My interviews here at Horror Society has been lacking since my addition to the site back in January. I personally get more enjoyment out of reviewing films and posting news. However, I have noticed a lot of the other writers get a lot of attention for their interviews which forced me to get my ass into gear and start doing more of them.
Most people associate Horror Society with horror films but we are a site dedicated to horror in general and what is more horrifying than the thought of ghosts? That brings me to this West Virginia based paranormal group, Country Roads Paranormal Investigations or C.R.P.I. for short. I met the founder, Dave Spinks, one day while at work. He visited the store I work at with problems with his cell phone. While I was troubleshooting his device I noticed his wallpaper. I asked him about it he revealed that he did in fact co-head a paranormal investigation group. I hold the highest respect for anyone who is able to do what they truly love in the state. People like C.R.P.I. and Razor Sharp Studios are real role models for any West Virginian and I respect them both.
When Dave left the store I felt like an idiot for not asking him if I could interview him and his team for the site. It took me a little over two weeks to track him and his group down on Facebook in order to request an interview where they all graciously accepted.
This interview consists of Dave Spinks (co-founder and lead investigator), Billy Spinks (co-founder and lead investigator), and Devin Spinks (lead photographer and investigator) and was conducted over Facebook.
So I will start this off with something simple so we can get to know you guys. At what age did you become interested in paranormal research and what inspired you to do so?
Dave: “about 15 for me I had an experience when my grandpa died. I was visiting my Dad and my grandpa who lived in another town was sick for years, I had a dream that my grandpa was standing there beside my bed , long story short I was concerned about him after having this dream so I called up there the next day and my uncle from out of town answered and I said what are you doing there and he said no one called you yet and i said no why? He then told me my grandpa died last night. So to me it was like he came to say goodbye to me.”
Billy: I’ve been interested for several years, but when I really became interested is when I had an experience back in 2000 while at an in-service class at Moundsville Prison. I saw an apparition that I didn’t realize was not a real person until I talked with some of the people who worked there. The guy I saw and followed was not there and was the same guy that had been seen by many other people. It was a ghost of an ex-inmate.
Devin: I really became interested at a young age, when all the paranormal shows were coming out. I could not wait to get started when my dad, Billy and cousin Dave decided to start this group.
You guys are based out of West Virginia, have you always lived in the mountain state?
Billy: Dave was born here, grew up in other states from time to time, but our entire family are from the Summersville area and Dave came in every summer. He came back to live permanently in 2001 when he got out of the military. I lived in Summersville for 36 yrs and for the past 4 yrs have lived in Lewisburg, WV. Devin still lives in Nicholas County where he grew up.
What are some of the challenges you face being a paranormal investigator? Are any of those challenges brought on by living in WV?
Billy: We haven’t run in to many challenges. Most everyone supports us in our endeavors. Our entire family loves what we are doing and supports us 100%. We have had a few clients who contacted us who were a little “crazy” acting. We screen every contact before we choose to investigate their location. The questionnaire we use is very in-depth and personal, so we are able to weed out the ones we feel are not factual. West Virginia holds a lot of history and we feel it is a perfect state for investigations.
Dave: we occasionally run into people who say we shouldn’t be messing with that sort of stuff and we are gonna go to hell.
That is actually my next question. I personally know how closed minded people are in this state and growing up I did catch some hell for my unhealthy horror obsession. Do you guys ever meet negativity for what you do by those WV natives? If you do, what do they normally say to you?
Devin: On occasion we do run into that sort of situation. For instance, many people confronted my mom about me being in the paranormal field and telling her that i was going to hell.
Dave: one of the reasons we do this is to try and help people who believe they are having paranormal experiences in their homes or other locations, we try and debunk everything until we find that their reported experiences are genuine
Do you guys only investigate hauntings in the state or do you travel?
Dave: Oh no we travel all over the place, we have been to Virginia,Kentucky, Tennessee , as well as all over West Virginia. Also I will be going to Nevada on a paranormal Investigation with Live Sci Fi Tv Later this summer.
That gets me to my next question. What are some of the places you guys have investigated?
Billy: We have investigated multiple residential locations. We have gone to numerous counties within the state to include: Nicholas, Greenbrier, Summers, Monroe, Wyoming, Raleigh and tonight have a location in Logan County. We have investigated the Whipple Company Store in Fayette County, Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Lewis County, Moundsville Penitentiary, and St. Albans Sanitarium in Radford, Va. We are going to Waverly Hills on June 5th in Louisville, Ky as part of an elite lead investigators-only investigation that Dave and I were invited to attend. Dave has also investigated Bobby Mackeys in Wilder, Ky with Live Sci-Fi TV.
Billy: We also have a signature location at the Ronceverte Armory in Greenbrier County. We have investigated it several times and love it there.
What are the contributing factors you look for when choosing a location to investigate?
Dave: Sincerity of the client, types of paranormal activity. If there is a child involved we make this a priority investigation and try to get there as soon as possible. The number of persons experiencing activity is also a good indication of true paranormal activity. History of the location, tragic deaths, suicides, murders, etc. that could cause paranormal activity.
Is there a location you guys would love to investigate and have not been able to?
Billy: There have been several people who have contacted us to investigate their homes with some very interesting claims who have cancelled at last minute because they feared our investigation may increase the activity. We would love to get to investigate some of the state parks but have run onto the problem of them not being open past 10 pm. We are currently seeking approval to investigate them. Money issues have kept us from investigating some of the commercial locations. Several of these charge outrageous prices for private investigations. We would love to got abroad to investigate to England, France, Italy and Ireland to investigate the most famous locations.
Out of the investigations you have done, have you found any evidence of life after death?
Dave: I believe we have had several experiences that may indeed show evidence of this, one specfic case ant the Ronceverte Armoy we actually communicated with a WW2 hero who died in the Phillipines , He answered a couple of questions on our spirit box that were exclusive to his history and background. I asked him what sport he played at the military academy and he answered clear as day Football. which it is well known that he was a football star for ARMY, This needless to say blew our minds
Dave: As well as some video we have that was taken with one of Billys camera that can only be explained as a spirit.
Devin: You can view our evidence on our Youtube page
Paranormal investigators are sometimes met with closed minds. How do you guys handle skeptics?
Billy: I am actually a very religious person and the majority of the skeptics use religion to contradict us. We do not argue others’ beliefs and do not try to sway anyone to believe as we do. We simply explain our views and if they do not agree, that’s fine. People are going to believe the way they do no matter what. We don’t want to cause controversy. We simply believe the way we do and let everyone else have their own beliefs.
Finally, what is your favorite horror film?
Dave: Yes has to be the Exorcist for me, It scared the crap out of me but I love many, Many Horror movies.
Billy: So many to choose from. I think I’ll give you the movie that I remember scared me the most. It would have to be the original “Evil Dead” movie. Yes, a little cheesy, but truly a classic.
Devin: he hardest question…. I definitely have to choose The Scream series… I know its a slasher. änd to quote the film, “there is just something about a guy in a mask”
C.R.P.I. currently has a busy schedule ahead of them with more investigations planned throughout the year. If you are interested in the work these fine young men are doing then please head over to their Facebook, youtube, and official site to show them some love. Links are posted below.
*photos provided by Devin Spinks