Sam: Thank you for your time, Morgan, pleasure to meet you! How did this start for you – where did it all begin?
MORGAN: My first experience was as a kid, like most of us. But I think I knew right then this was what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until about six years into my studies years later, with Stephanie Wertz, when I realized my great great grandfather, Albert Durrant Watson, was the founder of parapsychology in Canada. I had no idea before that, no one talked about it in the family. Ultimately it started with a passion and curiosity. I think there’s a difference between a passion and gift. A passion is something you love doing, a gift is something you excel at doing. It’s not always the same thing for people, but for me, it really correlated. Everything really clicked for me around this and there’s really nothing else I can imagine myself doing anymore. So, it started with an experience, but it continues because it’s a calling. Doing anything else would feel like a deviation from my purpose. With Steph, I was very lucky because not only was she my best friend, but she was passionate like I was. We really became a force to be reckoned with in a lot of ways because she was the details person, and I was the big picture person. She has since passed away, but carrying on what we built with Entityseeker Paranormal Research & Teachings and expanding it is part of my motivation also.
Sam: The genre and all that’s connected, is so over-run with various investigators and researchers… How did you decide to take a different approach?
MORGAN: I’ve always been an artist first. I’ve always been about the theatre and storytelling. Not necessarily in a fictitious way, but as a method and opportunity to move people. I sketch, I paint, I use fire, I act, I write, but always with intention. When I came across paranormal phenomenon when I was nine, I was terrified at first, but moved by it. It evoked so much: curiosity, fascination, fear, adventure, passion. I knew intuitively that what I had glimpsed was so much deeper than the surface of what we see in films and specifically now in the television ghost hunter shows of the last 15 years. The essence of art and theatre is connection. It’s a connection with something greater than us, it’s the source we tap into to bring something larger than ourselves to life. The more I came to understand the paranormal, the more I understood that the things we are all witnessing are expressions of that source. It’s the essence of what we as artists channel. And if we can have a deeper understanding of that, we can ultimately reach new potentials.
Sam: Again, with so many genres within this field muddying the waters… How is the current understanding of the paranormal changing?
MORGAN: For me personally, I went through a shift early on where I stopped chasing the phenomenon and began to shift my focus to the causation of the phenomenon. I wanted to understand it. I think everyone starts there: They want to see more and more and more. I love experiencing it, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing like it on the planet, truly. Experiencing it is, and always will be, magical to me, but I hit a point where I wanted to understand what the engines were behind it, and how I was a part of that. When I really delved into psi and psychokinesis, that’s when things began to really click for me because I began to understand just how deeply we are involved in creating our physical reality. Life happens through us, not to us. We create our experiences, literally, through our focus, emotions, and perceptions. I think the public is hitting a very similar pinnacle. The entertainment side is fun, but for the people who want more than fun, it’s never going to be enough. So, with bigger questions, come bigger answers.
Sam: You’re fortunate to have worked with a variety of fellow researchers… Are there any key researchers that helped to shift your perspective?
MORGAN: Dr. William Roll was definitely one of them. He was one of the first to really connect psi with the science of quantum understanding. He pulled a lot of theories together for me, especially in the last number of years of his research. Theories that I had been tossing around for decades really got confirmed for me when I started reading his papers. Dr. Alexander Moreira-Almeida is another one, with his work involving mediums and fMRI research. It’s people like him who is really bringing this stuff into the field of medical science and is irreplaceable in parapsychology. But I have so many people around me all the time who blow me away: Colleagues, friends, philosophers. It’s just ever-evolving and ever-transforming. Just when I think I’ve figured it out, something new evolves and I love that.
Related Jason Hewlett: I want to believe
Sam: As the supernatural and paranormal becomes ever more popular… Why is this change so crucial at this point in history?
MORGAN: I think the reason this is so crucial right now is that ‘ghost hunting’, firstly, has become a thrill-for-ratings business. I think the meaning of this phenomenon has really been lost to reality television which has been skewed with real life. In reality, what we see on television has absolutely nothing to do with parapsychology. Parapsychology is the leading edge of science right now involving quantum physicists, neuroscience, mind into matter research, psychology, and more. It is the leading field looking at the hard questions about how our minds and spirits work, and I think it looks at the unknown with a different energy. Right now, we are living in a fear-driven world: Fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of each other, fear of “fill in the blank”, and we really have a duty to put this in front of people in a way that promotes curiosity. We have seen what fear gets us, haven’t we? Minds shut down, hearts shut down, people stop listening and learning.
Sam: How do you use your art to translate it and make it accessible to the public?
MORGAN: As I got older and I delved further into proper research, I realized there is absolutely no bridge between the general public and what researchers in labs like Princeton (P.E.A.R) were doing. Literally none. And I realized in the same breath that, as an artist, I could bring this information to people in a way that is understandable, fun, entertaining, educational, and leave them in a place where they want to be curious. I’ve always been very picky about what television projects I’ve picked just for that reason. Haunted Hospitals and Paranormal 911 have been perfect for that because they have a wonderful blend of giving first responders a voice, storytelling for the audience, and I also have the chance to present facts to the best of my knowledge to the audience. You have to be able to tell a story when you’re dealing with television and film or theatre, you can’t stand up there and lecture. People get bored, that’s what they go to school for. My job is to take them on a journey and get people to remember what I’m teaching through their own feeling of connection. I always have said “People may not remember the play, but they will remember how they felt about it”, and that expression holds true for this as well. They may not remember every fact I give them about hauntings, or an investigation conducted in New York, but they will remember how they felt. When people feel a sense of connection to what they’re seeing, it changes them. They don’t get that from reading a stack of white papers. It may be good information, but most won’t take the time to read through a published study.
Sam: So, you’re no stranger to those in the emergency services… How has your work with police and first responders impacted your work?
MORGAN: It’s an area that’s growing steadily. More organizations such as police departments and medical research centres are clueing in that they really need to acknowledge that professionals are having these experiences. In the area of police and even in the military, we’re seeing more departments vocalize their need for this and programs are being put in place. It’s a slow process but the reality is these cases have been investigated under the carpet for a long time, it’s just now being put on a more public table.
Sam: How did fire breathing, and fire eating become a part of your work?
In all seriousness, do you consider it magic or science?
MORGAN: It’s all science, every bit of it. Science and alignment and self-understanding. I don’t use gimmicks or put secret ointments on my hands, nothing like that. The reason I got into fire began because a friend of mine was a fire breather and he offered to teach me, so I jumped on it. During that process and then again during the process of learning fire eating under my Australian teacher, I began to realize that there were keys to understanding the unknown within the fire work itself. I began to realize that there was breathwork, mastering fear, mind over matter, re-writing my own narrative and things like that which were all a part of learning the art of fire. It’s exactly the same as the paranormal and a very similar process. We grow up with these narratives about fire: “Don’t touch fire, fire is hot! It’s destructive!” And while that is all true, there is a science which allows a grey area. The paranormal has a similar narrative to the general public: “It’s evil, it’s scary, don’t get involved in it,” or “That’s not real, that doesn’t exist!”
The reality is the majority of people have super positive experiences and it changes their lives for the better, and there is more evidence there than not. The scary experiences happen, but not near as often as the positive ones. Moreover, we are not separate from it. We are all that non-physical energy, just physical translations of it. I think denying the paranormal is denying a part of who we are and that’s not good, especially as more evidence is gathered that our own thoughts and energy is actually the cause of much of the phenomenon.
Sam: You have a new podcast that launched in October called Supernatural Circumstances, and it’s been getting fantastic reviews. Tell us about that and how it got started.
MORGAN: I’ve always got stuff on the go, but my latest project is my new podcast with Mike Browne, ‘Supernatural Circumstances’. Mike and I met doing his show, ‘Dark Poutine’, a brilliant Canadian true crime podcast. I was on his show talking about the Amherst Mystery and we clicked philosophically. I think we realized pretty quickly we were both seeking the same type of programming and information and it wasn’t out there. I had been doing a livestream series over the pandemic called “Spiritual Healthcare” and at the time I wanted to evolve that into something more. So, the idea behind Supernatural Circumstances is to talk about the cases people care about, but take the conversation further than anyone else is doing: Elevate the conversation with new information, insight, and guests of the highest calibre in neuroscience, folklore, psi, psychology – you name it. And then, at the end, we have a Spiritual Healthcare segment with exercises people can use to get themselves into a better place in their lives. We’re wanting this to be an experience for people on all levels, but ultimately leave them in a new and better headspace (and hopefully with new curiosity too).
Sam: This all sounds fascinating and very exciting… Can you give us an example?
MORGAN: Yeah, one of the cases we tackle in the second and third episode is the story and cases of the Wendigo. I grew up in the same neighbourhoods as these tales and since then, I’ve become aware that they simply aren’t tales. It’s so much more than that. The conversation around that subject was one we had with folklore expert Chad Lewis, who has a master’s in psychology. Instead of talking about the history itself, which has been beaten to death, it became a discussion on how consciousness and trauma can manifest into a thinking entity, and asking some big questions: Is that what Wendigo is? It became a two-episode subject for us and will likely include similar cases down the road, but the conversation was absolutely fascinating for everyone involved. I think we asked some new questions and I hope it will get others to do the same.
Sam: What do you want in the “future”… What’s next for Morgan Knudsen…?
MORGAN: I have a new book in the works, so that’s going to be great. It’s a sequel to my first book, “Teaching the Living: From Heartbreak to Happiness in a Haunted Home”. I’m not decided on the title yet, although I’ve tossed some around over the last little while. But I hope to broaden the conversation in the same way Supernatural Circumstances does and bring a lot of facts to life that I don’t think people are aware of. Where we are and what has been proven in the world of the paranormal is so above and beyond what most realize, so it’s going to be an exciting release when it’s done.
I would definitely love to see more collaborations with film and television as well. I think TV has become another mode of teaching now, as well as entertainment. When you can tell a story in a meaningful way, you teach. Your audience is always learning and as much as there can be negative stuff on television, there is a lot of gold star programming and so many teachable moments. I definitely am always open to opportunities like that: to be able to convey something memorable and teachable for audiences, whether it be in Canada or the US. And hopefully, I’ll be able to hit the stages again with some of my live programs and presentations as well. Nothing beats a live audience for a theatre lover like me.
Sam: Well that about wraps it up!
Again, this was fascinating! – Thank you, Morgan, – have a wonderful winter!
Morgan Knudsen can be reached via the following links!
Supernatural Circumstances is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and anywhere you listen.