By LANA CARBON & JOHN LILIES
[JOHN] You spoke a little bit before (in Part 1) about what got you into starting your own actual team. We’re a little bit curious about who the other members are and how you actually met them and decided that they were the ones to form your team? [*John’s note: We agreed to not include all of the details Andrea mentioned, as her team members were not present to represent themselves and Andrea felt they would prefer to speak for themselves.]
[ANDREA] Sure, [a girl] I have been friends with for a very long time and it was just an interest we’ve always had and have been able to talk about. I had just mentioned a long time ago “Oh I noticed there are some public events coming up” and she was really interested in it and her and I showed up at this public event and we were the embarrassing people that had like backpacks and flashlights and gadgets and stuff and realizing that’s not the type of event it was. So we were the keeners, and then we just started doing that together and then we both started talking about, you know, it would be really great to do something on our own so we were able to kind of do what we wanted to do and so… I mentioned to her that I was thinking I was going to start a group “Is this something you’d be interested in?” and she was like, “Yeah absolutely” and so that’s kinda how it started. She was definitely a founding member.
My other friend… I actually met her through the other team that I help out. It’s Beyond Belief Paranormal Events. They’re one of the bigger groups in Victoria. …I met [this other friend] through [a connection there] and her and I just bonded instantly… She was really interested in getting more involved and so I invited her to join the group…. And then [another woman], her and I are kind of like, you know, we’re really gung ho about the paranormal like we would drop everything if we hear about a case or something like we’re just on it… she’s the one who runs her own group Preserve the Haunt.
…Another person, you know, I met through the Beyond Belief team and her and I just kinda hit it off and became friends right away and we just work really well together. …One of the other girls though, she is not really an official member but she volunteers with us, she’s more on the spiritual side. She kind of just helps us and does OPS and stuff like that, but she’s just kind of like a part-time volunteer. …She is very spiritual she does have a very different view of paranormal activity than the rest of us but she’s very good, like, with anything to do with more of the spiritual side. She’s learning, so it gives a really good perspective with her learning too, because sometimes she picks out things that we may not notice just because everything is so new to her.
[JOHN] How did you come up with the name Unearthing Shadows?
[ANDREA] Me, I’ll definitely say I’m the kind of person who probably uses my creative mind a little bit more than the thinking, so I don’t know, I was trying - I mean this is really ridiculous - but I was looking for something that kind of maybe had a little bit of a poetic aspect to it but also was really representing of what we do. We just wanted to stand out and kind of have the point of, you know like… shadows is a common thing with paranormal investigating because like you know, most of the things that happen you’re not really physically gonna see; you’re gonna more experience it through, touch, sense, you know, feelings, emotions, sort of thing. So that’s kind of where that concept of you know, there’s always something lying in the shadows. Then we wanted to kinda have the name representing like you know, we’re investigating, we’re researching, we’re looking into history, we’re looking into facts, like, we’re doing all these things… we’re uncovering, so that’s why the Unearthing part came into it. So we thought it was a poetic way to explain what we do without being too terribly cheesy.
[LANA] It’s fantastic actually!
[JOHN] I don’t think it’s cheesy at all! We’re big fans of the name.
[ANDREA] Thank you! It’s really hard to come up with a name in paranormal investigating that isn’t cheesy.
[JOHN] Well, and that also hasn’t been done or isn’t just another take on somebody else’s name.
[ANDREA] That’s just it. That was really important to us. We really wanted to stand out and I wanted us to have a name that had meaning that really stood out, that wasn’t cheesy, and just wasn’t that close to anything else that’s out there. We spent months, like, I mean I had asked the girls too, if they had any ideas, you know and I had lists and lists and lists of names and every time I’d search something very close would come up and then I don’t know, just one day Unearthing Shadows just kind of popped into my mind and I’m like “Hmm, I kind of like that. It has a good sound to it and people will remember it”. The other thing that I liked about it too was that the initials are U.S., right? I thought that made a lot of sense because it’s us investigating, it’s us in the whole aspect like the spiritual world and us like we’re in this together, like, you know existence forms one so we kinda like that.
[JOHN] I think that’s a really great background for the name. I mean it’s such a unique name. When you look at it, you’ve got Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Stalkers, Ghost Adventures, and then you’ve got your Haunted whatever. So I think you’ve done a really great job and I think it’s going to bode well for you guys for sure.
[ANDREA] Well thank you. I mean, we’re definitely trying really hard and we’re not doing this for the ego. We’re really doing it genuinely wanting to help and that’s what’s important to us. You know, for example, we will talk about this too with the TV show thing, you know even if we had five people that were interested in us, it wouldn’t stop from what we’re doing. We feel we’re helping so we’re gonna keep doing what we’re doing and that, to us, is what’s important.
[JOHN] I think that’s great and I think that’s what’s actually going to make you really successful. Honestly, I really do and Lana is nodding in agreement here.
[LANA] As you can tell, I’m the quiet one.
[ANDREA] Thank you, that’s really nice to hear. I mean, the reason why the TV show idea came up was I had this idea a while ago, I mean like all the shows are pretty much gonna be the same but I just had a bit of a different view on how I would want to show it and I want to show something that is very realistic and something that’s a bit more honest from “What got you interested in this investigating”, not just like “Okay we’re here and this is what we’re gonna do” and just give it a bit more of a perspective of this is what paranormal investigating is, whether it’s a supposed demonic entity, it’s somebody’s grandmother coming back to speak to them, it’s somebody who’s trapped, like we want to show it all. We want to show some of the locations that really nobody knows about because that’s what we find is really interesting and, you know, we just feel that will help people be like - look we’re just normal women, you know and we’re doing this because we believe in it but you know other than that we’re just regular people - and so then that way it gives more normalness to it and you know, we figure too that it also gives us a bit more of a voice. You know, we have our own things that we do, like I’m really big into animal rights and rescuing animals as well as kind of speaking up for the people that don’t have a voice like there’s a lot of that that we feel goes hand in hand with paranormal investigating, just like an all around respect for life. Whatever side you’re on, just like, to care and to love a bit more and so we kind of figured that would be really nice if we ever by chance did get famous, we would have a stronger voice and we could do more good on this side, as well as do good helping those on the other side. So, that’s kind of a general consensus of why we want to do the TV show because some of the girls on the team honestly have no interest in being on TV at all, but for that aspect alone they feel it’s important because it will help more people.
[JOHN] I think that’s really great.
[LANA] Just out of curiosity, are you using your sensitivity now to read into our next questions?
[ANDREA] No, ha ha.
[JOHN] You have an incredible knack of a natural segue into pretty much every question that we have listed here to ask, so it’s a little uncanny and quite enjoyable.
.[ANDREA] That’s hilarious! I love it.
[JOHN] You’ve saved us from having to ask a lot of our questions, actually; it’s great.
[ANDREA] Oh that’s funny.
[JOHN] So, we were actually going to ask you if you could share some of the vision for your show, so you’ve done that, and how your show will differ from others, so you’ve done that. I am loving this! Somebody is feeding you the information I think.
[JOHN] I’m curious about how you might handle the challenge of the network-driven pressure to produce results because I’m sure that it is going to happen, depending on who picks you up.
[ANDREA] I’ve got a list of boundaries that we’re not willing to do and if that means we never get a TV show, we’re okay with that but we’re not going to back down on what our ethics are and that’s why we’re trying to approach it this way, where we’re trying to take them a finished product. Because they have some interest in what we do now but we just want to say, “Look, here’s our show. This is it, it’s done, and you can’t tell us what to do.” You know, that way so that we have an honest show. Then if people are questioning us after, we can say “Of course, there’s always going to be doubts with this kind of TV show and field but we did this on our own. There’s no network influence, so more people will believe what we’re producing”.
[JOHN] I’m really happy to hear that you already have that planned out and that you are confident to stand strong in your views.
[ANDREA] Yeah, and I told that to my girls from the beginning and they agreed with me too. We genuinely would love more than anything to have a TV show but we are perfectly happy to walk away because we don’t want to pretend to be people we’re not, and we don’t want to pretend to give evidence that isn’t really there. If we’re going to do that, we might as well just become actors and actresses and go on other TV shows or, you know, do something completely different. We just don’t want to do that. We want to be true to who we are.
[JOHN] Well you have completely earned our respect with that, so more power to you.
[ANDREA] Thank you.
[JOHN] Besides investigating, you have talked about Preserve the Haunt, can you tell us about Unified Paranormal?
[ANDREA] Oh, Unified Paranormal… was mostly me and Alicia, the Founder of Unified Paranormal. We were just talking about how there’s a lot of really good resources out there to support the groups but we didn’t really find that much in Canada. So I had suggested that why don’t we, I mean it doesn’t really cost that much to start a website, and why don’t we just start something on our own and try to promote – we try to focus on Canada but we’re happy to include anybody from around the world. So, we just started, you know I just quickly did up the website and then one of the other girls on my team offered to help, so we’re all trying to contact the teams we know as well as, you know, just politely email them just saying “Hey, it’s a completely free resource, if you’d like to help and join the community, just send us your information and we’ll post – put you on there for free.” Yeah, we didn’t want anybody to have to pay for anything and we just want to support the entire community. It just goes back to that point where, like, we have found that a lot of people don’t know who to reach out to, so it’s not even just a resource for those in the field, we wanted it to really be broadcasted to people who are needing help in a certain area or who have questions or want to join a team, or just for whatever they’re looking for in the paranormal field – to be able to go to that resource and easily find who they need to talk to. Pretty much anybody can join, however we do have a rule that we’re not trying to be too judge-y but if we are aware and have legitimate reasons that there is a group that has done some unethical things or we get reports from other people that aren’t shining a very good light on them, after a few emails of people reporting the same thing, that’s the only guideline we have, that we won’t put them on the website. We don’t want to be policing it, but at the same time if we know that people are actually doing not so good things, we just would prefer not to promote that.
[JOHN] I think that’s totally valid and very respectable. I think that’s part of what’s really going to make you successful and I think a lot of people in the community who are legitimate would very much appreciate that about your standpoint.
[ANDREA] Oh I hope so, I mean we just, you know, we’re kinda coming at it from all angles on the people from the other side and the people trying to help out a bit, so you know, we’re trying to remember that and that’s how we’re trying to help.
[*Lana’s note: On doing our research for this interview, we found an article in the Times Colonist that linked Andrea as a consultant to a movie entitled “The Castle”. We thought we would include this after obtaining permission from the production company (Alpha Film Production), once we saw the company’s dedication to use Canadian talent on the film and to keep the story realistic from a paranormal investigator’s point of view even if the tale itself is fictional. We asked Andrea about her involvement but she is unfortunately not at liberty to discuss it as of yet. We have included the promotional clip for “The Castle” which is still looking for assistance via their indiegogo campaign as of the time of posting this entry.]
[JOHN] Well friends, that concludes our interview with Andrea Bailey and we are very grateful for her time and willingness to chat with us about her experiences and business ventures.
[LANA] Thank you John for taking the lead in our first ever interview. Your work was very much appreciated.
[JOHN] No need to thank me silly. You did all of the background work and I was simply stepping up to the plate for my part. Besides, you manage all of the social media interactions, so it was only fair for me to do the interview.
Interested in more information about Unearthing Shadows? Have a look at the links we have listed below and reach out to Andrea and her team with your questions and curiosities.
Until next time…