Ghost Brothers Haunted Houseguests exclusive interview: The Jackie Robinsons of ghost hunting

Dalen Spratt (c), Juwan Mass (r) and Marcus Harvey (l) use all sorts of gadgets and good cheer to rid homes of demons.Pic credit: Travel Channel
Dalen Spratt (c), Juwan Mass (r) and Marcus Harvey (l) use all sorts of gadgets and good cheer to rid homes of demons. Pic credit: Travel Channel

Travel Channel has reinvigorated a new spin of ghost hunting for the three Ghost Brothers — good friends from the college days with early paranormal exposure and a vow to help people experiencing unwanted spiritual visitations.

Once a paranormal show on Destination America, this version is more in-depth — not a reboot of the old series, but a fresh take on spiritual housecleaning.

Best friends, business partners and ghost hunters, Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass, and Marcus Harvey blend comedy and paranormal investigating in the new Travel Channel series, Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests.

The network signed these paranormal investigators who seamlessly blend humor and deduction in their paranormal discoveries. There are eight episodes and eight family homes with unexplained paranormal activity.

The twist is, these guys have successful businesses and gigs aside from chasing supernatural entities out of the domiciles of frightened people.

And the fact that all the three men are African American and came to be investigators watching TV shows cast with nothing but white ghost hunters. They wanted to break that ceiling, showing these Brothers ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

Well, they aren’t afraid as much as they are respectful. All three men are deeply Christian, and though they don’t flaunt that on the series, they do have a blanket of spiritual Jesus Teflon to keep demons at bay.

After receiving pleas from families experiencing paranormal activity in their homes, the Ghost Brothers come and spend the weekend with the families. Their goal? Validate or disprove the claims and try to bring peace to the inhabitants — both living and departed.

According to Travel Channel:

“In Tennessee, they help a family move safely back into house that they couldn’t sell (and they couldn’t afford to walk away from). In Washington, they check out an infamous family manor plagued by ghosts and rumors of an evil doctor and his victims, and in New Hampshire, they explore a historic home and inn that may be harboring the spirits of people fleeing slavery on the Underground Railroad.”

The three friends met in college and initially bonded over the paranormal phenomenon they each experienced as children. They now have a shared mission to help families plagued by the paranormal.

Monsters and Critics spoke with the Ghost Brothers yesterday and hashed over the paranormal:

Monsters and Critics: First of all, all three of you are entrepreneurs and successful in wildly different fields than ghost hunting.

Dalen Spratt: Yes. We all met in probably about 2004 or 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia. We went to Clark Atlanta University, and that’s in Atlanta, Georgia.

Juwan and I were pledging and were students at the university. Marcus was starting his entrepreneurial career in barbering all around the college. So he was cutting everybody’s hair that went to all the neighboring schools in the area. And we all just crossed paths like that.

M&C: You both said that you had had, as children, some really unsettling paranormal moments. Dalen, tell me exactly what happened. You saw an apparition at your grandmother’s house. You were in West Texas and a that some crazy woman made you touch came back to you?

Dalen: Yes! Well, listen, I love your version of the story. I need to be able to be truncate it like that. But that is exactly what happened. Yes, I was forced to touch a dead body at seven years old by my grandmother’s friend.

And literally, that night when I woke up in the middle of the night, I saw that same body standing in the door frame just staring at me. And it was the most frightening thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. At age seven.

I was awake when I touched the body for sure. There was no sleeping around that. But the apparition that I saw, it literally, probably for 20 something years, that thought has always been in the back of my mind. Like maybe I was asleep. Or like ghosts, are they really real?

And it wasn’t until we started doing this show that I know without a shadow of a doubt, that that was an occurrence and an attachment that I saw that night back when I was seven years old.

M&C: Is this a reboot of the original Ghost Brothers? The same premise for Travel Channel. How did that happen?

Juwan Mass: It’s actually not a reboot. It’s actually a new eight-part series. So we are the Ghost Brothers, but the show is Haunted House Guests. And we’re actually going to different haunted homes that people live in and providing them with some paranormal resolve or clarification to some issues that they may be having surrounding their property.

It’s really exciting stuff; I’m going to be honest with you.

M&C: Marcus, you’re a comic, and you’re a phenomenal barber. You use your humor in a way to kind of put people at ease. Is this a consistency through the series? Is this just your nature?

Marcus Harvey: Thank you! Well, yes. I mean, it definitely is my nature, and it’s definitely something that is within the show the whole season. I like to say I’m funny, but I’m also blessed to have two funny brothers with me on this thing.

So they kind of throw me some hoops, allow me to kind of have my personality come out. But it is something that like really helps us even in our investigations because we tend to like to look at the paranormal as these are just people who used to live.

You want to kind of break the ice a lot of times. And what better way to break the ice than just, more so just cracking a joke on a dead person. Or a live person, you know. Dead or alive, they can get these jokes.

M&C: Right. But then you could say this audience is dead.

Marcus: Or I’m killing these guys.

M&C: Right, exactly.

Juwan: I see what you guys are doing.

Marcus: I’m killing them folks out here.

M&C: Dalen, you are from West Texas, and Juwan you are from Chicago. Marcus, where are you from?

Marcus: I’m from Atlanta, Houston, and Tennessee. I claim all of them. They all made me, so yes, those are my spots right there.

M&C: So your headquarters are officially in Atlanta. Is that where your production company is, or do you have a production company? The three of you?

Dalen: Yeah, we actually have our production company called Straight Ghosts and Entertainment. And yeah, we’re based out of Atlanta, Georgia.

Marcus: We call it the Ghost Cave.

M&C: Right. Well, you said something interesting in your interview on the Today Show. You said that you didn’t see people like yourselves on TV doing this. It’s all Zak Bagans and the usual suspects that are in this ghost-hunting biz, even like Jack Osbourne, Ozzy’s kid, is in this now. You just made a decision; you were going to break that glass ceiling and get in.

Dalen: Yes. We’re kind of like the Jackie Robinson of ghost hunting, and we wear that title with pride. And yeah, I feel like we should get a day in Black History Month.

M&C: But when you talk to black people, do they have a different reaction about ghosts or the work that you’re doing? Like you all got to be successful, why are you even doing this? Why are you looking for trouble? Versus a white audience totally bought in with the paranormal stuff. Do you field those conversations at all?

Marcus:  Black folks, when we typically tell them that we’re doing this, they say, ‘y’all crazy.’

White folks typically say, ‘Wow, I love that. Tell me more. You don’t say so.’

But now we’ve actually seen a lot more people like ourselves in this industry now or in the [paranormal] genre. And really are actually coming out the ghost closet, as we would say.

M&C: I noticed that you’ve mentioned that more than once in your social media and when you were talking. Talk about that, and how important faith is when you’re doing this kind of work.

Dalen: Yes. I just feel like we couldn’t do this without our connection to our spirituality and our faith because we have to have some sort of protection. We go into some of these dark places, and if you’re not covered, that’s how you bring stuff back with you, and no one wants an STD. Spiritually transmitted disease. You can not have a spiritually transmitted disease coming back with you.

So our relationship is very strong. Like my mother’s a pastor of a church. She’s been a pastor since I was in the third grade. So she prays for us before every investigation. We pray together before we go into any location. We don’t do it on camera, because we don’t want that to be for show. Like that’s not anything that we want to be misconstrued as just television antics or gimmicky. That’s something that we do with the privacy of our own setting and yeah. Yeah.

Our belief system is everything. That’s the curiosity that brought us to where we are. It all started with praise and worship and praying to God and believing in angels and heaven and all of that, so.

M&C: Have you ever walked into a structure, a prison or a home, or whatever it is, and felt immediately that you needed to leave? That the energy was so strong and so negative that you may not be considering yourself to be full of ESP, but you felt something bad had happened there. Has that ever happened to any of the three of you?

Juwan:  That happens almost regularly when you’re walking into these different haunted locations. I think sometimes it’s a demonic or heavy presence that you feel, and sometimes it may be a little bit more lighter, like maybe something benevolent or just welcoming. But one of the scariest things that we’ve ever kind of encountered was a location on a previous season.

But it was a house of wills. And that used to be an old Masonic lodge, which was then turned into a funeral home, which is now occupied by the leader of a satanic movement in Cleveland. And that’s probably one of the scariest places I’ve ever been in my life. As soon as you step into it, you feel dread, grief.

Dalen: And he grew up in Chicago. You [Juwan] said that was the scariest place you’ve ever been in your life.

M&C: So the classic horror film Candyman about Cabrini Green, have you ever checked that out?

Juwan: Dalen’s the horror movie buff. I’ve never paranormal investigated in Cabrini Green. I’m going to be honest.

M&C: How many episodes do you guys have, eight?

Juwan: It’s eight episodes. We go to Washington. The first episode is going to be in Vassar, Michigan, and it’s a wedding cake house. The next episode you’ll see us in Tennessee, and then from there, we travel across the country to Massachusetts, to New Hampshire, to Washington state, North Carolina, Texas, Minnesota. So you’re getting a piece of all the America, in this season.

M&C: Dalen, you have a fashion company, correct?

Dalen: Yes. So Juwan and I co-own the company Loren Spratt, yes ma’am.

M&C: And you guys are decking out like big-time people. Just like Marcus is cutting the hair of like mega-celebrities, talk about these businesses.

Dalen: Yes. We created Loren Spratt back in 2010, and it just came out of the necessity of not being able to find wardrobe pieces that we wanted to wear. So we were able to create our own and it just kind of blew up over the years.

And what was really cool was, we started at our college making suits. Over the years, once everyone started to get engaged and get married, they would come to us to make their suits. So we became the go-to guys for weddings all across Atlanta, and it would spread across the country.

So yeah, we make suits for weddings, personal clientele, TV, and films. Juwan and I both, and including Marcus, we worked behind the scenes for television productions in Atlanta, mainly [network] BET. And in doing so, we were blessed enough to get our clothing on a lot of the actors on a lot of the shows, which led to award ceremonies.

So we’ve been really blessed by a downpour of just, you know, word of mouth for our business. So yeah, we just been rocking and rolling literally for the past 10 years.

M&C: Oh, that’s wonderful. Are you going to continue? What if Ghost Brothers blows up huge … how are you going to balance all of this?

Dalen: And that’s what we’re praying for. We’re prepared. We have a really solid team of people that help. And we’re transitioning online now. So that’s actually going to streamline the business a lot more.

So you can actually go online to and place an order. Find the suit online, get it shipped directly to you.

That will streamline the process and just keep it moving. That’s a good problem to have, both of these entities growing to be the biggest things that they could possibly be.

M&C: Marcus, are you going to license BarberStar and create a haircare line, or what are you doing?

Marcus: Yes. I’m glad that you asked because I am actually doing that. Right now, I’m focusing more on my brick and mortar shops. I’m opening two more shops within the next year. As well as, like you said, starting at school in 2021, so that’s really what my goal is. And within there, of course, I’m going to definitely do some products just to make sure that I can definitely have the best products for my students and for my clients. So yeah, definitely, definitely, definitely doing that stuff!

Check out the preview of Ghost Brothers coming Friday:

Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests premieres Friday, August 16 at 9 pm on Travel Channel.

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