Paranormal Q&A with Shannon Sylvia

Who are you?

Shannon Sylvia, from the Boston area, I appear in the first season of Ghost Hunters International and was a client on Paranormal State. I graduated from Fitchburg University with a degree in Communications and another in Fine Arts. I own and operate “Shancakes”, a cake and cupcake design business (ed – note: as well as “By Design” where I create logos and websites. I have been self employed for 11 years. I am married and my two kids are white, furry Jack Russell terriers, Jacky and Meadow.

Explain your Methodology?

I am a big believer in finding every possible solution to a haunting before assuming something is haunted. On every investigation I conduct EMF readings near walls, floors, ceilings and appliances and note all windows, drafts, pipe situations, even possible mold and/or Radon in homes. Checking for weak spots in floors and on stairs as well as stability in every door is vital to be sure that we have covered every base when a client complains of symptoms of a possible haunting. I do not use K2 meters for questions and answers, I never had luck with the Ovilisk, getting it to communicate with the dead. I firmly believe the easiest way to gather evidence is the digital audio recorder and a good set of headphones.

Favorite Haunts?

The Harley House bed and breakfast in Lunenburg, MA and Luccedio Abbey in Turin, Italy. The Massachusetts B&B is very easy to get good EVP’s from, and the old monastery in Italy was successful with the touchy-feely ghosts all night long.

Personal Experiences

I grew up in a haunted house so the experiences are too many to list here. I have seen apparitions, I have seen spirits of dead animals, I have been touched, I hear disembodied voices and I have seen things move on their own. There’s not much I haven’t experienced in the paranormal world. I refrain from demonic cases as I simply have no interest in getting into spiritual warfare.

Why did you get into paranormal?

Since growing up in a haunted house was traumatic, I grew up wanting to learn as much as I could about my surroundings. We did not have the internet in the 80’s and the world relied on books. Once moving away from the haunted home I grew up in, I began a new life in yet another haunted home, a former schoolhouse from the 1800’s and before that, the city’s first fire house. Plenty of energy and spiritual activity here! I contacted TAPS members for an investigation and it led to a wonderful relationship where I was able to join the team.

What’s Next?

I begin my University tour performing lectures, I absolutely love this part of the job because I get to see the faces on the students as I explain about paranormal activity from around the world. They are very wide-eyed to the topic, have not been tainted by being directly involved with the field and it’s simple and pure fun. I look forward to my book that is co-authored with accomplished writer Katie Boyd, it will be out in the spring published by Schiffer. Having written my first book was absolutely amazing – and hard work – but it will be worth it to see it on book shelves. Also next year, the History Channel will air the 100th Anniversary of the Ouija board for Hasbro Co. and I was part of the documentary filming for having invented a Ouija board product.

Dream Case/Investigation?

I would love to investigate the Queen Mary and St.Augustine lighthouse. I can’t believe I haven’t yet…

Do you think that paranormal shows gives groups like you a bad reputation?

Absolutely. I hate being accused of faking evidence on television when its not true, other shows have given some of the honest ones a bad name.

Name some Random Facts about you?

I used to sing and play piano at three years old. I am related to Joe Pilato, horror film celebrity. I attended honors English classes and failed miserably at Algebra. My last wish is to have Micheal Crawford sing “Music of the Night” to me, if I were dying.

Are you a skeptic or a believer?

Both, and I think you have to be! No one wants a negative Nelly slamming down potentially good evidence. I am a believer because of my experiences growing up, no one will ever change that. However I have learned through experience that 99% of ‘ghosts’ can be explained with proper knowledge and simple common sense.