Am I nuts or does Eastern Oregon seem like it might be about to have a moment? Like, people are going there. For fun. And everyone's suddenly interested in ghost towns. I even heard someone call it "the Palm Springs of the Pacific Northwest" recently, which sounds like a moneymaker to me!
And—while I was not aware of this until quite recently—it even has its own show: Ghost Mine!
The show is filmed in the historic boom town of Sumpter, OR, and that paranormal investigator dude is Patrick Doyle, who hails from right here in Portland. Since Season 2 of Ghost Mine premieres tonight on Syfy at 10 pm, I though today was a good day to call him up.
Doyle had no screen experience prior to his involvement in the show, but "knew somebody who knew somebody" and fit the bill—probably in part because he's fit and outdoorsy enough to keep up with the challenges of shooting in the "middle of nowhere" where there are dangers like ancient crumbling mines and wild animals.
Read more about Doyle after the cut!
While Doyle has over 15 years of formal experience as a paranormal investigator, he first developed an interest at the age of seven as a latchkey kid, when he had his first encounter. (Instead of getting scared, he moved toward the shadowy figure and it retreated.) Most of the work he does in town when he's not chasing the ghosts of vengeful miners named Joe involves simply answering questions from people—usually scared people—looking for explanations of what's going on in their homes and businesses. He'd also love to crack into some of the Shanghai tunnels that haven't been opened yet, and cites a number of locations in Old Town with high levels of activity.
Now that he's on the show, Doyle is often told the stories of ghosts who "rattle pots and pans" in the kitchens of the city, which he loves. He genuinely seems to think that seeing ghosts is a good thing and admits that while there are some good theories, no one really knows what paranormal activity really is. Tellingly, when asked about his most frightening moments in the filming of Ghost Mine, he seems most concerned about the physical risks of working in a dangerous environment, promising moments in the upcoming season where people could have died!
Unfortunately, Doyle is watching tonight's premiere at home, but he does invite everyone to join him on Twitter, where he'll be live tweeting the episode. You know, in case you get scared.