Since 2004, Syfy's "Ghost Hunters" has been exploring the often-creepy world of the paranormal, whether it be in a residential home or historical landmark that has reported ghostly activity that needed investigating. The team on the series has not only solved many a mystery but has also built an audience large and loyal enough to help the reality series surpass 100 episodes earlier this year and also lock in a seventh season renewal. While founding paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson continue to lead the crew known as TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), female investigators Kris Williams and Amy Bruni have broken stereotypes by being just as fearless as the guys in the field. In fact, as Williams and Bruni told our Jim Halterman recently, the actual field of paranormal investigators has more than a few token females on the job. Williams and Bruni also talked about the new cases coming up including a visit from some surprising celebrities from a certain Bravo reality franchise that help with an investigation in a Southern State.
Jim Halterman: What is the ratio of women to men in this line of work?
Amy Bruni: Oddly enough, in the actual paranormal field it is varied. There are a lot more females investigating then men. It just so happens that TAPS has a lot of men on the team but it seems to be that there are a lot of women who are interested in this line of work.
JH: The show and its spin-offs are so popular. Are you recognized more than ever?
Kris Williams: A lot more lately but a lot of times they just want to tell us their stories and stuff that happened to them.
JH: Kris, you've earned the nickname of 'Bait.' How did that come about?
KW: The guys started calling me that because they would put me in a situation by myself. They'd find out that something would happen when a woman was in the room... like if there was some sort of a 'woman vibe' there they'd send me in alone. Basically they just started to throw me in and I'd be ready for anything that came at me but I've always been kind of a tom-boy and I've never been one to scare easy. I remember when I was a little kid watching TV and I was always into watching horror movies. I used to be upset honestly because they'd always show the women when they were screaming and running and crying. When I came into this I just swore that I would tell all the boys that they're not going to get that from me. I like the fact that people are seeing us as females that don't scare easily.
JH: So has the belief in the paranormal really been with you since you were kids or when did it start for each of you?
AB: It's something I've been doing since I was 11 years old. I had experiences then so my Dad and I started investigating way back then. It certainly was amateurish but it's been life long for me.
KW: I've always had an interest in it. Our house was very active and my father had a lot of experiences and I had my own growing up. When I came into TAPS I came in with a belief in the paranormal and I did a lot of genealogy and I did a lot of the same thing of looking at public records and information on their lives so the guys put me in research.
JH: How do you know that there really is something going on in a location before you start filming?
KW: A lot of times our home team has been there or our other TAPS members have been to locations so we know that one of our groups have been there and they've had some experience to warrant a second look.
AB: Also, our producers are pretty good about checking on these places and making sure there is some recent activity. It's kind of why we've been ending up at places that are so active in the last few seasons because as we've become more known as a team people want us there. The first couple of seasons people didn't know what TAPS was or what 'Ghost Hunters' was so it was tougher to get in. Now, a lot of places want us to come in and people know that if they have legitimate activity that we're the ones to call.
JH: Do you watch any of the paranormal-type horror movies that are out there or would you be too critical of the field to enjoy it?
AB: If it's an old school movie like 'The Shining' or 'The Exorcist' then I'm down but I haven't seen 'Paranormal Activity' or anything like that.
JH: What else are we going to see on this show in the upcoming new episodes?
AB: We went to Philadelphia Zoo, which was a new thing for all of us. The Real Housewives of Atlanta come out and hang out with us in Atlanta.
JH: I want to see that episode! Talk about two very different shows coming together!
AB: It was really interesting, actually. I was definitely like 'Huh?' when they said that but you'll be surprised at what you see.
KW: They were coming in with their high heels and big hair but it actually went really well. They did great.
JH: You seem so fearless on the show but what actually scares you?
KW: Bugs scare me because they are disgusting!
AB: I'm scared of relationships! [Laughs.]
JH: You should have asked the Atlanta Housewives for advice!
New episodes of "Ghost Hunters" begin airing tonight at 9:00/8:00c on Syfy.