Conskipper may be brand new, but our journalists have been covering the world of pop culture conventions for years. The following interview was originally conducted by Nick Banks as a freelancer on January 3rd, 2020.
Amy Bruni and Adam Berry are no strangers to viewers of paranormal reality programming. Bruni and Berry have been investigating ghosts, spirits, and demons for more than a decade, both on the seminal Ghost Hunters and their own program, Kindred Spirits, which is about to enter its fourth season. Bruni, Berry, and renowned psychic Chip Coffey return to the Travel Network with 13 new episodes beginning on Friday January 3 at 9:00 p.m. and each episode features a variety of well-known locations as well as some spooky, hidden gems.
Check out what Bruni and Berry have to say about the upcoming season and their unique approach to the field of paranormal research in this exclusive interview.
Kindred Spirits is about to begin its fourth season, but where did the idea for the program originate?
Adam Berry: After Ghost Hunters ended, we weren’t really looking for a new show, but it kind of just happened. We learned a lot about preliminary investigations on Ghost Hunters, but we always wanted to know more in terms of researching why the spirits were in the location and how we could help them.
I remember that after our investigation of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, we were speaking with the nurses who worked there, and it was very emotional. We were all crying and left the location heartbroken. We sat down and said to each other “We want to change the world!” We decided that our dream investigation would attempt to give these spirits their history back, their names, and conduct more than a preliminary investigation.
A lot of paranormal researchers get involved in the field after experiencing an encounter with the supernatural in their every day lives. Was it the same for the both of you?
Berry: I was always interested in ghosts, horror movies, and such, but my experience took place at Gettysburg. I was about 22 years old and I was with a group on a ghost hunt, and I asked the guide if I could wander off on my own and do some exploring. So I went off by myself, and I heard gunfire, voices, and I saw light anomalies that I couldn’t explain. I was up all night and I couldn’t understand why it was happening to me. I then began reading everything I could on the subject and started my own team of investigators.
Amy Bruni: I grew up in Alameda, California and I remember when I was eight years old I saw a man outside of my kitchen window. I knew it was strange because the kitchen was on the second floor, but when I brought it up to my parents, they wouldn’t talk about it. Eventually, they had a heart-to-heart conversation with me about the ghost and admitted that the house was haunted. It felt very strange to hear this from my parents, but they were intrigued by it and I started reading books about the paranormal and the spiritualist movement. If my family didn’t treat it as normal, I would have had a very different impression of what was going on in the house.
Chip Coffey has been a frequent guest investigator on your program, but he will be on every episode this season, correct?
Bruni: Yes, in the past he was on about 50% of the episodes, but we now have him on every episode this season. Chip is very in-demand and he was wanted by a number of networks, so we were very happy to get him full time on the show!
Berry: Chip serves a unique purpose on Kindred Spirits. Neither of us is psychic and Chip helps us verify that we are on the right track. We’ve known Chip for over ten years and he is a great friend, and he approaches investigation the same way we do with a focus on the people.
Do you take any special care to keep information away from Chip, concerning the details of the case?
Bruni: We give him zero information prior to his arrival at the location. Chip never has an idea where he is going, we stay at different hotels, and we sometimes even blindfold him. We take down photos in the house; anything that could possibly give him an idea about the location.
During one case, we led Chip into a solitary confinement cell and he immediately knew he was in a place of turmoil and he didn’t even know he was in a prison, let alone solitary confinement.
You have some iconic locations on the list this season, including the Harrisville, Rhode Island home that was the basis for The Conjuring.
Bruni: Yes, there was so much history behind that location and it ended up being one of the most intense experiences we’ve ever had. Bringing the Perron Family back to their former home, the first time since they fled, was very significant. It was a crazy location. We even held a birthday party in the house with the Perrons.
Berry: We’ve known about that house for years and we had a close relationship with the family as well. It was like being a fly on the wall at a historical event. The activity that we recorded was incredible. Everyone has investigates the location differently, but we think, and hope, that we were perhaps able to provide some closure there.
There are currently three programs on the air that feature Ghost Hunters alumni. What is like having almost all of the old crew producing different paranormal investigation shows at the same time?
Bruni: It has been great for us, especially with Dave Tango, Steve Gonsalves, and Jason Hawes (Ghost Nation) on the same network as us now. We are able to promote events with them and we are of course looking forward to any crossover opportunities. We use the same methodology and approach to investigating, and as soon as they were signed, we were psyched!
Berry: It is like we’ve never left and I hope to get to investigate with them.
Bruni: We also still talk to Grant (Wilson of Ghost Hunters) and he’s a great friend. The fact that fans of the original show now have three different shows to watch, it couldn’t be better.
For viewers who haven’t seen Kindred Spirits, how would you describe it and is there anything else fans should know about the new season?
Bruni: It is a mix of paranormal investigations, true crime, and Scooby Doo all leading to new discoveries.
Berry: We are like the real life Mulder and Scully.
Aside from the new episodes, one hour before the new ones air, we will be airing some of our classic episodes with all new commentary, interviews, and they contain so much new information, that even if you’ve seen the episodes when they originally aired, it will be an entirely new experience. So in actuality, you will be getting two hours of Kindred Spirits back to back on Friday nights!