Paul Bradford interview: The wizard of paranormal tech talks Trending Fear

Photo: Paul Bradford inin Travel Channel's new original series Trending Fear.. Image Courtesy Travel Channel
Photo: Paul Bradford inin Travel Channel's new original series Trending Fear.. Image Courtesy Travel Channel /

Paul Bradford is the tech master of the new Travel Channel series, Trending Fear. We had the chance to sit down with this real-life ghostbuster to discuss all things paranormal.

Paul Bradford is more than a ghostbuster. In fact, he is an inventor who builds working props like the TARDIS from Doctor Who and various equipment for investigating supernatural phenomenon. His new series on the Travel Channel, Trending Fear premieres this week.

We were fortunate enough to sit down with the seasoned veteran to discuss his show and all things paranormal.

The Interview – Part 1: Master Builder

1428 Elm: Hi, Paul! It’s a pleasure to speak with you. We wanted to know how you got into the paranormal. You are a tech wizard. We read that you have made several full-size working props from Doctor Who, like the TARDIS, a Dalek and K9. Plus, you wrote, “Wish You Were Here,” which is a travel photography book. What prompted you to use your skills for otherworldly pursuits?

Paul Bradford: Part of it was being a nerd. Being a geek is what it all stems from. So, basically, I grew up watching too much television. When I was five, I saw Ghostbusters and I wanted to be one. Because of that movie and shows like The X-Files I got into the paranormal.

Honestly, I was always an out of the box thinker so when I joined a paranormal team, it became very obvious, very fast that you couldn’t buy ghost hunting equipment. There was no such thing.

What I set out to do was to try and make things a little easier for investigations. I created the IR Light extenders. Back in the day you could only get the Sony hand-held night vision cameras. They were the only ones that made them.

With regular IR Lights, you can only see 7 to 10 feet maximum. However, with the extenders the field of vision increases to 50 feet. When that invention took off, other teams started to ask me to build lights for them so I did that.

I did a couple of talk radio shows and then somewhere along the line a television production company hit me up and asked if I would join them. That is what sort of put me into the limelight.

I never stopped building or creating stuff. A lot of people don’t realize that I was building equipment before I was ever on a TV show.

1428 Elm: Are you still involved with GhostStop, the Ghost Hunting Equipment site? I know that you have built several specialized devices for them.

Paul Bradford: I’m not building devices for them but they are still building devices that I invented for them. The owner of GhostStop is a very good friend of mine. I remember we would have brainstorming sessions whilst playing Call of Duty.

We would be playing this game and we both really sucked, we really were very, very, bad at it and so were our friends. That is why we would put ourselves in a private room and play each other.

During these games, we would get ideas and then we would say, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that?” That was where a lot of my creations came from. By being out in the field, you know what you need.

For example, “What if we could get something to go into that crawlspace?” That’s where the necessity to build things comes from.

1428 Elm: You were on Ghost Hunters International for a couple of years. Was that a natural progression from building ghost hunting equipment? How did that happen?

PB: I was behind the scenes building a few things. That is how they picked me up. It was definitely an experience. What you didn’t see with that show was me actually building equipment.

Part 2: On the Trail of Trending Fear

1428 Elm: We had the chance to watch the first episode of Trending Fear, “Evil Deliverance.” This series is more than your standard ghost hunting show. The way that you, Adam and Jen interact with the clients and take their situations to heart is very compelling. Were you familiar with Adam’s #DearDavid series? Who approached you to be a part of the Travel Channel show?

Paul Bradford: I wasn’t familiar with #DearDavid. I’m not really very good at social media so I wasn’t initially aware of his series until I was contacted by the production company. Basically, from what I understand, Adam and Jen are best friends but they don’t have any ghost hunting experience.

This is where I come into it. I do have a social media presence. It’s not quite the extent of Adam and Jen but as far as the paranormal community, people come to me, they send me photographs on a daily basis asking me to identify various things.

With my building background, I could see that Trending Fear was a good opportunity for me so I got on board with this one. When they approached me to be part of the series and they explained what the show was going to be about I knew it wasn’t cookie cutter.

It’s not something that I had done before and the series is genuinely about helping people. There are those that have used social media to reach out in the hope that they could get some answers.

We give those that might not be seen a voice. We went out there using crowd sourcing platforms to find people that need our help.

1428 Elm: Do you think that using social media platforms is what sets Trending Fear apart from other paranormal productions?

Paul Bradford: I think what sets us apart is that we are using technology that is in everybody’s life at this point. There is no escaping it. We are all integrated in social media.

We share information daily, probably too much information and ultimately, we are utilizing that as a tool to find answers and people. Why would you deny yourself that tool, something that is helpful?

As a team we are connecting on an emotional level with these people that come to us for assistance. You can see that it generally affects us. That was one of the reasons I wanted to be a part of this project was to be that resource for people who don’t know where to turn to.

1428 Elm: Is there a particular episode that made an impact on you?

Paul Bradford: Yeah, there is. There were quite a few. Spoiler Alert! One of the episodes involves bringing in a voodoo priestess. This was one of the cases where we went on the investigation and we expected one thing and everything just sort of turned on its head and turned out to be something completely different.

We had to reach out and find someone who was an expert in the field of voodoo.

1428 Elm: Any advice for individuals that might want to get involved in investigations?

Paul Bradford: I would advise people to research. Bear in mind, what you see is a much smaller version on our show of what happens. We do a week of research.

You can be standing in a room for four hours asking questions to a brick wall and when you’re done, you go back to your hotel. The next day you listen to the audio hoping to hear a voice, so you will end up doing that and watching footage.

It’s a hobby that takes up a lot of time. There’s no monetary compensation for these investigations, you are trying to get answers. You’re not going to get rich quick.

Of course, there is the equipment element as well. Use a voice recorder and your camera on your phone. Don’t go out and buy an infrared camera. Figure out if this is a hobby that you want to do.

You may have an interest in the paranormal but it might be better to just research it, read books and watch movies. It may not be the thing for you.

However, if you feel that you want to pursue ghost hunting, seek out local investigation teams and see if you can tag along.

What great advice for those out there who are thinking about getting into the ghostbusting business. Thanks to Paul Bradford for taking the time to speak with us.

Next. Trending Fear sneak peek: Season 1, Episode 1 top 3 moments. dark

Do you remember Paul Bradford from Ghost Hunters International? Will you be tuning into Trending Fear? Let us know in the comments.

You can catch Trending Fear Dec. 20 on Travel Channel at 11 p.m.