Jacob Rice is a founding member of Ghostly Activities. He’s the researcher and equipment tech on the team. Let’s get to know him better.
What’s your hometown?
Seattle, but Chicago is my second hometown.
How long have you been interested in the paranormal?
I think I was 5-years old when I became fascinated with ghosts and monsters. My family liked to tell ghost stories and watch scary movies. I grew up with spooky stuff.
When did you have your first ghostly encounter?
I was almost 30 when it happened. I know, I’m a late bloomer. A being manifested in the elevator of my apartment building. Luckily, I willed it away.
What’s the one ghost hunt you liked the best?
The Congress Hotel in downtown Chicago. The ghosts are very active and very willing to communicate.
What’s the one ghost hunt you wish you could do over?
Manteno State Mental Hospital. I rushed through the research and the investigation turned into legend tripping (a photo-taking tour of a haunted site). I didn’t get a chance to interview the locals. They don’t want you snooping around the old cottages.
What do you think about using psychics on investigations?
Is this a trick question (laughing)? I think each ghost hunting group needs to set its own agenda. If they want to be only scientific, that’s fine. If they want to be a psychical research group, that’s fine, too. Ghostly Activities tends to blend science and psychical research. The equipment gives us the hard data (empirical data points) and the psychic feedback gives us the soft data (qualitative data points). I find the two approaches can complement each other, but I use the hard data when I make conclusions.
What advice can you give new ghost hunters?
Do your research. Don’t be afraid to go the library and learn about the suspected haunt. Believe me, librarians have had stranger requests. Also, learn how to use the equipment. You don’t want to be on site and fumbling through the digital camera instructions. You’ll lose precious investigation time. I would recommend practicing in a cemetery during the day. Cemeteries are great training grounds for new ghost hunters.