Take a Glimpse into the Realm of the Paranormal: Interview with Husband and Wife Team Jay and Marie Yates

When things are unsettled, and you aren't certain of the answers... sometimes one begins looking for other answers. So began the journey of Jay and Marie Yates of Crossing Over Paranormal Society.

Song River: What brought you as individuals and as a family together in this venture? 

Jay Yates: I started doing amateur ghost hunts in 1998 out of curiosity of the genre. I was tormented by spirits as a child and wanted answers to my questions. In 8/1999 I had a Near Death Experience that drove me further into my interest in the field of paranormal investigation and research. I turned to the church and became an Ordained Reverend only to find that I was an outcast due to my belief in the spirit realm. 

Marie Yates: I started to become more interested in the field after meeting husband Jay Yates. He would spend long nights struggling with things that I could not understand. Shortly after I noticed that my son had an imaginary friend that he would spend hours talking to in his room. Soon after we became engaged and purchased a home.

A few months later I experienced my first paranormal experience, which forever changed my life and drove me further into this field.

Jay: We then set up to investigate known haunted locations in the great state of Arizona. Years later we had a demonic attachment in our own home that changed our focus. After years of trying to rid ourselves of this seemingly demonic attachment we freed ourselves from it at least temporarily. We then decided to form Crossing Over Paranormal Society "The COPS Crew" with intent to help families that suffered as we all did with the paranormal.

Song: What have been peoples reactions to Ghost Hunting over the years?  

Jay and Marie: These days it isn't uncommon to turn on your TV and be able to watch paranormal television shows that shed light or darkness onto this field. It is a double-edged sword due to the lack of realism in these shows, but it has allowed the paranormal to make its way to many families home that would have otherwise kept quiet.

All though, Crossing Over Paranormal Society "The COPS Crew"  roots are in Christianity, we  still find that no matter where we go we still encounter people assuming that because we investigate claims of the paranormal that we are “Devil Worshipers, Witches, and Satanist.” It seems that no matter how mainstream paranormal is these days there are still those that are stuck in their ways that view us as "evil-doers." The truth is that COPS was created because we had our own paranormal experiences and wanted to assist families that struggle with the supernatural. The mission is that we want our own trials & tribulations with the paranormal to become our clients testimonies. 

Song: Have their been converted believers?

Jay: Yes, we have over the years invited several skeptic out on investigations that have left new found understanding of the paranormal. In fact, Marie was once a skeptic and a non-believer until she encountered her very first experience with the supernatural.

Song: What do you say to the skeptics?

Jay: There are skeptics and believers, and I am not trying to change any one's mind, but I encourage them to be a little more open-minded and less judgmental to to those that have encountered the unexplained. I would be a skeptic myself if I didn't experience it myself with my own eyes. 

Song: When did connections begin for you both? How did you come to terms with them?

Jay: My connection happened as far back as I can remember. I think I was 4 years old when I remember seeing a shadow of a man that would visit me at bedside. I didn't sleep at night and was terrified to be alone at night.

As I child I didn't have many places to turn. I remember talking to my grandmother and mother about my experiences on a regular basis. They were always supportive and provided me with some amount of relief. Usually my grandmother would offer me prayer & redirect me to attending church. My mother would tell me a pray to say as she did when she had her own experiences, "He that lives within me is stronger than he who lives within you. Amen." The way I have come to terms with them is by offering paranormal investigations for free to those that struggle with the paranormal as I did. Although, my greatest tool is my faith in God.

Song: Marie for you? You had mentioned earlier you had an experience that changed your life.

Marie: Shortly after meeting my husband Jay Yates I began experiencing paranormal occurrences. My first connection was with a seemingly demonic creature that darted from my home.

Ongoing research helped me into the paranormal and investigations side, this redirected my the own struggles with the paranormal. In addition, by helping others I in turn help myself cope with my own paranormal experiences. The greatest tool that I feel that I possess is my faith in God.

Song: Recount one of your favorite incidents.

Jay: My favorite and most memorable incident was the outcome of several months of meetings, investigations, & research of a Phoenix Valley home. They were under attack by demonic haunting that started out with a poltergeist and took a turn for the worst. The favorite incident wasn't the paranormal aspect of the case, but rather their positive outcome. They were at the end of the line and broken when we meet with them the first day and months later they managed to take back control over their home and life. They may not be 100% freed from the paranormal but they have the new found strength & faith to handle whatever come their way. 

Marie: Mine would have to be what happen to us at Liberty Cemetery. We took the case and soon after realized that a young boy somehow followed us home. It seemed that he was lost or curious about my family and I. I was never afraid but knew that he was in my home and he wasn't shy about letting you know that he was there.

Several weeks later we returned to Liberty Cemetery and asked the ghost boy to come along with us. There was a prayer said at the cemetery grounds that he safely return to where ever he should be. (Pauses) There was a since of sorrow asking for him to move along, but a very rewarding that he choose me to attach himself to. I guess its just the mother in me, but I really felt it was my responsibility to pray that he cross over.

Song: Define paranormal.

Jay: The Unexplained

Song: Some may feel its tied in to the occult, how do your explain otherwise to concerned people?

Jay: There are some aspects of this field that some people use occult practices to communicate to the dead but there are many more that use a more scientific approach to paranormal investigation. There is a thin line in this field that sets the two sides apart. Some choose to use spirit boards others prefer electronic devices to communicate. The true difference is that groups such as ourselves use tools to get answers to assist the family with their paranormal struggle. Really to provide answers to their paranormal questions.

Although, others that use more occult like practices do so for self gain and risk causing an increase of activity in clients homes. There are some para-groups that use these occult-like practices and feel that they have full control of the outcome. It all boils down to we are a group that has roots in Christianity and we feel its our moral obligation to draw a line in the sand. I would say to those people to stop fearing what you don't understand.

Song: How active is the Phoenix and surrounding areas?

Jay: Have to say that we feel that haunting are on the rise in the Phoenix Area or more people are willing to open their homes to the idea that it is haunted.

Song: What can people expect when they come to a hunt?

Marie: You can expect the unexpected! We will be bring out all of our personal paranormal investigation equipment for all to use throughout the night as we attempt to make contact with the departed.

Song: Are there suggestions for proper attire, or equipment one may need on one of the COPS hunts?

Marie: Equipment is provided at no additional cost. No sandals.
Camera's, Camcorders, Flashlights, and Audio Recorders are welcomed!

Song: If someone is interested in pursuing this passion further, what suggestions do you make?

Jay: Find a group that is reputable in the state, follow all laws, don't risk trespassing, & make sure you are willing to open yourself up to the supernatural. Do your research into this field before you start going out alone to investigate or contact us. We offer Classes & Workshops that educate the public about the field, intro to ghost hunting, equipment usage, investigation ethics, etc. Classes are affordable & done monthly.

Song: What has been the response at comic cons and similar events? 

Jay: We have done several Cons around the valley including but not limited to; Rapture Horror Expo, Keen Halloween Festival, Phoenix FearCon, Phoenix ComiCon, COPS Crew "Full Paranormal Experience," COPS Crew "Fear Sensory Overload," and Superior, Arizona "Ghost Walk" and now Amazing ArizonaComic Con 2015!

We have hosted several Paranormal Workshops, Paranormal Talks, and Paranormal Related Panels in the Valley. We are now opening for Paranormal related Pre-Screening as requested by Warner Brothers Promoters.

We try very hard to educate the public about the paranormal and take our research seriously. This isn't a weekend exploration team that seeks cheap thrill or scares at local reported haunted locations. We seek truth, understanding, and proof of the paranormal in some of the darkest corners that this state has to offer. We make ourselves available for all Cons, Expo's, Events, etc. to reach the public and pass on what we have learned with several decades of combined experience. We have been making appearances at events around the valley for over 3 years now and we have so far had a very positive response to what we are doing in the paranormal community.

We don't know everything and I will be the first to say that, but we aren't afraid to ask
somebody else or reach out to other paranormal groups in the valley for advice or help when needed.

Song: This is more though than just a 'show' or a 'game'... if you could sum up what you do and what it means to you succinctly for the public what would you say?

Jay: I would say that we are passionate about this field but more passionate for the clients that we serve in this field. We are sometimes warriors fighting the good fight between good and evil. We are the balance and sometimes the last resort for our clients. This is not a way of life this is our life.

We aren't ghost busters or ghost hunters. We are Paranormal Investigators & Researchers that are passion driven to assist you with your paranormal struggle. We sacrifice our safety, investigate at our own cost, and stop at nothing to assist our clients that struggle in silence with the supernatural.

 To Find Out More About- Crossing Over Paranormal Society "The COPS Crew"