Spooky season is kicking off with a bang thanks to the Ghost Hunters! The groundbreaking paranormal reality series is back for its milestone 15th season this weekend on discovery+ and investigator Steve Gonsalves is joined by some very familiar faces in the season premiere. Investigating alongside original team members Jason Hawes and Dave Tango with Sheri DeBenedetti, the group is joined by former TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) teammates, Amy Bruni, Adam Berry and Kris Williams for a case like no other.
With the crew heading to the Florida panhandle, where a new exhibition is stirring up paranormal activity at the Pensacola Lighthouse, Gonsalves and the team help ease the anxieties of a worried staff who have experienced some very disturbing hauntings. Armed with state-of-the-art technology and their proven methodology, TAPS tackles disturbing paranormal activity head-on, leaving no stone unturned to reach the dead among the living.
In an exclusive with PopCulture.com ahead of the big episode "Keeper of the Light" streaming on Saturday, Oct. 1, Gonsalves reveals just what it was like reteaming with the TAPS members and what audiences can expect from the case. "Anytime we get to work with Amy and Adam and even Kris Williams on this season, Dustin and some other people, it's great," Gonsalves told PopCulture. "Amy and Adam, they're family. Obviously, we've known them for so long, very close friends. They investigate with a very similar methodology. So it's great. It's always a lot of fun. We have a blast."
The paranormal activity taking place at the Pensacola Lighthouse is familiar ground for the original team — well, all of them except Tango and Gonsalves, who reminded audiences the pair were not a part of the 2009 investigation, which found the team first exploring the grounds. Instead, the two were filming Ghost Hunters Academy, the spinoff series in the reality TV franchise. With the pair finally getting the opportunity now, Gonsalves said he was really excited to examine the site for the first time with Tango.
"When the opportunity came, the lighthouse reached out and said, 'We're having a lot of things happening, things that we think are stemming from possibly a newer section.' They don't really know why, but they think that the increase [in activity] was enough that they wanted to have it re-investigated... so, we did. [But] we needed a few extra hands, soo, who better to call than, of course, Amy, Adam and people we know and trust. What's nice about that is, sometimes people aren't quite familiar with the equipment and different things [but] you say to Amy, to Adam, to Dustin, to Kris, 'Hey we need a camera in this area, we need this covered, we need to put EMF here,' they know exactly what to do. It's great."
With Gonsalves having visited hundreds of sites in the almost 20 years of investigating for Ghost Hunters, he admits that while they all have a different energy, some sites just aren't scary at all at the end of the day. "The phenomena may have some precursors where you know when something may happen — sometimes it just jumps out at you, and it can be quite scary and startling. But for the most part, each case has its own, for lack of a better word, vibe to it. Sometimes they can be quite scary. Not scary, you want to run out of the place, but scary because things are happening that you don't quite expect. You don't know when it's going to happen. It happened right in front of you. It's loud or something moves and it startles you. So, that can be quite scary."
Gonsalves says the cases they deal with can get very dark in nature, like this one. But when you're dealing with such investigations, such a feeling is based a lot more on the "dark history" that surrounds that vibe than anything like dark phenomena. "Dark history, murders, things just that you don't really want to be thinking about for very long, those places, you can feel that. It puts you in a bit of a depression. Those places do feel a little bit different," he said of the vibe some of the places emit, like the Pensacola Lighthouse. "Sometimes at places that are supposedly really, really active, we're there for a week or two and there's not so much. Sometimes things are just happening all the time. It always, always different, which keeps it fun."
As the Pensacola Lighthouse's activity has increased since 2009, Gonsalves says a lot of "different" things can contribute to a spike in paranormal activity. "What we try to do anyway, is look at different patterns that may have changed. It could be something as simple as, all of a sudden they're allowing X amount more people to go through the building," he said. "So naturally, just the stories of the claims will naturally just increase, because there's more people going through. Other times, perhaps they've acquired an item or something. Now it's introduced a new phenomenon. Sometimes we need to keep in mind that we're not necessarily aware of time and space. What is just a few minutes here, maybe much longer to them. What is just a long time to us here, could just be a really quick moment to them."0comments
He continued how a lot of times, we will follow a structure in the assumption that time is "very much linear," when in fact spirits and activity will not follow suit. "So we may say here, 'Oh gosh, nothing's really happened in quite some time, a month or so.' We don't know. But to the phenomena, no time has passed at all. It's just happening, so a lot of things, a lot of different variables. We try to look at a pattern, as to why the increase in activity would happen."
Ghost Hunters will begin streaming on discovery+ on Oct. 1. All seasons of the show are currently available to stream as well. For more on the Ghost Hunters and all your paranormal news, keep it locked to PopCulture.com for the latest.