By Christopher Nagy
Shippy and Team Investigate Mid-Michigan Haunts
Steven T. Shippy is the director and lead investigator for the Seekers Paranormal Investigation Team as well as the creator of the “Haunted Saginaw” film series (hauntedsaginaw.com), which documents the team’s investigations into legendary local sites in the tri-city area.
What initially prompted your interest in paranormal activity?
I grew up in a home that was haunted by three spirits. It truly was a terrifying experience. Later on in life, after I had moved away and grew older, the fear turned into curiosity … wanting to know how, why spirits could be trapped earthbound or if they simply transcend realms.
When and why did the Seekers Paranormal Investigation Team begin, and how did that transition into the “Haunted Saginaw” film series?
I have been investigating since 1995. Around 2009, I decided perhaps it was time to start filming the investigations. We were using stationary cameras to capture activity, but I mean to document the process, the interviews and the journey. Once I cut it together, I started to show people around me, and their response led me to have a premiere showing of the film. I rented the Temple Theatre of Saginaw for two nights. The theater tried to talk me out of it, saying the venue was way too large for me and that we’d probably only sell a couple of hundred tickets as this was my first film release. We sold out both nights – 4,000 people – and turned away hundreds more. Since then, we have sold out every year for the last 10 years.
What was the team’s first investigation, and what were the results?
On film that would be the Schuch Hotel of Old Town Saginaw. So much happened there: doors slamming, disembodied voices, shadowy figures caught on camera and one of our investigators even got scratched while clergy was attempting to cleanse the property.
Do you think more and more people are starting to believe in the idea of afterlife activity?
Of course. As the field grows and technology increases, more and more evidence is being captured and displayed to the masses. What was once so taboo you shouldn’t speak of what you may have seen or heard can now be watched on every media platform in the world.
What would you say to someone who is not a believer?
I would say you have every right to your opinion. I don’t spend energy on explaining to someone that the sky is blue. Many of the homes and business we investigate are inhabited by people who start off by saying things like, “When things first started happening, I would try to explain it away with anything I could think of. I was a nonbeliever, a true skeptic.”
What is the biggest thrill about an investigation?
For me, at this point, helping people and solidifying their claims when possible. Capturing proof at this point just comes along with that.
What’s next in the “Haunted Saginaw” series?
“Haunted Saginaw” is about to premiere the 10th film Nov. 15-16 at the Temple Theatre of Saginaw. Tickets go on sale Oct. 1 and can be purchased online, by phone or at the Temple Theatre box office.
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