Phil Whyman is the former paranormal expert / presenter of Living TV’s much acclaimed flagship television series, ‘Most Haunted’.
His knowledge and views on all things paranormal have been called upon on numerous occasions for radio, television and newspaper articles and his fresh and rational approach to the subject has seen Phil become a respected figure in this genre.
In July 2002 he was chosen as one of the main on-screen cast members from 1500 applicants to investigate reports of occultism, ghosts and hauntings for Living TV’s successful 10 episode series ‘Scream Team’. Phil’s appearance on the show brought him to the attention of Antix Productions, the production team behind Living TV’s phenomenally successful ghost investigation show ‘Most Haunted’.
Here Phil Whyman became the resident paranormal expert / presenter working alongside Yvette Fielding and Derek Acorah for 3 series (30 episodes). He also adopted the same role for 7 ‘Most Haunted-LIVE’ events, each of which amassed viewing figures averaging almost 1 million.
Phil is also a keen musician and used to play keyboards in a band called PESKY. He has his own CD, ‘Within the Matrix’, which is for sale via his website.
Phil is now working freelance.
Phil Whyman Interview by Paul & Mandy of Paranormal United
Q: Hi Phil, happy new year and thank you for the chance to talk with you today. Firstly congratulations on the success of Dead Haunted Nights, can we ask what’s it like going out with the public to such renowned sites as Galleries Of Justice and Woodchester Mansion in comparison to with a full TV crew and renown psychic?
A: Hi all, and Happy New year to you too! In some respects going to locations with the general public is actually easier than with a film crew. Filming a TV show is much more constructed and tighter with the way things are run and you are always having to think about what you are saying and doing as if you get it wrong it can be very time consuming. Whereas with the public you can relax more, have a laugh (vital if someone is frightened about doing an investigation to chill them out a little) and not worry about fluffing what you say. I find it fascinating seeing how people cope with being in such places as those that you mention…lol.
Q: How did Dead Haunted Nights come about and how did you meet Chris, Nick and Vince, and how do they find working with you and your zany sense of humour?
A: Lol…Dead Haunted Nights came about in 2004 when I was chatting to Ian Lawman concerning working together on projects. There were a couple of groups already doing overnight events and we just thought ‘we can do that…’, so we did. Of course people had the added bonus of asking either myself or Ian about our TV experiences. I met Nick and Chris in June / July 2004. Nick works in one of the stores in Lincoln city centre and I met him when I went into where he works, and from there I met Chris who is a friend of his. Chris does the DHN website updating etc. Vince actually came on a location with us as a paying member of the public, where I got to know him and eventually asked him to become a DHN team leader. He’s a member of Swadlincote Paranormal Investigation group too. I must admit they are all great and without them DHN would have struggled…cheers guys! As for my sense of humour…we’re all similar in that dept, so they cope fine!
Q: Which places are you looking forward to investigating with them this year?
A: I’m looking forward to doing Margam Castle in Wales as well as the Coalhouse Fort (Essex). We’re really lucky this year as we have some great new venues coming up which I can’t wait for. We’ve also got Darlington Civic Theatre (Darlington) and Valentines Mansion (London) as well as old favourites the Galleries of Justice (Nottingham) and The Red Lion (Avebury). Should be interesting!
Q: Do you feel that the highlighted interest in the paranormal due to programmes such as Most Haunted and Dead Famous has been positive or detrimental to professional paranormal investigation and why ?
A: I think it has done no harm at all. After all, the paranormal subject was something that people did not really understand and a few people even looked on it and frowned. However, that has all changed and in no small part to the screening of such programs as MH and DF. It is always hard to get the mix right in a TV show – some will love it, others hate it – but it does not stop paranormal investigators getting out there and doing what they enjoy!
Q: Do you miss the limelight of television and do you have any plans to return to our screens? We know you did a pilot of your own programme called Spirit Seekers, what progress is there with it?
A: I do miss it…who wouldn’t. But the general public have been very kind to me and sometimes it still amazes me at their generosity, it’s like I’m still on the box every week and people are constantly stopping me for a chat! ‘Spirit Seekers’ has gone to the great graveyard in the sky reserved to pilot shows…lol. Looking back at it I did enjoy doing it, but I would have done things differently (I even asked if I could help direct / produce the pilot using the knowledge gained from MH, but was turned down!).
Q: Of all the sites you have investigated over your career we must ask what’s the most memorable experience and why?
A: Crikey…erm…tough question! This tends to change each time I am asked this as I usually remember another incident, lol. I have had a couple of strange experiences at Peterborough Museum, very recently too. The first was when I was in one of the rooms and I was sat talking to one of the guests on an event DHN held there. As I turned to face the chap in question I saw a bare arm, bent at the elbow, right in front of my face! I don’t normally mention an experience if I am not certain I witnessed it, but this I swear was there. The other was in the cellar at the museum. A group of us were sat in there when something quite heavy was thrown onto the materials in front of us…made us jump I can tell you! Brannigans nightclub with MH was one location I will always remember, very spooky and only the second one I ever did with them!
Q: Reading many investigation reports there are always references to orbs and light anomalies, what’s your professional view towards them? Are they all purely reflections of light on dust? If not how do you distinguish between the two?
A: I’m not an orb fan myself well, not of 90% of them at least. I think there are far more down to Earth explanations for these anomalies like dust or other airborne particle. However, I have seen some on TV programs that are very intriguing. These are normally larger than the usual little things seen frequently on cameras, and tend to zip about and change direction at pace before vanishing. I haven’t seen many though in all honesty. But, I’m not here to persuade you one way or the other, so please come to your own conclusions (as with all paranormal incidents).
Q: What have you ever caught on camera or film yourself that is beyond rational and scientific explanation?
A: I was at a famously haunted location in Goosnargh (Lancashire), and I took two 35mm Infra-Red B/W shots, one right after the other, of the stairway there. I’m quite a keen photographer. When the film was developed there was a blur of ‘something’ coming from the middle of the stairs towards me and then bending to the right, at the point approximately where I was stood. To the right of me was an open doorway. Was this something coming down the stairs towards me and evading me by going out the door? The next shot in the sequence was fine by the way…I have been lucky enough to do this location a number of times, each one had a strange incident or two.
Q: What is your view on using psychics on investigations? We are aware you have worked with the Psychic Bad Boy Ian Lawman, how do you rate his ‘gift’ and how was it working professionally with him?
A: This is always a difficult question to answer as far as rating someone’s psychic ability / awareness is concerned. I don’t discount anyone’s claims of psychic powers as there is not one person of a medical / scientific standing that can categorically say 100% that these abilities are not possible within the human makeup. I think Ian is very talented and I always found it immense fun working with him.
Q: Is there anyone in the paranormal field today that you would like to work with on an investigation and why?
A: I have always admired Peter Underwood. He has done so many investigations one could learn a lot from him. It would be interesting to attend an investigation with Peter. My ultimate would have been Harry Price, whose book’s I remember reading when young…especially concerning Borley Rectory.
Q: This year is obviously going to be exciting for you with the launch of your book Phil Whyman’s Dead Haunted: Paranormal Encounters and Investigations in April 2007. Can you tell us about it, how it differs from other paranormal books and how it came about? I know from seeing the proof last year it’s taken a lot of work and unlike other current paranormal books it’s not ‘ghost’ written if you will excuse the pun.
A: Lol…pun excused! Dead Haunted the book came about in 2005 when I was looking in my then local bookstore in the paranormal section. I was looking at my good friend Richard Jones’ books and thought I might give it a go. I spoke to him over the next few days and decided to see how it went with writing the first few chapters. The book contains everything a person would need to know about hauntings and ghosts, as well as theories and possible explanations for activity. Also included are real paranormal incidents as provided by members of the general public, and my very own investigation accounts from some of the locations I have visited. It’s available in hardback and paperback and is out in April…in all good bookstores, as the saying goes!
Q: So what does 2007 hold for you, what’s your next project art, music or paranormal? (We will not accept no comment!)
A: I am currently working on two fiction books (closely guarded secret!) and I am also hoping to get another album done of my music, it’s been a while!
As for other stuff, especially TV, we will have to wait and see what’s in store.