The scariest night of the year just got a whole lot spookier thanks to discovery+'s latest addition! The streaming platform will be premiering its anticipated revival Ghost Hunters on Sunday, Oct. 31, and as the landmark paranormal series marks its return with The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) investigators leading the charge this time around, you can bet it's all treats for a night of thrills and chills.
With team leader Jason Hawes returning with the show's investigators Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango, the TAPS trio will also be joined by their former Ghost Nation investigator Shari DeBenedetti as they explore haunted locations across the United States. But it's their sneak peek Halloween show that really packs a punch with the investigators taking on a massive case with their former TAPS teammates, Amy Bruni, Adam Berry and Dustin Pari as they investigate the hauntings of the Missouri State Penitentiary 10 years after their initial review. In an exclusive with PopCulture.com, Hawes and Gonsalves reveal what audiences can expect from the haunted site known as the "bloodiest 47 acres in America" and why teaming up with their TAPS teammates was an important aspect to covering these particular grounds.
"Honestly, it was great for us because we've all still stayed in touch and talked and worked together on other things. Dustin, he's like a brother to us. I mean, you'll see him a bunch of times on this season," Hawes said going on to praise both Bruni and Berry, who currently investigate the paranormal on Travel Channel's Kindred Spirits. "They're great. I mean, Amy was with me for years, even before she started on Ghost Hunters. She used to help produce a radio show I did, Beyond Reality radio. And I mean, Adam, he went through the academy with Steve and I got the pleasure of hanging out with him."
Sharing how the two have gone on to accomplish so much outside of Ghost Hunters, Hawes says Bruni, Berry and Pari along with their current teammates are all "family" to him. "You might spend a little time away from one another here and there, but you're family and you all still just click," he said.
Gonsalves goes on to share how the investigation was the "perfect case" for all of the TAPS members to reunite on, not only because of its size but thanks to familiarity as the team investigated the site in 2011. "The place was so big that we needed some extra hands. Amy and Adam, although they still investigate sort of under the same protocols and procedures that we do, they have their own techniques and their own strategies that they use and there's a good chance that some of the things that they brought to this investigation actually got some interesting results because two teams can go into the same place and it's going to be two completely different investigations with different outcomes and different tactics to handle it." The TAPS technology manager and evidence analyst said because of everyone bringing something unique to the table, it all "worked out great."
As for why they returned to the historic penitentiary nearly a decade later as a team, Hawes said it was really all about new activity starting up after the Centennial Cells, initially built in the 1840s, had been unearthed. "They were buried and they dug them up and activity was really kicking up anyways. They weren't sure if it was kicking up due to the new cells, but I mean, they were dealing with stuff," he said. "They were seeing what appeared to be almost like a doppelgänger ghost of some of the security guards. People were feeling like they were being touched and shoved and they were being threatened. Voices. I mean, it was non-stop and such a huge location that has had so many people pass through it throughout the years."
Adding how a lot of people had died and lost their lives there, Hawes further states how it's places like this that are "ripe" for paranormal activity with just a "crazy energy" about it. "You start reading some of the history, or looking at some of the history of the people who've come through there or the riots that happened and one man being — pretty much the inmates breaking in to take the life of one individual with a sledgehammer. I mean, you're like, 'Oh my God!' the craziness that went on here. And God knows the energy that's trapped within the structure or the walls that make up this place," he said. "[But] it was a blast to be there. I mean, it's one of those places that never lets you down. I'll investigate that place anytime."
Feeling like the timing was kismet, Gonsalves shares it was "good to go back" because some of the staff members were quitting, including the security guards, which made it all the more reason to investigate. "If you're at a place like this where you can't have your security there, you're going to run into some major problems," he said. "So this was a good time to investigate it. You know, two-fold: As investigators, it's an amazing place. We had a ton of amazing activity and a lot of fun. But we were actually there with a mission to help them, which I think is important not to just go to investigate as investigators, but to also have a bit of a mission to it."0comments
Further sharing how the team does "an incredibly deep dive into all aspects of what the property went through," Gonsalves adds they also found a lot of things that they didn't quite know about. "Some deaths, we were able to really dispel some of the rumors that were happening there and that's all important to our investigation because these things end up in history books, they end up on the tours and if we can help nuance and get the right information out there, then we're helping the whole community, honestly."
Ghost Hunters will begin streaming on discovery+ on Oct. 31. 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.