Interview with Paranormal Investigator and ‘Haunted Collector’ Presenter, John Zaffis

Zaffis amongst haunted objects…

It started when I was 16 years old, and I had woken up in the middle of the night, and there was a tall, transparent figure at the bottom of my bed. It was shaking its head back and fourth. I raced downstairs and told my mum about it, and she asked me to describe the figure. I told her and she said, “that was your grandfather!” I asked her how she knew. She said, “You don’t remember him, you were too young, you were only four when he passed away. But he was stern and always shook his head back and fourth.” So that’s what intrigued me.

At that point, I made the decision to get into the paranormal. I was fortunate enough to have an Aunt and Uncle who were knowledgeable on the paranormal — Ed and Lorraine Warren. My mother was Ed’s twin.

Today, you have to be “buyer beware” on these things. You go online and there are so many haunted items out there. I believe energy can attach to land, objects and houses. So I look at this… this is something that can occur, it can happen. But I do feel most antiques and objects have no paranormal activity at all.

Yes. One item that I refer to as an Idol. It was a case I worked on many years back. The young man got himself involved in conjuring things up… and in this six week time period, this man almost destroyed his life. He was hysterical. He was seeing things in his room. This idol — a black statue — contained whatever he had conjured up. His parents were horrified. It was an unfortunate situation, and I went in and helped them and everything ended up working out okay for the young man.

I founded it with several different individuals who wanted to get into paranormal research. I wanted to teach people some of the knowledge that I had gained… So here we are many years later, still investigating and getting involved. People are looking for information, they’re looking for answers on how these things can happen… For me, one of the key objectives is trying to prove something scientifically.

Well, it’s an interesting question because I always viewed them differently — they were family. It was very unique, I had an Aunt and Uncle that chased ghosts! It opened up many opportunities for me to meet a lot of people that were in the field. I got to meet priests, ministers, rabbis, shamans, medicine men… that helped to build my foundation.

I was grateful. I remember sometimes mum would cook dishes and ask me to drop food off to Ed, and they’d put me in the car and take me off investigating.

Absolutely. I make it a point to go and see them. The biggest reason, is people will ask me, “well is it true, John?” If you want accuracy you want to watch a documentary… when we go to the movies, we just want to be scared. The Conjuring and The Nun were two that made me jump right up in my seat.

There are factual things in the movies, but they do veer off. All these movies… they always take some of the facts and then ramp it up to make it scary.

Today, that is very fashionable for people to call themselves demonologists. It’s important, just like in any other field, to work with people who have been doing it for years… spiritual people. The main objective should be to learn and gain as much knowledge as you possibly can. I still believe in the basics: you can gain more knowledge by working with those who have been involved in this industry. You have to be guarded and careful, though. Once you open up that box, you have to be able to close it.

We are still, to this day, researching and digging into this field. Are we able today to say, ‘we can document this from a scientific perspective?’ No…why? Because these things have to reoccur and reoccur… keep repeating… [in order to verify them] I’m hoping within the next few years we can learn more.

The thing that keeps me going is the search. You have to keep an open mind because there are times I take a step back and have to say “you know what, this didn’t happen that way.” You have to re-evaluate things.

It’s just one of those things that keeps me going. I keep an open mind with absolutely everything.

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