: I will make sure that as part of the podcast description notes as well as on the website that I include access links to obviously enable people to come find you, find your group, find the YouTube page that you mentioned.

Michelle: I hope people come along and see.

Michelle: What you're doing, and I really appreciate you coming and sharing some of your insights with everybody listening today.

William Abbitt: Thank you. I appreciate you for letting me come.

Michelle: On and I will say goodbye to everybody listening. Bye everybody.