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November 23, 2014

Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango Talk 'Ghost Hunters Academy'

by Chris Jordan, posted Nov 11th 2009 11:00AM
Steve Gonsalves and Dave TangoAttention mediums and psychics: Make sure 'Ghost Hunters Academy' hosts Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango are aware of your powers before you start searching for spooks.

Just ask Susan, a raven-haired woman who is featured on the show's debut episode, premiering tonight at 10PM on Syfy.

"She hid it from us, and didn't tell and we found out because she ran out of a place,'' said Gonsalves of an "incident" at Ft. Mifflin in Philadelphia. "You have to be honest all the time. If she could lie to us or hide that from us, how can we know she's telling the truth if she's experiencing things?''

One of two 'Ghost Hunters' spin-offs, 'Ghost Hunters Academy' features Gonsalves and Tango as they lead a charge of aspiring ghost hunting wannabes to find out whether they have what it takes to hunt for haunts.

AOL TV recently spoke with the pair about the new show, ghost hunters vs. mediums and other paranormal activity.Steve Gonsalves and Dave TangoAttention mediums and psychics: Make sure 'Ghost Hunters Academy' hosts Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango are aware of your powers before you start searching for spooks.

Just ask Susan, a raven-haired woman who was featured on the show's debut episode, which aired last week on Syfy.

"She hid it from us, and didn't tell and we found out because she ran out of a place,'' said Gonsalves of an "incident" at Ft. Mifflin in Philadelphia. "You have to be honest all the time. If she could lie to us or hide that from us, how can we know she's telling the truth if she's experiencing things?''

One of two 'Ghost Hunters' spin-offs, 'Ghost Hunters Academy' features Gonsalves and Tango as they lead a charge of aspiring ghost hunting wannabes to find out whether they have what it takes to hunt for haunts.

AOL TV recently spoke with the pair about the new show, ghost hunters vs. mediums and other paranormal activity.

How do you guys feel about carrying the series? Are you good with that extra responsibility?
Dave: I was never in an authority position before, and I've gotten comfortable with it real fast. I was taught well in the paranormal field. It's a nice thing to share, the knowledge that I have, with the students.

Have you noticed a divide between ghost hunters and mediums?
Steve: When it comes to paranormal investigators there two schools: There are the metaphysical, the spiritualists, the mediums, the psychics and the empaths; all that stuff. Then there are the people who go in with -- not really science, but pseudo-science -- with those basic concepts of looking for facts and reason, and using the power of deduction, controlled studies and that sort of thing; and that's were we fall into. Until our show, that side was never really looked at. It was mostly the mediums, the psychics and all that stuff.

The first few segments feature the East Coast. Is there an East Coast vs. West Coast thing going on? Are the ghosts on the East Coast more interesting?

Steve: There's no East Coast-West Coast thing going on, and Dave is shaking his head no as well. I think that the East may have little more phenomena, as it was settled first. And we have St. Augustine, which was settled first, and we have New England, the first record of settling. And just that extra history adds more ghostly phenomena, and that may be why we see a little bit more of it on the East. But we've been in places out West that are truly haunted and really scary, just as we have on the East Coast.

What is the most important trait for these students to have going into this program?

Steve: There are five qualities that we look for, and that's honesty, respect...
Dave (in background): Composure.
Steve: Composure.
Dave (in background): Professionalism.
Steve: Professionalism, and skepticism ... Plus, we also look for passion. If you're not truly passionate about this field, you're going to fizzle out. There's a lot of hard work with very little payback. We can't have someone after six, seven months lose interest. We have to make sure people are passionate.
Dave: We don't want people to plateau and think this is it. It's an ongoing learning curve. You're always going to be learning.

Why do you think the whole country has suddenly become passionate about paranormal activity?
Steve: One thing I think that has grasped people about the paranormal is that until ['Ghost Hunters'], a lot of paranormal enthusiasts were, I don't want to use term zany, but a lot of them were guys who dressed a little outrageous and they didn't have any factual basis for what they were saying ... Our show came out with regular guys -- plumbers, cops, teachers -- regular people investigating, and they saw that we're thinking like the people who are watching these shows -- like, "Wait a second, it's probably not a ghost, it's probably just the wind. How come these investigators aren't looking into that?" We came with the skeptic point of view and that made it a lot more palatable for people who weren't quite believers.

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