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SHORT, SWEET, SPOOKY. An Interview with SheHaunts

It’s short and sweet and it rolls off the tongue nicely. 

It is a refreshing softness in the all-to-common male-dominated world of paranormality.

She haunts.

Whether you emphasize the “she” or the “haunts” (go ahead, say it out loud, I’ll wait) you receive complimentary imagery of either a woman who sets herself apart from the status quo, or a woman who is the one actually doing the haunting.

Both, in all technicality, are correct.

And both are Gina Black, paranormal writer, blogger, artists, and explorer based in south Florida.

Gina began writing for Paranormality Magazine roughly a year and a half ago, drawn in (like many of us) by Instagram and the colorful network of freelance writers. “Everybody just has their own vibe,” she says. “Everybody [at Paranormality Magazine] has their own style…some are more cryptids, some people are more alien, some more paranormal.” 

Indeed, the publication supports a system of all-things-fortean, including Gina’s own “Artist Alley” feature. “I’m an artist, first and foremost,” she says. “Painting and drawing were my first love.” With a love for art and a love for the paranormal, Gina has created a network of spooky people who are into spooky art, having interviewed over a dozen of them at the time of this writing.

Her research into bold topics such as the Victorian ghost phenomenon and reviews of haunted places like the notorious Doll Head Trail outside Atlanta are whimsically detailed, her rich imagery providing the reader with a smirk and a dark appreciation for the provocative world of the paranormal. Gina sees travel as an opportunity to acquire more stories – perhaps her own, perhaps others’ – so she can continue to “sprinkle the spookies” throughout her writings, paintings, and storytellings

“Art is central for me when it comes to paranormal investigations.  I grew into this field and discovered my love for the paranormal; I brought all of my creative energy and wanted to paint a picture for people. If I’m telling you a story, I want to describe the location, put you in my shoes, and put you in my perspective. Painting that picture through descriptive words and imagery draws people into my story.”

Gina’s paranormal adventures have expanded beyond just the continental United States and the UK. Her time spent in Japan (on more than half a dozen occasions) gave her a different appreciation for the macabre through the lens of another culture. Contrary to the United States, the Japanese have a different respect for the dead and don’t typically investigate or contact their elders in the manner that we may be used to. Gina instead found herself mesmerized by the quiet cemeteries (one even behind her AirBnB) and intrigued by the gifts and trinkets visitors left behind for their departed loved ones (incense, tea cups, Kanji poetry).    

Gina approaches paranormal investigations with kindness, and her writing with profound appreciation. With many ghost hunters (pro and amateur alike) touting provocation and machismo as their go-to investigation technique, Gina prides herself in finding a meaningful connection with her haunted environments. “Being sensitive and intuitive [are] all great qualities to have as a paranormal investigator,” she says. “I’d rather go in with a kind attitude and maybe get a little less [evidence], but the evidence I do get is meaningful.”

GINA’S PARANORMAL BUCKET LIST

  • Winchester Mystery House
  • Pennhurst Asylum
  • Waverly Sanitarium 
  • Paris catacombs

One of Gina’s investigation techniques involves the use of music as a conduit for ghostly communication. “I think music is something that can bring a spirit back to a memory of a happier time,” she says. She and her husband had investigated a haunted carriage house which formerly housed slaves in the 1800s. “This was their happy space. They would sing and dance and have their dinner here,” she recalls. Her husband began to sing “Blue Suede Shoes” and some singing voices came through the spirit box in response. This was an extremely moving experience for not only Gina, but the other investigators and the docent accompanying them.

WHAT’S IN GINA’S EQUIPMENT BAG:

  • DR60 recorder
  • Sketchbook for automatic writing
  • Cheezits
  • Breath mints
  • Black Tourmaline protection crystals
  • Phone on airplane mode!

Gina recognizes that the paranormal doesn’t have to be scary; it can be educational, it can be emotional, and it can be a form of artistic expression. And she continues to find creative ways to “sprinkle the spookies” among her 25,000 followers of various social platforms.

Or, perhaps we should say, she continues to find ways to haunt her followers (technically speaking).

You can find SheHaunts on Instagram, Etsy, and TikTok under the same short-and-sweet name. Happy haunting!

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Kjersti Beth
Always on the lookout for the next weirdest thing to add to her obituary, Kjersti (Instagram: @kjee83) goes through life with her heart on her sleeve, her head in the clouds, and her cat on her lap. Her essays and photos have appeared in American Paranormal Magazine (2023), Haunted Magazine (2023), Paranormality Magazine (2023), The Feminine Macabre (2021), and The Quarterly Press: Myths, Fables, and Folklore (2020). Kjersti is also the 1st place winner of the Wisconsin's District 35 State Toastmasters "Tall Tales" Competition. With a foot in both worlds, Kjersti advocates for the continued research of the paranormal and leaving the world a little weirder than you found it.

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