Ghosts - research, evidence, and discussion.
Newsletter Subscription:
Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletter:

Features Archive:

2012 Archive:
 LIVE from Oddfest 2012
December 18, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Zombie Advocate Greg Lawson
December 11, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Real Exorcist Case with Thomas B. Allen
November 27, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Embracing the Joy of Ghost Hunting by Deonna Kelli Sayed
November 28, 2012

LIVE from the Haunted Stanley Hotel
November 20, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Animal Mutilations and ETs with Chuck Zukowski
November 13, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Origins of the Devil with Corvis Nocturnum
November 6, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

LIVE From Wareham's Haunted History Night
October 30, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Real Halloween Ghost Stories -- Part One
October 26, 2012

LIVE from the Central Texas Paranormal Conference
October 16, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Chasing Spirits with Nick Groff
October 2, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Real Wolfmen with Linda Godfrey
September 25, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Trekking the Ghost Frontier: Challenges and Opportunities by Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 21, 2012

Your Cryptid Encounters
September 4, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Lost Technology from the Great Pyramids with Steven Myers
August 28, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Harassing Spirits by Sharon Schindlbeck
August 27, 2012

Black Eyed Kids with David Weatherly
August 21, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

LIVE From the 3rd Annual Michigan ParaCon
August 14, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Time Slips
August 7, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

LIVE from Eastern State Penitentiary: Scared Straight
July 31, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Top Five Cornish Haunted Locations by Mark Porter
July 31, 2012

U.S. Civil War Ghosts with Mark Nesbitt
July 24, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Haunted Objects with Christopher Balzano and Tim Weisberg
July 17, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Paranormal Vatican with Gary Jansen
July 10, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Fact or Faked's Ben Hansen by Jennifer Hitt
June 27, 2012

Mission #100 Special
June 26, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Phone Calls from the Dead with Cal Cooper
June 19, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Real Dracula with Dave Schrader
June 12, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

A Supernatural Life: Richard T. Crowe by Ursula Bielski
June 11, 2012

All I Have is My Word by Angela Ward
June 6, 2012

What If the Government Disclosed E.T.s Are Real?
June 5, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal and the Law with Psychic Lawyer Mark Anthony
May 22, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Guidelines to Presenting Paranormal Evidence by Nick Ferra
May 18, 2012

Your Paranormal Encounters - 3 Year Anniversary Special
May 15, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Crop Circles with Patty Greer
May 8, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

After Death Communication with Gary Galka
May 1, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Living Legend Series: Troy Taylor
April 25, 2012

LIVE From Ohio State Reformatory
April 24, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Growing Up Psychic with Chip Coffey
April 17, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Residual Haunts or Paranormal Time Reflections?
April 13, 2012

The Union Screaming House with Steven LaChance
April 10, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

LIVE from the Phenomenology Conference in Gettysburg
April 3, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Bide One's Time: Life After Death? By Debra Prosser
March 31, 2012

Column - regular feature

Time Travel with Von Braschler
March 27, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Extraterrestrial Contact with Stan Romanek
March 20, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Hauntings at Fado: Irish Pubs, Ghosts, and Weird Chicago
March 16, 2012

Getting Psychic with John Holland
March 13, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

SPIRICOM with Thomas Pratt of MetaScience
February 28, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Farewell, Grant Wilson
February 24, 2012

Alien Abductions
February 21, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Rise and Fall of the Nephilim with Scott Roberts
February 14, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Induced After Death Therapy: An Interview With April Slaughter
February 2, 2012

The Ghosts of Ohio with John Kachuba
January 31, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Pendulum Dowsing Study
January 25, 2012

Ghost Research: Science or Spiritual? With Dustin Pari
January 24, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal Pastoring: Part 2 by Reverend Sherrie James
January 11, 2012

The Patterson Bigfoot Film with Jeff Hilling
January 10, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Your Ghost Encounters
January 3, 2012

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

February 24, 2012

Farewell, Grant Wilson

By Deonna Kelli Sayed

The midseason finale of Ghost Hunters ended with a tear-filled shocker when Grant Wilson announced his departure.

For viewers, this was a sad surprise. Grant has functioned as Jason Hawes's softly demeanored sidekick since the show debuted in 2004.

Grant summed up his relationship with Jason in the very first episode when he announced that he was like water while Jason was like fire. He jokingly referred to their relationship as a type of marriage. It was always a pleasure to see the two of them interact, both on and off camera.

Viewers often fail to appreciate that TAPS, cofounded by Jason and Grant, goes back almost twenty years -- way before paranormal reality TV existed as a concept. There was no moment in those early days that either of them envisioned the cultural force that would erupt from their weekend hobby.

Paranormal reality TV is defined by this powerful duo, and Grant Wilson's departure marks an end of an era even as the show continues.

The Journey

Grant started the show as an affable, shy, almost nerdy guy with quiet intelligence that countered Jason's quick, boisterous wit. Eight seasons later, Grant had morphed into something of a wise, artistic sage. He had become an individual willing to recognize that his life journey demanded a detour, and, more importantly, he was brave enough to insist upon the road less traveled by.

Many viewers are not aware that Grant is a gifted artist, a writer (he has authored an unpublished fantasy novel) and a musician. He has a burgeoning band, CarpetShark, with his wife and childhood friends. Grant is a cultural creative, and those who know him personally have always stated that he would literally blossom once the show ended.

Or, as the case turned out, once he decided to leave.

I had a conversation with Grant about two years ago where he confided that he was once too self-conscious to share his music, but his life journey transformed his creativity. "Music is my passion," he told me. "I mean, I love ghost hunting, too, but music is my real passion." We spoke about the connection between music, creativity and spirituality. (I play piano and secretly compose music.) He was so intelligent and engaging -- far better expressed than the already articulate Grant we saw on the show.

I cannot profess to know him well, but each time I encountered him face-to-face always left me impressed. His Kindle carried Orson Scott Card's books, an author who happens to be my neighbor, and we spoke of his work. We talked about the songwriting process, and Grant willingly gave me advice on how to use Garage Band to record my own music. He was kind enough to sit with me and explain the process, step by step.

Into Unchartered Territory

Grant was approachable, but he understood the importance of setting boundaries as his personality became an objectified commodity. I do believe he struggled with many aspects of public life while grateful for the opportunities provided by the show. If anything, I think gratitude and compassion summed up Grant's personality.

I found him to be one of the most authentic personalities in the community.

There was never a time that he projected any pretentions. If anything, he often seemed to dislike confrontation and always tried to find the good in any situation.

He once told me that the best advice against those who spoke against you was to just leave them alone. Responding gave distractors more power and perpetuated a cycle. Wise words -- almost Buddhist in nature -- to counteract the often pretentious and drama filled dynamics of the paranormal community. He said this after he offered me a candy bar. Grant was a man defined by sweetness.

Many of us, if we are honest, have used paranormal reality TV as type of spiritual quest. There is no shame in this admission, nor is there any grievance in acknowledging that Ghost Hunters broke the mold as the first in the genre. These two TAPS founders were almost messianic for so many, and their names were uttered as if one word: JasonandGrant. You could not have one without the other, as they were the leaders of a rapidly growing congregation of worldwide devotees.

Grant appreciated how many found spiritual solace through paranormal investigation and respected what the show offered in this regard. Yet, he knew the show's place and never appeared to take fame too seriously nor did he allow himself to be completely defined by it.

Once, while at the Spalding Inn during a private weekend with TAPS families, we spoke about the "show's place."

I admitted that I no longer watched Ghost Hunters, even as a TAPS family member and as someone who wrote a book about the show's impact on American society.

Grant replied that he rarely watched TV at all.

I suggested, quite pompously, that many people took the show too seriously. "It is just a TV show. It should be enjoyed for what it is - as entertainment," I said, bracing for his response.

He looked straight at me as he softly replied, "You're absolutely right. It is just a TV show. I wish more people understood that." The night before, Grant and Jason had lip sung "Baby Got Back," and Grant had serenaded us with "Total Eclipse of the Heart." He was a man who did not take himself too seriously yet valued the serious side of life.

He certainly understood that the show had opened unprecedented doors for public paranormal acceptance. Grant was eloquent regarding his role: he thought of himself as an ambassador for the field, even if the show did not adequately depict off-camera investigative realities (something he freely addressed when asked). Privately, Grant also continued to conduct his own research around his personal paranormal experiences while choosing not to share this with the public.

Grant was also a deeply committed father (and I'm sure he remains so). He protected his children's privacy, and once left an event early because it was Father's Day. Grant stated that he desired to be home "with his progeny."

In short, he was the real deal.

On To The Next...

Grant will be around for a few more cases when Season 8 completes later in the year. We haven't seen the last of him. Yet, he will be greatly missed once his onscreen presence subsides.

I applaud him for his time served and for his bravery in making such a life jump. And what a journey it has been -- from a Rhode Island Roto-Rooter plumber to a groundbreaking reality TV star. It was a passage colored with struggles that few of us will truly understand, yet it was an expedition uniquely and proudly American in nature.

Grant, I give you that celebratory fist bump that often occurred between you and Jason at each episode's end--

Now, on to YOUR next!

Deonna Kelli Sayed is editor and author of Paranormal Obsession: America's Fascination with Ghosts, Hauntings, Spooks & Spirits (Llewellyn) and So You Want To Hunt Ghosts: A Down-To-Earth Guide (Llewellyn, October 2012).

2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!

Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014