'Ghost Hunters' Star Richel Stratton Explains Importance of a Location's Detailed History: 'It Makes a Huge Difference' (Exclusive)

During Wednesday night's "intense" episode of Ghost Hunters, Grant Wilson and his team travel to the 200-year-old Madison Seminary in Ohio to investigate claims of paranormal activity that includes a number of unexplained phenomena, like disembodied voices and physical attacks. But while the team endures an alarming account with overwhelming negative energy that leaves three members visibly shaken, fellow investigator and paranormal historian, Mustafa Gatollari makes a surprising discovery that sheds new light on the former mental institution's past, causing Wilson to rethink the team's strategy.

After the events of night one in "There's Something in the Seminary," Wilson admits in a confessional while in his Ohio hotel room that the team "rushed" into the investigation and made a "lot of assumptions" from alleged accounts shared by staff and tourists.

"When you think about it, we don't have any proof that anybody was ever mistreated there," Wilson said of the case. "Having the right information when you go into an investigation is paramount. If we don't have the right information, it makes our job 10 times harder to get to the truth. If I tell you that the entities are evil, you may run in there and yell at them and punish them for what they've done and ultimately frighten them when they may not have done anything wrong."

Wilson further adds that "it's key for people who enter a location to have the proper information for their own safety and for the spirits' well-being as well."

With that in mind, Gatollari is sent on day two to meet with a local historian of the Madison Historical Society who dispels rumors of it being a "local nut house" and reveals the building was more known among residents as the Ohio Cottage built by the Women's Relief Corps, which provided support and services for widows, army nurses and mothers of veterans who served in the war.

Inquiring about the more than 200 deaths, the historian tells Gatollari that the numbers add up only because of the facility's length of service, which began as early as 1889 and went all the way to 1962, further adding there was no documentation of any mistreatment during those years. Further, the investigator shares in an offside interview that many visiting the seminary are trying to "push a narrative" that just doesn't exist and that it was always just a "valued building in this community."

On the second night of their investigation, the team experiences radically diverse findings from their initial analysis. Though they still encounter their fair share of paranormal activity, it's a lot more congenial in nature, especially from the EVPs collected.

"It's not often we have an investigation with such drastically different results from night one to night two," Wilson said of the second night's outcome. "And it's just a reminder of how complex and fragile our influences can be on other people, be they alive or dead, which only underscores the importance of being thoughtful and disciplined in our approach to an investigation."

In an exclusive with PopCulture.com about the episode, paranormal investigator, Richel Stratton reveals knowing the history in an effort to understand a location's energy and activity is principal to any investigation, especially when considering one's mentality.

"It makes a huge difference, and I think anyone who watches the show or this episode is going to see that it makes a huge difference because the energy and the feeling between the two nights was completely opposite of each other, once we had the correct information," Stratton told PopCulture.com. "That is just one of those things that looking back, you don't know what anyone's gone through and they could have gone through something horrible, but you don't assume that — you don't assume everything was okay, and I think the first night we assumed because of the information that we had that things weren't okay there."

Stratton admits the team went in "a little bit more aggressive" than they would have if they had that information at first.

The Illinois native further adds that she's "happy" they were able to get accurate information and leave the location on a high note in helping the owner of Madison Seminary.

"He knows the history and it'll change the way he investigates and the way people that come in there investigate," she said. "Maybe they won't get that aggressive energy. If you think about it, if you haven't done anything wrong, [but] if someone comes at you, guns blazing, you're going to get a little defensive about it. It's human nature to be like, 'I didn't do anything.'"

Though not shown in the episode tonight, Wilson and his co-team leaders, Daryl Marston and Kristen Luman revealed to PopCulture.com exclusively last month that there were "strange symbols" on the walls of the seminary, which had a human attribution to it with the team deciphering whether or not they were demonic symbols.

"We did a lot of research to try and figure out what it was," Stratton told PopCulture.com of the man-made symbols, she adds were not of the native English language. "We talked to specialists and you know, we asked a lot of questions. I asked witnesses about them, and when they showed up, and who did them, and what are they for."

Stratton adds that many will have the "best of intentions" when drawing in hopes they're for protection, but there is always an element of uncertainty when you "combine certain symbols," warning viewers that they "shouldn't be doing it."

"I describe it as, you know back in the day, everybody [would] get those Chinese symbol tattoos and they're like, 'Oh that says faith or hope.' And it's like, 'No, that says chicken lo mein.' You didn't know what it really meant — you had good intentions, so that's kind of what I compare it to," she said.

The paranormal investigator goes on to share how it's important "to be careful when you're doing stuff like that."

"Believe it or not, we're in a field that things can go awry if you're not doing things correctly and I would encourage everyone not to go around drawing symbols. I don't necessarily feel like that's something that you should mess with. Conjuring a demon and you don't even know it..." she laughed.


Ghost Hunters airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on A&E.

Photo credit: A&E Networks