Find out about the TAPS (The Altantic Paranormal Society) family and how your paranormal investigation group can become a member in this exclusive TAPS Family Manager interview with Kristen Perkins.
Meet Kristen Perkins
Kristen Perkins was always interested and intrigued by the paranormal. However, it wasn't until she had a personal experience that was so profound that she felt she needed answers. In Kristen's own words, "I sought information online, which led me to a local paranormal investigative team."
Two teams later, Kristen was inspired to create her own paranormal investigative team, INsight Paranormal. "I wanted to go in a different direction with methodology. While I believe in psychic phenomenon, I felt strongly that I wanted my investigations to result in tangible, and hopefully eventually, verifiable evidence. So in 2006, two friends and I sat down and wrote out a mission statement and bylaws that eventually became INsight Paranormal Investigations Inc."
TAPS Family Manager Interview with Kristen Perkins
LoveToKnow (LTK): What do you enjoy the most about your work in the paranormal?
Kristen Perkins (KP): Most investigations lead us to point out environmental, structural or sometimes even health issues that are creating situations the family is concerned are paranormal in nature. It's rewarding to be able to bring relief to those families, and to be contacted even months later by the family as they thank us for the peace they now enjoy.
LTK: How many investigations have you participated in? Does any particular one standout?
KP: The number is in the hundreds when you include both residential, historical sites and research site investigations. One that immediately comes to mind is a residential that was the site of two murders carried out by a black widow-style killer. The case was garnering surprisingly little attention from law enforcement. There had actually never been a complete investigation done inside the home since both deaths were deemed accidental or natural cause.
Our team was called in after the family recorded their own EVP samples. We investigated, and included among our tools is a forensics kit with DNA-preserving Luminol. Our investigation not only resulted in some of the most horrifying EVPs we've ever recorded, but also in a horrifying amount of blood evidence revealed through the use of Luminol. This was then turned over to law enforcement through the family, and the interest of the investigators was finally gained. This is an active and continuing investigation, and it will likely end up being on national television at some point on one of the many crime shows. At last count, there are five or more deaths attributed to this woman.
LTK: Can you share why the EVP was so horrifying?
KP: The EVPs, in our opinion, were of a male voice pleading and wailing. Considering the brutal nature of what happened on site and the amount of blood evidence we found, the EVPs were rather unsettling. The family also heard the EVPs and agreed with our opinion as to the content. In reality, we have no proof that it is in fact what is on the audio since all of this is open to interpretation. We do not have those audio files available, on our website or for public access, out of respect for the family, their loss and their efforts to continue seeking legal assistance. Our team has copies and so do the clients.
History of TAPS Family
LTK: When was the TAPS Family organization founded?
KP: The TAPS Family Organization began, if I remember correctly, somewhere around 2001. This program basically bloomed as the show Ghost Hunters debuted in 2004 and subsequently became popular, so a more formal structure became necessary.
LTK: How did you become involved as a TAPS family member?
KP: My involvement with TAPS began in 2004 as I began working for them on their website as part of the management staff of their web forums. I lived in the Boston area at the time, and I soon relocated back to my home state of Oklahoma. Once my team was established here, my application for TAPS Family Membership was approved, and I entered the TAPS Family as a member.
LTK: How did you come to be the TAPS Family Manager?
KP: I became Co-Manager of the TAPS Family member program about two years ago. Britt Griffith was the TAPS Family Manager when I was Co-Manager.
Britt then began being featured in episodes of Ghost Hunters. He felt like it would be doing a disservice to the teams in the family to try to balance both positions, so he stepped out of the position. Jason and Grant then offered the position to me, and I became the TAPS Family Manager in April of 2010.
LTK: Who is the Co-Manager, and do you work closely with each other?
KP: It was a sincere pleasure to be able to bring my friend and colleague, Jeff Leeper, on board as the TAPS Family Co-Manager. We took on quite a task, immediately making policy and structure changes, realigning and adding to the existing staff, resurrecting the TAPS Family Radio program and embarking on an immediate mission to increase direct communication between the teams in our network and the management staff.
Having someone like Jeff to work with through those changes made the process not only fun, but far easier than it could have been. He's a talented musician and vocalist, an experienced investigator and a dear friend. The irony in this is that we've never met face to face. We work heavily over Skype, through email and over the phone, and we work together as if we have done so for years. I would be negligent if I didn't mention that we also work with an incredible staff of people in our liaison staff, our recruitment team, our Help Desk team and our webmaster.
Our teams and program are strong today due to the unfailing dedication and hard work of those individuals. I encourage everyone to please visit the TAPS site, click on "TAPS Members" and then scroll down to the TAPS Family staff. I'm honored to work with each and every one of them.
TAPS Family Manager Duties
LTK: What are your duties as the TAPS Family Manager?
KP: My duties are to oversee the general day-to-day operation of the program. I work with the liaisons in each zone to address concerns and coverage issues, as well as the Help Desk team to resolve any complaints or address questions that they may have had presented to them. Jeff and I also work with the recruitment staff as applications are processed and determinations are made about which teams will be added to the family. I also make it a point to meet with the teams in each zone, including our overseas teams, via Skype monthly to see if I can assist them in any way, and to continue building the cohesion between the groups within the TAPS Family Member Program.
Applying for TAPS Family Membership
LTK: How can a paranormal investigation group join the TAPS Family?
KP: Groups that are interested can apply for membership and should first review the requirements as outlined. Once you are sure your group meets all of the requirements, you can scroll to the bottom of the website page and select the appropriate application.
TAPS Verification Logo
LTK: Can you explain what the TAPS verification logo is and how it works?
KP: Absolutely! Teams within the TAPS Family go through a rigorous application process, and they are accepted for their high standards and dedication toward client service. Being accepted into the TAPS Family is an honor for these teams that results in an increased case-load for residential cases. In the past, we've found non-TAPS family teams stating on their site that they were part of our program when they weren't.
The verification logo will state the team's name if it is authentic. If it isn't authentic, it will display a message letting people know that the logo is being used without permission or approval. Further, clicking a legitimate logo will take potential clients to the active TAPS Family list, where they can search the list to verify the team's position in our network. If there is ever a question about a team's status in our family, clients can always reach me through the TAPS website to verify a team's legitimate standing within the TAPS Family Member program.
Events for TAPS Family Members
LTK: Are there organized events for TAPS Family members?
KP: We are currently in the beginning stages of planning our first organized TAPS Family get-together for sometime early next summer. Our goal is not to investigate or provide a line of well-known guest speakers, but instead to enable the teams in our family to meet face to face, get to know each other personally and further build the bonds connecting our teams.
Each zone has also been asked to plan smaller events within their zones to build cohesion at the zone level as well. These are new ventures that are being pursued largely due to requests by the teams in our network, and we are excited to see them being planned.
TAPS Family Members on Television
LTK: What is the process for TAPS family members who wish to participate in an episode of Ghost Hunters?
KP: TAPS family teams should not expect that their involvement in our program will lead to their participation in the television show or provide them with access to the investigators featured on the show Ghost Hunters. While this has happened in the past, it is unusual and should not be a reason a team pursues membership. Participation in the TAPS Family Member program is focused on networking with other teams globally to improve client service, provide resources for teams to access, and strengthen the community as a whole.
LoveToKnow would like to thank Kristen for taking time out of her busy schedule to share her paranormal investigations expertise in this TAPS Family Manager interview. LTK wishes her continued success in her work and efforts to gain a greater understanding of the paranormal.