By Brent Raynes
Bret and Gina Oldham of Lebanon, Tennessee, are a very friendly and outgoing and otherwise quite ordinary couple. She’s a legal assistant and he’s a musician, writer, designer, and entrepreneur. But you would not otherwise guess that they’re also very passionate and serious about paranormal research and investigations. In this exclusive interview, we’ll talk at length with Bret and Gina about their ongoing investigations and research into paranormal phenomena, with a great deal of emphasis on the mind-blowing results that they’re achieving with the Spirit Box!
Bret wrote and produced an audio book entitled Ghost Stories of Las Vegas. More information about this can be obtained at: www.Haloparanormal.com.
For more information about the both of them, go to: www.facebook.com/haloparanormal Their Facebook site also has a review of some of their most outstanding spirit box audio files.
Brent Raynes: It’s been awhile since we last did an interview for the magazine. At that time, I hadn’t been in the field investigating haunted houses and doing spirit box sessions with you guys. Now about a year has elapsed since we began working together and going on these investigations and you’ve opened my eyes to a lot of things. You know, back in the 1970s I experimented with EVP-type things, using a cassette tape recorder. There was a haunting type situation up in Maine, where I was born and raised, and in that instance I spent a lot of time trying to get EVP’s but there were only two instances where I really felt like we may have gotten genuine phenomena. Again and again it was so disappointing because I would listen to the audio and detect that what at first sounded like a possible EVP was really someone in the next room whose voice I could identify.
But now, since you guys have introduced myself, my wife Joan and our daughter Chandra to the Ghost Box, Spirit Box, the so-called Frank’s Box phenomenon, I’ve lost track. There have got to be hundreds and hundreds of anomalous things.
Bret Oldham: When you read about Raudive getting over a 100,000 you think like that’s just such an incredible amount, but the more that we do this we’re probably getting into the thousands ourselves now. It’s not really that far-fetched when you think about someone who did it as much as he did full-time, since we don’t do it full-time.
Brent Raynes: So how long have you guys been doing this and how did you get started?
Bret Oldham: With the spirit box?
Brent Raynes: Yes.
Bret Oldham: We had heard about the spirit box for awhile. There was a guy we had met at a convention. He had one of the original Frank’s Boxes, one of the early ones, and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of those, but they’re not very compact. They’re really large and look like something some kid made in shop class in high school. This guy was charging people and he even had a name for it: telephone to the dead.
Gina Oldham: We were very skeptical.
Bret Oldham: Very skeptical.
Brent Raynes: Okay, I’ve been there (laughs).
Bret Oldham: He was doing it almost like a medium. He would have a room full of people, something would be heard on the box, and he’d try to make it apply to someone in the room. We heard some stuff on You Tube that didn’t sound like anything and he was saying it was. When we met him at the convention and talked with him, he seemed like an all right guy, and that did kind of get us interested in it, even though we still weren’t convinced.
Then later we heard from this guy who visited our My Space page and we began communicating back and forth about our mutual interests and what we do, and I had told him about how we got a lot of EVP’s, and this man began sending us Spirit Box audio files and he had gotten some stuff from Las Vegas. I told him that I know the city really well. He had contacted a girl who had been murdered there. So that kind of started this dialogue with him and he’d send us roughly 10 to 12 at a time. I was listening to the audio of this female who was naming streets, and areas of the city. It sounded really legit, so this really got our attention.
Gina Oldham: Then we started researching what kind of box to get for ourselves to try.
Bret Oldham: Right, and then we talked to Jeff Rezman, who is a friend of ours, and he kind of gave us some pointers about the box. He tried to kind of scare us away from it, telling us about the dangers, and then the guy who had sent us the audios from Las Vegas told us about a guy he knew who used two of them at once. I said, “What happened,” and he said, “He ran out of the room, headed straight for church, and probably hasn’t left the church since then.”
Gina Oldham: We heard so many scary stories I was really kind of scared.
Bret Oldham: We were a little bit nervous. We were like, “Man, we don’t know what we’re bringing in here.” Everybody keeps going, “You’ve got to protect yourself.”
Brent Raynes: You know, we’ve been doing this going back to March of last year, with you guys, and the odd thing for us, when we look back and think of all the strange things we’ve heard ourselves, and it hasn’t really seemed scary. When we tell other people they’re like, “Didn’t that scare you?”
It’s funny how it even gets to be commonplace. We’ll be out at a restaurant and talking at the table about this, and Joan will be, “Shhh. Don’t be too loud.” You know, we’ll be talking about our latest experiences like it’s just general conversation, like “old farmer Jones just got him a new cow.” (laughs)
Gina Oldham: That’s true, Brent. I catch myself saying something about it and people looking at me like I’m crazy because they have no idea what I’m talking about. You try to explain it to someone and then they still have that deer got in the headlights look, just like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re weird.”
Bret Oldham: I was telling my aunt, just yesterday as a matter of fact, as she had been to a funeral and we were talking about the afterlife and everything like that, and I kind of expressed my views on that and I said, “You know, sometimes I think I talk to more dead people than I do live ones.” (laughs)
Brent Raynes: So when did you actually get a Box yourself? Is it the same one that you’re using now?
Bret Oldham: It’s been about a year and a half, or something like that.
Brent Raynes: So right off the bat you were getting results where you realized that “Okay, this is really something”? Or did it take awhile?
Gina Oldham: Well, at first I don’t think we thought we were getting anything and then we taped them and when we went over the audio we then realized how much we were missing in real time but catching when we would go over the recordings.
Bret Oldham: We also learned that some of the audio you have to slow down or speed up, and as you get more familiarized and you’re analyzing it, and recognizing how to analyze it, and how to listen for it, because you have to listen to it different than regular EVP’s and learn what to listen for. It takes awhile, as you know. You're really good at it now.
Brent Raynes: Well, I don’t hear it so much then in real time but when I’m reviewing it and go over it and over it again, I can pick out some things that, even though I didn’t necessarily hear it in real time, there it is in the recorded audio, and it’s pretty phenomenal some of the things that are there. It’s just unbelievable really.
Bret Oldham: Yeah because sometimes people will say, “Oh, it was audio pareidolia, which is when your mind goes to a language that you recognize when you hear these sounds, and I tell people when they say that that if that’s the case then we’re predicting the future and we’re telling people stuff about their passed on loved ones that we have no way of knowing.
Gina Oldham: If we’re doing this for someone, we don’t allow them to tell us anything besides just the person they’re wanting to contact. We don’t know any of the circumstances.
Bret Oldham: With me and my own family I had an aunt that passed and her sister, my other aunt, wanted to see if I could get a hold of her. So I asked for her, we always ask for name verification, and of course it could be another spirit messing with you, saying the name and everything, but when you start getting into personal details then it becomes a whole different thing.
I got some stuff about my aunt whose living that I would have had no way of knowing, even though we’re close and I talk to her a lot, and one of the things was that my deceased aunt said “I was adopted.” Well, I was like, “Well that’s pretty funny,” and I was like, “I don’t think that was her.” I had no idea what she was talking about. I wrote all this down, everything she had said to pass on to my living aunt, and when I did my living aunt started crying because she knew that I had made contact. The whole thing about being adopted was sort of a family joke, but I didn’t know it because they were an older generation than me and the aunt that had passed had sort of blondish brown hair and a lot of my family is Native American and have darker skin and darker hair and it was always a big joke and I guess when they were growing up she was always telling people, “I was adopted.” She looked different than everybody else. So that was just a big running joke. So she had used that as a verification because she knew if she said that then my living aunt would know for sure that it was her.
You witnessed the time with Ashley in Fayetteville, when she contacted her dad and they were asking for his name and he went by two different names, and they wound up getting both of them. She started crying because she realized that this isn’t just coming off the radio. That happens frequently, even with skeptical people, once they hear something that verifies really personal information where there’s no way that they can deny it.
We feel good that we’re helping people who can find closure and comfort in knowing that their loved ones are still around and communicating with them.
Gina Oldham: We’ve turned a lot of skeptics around.
Bret Oldham: I think that a lot of the people who use the Box and then start condemning it and saying it doesn’t work, saying “Oh I tried it a couple of times and all I got was radio stations or static,” they have to realize that your intent has a lot to do with it.
We’re friends with Michael Esposito, whose a scientist actually, and his theories on this goes hand in hand with what we’ve been finding out. He believes that not only is it your intent but the spirit can read your energy and your consciousness. They’re only going to communicate with what they feel off of the person who is conducting the session, and I think that a lot of times these people are going into it for the wrong reasons.
Gina Oldham: Or they’re very negative people. When we’re doing a session we always try to clear ourselves first. If you’ve had a bad day, you need to like really meditate and clear yourself and leave all of that behind while you’re doing a session.
Bret Oldham: Like is going to attract like. This is not all rainbows and roses. We get the bad guys coming through every now and then and we’ve got a lot of the f--- you’s. I had one one time that said “Kill Bret.”
Gina Oldham: It’s not often and we can usually get rid of them pretty quickly.
Brent Raynes: You know, I told Joan recently, and this may be wrong, so very wrong, but now I’ve gotten to the point where when they say F--- you it’s like “Oh great, verification! This isn’t a normal radio broadcast!” (laughs)
Gina Oldham: For us too, Brent.
Bret Oldham: We did a session for a lady up in Ohio who was an old family friend of mine. Her son died under mysterious circumstances when he was in his early thirties down in West Virginia . He got hit by a train, but she never really did believe that he got hit by a train. She thought that something had happened to him and somebody made it look like he got hit by a train. She asked us to contact him. I went to high school with him and so I said sure, we’ll see what we can find out, and she wasn’t even present at the session (a lot of times people don’t have to be present). As you know, we work with a spirit named Bishop and he’s very helpful and very helpful when we’re looking for somebody to talk to in particular. He found this guy and this guy talked to us and told us some personal stuff, definitely verifying who he was, and even mentioned that his only brother never visited his grave, which was an odd thing to hear. We didn’t know at the time whether that was the case or not, but we found out afterwards that that was the case, that his brother grieved so much for him that he never visited his grave. This was something that gave him closure for his brother, because after he heard about this he started visiting his grave.
This guy’s dad had also passed but he had divorced the mom. It was a real nasty divorce. Anyway I had said this guy’s name and his dad came on, and I said, “Oh, do you have a message for Ann”? I’m pretty sure he called her a bitch.
Gina Oldham: I think he said “F--- that bitch.”
Bret Oldham: I think that was right. Then I said, “Is that you saying that?” I wanted to make sure that was him saying that and not some other negative, angry spirit over there trying to be a funny guy, and I said, “What is your message? What would you like to say to her?” He said a couple of F--- you’s right in a row and we were like, “Wow, he is really pissed off.’
Gina Oldham: But we didn’t know why. It’s another story where we really had no idea why.
Bret Oldham: We had no idea. We didn’t know what happened in their marriage or anything. I just knew that they had gotten divorced years ago. Then we told the ex-wife about the stuff that she got from her son, and I wasn’t even going to mention about the husband, but then I did tell her the ex came through and told her what he’d said and she said, “Well, I’m not surprised that he’s still mad at me.” Then she told us that she had cheated on him and that’s what broke up the marriage and he was angry about it all the way to the grave, and apparently even in the afterlife.
Gina Oldham: She felt really bad. She felt a lot of guilt and it bothered her to know that he was still angry over on the other side.
Bret Oldham: She in fact asked us to try and get a hold of him again and apologize for her and say that she was really sorry and please forgive her.
Gina Oldham: There’s a lot of s—t that comes up, Brent! (laughs)
Brent Raynes: I know. I mean, I think about when we were in touch with John Keel, or else a personality who claimed to be John Keel, and we were trying to get him to identify himself as John Keel, and we had such a hard time dragging it out of him, trying to get him to say his first and last name, and one time he came on and said “For a pizza,” and we had just eaten pizza, and then I did this think of mentioning names and I’d say “What did you think of this person?” His responses were always negative. Then Bret asked, “Hey John, What do you think of Brent Raynes?” Then he said, “Brent Raynes,” my first and last name of course, and then “F--- him.” (laughs)
Bret Oldham: I remember that.
Brent Raynes: It was disturbing to me then, but now it’s like “All right”! A non-radio signal. All right.
Bret Oldham: What’s interesting about that though is that it’s obvious that your personality carries on in the afterlife and it’s kind of sad then because you’ve always heard R.I.P., Rest In Peace, and that just doesn’t happen in a lot of cases and these people are carrying this anger and this animosity with them.
Brent Raynes: Now with Joan’s mom we seem to occasionally get responses, and just did recently here at our house, and of course Joan was very close to her mom, and it seems that when she communicates with Joan it’s immediate, it’s a soft and faint voice, but it’s unmistakable and it’s always very positive and pleasant and friendly. Her mom was a very grounded, Christian lady and she was always that way in this life. Her brother came through we think that one time where Keel got him cussing and that’s quite possible.
Bret Oldham: We’ve heard them fight among themselves on that side. That’s one of the things when we first started doing this that we noticed was that once we opened the portal (I don’t know any other way to explain it), to me I kind of imagine like this beacon over there and they’re just drawn to it and you’ll hear like all of these people trying to talk with you, some asking for help, and you’ve noticed this with us, where we’ll ask the loaded question “What is your name,” and sometimes you think you’re talking to one particular spirit, trying to find out who you’re talking to, and then all of a sudden you’ll just get this barrage of names. Six, seven, maybe eight. They’ll just keep coming because they’re like all gathered around and of course that’s when Bishop comes in and tries to keep the peace.
Gina Oldham: I’ve learned that some of those f--- you’s are not always for us. Sometimes it’s the spirits arguing on the other side with each other.