Heather Woodward is tuned in: she is the first psychic to be featured in a Paranormal Investigator Profile. Heather is an author, clairvoyant, tarot reader, producer and screenwriter: talk about a seriously cool combination of talents! She’s also the author of “Ghosts of Central Arizona.”
Where do you live?
To what investigation teams do you belong?
Right now, I am a free agent.
What made you want to be a paranormal investigator?
I have always had an interest in the paranormal since I was a kid. It never came to my mind that I was going to be a “paranormal investigator” – I just was one. The concept of ghosts and the after-life have always been fascinating to me especially since I lived in a good amount of haunted houses growing up.
Ghosts were not intrusive, they were forms that I had to share the house with. It became a curiosity for me to figure out what it was and where it came from. When I was around 7, I remember sitting in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room listening to the sounds of a man pacing in the kitchen. Only there was no man and all I could see was the slats of light coming in from the kitchen window. I used to sit there for what seemed like hours trying to figure out who the man was and why he paced in our kitchen.
When was your first investigation, and what was it like?
When my son was a baby, I worked in a video store that was haunted. Nobody liked going to the upstairs bedroom because people encountered a strange feeling and sometimes a dark apparition in the room to the right of the bathroom. I got permission from my manager to investigate the place. My boyfriend at the time was a photographer. We bought some infrared film and he put a time on the camera so that it would take pictures every 30 minutes until the film ran out. We set up the camera on a tripod, turned off all the lights and left it there overnight. In the morning, I opened with the manager to make sure that nobody touched the camera. I gave the film to my boyfriend and we developed the film in his bathroom. The pictures showed nothing for the first few hours. Then slowly but surely the outline of a head and a body showed up in the carpet. It looked like a chalk outline from a dead person. It took three pictures for it to show up and then three pictures for it to fade away. To this day I have never seen anything as weird as those pictures. On my days off I would go upstairs and perform EVP sessions by myself. A few times I got a woman humming. It was so distinct that it sounded like someone was sitting next to me.
Another time, I accidentally hit the rewind button and play button together (this was before digital media and I still used magnetic tape) and I heard a woman screaming and then distinctly the words, “Help me.” I was so startled by it that I rewound it a few more times and let other people listen to it without telling him what it was. I decided I was in over my head and we called Richard and Debbie Senate. They went through the place and Debbie Senate said the location was haunted by a dark haired woman who had died in the location. She said the upstairs used to be an apartment and she was killed upstairs. I showed the pictures to Richard Senate and had him listen to my backwards EVPs. He said it was very common for EVPs to be played both forwards and backwards on the tape since ghosts didn’t deal with linear time. He was intrigued by my findings.
A lot of the regular customers had weird experiences renting videos in the building especially going to the bathroom. So, when they found out I was investigating there was a lot of curiosity. So, I left the pictures and the tapes with my tape recorder at the front in a folder. One time I went to go pick it up and the manager said someone had taken it home and it was nowhere to be found. He didn’t know who had taken it. I was really bummed because I had no evidence that the place was haunted. Later, I found out the manager who I had spoken to had stolen the evidence and tried to sell it to some media company. He was looking to sell the story to make a quick buck.
To this day, I have never seen such compelling evidence of a haunting and I probably never will. I think it’s because I went in with no expectations and had an open attitude. I didn’t care if I got anything or not. I just wanted to have the experience.
What is your most memorable investigation so far?
Every time I have investigated Camarillo State University something has happened. There were two times that freaked me out so bad that I almost left. The first was when we were in the oldest building on the premises. It wasn’t even dark outside. We went in during the light of day and were walking around the building being quiet as possible.
Down a hallway we heard a woman whining, “Help me. Please, somebody help me.”
We called back to see if anyone followed us or if someone was stuck in the building. But nobody answered us. We even went so far as to search the building but we were the only ones there. Every so often we kept hearing the same woman’s voice always just out of reach.
On another occasion, my sister and I were investigating the old cafeteria. We found a bathroom at the end of the hallway that I had never seen before. My sister was filming so she wasn’t really paying attention to where we were going since she was looking through the lens of the camera. In order to get to the bathroom we had to walk through a utility room with all kinds of cleaning supplies. As soon as we walked in I told my sister that I had a bad feeling about the whole area and we should probably just leave. Ignoring me she said she wanted to go into the bathroom since it was a place we had never seen before. I was behind her and kept the door open while she walked in with the camera. All of sudden there was a loud BANG noise followed by two more. The whole bathroom shook. My sister was so frightened she handed the camera to me and ran the other way down the hallway.
I sat there and laughed because I was so afraid to do anything else. Later, we found the other investigators that went with us to try and debunk the noise. Nobody could figure out where or how the noise came from…
What is your dream investigation?
I have always wanted to investigate Waverly Hills and The Stanley Hotel.
What is your favorite method of investigating (i.e. EVP sessions, dowsing rods, etc.)?
I like good ol’ fashioned psychic investigation. Going into a place and experiencing the ambiance of the location.
Who do you look up to in the paranormal community?
There are few people who I truly respect in the community. Off the top of my head I admire Guy Jackson because he is so friggin’ smart and he knows just about every theory about ghosts and investigation. He also has a lot of cool equipment and he is fun to investigate with. He is always up for trying new techniques.
What is your advice to people who want to get involved in paranormal investigation?
Stop watching paranormal shows and read about the forefathers of paranormal. Study Spiritualism and Parapsychology. Actually read those silly little manuals that come with your equipment. There is important information in there.
What do you do outside of investigating (family, hobbies, job, etc.)?
I write books and screenplays. My boyfriend and I produce and make movies. I love to play Words with Friends and my sister just got me into Draw Something. I love reading and have a relationship with my Kindle Fire. Watching bad movies is fun too. For a living I perform tarot readings on the phone and in-person which is kind of fun. I get to talk to people all day and try to fix their problems. Or at least give them a heads-up about what’s next.
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