Kindred Spirits: Exclusive interview with Amy Bruni and Adam Berry on ‘intense’ Season 3

Amy Bruni and Adam Berry of Kindred Spirits
Amy Bruni and Adam Berry of Kindred Spirits. Pic credit: Trvl Channel

From Ghost Hunters to Kindred Spirits, Amy Bruni and Adam Berry have built their reputations with paranormal fans as two of the most level-headed paranormal investigators on TV.

They put the human element into the paranormal by digging into historical records to solve an old mystery each episode. Some fans of more dramatic paranormal TV shows have even commented that Bruni and Berry “only find friendly spirits” and their show isn’t “scary enough.”

Well, Bruni and Berry are going to prove those people wrong in the third season premiere of Kindred Spirits. Just ask guest psychic Chip Coffey, who they scared the bejesus out of for the episode.

They kick off this season in Liberty, Missouri, investigating the Odd Fellows Home, a massive compound that once cared for orphans and the elderly. More than 10,000 people died on the property. The new owners now claim that their pain has fostered a malevolent entity.

Berry and Bruni, a.k.a. AB squared, sat down for an exclusive interview with Monsters and Critics on what’s coming back and what’s new for Season 3 of Kindred Spirits.

Kindred Spirits expands beyond typical home hauntings in Season 3

Monsters and Critics: In Ghost Hunters, you typically investigated big historic buildings like abandoned asylums and prisons, but then for Kindred Spirits, you switched things up to focus on smaller, residential homes where families had asked you for help.

In your Season 3 premiere of Kindred Spirits, you seem to be going back to focusing on the larger historic buildings, although the Odd Fellows compound is also home to the family who owns it. But will Kindred Spirits fans see less residential investigations and more of the big historical hauntings like most paranormal shows feature?

Amy Bruni: I think the season is basically half-and-half. We kind of wanted to ramp things up this season in the sense that there’s a lot of places we’ve become close with over the years that also needed help.

So we focused on helping some friends and colleagues and also focused on helping the ghosts and telling their stories. These locations kind of become novelties, but actually there is some very real history there and some real issues that need to be taken care of in those places.

Adam: We’re really good friends with Jesse (the current owner) and we’ve been to the Odd Fellows compound many, many, times and when Jesse reached out to us that something had changed in one of the buildings, we really had to go help him because he’s a friend. We’re also very familiar with the place. We just wanted to make sure everything was okay, you know? We don’t want anything crazy happening to our friends.

Monsters and Critics: And it’s also their home as well as an historic site.

Adam: Exactly. They put a lot of effort and money into that space and for them to be terrorized by something that is a little negative is a problem for me.

Do Amy Bruni and Adam Berry only bring out ‘friendly’ spirits?

Monsters and Critics: You two and all the investigators that have come out of Ghost Hunters are known for being very level-headed and not jumping to conclusions such as making quick presumptions that something is, for example, demonic. I’ve seen paranormal fans in other shows’ forums making comments such as “every ghost they find is friendly,” like that’s a bad thing.

Amy: We were worried about that because, you know, we do believe that there are dark hauntings out there, but many times when we deal with families it’s usually not, and we’re not going to rush to put a demonic spin on something without evidence.

But when it is dark, we can’t pretend it was something else, you know? It is what it is. We know what we found and we have a whole lot of different theories on things like that — we really do feel like sometimes it’s the result of places being over-investigated. Or it might have more to do with the investigators themselves and their intentions than an actual negative-type haunting.

Amy Bruni and Adam Berry of Kindred Spirits investigate paranormal phenomena
Amy Bruni and Adam Berry return for Season 3 of Kindred Spirits on January 24. Pic credit: Trvl Channel

Monsters and Critics: You guys are also known for doing a lot of historical research for your paranormal investigations, and I think sometimes that makes some paranormal fans see your shows as more of a history mystery than a ghost hunt.

Some have even said they felt it wasn’t as “scary” as some of the other paranormal investigations on TV. So do you think the Season 3 premiere of Kindred Spirits is gonna change their minds? I mean, I have never seen poor Chip Coffey so scared in my life, bless his heart!

Adam (laughing): It’s hard to scare him…

Amy: I don’t know, Chip’s a little jumpy!

Monsters and Critics: I think anyone would be at least a little jumpy when things start crawling around on the ceiling. To be fair, that’s something different that even paranormal investigators don’t see every day.

Adam: I think under different circumstances we can all be concerned about something and I think that concern can sort of boil over when it’s hard to figure out what exactly is going on. Because we really do want to figure out in the end what’s going on and the solution to what’s happening… Sometimes it can get to you as an investigator and you get frustrated and edgy.

Monsters and Critics: Or scared, especially if you suspect you might be dealing with something demonic. And some crews are pretty quick to jump to that conclusion.

Adam: Yes, but you don’t want to immediately label it as a matter-of-fact, “Yes, this is exactly what it is” until you know exactly what you’re talking about. You’ve seen past episodes of our show, and you know who we are, and you know that were not going to jump to conclusions.

Buckle your seatbelts for Kindred Spirits Season 3

Monsters and Critics: This first episode is pretty intense with Chip and paranormal expert John Tenney. Can we expect a lot more episodes like this for this season of Kindred Spirits?

Amy: We had a year down from filming [after Season 2] and we were just collecting so many cases over that time that by the time we went back out to film again, we had some very extreme cases, and those are the ones we picked.

The cases this season are more extreme and more aggressive and we chose those because they were the people who needed us the most. It’s interesting how it turned out and we’re very happy to help those people.

Adam: And we do help families this season. Episode 2 is a family investigation and it is probably the best family case we’ve ever done. And again, it’s like Amy said, we had so long and got so many requests we were able to pick the ones that needed the most help.

Monsters and Critics: What else might surprise Kindred Spirits fans this season?

Adam: For me, one of the big things is the paranormal community. We have a group of friends that we trust and we don’t claim to be experts, so when we need an opinion from someone else that we work with in the field, we’re not afraid to ask and you get to see that this season.

We have a core of friends who we work with including Greg and Dana Newkirk, John Tenney, Grant Wilson, Chip Coffey… These people are our friends and each has something that we don’t. We call them to help us as friends do and they drop everything — thank God — and they meet us in these crazy places.

Kindred Spirits is about the people, not fancy paranormal gear

Monsters and Critics: A lot of shows keep adding new technology, but you mostly keep it simple with EVP sessions, which I personally think is the most reliable evidence still even with all the fancy gadgets. Do you feel anything out there is better than a good old Class A EVP?

Amy: We do a lot of experiments this season… and we do a lot of “outside the box” ideas with some very interesting results. Some may even kind of change people’s minds on what the paranormal even is — it’s crazy some of the weird stuff that happens. We have the time over multiple nights to think of new things to try and the results are stunning.

Adam: We’re always trying new things and using new equipment, but we don’t get too buried in or read too much into the equipment. We also try
new ideas, new theories, new thoughts on how things communicate and what they do. I think not only are the cases more intense but the ways we try to get results are less aggressive but a bit more thorough.

Amy Bruni listening for an EVP on Kindred SPirits
Amy Bruni of Kindred Spirits listens for spirit voices in the dark during a paranormal investigation. Pic credit: Trvl Channel

Monsters and Critics: I know the ethics of ghost hunting are also very important to the two of you. There was an especially heartbreaking episode last season where some amateur paranormal investigators came in and terrorized this poor elderly deceased couple and Adam, you particularly got upset. How should people new to paranormal investigations present themselves or go about approaching potential spirits?

Amy: I would say walk in like you are going to a party where you don’t know anybody. We walk in with a smile and say, “Hello.” We introduce ourselves and we try to really put a human side to approaching the ghost. That really is the perfect starting point for a paranormal investigation and so that’s what we always recommend to new investigators.

Sometimes people see things and hear things and they want to go in guns blazing and start yelling, and that might extract activity. But think how you’d feel if someone came into your house talking like that — you’d probably start attacking them. We don’t want that response to our communication and we want to treat them with respect.

Monsters and Critics: Ghosts are people too, just…dead people.

Amy: I always say that and it’s so cheesy but it’s true, When you look at it that way, it really changes everything. When you are interacting with someone with empathy, you’re able to realize who they are, what they were like, what they went through.

It can be very emotional and you get kind of a bond with them. It’s a very special experience when investigations reach that point and it makes investigating a whole different thing — it’s not just a game anymore.

Monsters and Critics: So having said that, is it fair to say we should bring our tissues for Kindred Spirits again this season?

Amy: Oh yeah, I will say that I probably watched Episode 2 six times and every single time I bawled.

Adam: When it’s an intense case we cry, they cry. There are a lot of things going on this season but, definitely, the depth of the emotional effect is not lost in Season 3.

It’s fair to say that Kindred Spirits fans better start stocking up on the tissues now for Season 3, at least for some of the episodes after the premiere with creepy crawlies on the ceiling — you might want to consider some adult briefs for that one.

Kindred Spirits Season 3 debuts Thursday, January 24th at 10pm ET on Trvl Channel.

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