“And there is where the spine was,” Allison says nonchalantly, pointing to an indention in the 19th century coffin. “We moved the body to a different coffin.”
Going down the steps to Spooked in Seattle museum headquarters, you can tell it’s a place full of the abnormal and paranormal. Tarot card readings, an apothecary, two coffins, and much more are the attractions of the museum. However, one of the main attractions is ghost hunter, Ross Allison.
Allison explains his mother got him into the paranormal. “She liked to scare her kids,” he explains. Apparently it worked, because he has been a professional ghost hunter for the better part of the past 25 years. He is the original President and Founder of the Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle-Tacoma (A.G.H.O.S.T.), has appeared in numerous TV shows including SyFy’s Ghost Hunters, and has gone on lecture tours along with his book Ghostology 101: A Ghost Hunter’s Guide. His most recent book, Spooked in Seattle, came out in 2011 and he also has his own radio show, The Angry Ghost Hunter.
When asked why ghosts exist, instead of giving the typical “they have yet to move on,” or “heck, I don’t know,” Allison replies, “I don’t say they do.”
Allison says he wants to open people’s mind to the idea that there is something paranormal. He does not know what “it” is that is out there, but he knows “it” is out there, regardless of the lack of concrete evidence.
Since Allison has been developing the Spooked in Seattle museum, located in Pioneer Square, his ghost expeditions have declined. Before the museum, however, he and his team had about 2-3 investigations a month, and with his Ghostology lecture tour, he averaged about 20 investigations a month. On a normal investigation, Allison tends to begin with a phone interview, followed by a walkthrough, and then some leading trick questions to make sure people aren’t faking their haunting. “Once people believe in the paranormal,” Allison explains, “everything becomes paranormal. Some people will claim there’s a haunting just to get out of a lease”
The AGHOST team is one of the most advanced ghost hunter teams in the country, according to multiple local media, including KOMO 4, and, Allison says, it takes one very important element to become a good investigator: PDP. “Patience, devotion, and passion,” says Allison. “If you obtain those three things, you can be a great ghost hunter.” Ross explains that people get bored in this field because they think every investigation will be like what they see on TV. “They don’t realize that what they see is edited and exaggerated. Investigations can take four or more hours, and you have to be patient.” Ross also explains that skepticism is a requirement as well. “Not every little sound… is a ghost trying to contact us. [Investigating] is all about being in the right place at the right time.”
The team also uses a variety of tools to aid their investigations. “We use devices that read the environment to determine if there are changes which we can’t explain in that environment.” Ion counters, temperature probes, EMF detectors, and even compasses are among them.
Allison gets plenty of media attention. He was a guest investigator on the show Ghost Hunters (season 4, episode 1 “Lost Souls”). However, he was cut from the episode and only briefly interviewed as an eyewitness. “It’s fine,” says Allison in response to the show’s editing. “They edited down… it happens. That’s how they chose to tell the story. Maybe I didn’t have enough drama.” He also runs a radio show called The Angry Ghost Hunter. “I wanted to tackle the problems in the field of ghost hunting… We’re losing touch with being serious about [investigating. It’s all about the fame now, and that needs to change.”