'Ghost Hunters' Richel Stratton and Brandon Alvis Reveal Key Reason for Inviting Guests to Duff Green Mansion Investigation (Exclusive)

In the first of Wednesday night’s Ghost Hunters doubleheader featuring all-new episodes ahead of next week’s season finale, the team travel to Mississippi to answer the urgent call of a man convinced his best friend faces an imminent, paranormal threat. In the ninth episode of the reboot’s premiere season, “You’ve Been Warned,” the investigators head to Vicksburg to meet with Harry Sharp, a former bed and breakfast owner who has observed all kinds of strange activity at the mansion. Upon selling the estate, which was formerly a hospital during the Civil War for both Union and Confederate soldiers to his best friend, Harley Caldwell, he enlists the help of Grant Wilson and his team to help him prove Duff Green Mansion is no ordinary estate.

With hundreds of guests and former staff reporting shadow figures, doors slamming on their own, the smell of gangrene and the most eerie claim being of a confederate soldier’s apparition clutching his own amputated leg, the team works to think outside the box by enlisting help from some very special guests. After the first night in their investigation yields questionable results, Wilson invites two guests to help evoke a response from the entities: Harry’s granddaughter, Lydia, who has had several experiences over the years with the apparition of a little girl seen in the window of the grand ballroom continuously scowling at her; and fellow paranormal investigator and amputee, Mike Couch, looking to connect with the Civil War soldiers.

In an exclusive with PopCulture.com chatting about the episode, Ghost Hunters, Richel Stratton and Brandon Alvis share how bringing in the two special guests was not only humbling, but an extremely important aspect in upholding the integrity of their investigation.

“It’s extremely important because it’s kind of like… if someone comes into your home, you don’t know them, you’re going to be standoffish,” Stratton told PopCulture.com. “But if someone comes into your home, that comes with your friends that you’re aware of, that you’ve met before, that you have a relationship with, you’re going to be more open to them.”

Emphasizing its importance to a case, Stratton adds it’s not only a “great idea” if you have the opportunity to bring someone in who can relate to the situation under investigation, but a method that “helps a great deal with activity.”

Alvis, in full agreement with his fellow investigator, suggests the familiarity with Harry’s granddaughter coming in helps them determine exactly what they have set out to uncover.

“The entities that are there, or may be there, would notice her, recognize her, even though she’s grown up since the last time she was in the building,” Alvis told PopCulture.com. “Bringing in someone that they have a familiarity with, always helps in an investigation to kind of calm down the entities. We’re not running through there, tromping through their building and just demanding questions of them — we’re showing them that ‘Look, we’re here for the right reasons and we’re here to learn about them, and here’s someone that you know.’”

Alvis adds that having Wilson’s friend and seasoned paranormal investigator, Couch be part of the study was not just an incredible addition to the team, but one fans can tell maintains the core values their group regards in every investigation.

“[It was] not just about having Mike Couch come in and to have someone again with that familiarity, someone that went through something similar to something these Civil War soldiers did — to bring him in, he can connect on a level that we can’t,” Alvis stressed. “And we’re always trying and striving, and trying to make the entities comfortable and letting them know that we’re there for a particular reason, and that’s to not only learn about them, but to help them if possible as well.”

“We actually try to establish a connection with the entities like they have with the people who have called us needing help,” Stratton interjects. “It’s really important to us that we get a relationship with these entities.”

While it’s important to establish a connection with the entities to understand them better, one aspect audiences might feel overwhelmed by is the history of the location — especially with its bloody, battle-weary past. With the Civil War still feeling like a deep scar on the nation, Alvis and Stratton admitted despite its dark history, the mansion gave an overall normal vibe upon entry, especially with the team coming to the conclusion of a residual haunting.

“I actually felt very comfortable there. A lot of the times when there’s a residual haunt, I’ll feel more comfortable than if there’s an intelligent haunt,” Stratton shared, detailing how residual haunts are better known as a type of haunting where the same activity repeats on a loop, and entities do not interact with the living. “They’re not aware of you, they’re just going about what they would normally do, so it’s on a loop, and I was pretty comfortable in it.”

That said, Stratton adds there were “certain areas” in the mansion with prior reports, prompting feelings of uncomfortableness or anxiety that she felt the same way in. “I also got those feelings in those rooms, but then again, we found out those rooms did have high EMF, so that could be reasons why people were feeling uncomfortable or anxious.”

“It’s always kind of tough to go into a place like the Duff Green Mansion,” Alvis said of the experience. “You think about this place being a Civil War hospital and you think about all of the things that took place in there, the amputations, the pain and sometimes suffering that went on in a place like that, and going into something like that, you have to completely put that out of your mind and just be aware that you’re there to document. You’re there to try and see what these experiences [and] the clients have been having are. But again, going into a location like that, you have to really put that history out of your mind in that kind of situation and just understand that there may be something going on here, and try to get to the bottom of it.”

Alvis adds that with the team concluding the haunting was in fact residual, it might help bring peace to those who have experienced what they have at the Duff Green Mansion. “That can kind of put people at ease in knowing that maybe these previous historical events that happened there, aren’t being relived in that sense.”

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The Ghost Hunters season finale airs Oct. 30 at 10 p.m. ET on A&E.

Photo credit: A&E Networks