Exclusive Interview: Marie Gilbert Talks to the Stars of ‘History’s Most Haunted’

Tonight (September 8) at 10 pm ET, the new series History’s Most Haunted premiers on T+E. The show sounds perfect for ghost hunters and anyone who loves a spooky series.

History’s Most Haunted follows paranormal experts Corine Carey, Leanne Sallenback and Kelly Ireland as they travel across North America meeting with those who have come face-to-face with the unknown. The trio are on a mission to unlock a deeper understanding of the hauntings that take place in the world-famous locations they visit. Featuring stylized, cinematic dramatizations of eyewitness accounts, coupled with rich context provided by experts, historians and locals, Corine, Leanne and Kelly will bridge the gap between past and present in a fresh new way. The documentary series shows how paranormal investigations can enrich people’s understanding of history by giving voices to the spirits of those who lived it.

Our own Marie Gilbert had a chance to screen the first two episodes of the series and talk via email to Corine, Leanne, and Kelly about the series.

How did you meet, and what started you three on your ghost investigations?

Corine: Leanne and I are sisters and we grew up sharing a room together, and Leanne and Kelly met in high school. Over the years we all became close and we began investigating as adults but more seriously in the past 8 years or so, and opened our company Beyond the Haunting Investigations in 2017.

Kelly: I met Leanne in high school, we played on the volleyball team together. We had a lot of fun, so we hung out more and more, despite the fact that she talked about “weird” things. She spoke of topics and ideas I hadn’t ever heard of or thought possible. And then I started hanging out at her house, and met Corine and saw their dynamic together, as well as their unique abilities. Seeing Corine in action crushed all my preconceived ideas about how “things” work. Her knowledge and readings for people really opened my eyes. Also watching them play “Spot the Spirit” (which was something they had played from early on in their lives in their shared bedroom) was something to see! They started taking me to haunted places and I really went in as a fly on the wall, watching with an open mind, curious and taking it all in. Then after a while, I started to notice I was experiencing things too, so I started to say what I was feeling, seeing, hearing, etc. and they would validate it.

Are you all psychic/mediums? If so, how old were you when you began to notice the dead, and then to realize that they just wanted to tell you their stories?

Corine: We all have psychic abilities for sure. I was three years old when I had my first experience with a ghost who I later found out was my biological grandfather who had passed away in the 1960s. I was in a serious car accident with my grandmother and he was right beside me the entire time until help arrived. From that point forward I was able to see and somehow communicate with spirits who would present themselves and ultimately want me to communicate something to someone who needed to hear the message. So it’s been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Kelly: People like to call me an empath, but my abilities seem to evolve. I didn’t think I had abilities growing up, but then after spending time with Leanne and Corine, I started to remember things that happened when I was a child. My first memory was at about 2 or 3 years old. My parents had told me that our dog was “going away” and didn’t tell me he was being put down that afternoon. That night I woke up in the middle of the night, sat up in my bed, and looked over at my doorway to see my dog standing there looking at me. I remember feeling his love and feeling pleased and going back to sleep. The next morning I woke up and straight away asked my parents where our dog was — they shook their heads and told me he was “gone.” I remember being very confused, but there was no further discussion. 

As a young adult, I took a meditation class and that’s when I started to get clearer messages — right there in the first class. It was confusing at first to have things suddenly come through so clearly, but the more I learned to meditate and connect with myself, the easier it became for me to connect and communicate with spirits.

Leanne: I see and feel things more, have predictive dreams and a sense of knowing. Hard to describe. But I knew from a young age (4 or 5), I could see spirits. The cool thing that is ever-evolving is how these abilities are amplified when we are together. Somehow all of our abilities compliment each other in a way we can unravel the messages.

Do you do research of the property before starting your investigations?  

Corine: No. We do not do any research of a property or location before we investigate. We will obviously meet with a witness who has had an experience and hear what has happened, but we want to go in with an open mind and not have any preconceived ideas that could influence our own investigation. We also want to go in not knowing a lot, so that we can feel the energy of the space ourselves and see what we connect with first. Our research is always done after the investigation to see if what we experienced correlates with the history of the property and what the witness experienced as well. 

Kelly: I don’t do any research on the property. I like not knowing anything going in. I do, however, love to dig into research after, to follow any breadcrumbs that were left during the investigations but didn’t make sense.

Leanne: We rely on witness stories at first to share their experience with us – and we go in with an open mind and inevitably have our own experiences to share with them and try and figure out what’s going on. After we investigate is when most of the research happens.

Besides your natural abilities, what is your favourite equipment to use?

Corine: My favourite piece of equipment to use is the SLS camera. I always find it validating when I see a spirit and then we aim the SLS in the same place and a figure will map in where no living person is standing. To me that is validating what I am seeing and experiencing. 

Kelly: My favourite piece of equipment is the Ovilus. It’s always mind-blowing to me when spirits communicate their specific, unique messages with it. We have had skeptical crew members witness it in action and ask us if we programmed it to say what it said, or if we can make it say specific words for them. But we can’t, and that realization always blows their minds, too.

Leanne: I like using the Ovilus because it’s such a unique tool that adds a whole other layer of validation. When we sense and feel and name, and it actually confirms the name on the device it’s pretty incredible. Or sometimes it actually points us in another direction by telling us to go somewhere specific. For real.

What was your most terrifying case?

Corine: The most terrifying case… this season would be Bell Island in Newfoundland for me. There was one location where I was overwhelmingly told by spirit that we were not welcome and to get out. It was a very terrifying experience to be rushed by so much energy telling you to leave. I wasn’t sure I could continue but we did and the investigation was pretty intense. 

Kelly: Our Bell Island mine investigation had us feeling uneasy off the get-go. We weren’t sure if we would be able to investigate at all because as soon as we entered, Corine was just about maxed out with the spirits’ energy.

Leanne: For me the last location. Bell Island in Newfoundland. We were in the largest submarine mines in the world… underground, trying to connect with the miners who died there.

Have you ever had a spirit follow you home?

Corine: I have not had a spirit follow me home. I can say that most investigations are physically and emotionally draining so I often leave feeling exhausted, but have not yet had anything follow me home that I am aware of. 

Kelly: I have never had a spirit follow me home. I have had spirits connect with me to give messages about a future location, but they’ve never stayed.

Leanne: Yup. When we were investigating in Barkerville for Haunted Gold Rush I had someone follow me home and cause a stir in my home. I will do my best moving forward to make sure that doesn’t happen again, but it’s kinda a unique space where we are delving into the unknown and unexplained- so we will see for sure what happens.

Did you ever deal with a spirit that refused to cross over?

Corine: I think if we realize that spirits were once people too, then we can understand why sometimes some spirits refuse to cross over to wherever that may be. If a person was stubborn or had something to finalize in life before they passed, then their spirit may not be at rest to cross over until that task, or message is completed. So sometimes spirits are very active until they can resolve whatever issue is keeping them here. 

Learn more about History’s Most Haunted on T+E.

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