By: Freddy Skuban, Investigator, WPI Case Manager
First of all, for those who don’t know you, who is Willy Adkins and what does he do?
I’m a producer, promoter and talent manager for Spook Show Entertainment, as well as a paranormal investigator with Illinois Ghost Hunters. I also play daddy, which is my biggest job, to two beautiful daughters. I’ve directed and starred in several indie films, and I produce two paranormal related conferences a year: The IGH Ghost Conference and The Afterlife Paranormal Conference (Which is this October 5th and 6th at the Portage Theatre in Chicago– tickets and vendor spots still available!).
I know you’ve had some very close-encounters with the paranormal while working with Illinois Ghost Hunters. Can you share one of those experiences with us?
There was a location in the area we investigated several times that we dubbed the “Gangster House,” because it was believed to be previously owned by Al Capone. The basement was set up almost like holding cells, and there was a trap door that lead from the kitchen to the basement. Perhaps it could have been a quick escape route or a maybe way to transport bodies to the basement, we weren’t sure. We had visited multiple times and found it to be quite active. Eventually, we came to realize that when the current resident was agitated or upset it would cause miscellaneous things to happen. We would see shadow figures, hear noises, or feel the atmosphere charge up. One day, I was sitting downstairs in the basement with another investigator, casually listening to a conversation going on upstairs with the owner… He was becoming more and more agitated during the conversation… I was sitting in the chair, leaning my head against the wall getting pretty bored, the other investigator in another room… I don’t know exactly what happened after that, but it felt like 40-grade sandpaper being shoved into my face and then ripped away. That threw me into a state of shock… Next thing I knew, I was sitting outside on the ground trying to light a cigarette, but shaking so badly, I couldn’t get it to light. They said they could see swelling on the side of my face, and it was scabbed over the next day. I went back to the location a couple months later, and people scouted all over the place for something physical that could have caused the wound… A shelf, a sharp object… but it was an empty area. The room was empty except for a claw foot tub in the corner.
There are so many theories about what ghosts are. What’s your definition?
I personally don’t know. I’m still trying to come to a decision, but I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts, but rather some sort of power. Perhaps a spirit of the past, or some sort of energy… Maybe alternative universes exist around us at all times, I don’t know… I might never know. But my views are ever changing. Part of why I do this is to find answers… it’s no longer a focus of gaining evidence and finding answers for others, it’s more to find answers for myself. I don’t do residential places anymore for that reason. It’s all historical, commercial, or government locations.
You’ve been working as a paranormal investigator for quite some time. What still fascinates you about this field?
I don’t call it a fascination, but more of a need for answers for my own reasons. It used to be fascinating to me, but now I just want answers for what I’m seeing and experiencing. Why is it that something suddenly comes over and wants to rip my face off? It’s not one particular thing or experience that keeps me doing this… I don’t think I’ll ever be done with the paranormal until I get some definitive answers. However, even when there’s nothing paranormal going on at a location, I still find it fascinating. I really enjoy doing this job in order to explore and learn about historical locations and keeping them afloat.
Learn More About Willy Adkins at His Official Website:
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