Gossip with Heather Taddy, Paranormal State’s gorgeous gal of ghost tracking.
Heather Taddy | Fifteen More Minutes – Smartasses Magazine
With respect to Jael de Pardo, Susan Slaughter and Kris Williams, there has probably never been any ghost chasin’ gal on your giant flat screen television, who could make a guy’s head turn faster, than Paranormal State’s Heather Taddy. Thanks to our annual Top 100 Sexiest Women Alive list, and of course, Smartasses Radio, we’re not too humble to point out that we’re already pretty chummy with the aforementioned three here at Smartasses Magazine, so we felt it was only apropos to complete the quartet. Well, that and, frankly… we were getting pretty tired of only watching reruns of Miss Taddy on Netflix… so we pulled some strings to catch up with her and see what she’s up to these days.
Smartasses: What were you doing prior to Paranormal State? How did that lead to you getting involved on the show?
Heather: Before Paranormal State I was a normal college student studying at Penn State. My areas of study were film theory, media studies and French. All throughout college I played bass in an experimental rock band with my cousin called Heavy Radio. That band was a huge focus for me and I was constantly doing creative things relating to it.
While I was at Penn State I came across a flyer that had an article about The Penn State Paranormal Research Society, a student run paranormal club. I’ve always been into the paranormal so I decided to check out a few meetings. The meetings consisted of a group of interesting students who would get together every Sunday night to discuss their own hauntings, UFO’s and anything out of the ordinary. I found it exciting and kept going back. Everything fell into place perfectly you know? I was in the right place at the right time. At about the fifth meeting there was a casting director from A&E there talking about a series they had been working on and how they were looking for more cast members. Traveling around the country and spending time in some of the world’s most haunted buildings? Sign me up! I filled out a twenty page pamphlet about myself, went to a casting call, then went back to my studies. Several weeks later I get calls from producers and there you have it. Team Documentarian.
Heather: I’m not exactly sure why A&E chose Penn State. I guess they saw somethings that Ryan was doing and thought it would make an interesting show. Who knows?
Smartasses: What was your legitimate “scariest moment” on PS?
Heather: This one always sticks out to me. It happened on the episode Suicide Spirits. This case revolved around client who had been involved in some heavy, negative stuff. Katrina and I stayed behind after the rest of the cast and production went back to the hotel. We wanted to hang out in the home as if we were the clients to see if something happened. Sometimes I felt like more activity occurred when we weren’t trying to attempt communication. I had my video camera set up and filmed us talking about random things. We constantly heard what sounded like someone wearing a big dress walking back and forth in the hallway. The rustling noises were constant. At one point we got up to stand near the stove because we smelled gas. All of a sudden we heard four distinct footsteps right above us in the attic. They sounded like heavy boots, which was activity that the clients had reported. Keep in mind that we had locked ourselves in this house. After that we went downstairs and were observing the kitchen. As we we’re talking about a coffee pot, we heard this loud slamming noise against the door leading into the basement. At this point we booked it into the next room like two frightened little girls.
The fact that this house was haunted and we had experienced true paranormal activity didn’t scare me. That was a thrill! What scared me was the fact that those experiences felt so real as if someone had broken into the house. We weren’t in the best neighborhood in New Jersey so that had crossed my mind. They were pretty great experiences though. I could go on forever.
Smartasses: What is your mindset going into an investigation? “Bring ’em on!”, or “Oh holy crap, we might run into a demon!” ?
Heather: I kind of go into investigations with the mindset that nothing can hurt me and I think others do that as well. You can never be too careful though because you never know what you’re getting yourself into or how a case could potentially turn dangerous.
Smartasses: What have you been doing since the show ended? Still involved in the paranormal at all?
Heather: I parted ways after the fourth season, traveled and spent time in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. I tried to decipher what I had spent doing the past five or six years and let it all sink in.
I moved to Pittsburgh in 2011 and helped create a paranormal web series that got picked up by the Bio channel. I’m no longer involved in that, but I still brainstorm some ideas here and there for shows. I’ve had several offers to be on other paranormal related TV shows, but nothing has really jumped out at me. I still attend and lecture at paranormal conventions and events here and there, which I love doing. I love meeting the fans, and hanging out with friends on other shows. I still read and study the paranormal of course. If the right offers ever came along to do another reality show I’d jump at the chance to travel and be trapped in a TV again!
Heather: She’s right haha! The different thing about our show was that we didn’t fake stuff. Sure things get a bit exaggerated through editing, all reality TV is like that. Our whole team was very adamant about not faking stuff, because that’s not who we were. We respected our clients and that’s the last thing we wanted to do. There were times when producers asked us to fake stuff, which makes sense from a TV making standpoint, because taking a crew of thirty people into a haunted area with forty pound cameras, demanding activity isn’t always going to get the result that you want. There were times when we all agreed that we would quit the show if we were forced to fake activity. Our show did extremely well for the network so there was no way they’d want to lose us. So we had all the control in that. I hear all the time about websites that dissect every second of our show trying to find something that’s fake. When I hear about them I think to myself …wow do people really spend that much time obsessing over TV? And secondly it’s ridiculous to state these things when you weren’t even there!
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