Adam Berry is having a bit of a moment. His paranormal investigation show Kindred Spirits is one of Travel Channel’s most popular, and is currently filming its fourth season. Adam also participates in Strange Escapes with his Kindred Spirits co-star Amy Bruni, where the two, along with other paranormal professionals, guide participants through ghost hunts at some of America’s most haunted locals. And to top it all off, he’s happily married to his handsome husband, Ben Berry.
Seeing as October is here, autumn is in the air, and Halloween in fast approaching, I sat down with Adam to ask him some questions about his life, and to discover what he believes are the most haunted places in America.
By Keith David Langston
How did you get involved in the paranormal?
Adam: It was always a lifelong interest. Growing up, I loved Ghostbusters and stuff, and I always felt I was somehow attuned… Then, during a visit to Gettysburg, I wandered off to explore the battlefield. I started hearing the sounds of gunshots and saw bright lights. I couldn’t explain it, so I grabbed my friend, dragged them down to the battlefield, and they heard the sounds too! It’s something I just couldn’t explain, and that led to a lifelong search for the reason.
You came out to your fans (and all viewers) on national TV on your previous show ‘Ghost Hunters’ – Can you tell me a little bit about how that came to be?
Adam: Sure. Well, we were called down to New Orleans to investigate a haunting at a local bar. Back in the 70’s a lot of people were murdered there, and to this day, there’s been constant reports of strange activity. Shortly before we headed down, I was told that this wasn’t just any bar…this was the site of the old UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar where 32 LGBTQ people were murdered in 1973, after an arsonist lit the building on fire and patrons became locked in the second floor. Up until the Pulse Shooting, it was the deadliest attack against the gay community in American history. As an LGBT person, I started researching the event furiously. I wanted to know as much info as possible before we got down there.
When we started the investigation, we had trouble finding anything. There wasn’t any activity going on. So, with the support of my friend Amy Bruni, who was also part of the Ghost Hunters team, I told the spirits that I was gay, and that the world had changed a lot since the early 70’s, and there was nothing to be afraid of. Suddenly, we started picking up activity. It was such a powerful moment.
When the episode aired, there was some backlash. People who didn’t know I was gay were furious. Parents contacted the network claiming that now they had to explain what being gay was to their children… But at the same time, I received some great response too. People told me that I had become a role model, that it was great knowing LGBTQ people were in the paranormal world, and that the world needs more visible LGBTQ people.
Are you glad it happened?
Adam: Absolutely. I’m glad the viewers got to know the real me. I had been out for a long time, but obviously, I hadn’t really mentioned anything on TV. I think it was for the best.
Through ghost hunting, you’ve probably been to some truly terrifying locations. Where are the most haunted places you’ve ever been?
Adam: Oh wow, ok let’s see here… Well, the Waverly Hills Sanitorium is definitely on that list. I’ve been there three times, and every single time has been nuts! It’s an old tuberculosis hospital in Kentucky where countless people died. When you walk in you can feel the misery and the pain that’s still there.
Also, the Stanley Hotel (The hotel The Shining was filmed in). It is so beautiful, but soooo haunted. There is an insane amount of paranormal activity there. I can see why Stephen King felt inspired to write his story while he was staying there. It’s crazy!
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is another place that is ridiculously haunted. It’s an old insane asylum where terrifying things happened. It was over-crowded, and the people were forced to live in horrible conditions. I’ve been there numerous times, and the scariest part about the place is that the spirits actually recognize me. We’ve even picked up voices saying ‘Adam’ on EVP devices during investigations.
But I think the most haunted place so far has been Maplecroft, in Massachusetts. Maplecroft is the house that Lizzie Borden moved into after the trials, and later died in. We’ve actually communicated with her in the home, and we’ve even heard her say her name through EVP devices. And what’s so crazy is that she is such a talker. You can have full-blown conversations with Lizzie Borden! But the second you ask her about the murders, all the communication stops. Everything goes dead. When you change the topic, she starts up again. It’s crazy because she’s still in that house! I feel so lucky to have had that experience.
So what’s next for Adam Berry? What’s the next haunted destination you’re off to?
Adam: Well, we’re shooting the new season of Kindred Spirits, and I think it’s going to be amazing. And on October 4th I’m partaking in a massive investigation in Salem, Massachusetts. Travel Channel is bringing a couple of investigative teams together to check out multiple locations throughout Salem. Some locations include the Proctor House, which is where John and Elizabeth Proctor lived… the family that inspired The Crucible, as well as the Ipswich Jail, which is where the accused witches were held as they awaited trial and execution.
What makes Salem so exciting for you?
Adam: I believe in the power of intent, and that energy can be manifested. I think that horrible things have happened in Salem throughout history, but I also think that because everyone on this planet believes Salem is haunted, it gives Salem’s hauntings more energy. Remember Oprah when she loved that book The Secret? It’s like The Secret, but rather than positive intent, it’s negative intent. This one little town has such an intense reputation, and I think that actually impacts Salem. It’s going to be crazy, I can’t wait to get up there!