It's been quite a week for a group who've been dubbed "Britain's female ghostbusters". Although fairly well known in the UK's paranormal
scene, few would have heard of these seven female paranormal buffs, but after a crazy rollercoaster ride of a week, they've been given their moment in the spotlight.
It all started on Monday when a British newspaper ran an article on MJ Dickson, Gemma Drury, Sally Ann Hunt, Jolene Lockwood, Penny Griffiths, Hazel Ford and Kerry Ann Carter with the attention-grabbing headline "these women claim to be modern-day female ghostbusters, but even with half the nation believing in ghosts... would you call them to banish your ghouls?"
The feature, just shy of 2,000 words, is based around the amazing revelation that there are an incredible 12,000 paranormal investigators working professionally in the UK alone and a high percentage of these are female.
The article on the newspaper's website was shared online throughout the week and within days the ladies had been invited to appear on ITV's 'Good Morning Britain'.
On Friday morning MJ, Hazel, Gemma and Jolene joined the show's hosts Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway to talk about the attention they've been receiving and their lives as female ghost hunters.
On the show Gemma, who's been an investigator for 16 years, explained why she thinks women are dominating the paranormal investigation field. She said, "women are strong-minded, we're independent, we work hard" and said that women are more sensitive and in-tune to paranormal energies. Hazel, who believes but has not yet seen a ghost, runs the paranormal events company, Haunted Happenings. She said, "I think women are more empathic, they've got a more empathic approach than men."
MJ, who runs the UK paranormal convention, Sage Paracon, said that her job is to prove that there isn't anything there and says that most reports of hauntings
can be explained by science. She told hosts Ben and Kate, "it's looking at things like the electromagnetic fields, looking at different light spectrums, looking at whether or not [...] if someone's taken a photo if it's pareidolia because your brain is trained to find faces in patterns and things."
MJ blames Hollywood's depiction of the paranormal for the way some members of the public jump to the conclusion that they have experienced a ghost.
Joline, who runs a paranormal events company with Gemma said, "being a sensitive, I would say that I am quite skeptical". She added, "we've done these events and we've seen things that we possibly can't explain, I am still quite skeptical because I'm always looking for something to debunk."
So what's a paranormal investigation really like? Gemma says that people's misconceptions are formed as a result of the portrayal of paranormal in entertainment. She explained, "all these paranormal films are there for entertainment purposes, the are hyped up. A real ghost hunt isn't like that."
Ahead of the ghost hunters' visit, the show ran a poll of Twitter to ask if viewers believed in ghosts and the results were very close, with 49% saying they believe.