Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Dr. Kristy Sumner

Intro Banner of Dr. Kristy Sumner

Kristy talks about her path to becoming a Paranormal Researcher, she shares some of her experiences along the way and how meeting with other like-minded individuals opened up new opportunities.

In 2014, Dr. Kristy Sumner coupled her passion for travel, history and the paranormal when she formed Soul Sisters Paranormal, an all-female team of investigators. Soul Sisters Paranormal traveled to some of the most historic and, reportedly, haunted locations in the U.S. in an attempt to determine for themselves if spirit activity does exist and to highlight the rich history of each location. The team traveled to and investigated numerous US locations, including: the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (WV), The Lizzie Borden House (MA), the Villisca Ax Murder House (IA), the St. Augustine Lighthouse (FL), Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary (TN) and many others.

Kristy talks about her path to becoming a Paranormal Researcher, she shares some of her experiences along the way and how meeting with other like-minded individuals opened up new opportunities.

In 2014, Dr. Kristy Sumner coupled her passion for travel, history and the paranormal when she formed Soul Sisters Paranormal, an all-female team of investigators. Soul Sisters Paranormal traveled to some of the most historic and, reportedly, haunted locations in the U.S. in an attempt to determine for themselves if spirit activity does exist and to highlight the rich history of each location. The team traveled to and investigated numerous US locations, including: the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (WV), The Lizzie Borden House (MA), the Villisca Ax Murder House (IA), the St. Augustine Lighthouse (FL), Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary (TN) and many others.

Prior to forming Soul Sister Paranormal, Kristy was a senior director for a Registered Traveler company focused on biometric clearances and she was a college professor at Metro State College of Denver and the University of Central Florida.

Prior to forming Soul Sister Paranormal, Kristy was a senior director for a Registered Traveler company focused on biometric clearances and she was a college professor at Metro State College of Denver and the University of Central Florida.


Dr. Kristy Sumner – Paranormal Researcher with Soul Sisters Paranormal and Co-Owner of History, Highway & Haunts

[00:00:00] Jolie Downs: Today. We are speaking with Kristy Sumner in 2014, Dr. Kristy Sumner, coupled her passion for travel history and the paranormal. When she formed soul sisters, paranormal and all female team of investors. Soul sisters, paranormal travel to some of the most historic and reportedly haunted locations in the U S and an attempt to determine for themselves if spirit activity does exist and to highlight the rich history of each location, the team has traveled to and investigated numerous us locations, including the Lizzie Borden house in Massachusetts, the St.

[00:00:41] Augustine lighthouse and Florida, the brushy mountain state penitentiary in Tennessee, and many others. Prior to forming soul sister paranormal Kristy was a senior director for a registered travel or company focused on biometric clearances. And she was a college professor at Metro state college of Denver and the university of central Florida.

[00:01:02] I am really excited to learn more. Kristy, could you please tell us a little bit more about your story and getting to where you are today?

[00:01:11] Kristy Sumner: Absolutely. First of all, thank you for having me this afternoon. I really appreciate that. My name is KRisty Sumner and I'm the founder of soul sisters paranormal. And as you stated in the bio prior to that I, my professional field was really started with nine 11. After those events I got into aviation security, I switched my doctoral dissertation focus.

[00:01:30] From criminal justice to biometric identification systems for airport access control. So I started I started working with a registered traveler program. I worked all over the country traveling to different airports and helping to install different biometric identification systems, such as fingerprint readers, and Iris imagers and facial recognition imagers.

[00:01:50] And then I became a college professor. Go ahead. 

[00:01:53] Jolie Downs: What got you into that? I know Niland nine 11 happened, but there's a lot of, so nine 11 happened and a lot of things happen to people during that time, and it shifted them in different directions. What happened inside of you to shift you towards this direction? I'm curious.

[00:02:04] Kristy Sumner: My, my master's was in criminal justice and right. It right around the time of that nine 11 happened. I was deciding on a doctoral dissertation focused direction. It was going to be drug activity in the central Florida area. But I really wanted to focus more on something that we could use.

[00:02:21] Superman another nine 11. And because I live closely to Orlando and the Orlando international airport, I started to really, again, delve into aviation security. So I went over and spoke to the aviation security director at Orlando international, and she put me in touch with the president of a registered traveler company.

[00:02:39] Again, which installed biometric identification systems around the country. So that's really how I got into that. And that kind of morphed into a teaching opportunities as well. Again at Metro state college of Denver and the university of central Florida, I taught different classes related to aviation security, aviation, marketing, and management.

[00:02:56] And so then, after that, I really started because. And just a little burnout with corporate world. My family is in Florida, has a lot of different property and property management opportunities in Florida. So I went back and started working with my family on that, and then just morphed into again this Interesting.

[00:03:14] hobby slash jobs slash hybrid.

[00:03:17] If you want to call it of paranormal investigations. The paranormal investigation side, we it's a nonprofit. We don't take any profit for it. It's all self-funded. But that, through that avenue, it allowed me to open a historical museum with a friend of mine and we offer historical tours as well as paranormal investigations and paranormal tours. 

[00:03:36] Jolie Downs: Very interesting. Okay. So back up really quick. When you started this paranormal investigations, what was your motivation here? How did this start in the first place?

[00:03:47] Kristy Sumner: My sisters and I have always had a fascination with the paranormal. We'd watch popular television shows and movies of the time really ghost hunters, ghost adventures, and such. And we said to ourselves, if we ever had the opportunity to go on a paranormal investigation, we would jump at that chance.

[00:04:01] Because we like myself, my sister also come from. Academic and research minded backgrounds. So my twin sister has a PhD. Our younger sister is a lawyer in DC. We had a friend Carra, who's also a lawyer. And then Kim, who has a master's degree in education. So we had the opportunity to go to Moundsville West Virginia in 2014.

[00:04:20] And we had a friend of the families who sat on the board of the West Virginia state penitentiary, which is reported to be one of the most haunted locations in the country. And so when we went, he said, why don't you take one of the nights that you're going to be in Moundsville and and stay the night in the prison and see if he can connect with any of the resident spirits that we have there.

[00:04:37] So we jumped at that chance. We took some video cameras in some digital voice recorders in, and we let the experience with what we felt was very compelling, paranormal activity or unexplainable activity, I should say. And after that because of that experience, again, we wanted to form this team where we go to different locations, reportedly haunted locations and tell the historical narrative of those locations.

[00:05:00] And they couple that with any paranormal activity that we find during our investigations there, because. Our love of history really drives what we do, because we want to show our audience that these places need to be preserved. Aside from the paranormal aspect, they've got a very rich historical aspect as well.

[00:05:17] And so to be able to highlight those and highlight facts that some of our audience may not be aware of. That's really what our driving focus is. And then after that, like I said, we'll couple it with anything that we find that's unexplainable during our investigations.

[00:05:29] Jolie Downs: I love this you're. You're capturing two different audiences tying them together. And I love history. So you mean you would capture me right there and anything paranoid. Just interesting. 

[00:05:41] Kristy Sumner: It's a different. 

[00:05:42] Jolie Downs: yes, I'm fascinated completely. And I love that this was just something, this was something that you all loved growing up.

[00:05:49] It was something that you connected over. It's been this interest that you've shared, and then you've just decided, Let's just go do it. Let's just go create our own investigative team and do it. And you did. That's fantastic. Now, just really quick though, before we move on, you said that you had experiences in the penitentiary that were paranormal in nature.

[00:06:10] What were some of those experiences?

[00:06:11] Kristy Sumner: That first night, that first investigation, as I said before, it was extremely rudimentary. And cause we really didn't know what we were doing. We were just going to go in there and have a fun girl's experience. But we went into several of the cell blocks and we had doors slamming. When nobody else was there.

[00:06:25] We heard footsteps running at us down these corridors when we know that there was nobody else on the property, yet these footsteps were so intense that you're expecting somebody to materialize out of the darkness in front of you and nothing happened. We captured males voices when we're an all female team yet we're capturing males, voices.

[00:06:41] And so that to us was it was unexplainable. And like I said, when we left the experience it's something that we really wanted to pursue further. So to your point, we formed our team. We formed our name. We established our logo and had our theme music commissioned and such, because we felt if we were going to do this, we wanted to do it in a manner that would help elevate this essential subculture into a more mainstream acceptable venture, if you will.

[00:07:07] Jolie Downs: I love that you got your own theme music commissioned. You need to just go grab something out there and which is what I did.

[00:07:17] Kristy Sumner: Yes. We found a composer and he commissioned, we commissioned him to do it and it really fits what we wanted to have our audience here. We're, we have some mystery behind us. We're an all female team. So I wanted something that was a little bit feminine, a little bit suspenseful. But yet not, like Michael Meyer scary.

[00:07:33] He nailed it. Absolutely nailed it. We went through several iterations of it, but the one that we decided on was just fantasy. 

[00:07:39] Jolie Downs: Oh, I'm going to go listen to it after this. I think that's fine. I think that's great now. So tell, take me from there because there's more involved here. You did made all these decisions. What was the reaction to from family and friends when you told them about you knew.

[00:07:53] Kristy Sumner: And that's a great question. So after the first investigation, we told explain to our parents, everything that we experienced and what we had going on there. And they were somewhat, skeptical a little bit about, really pursuing this.

[00:08:07] And so we didn't actually start producing our videos until about the third investigation, because that's when our family kept saying, okay, You're doing this, what does it like, what does it feel like? What are you experiencing? What are you capturing? And I said let's just, put together a video and I'll show you.

[00:08:22] And so our first video was actually our third investigation, which was at Fort Mifflin, which is a revolutionary war Fort in Philadelphia. And my family was really just blown away, especially from the historical aspect of it. And so my dad is a history buff and so he loved that. And then he started seeing the things that we were capturing and he knew that these were experiences that we were having.

[00:08:43] And my parents, my entire family has really become our biggest fan base. Not many guys are going to wear a soul sisters, paranormal t-shirt, but my dad's sports it, no problem. And because we all, we have come from a close knit family and just to have the support of all of my family members behind us it really is a blessing and a comforting feeling to know that. 

[00:09:03] Jolie Downs: Oh, yeah, no, that's a gift. That's an absolute gift. Now what you talked about being in the corporate world and getting a little burned out what happened there?

[00:09:10] Kristy Sumner: It really just got a little bit political for me. Not so much, Democrat, Republican, political, but just internal conflict, political with regard to the corporate world I had been in it for so long at that point. And I was literally in, in the position that I had. I was on an airplane every other day.

[00:09:25] And when you wake up in a city and you said what city am I in right now? I can't even remember. It, I wanted to take a step back and slow down a little bit. So I I was in Denver at the time and I said, I'm just going to go back to teaching to the teaching environment for a little bit.

[00:09:39] And so I did that for a few years in Denver, and then I decided to move back to Florida. Again, to be to help my family and their family business. And that really allowed me to do more of this, which is the paranormal investigation, which I really do enjoy. But like I said, that avenue of paranormal investigation has led me into this new venture with my best friend Miranda.

[00:10:00] Biker. She and I seven weeks ago yesterday actually opened a museum, a historical museum in Huntsville, Tennessee. So we're running that we're running paranormal tours, historical tours flashlight tours and stuff like that. So it really has morphed into now a profit making venture. And I wouldn't have that otherwise. 

[00:10:17] Jolie Downs: That's amazing. And did you say that the national. 

[00:10:19] Kristy Sumner: No it's in Huntsville, 

[00:10:20] Jolie Downs: And Huntsville. Okay then, excuse me. So Huntsville. So in Huntsville you're doing different tours throughout the cities and the surrounding areas.

[00:10:27] Kristy Sumner: We're doing a tour in the city of Huntsville. The what happened is we actually signed a lease with the town of Huntsville. And we rented the historic Scott county jail, which was a jail that was built in 1904. It was an operation until 2008, and then it shut down and it said abandoned. Most of the people in the county have some type of story related to the jail.

[00:10:48] They were an inmate or their family with an inmate there, or they were jailer there. But almost to a person, everybody believes that there was some type of activity going on unexplainable activity going on. So we use those stories to guide our paranormal tours and our flashlight tours, but we've had paranormal investigators go in and there's some things that go on in that jail that we certainly cannot explain. 

[00:11:09] Jolie Downs: Very cool. That is so interesting. What a great idea too. I love that this has turned into other these other opportunities for you. And and you, you started a museum. How many people can say that.

[00:11:19] Kristy Sumner: And it really is something that you know, those Miranda and I have a passion for again, that historical aspect, because this was a building that if somebody didn't come in and do something with it, it was going to eventually be torn down and we just couldn't let that happen.

[00:11:31] There's so much history that's being raised at this, in this day and age that it, for us, it's one of those things that we want to preserve. And then I know that this is going to couple, it's going to catapult us into other things, we're already doing speaking engagements with regard to how we opened our marketing strategy, our strategy or advertising strategy and just paranormal tourism and historical preservation alone.

[00:11:51] I've done several speeches on that as well, because it's an untapped market, it's one of those things that there is money in there. And in that avenue of tourism, then not a lot of people are capitalizing on, but we now have the knowledge-based. 

[00:12:03] Jolie Downs: Absolutely. I was thinking to myself, this is something that I would seek out. I love weird, different, unique things. That's what I look for when I travel anywhere. I'm always looking for the different, unique, what, what's not the, maybe the typical thing that is on the top 10 list, but it's really special to that area that you're just not going to find.

[00:12:22] And this is something that I would absolutely sign up for. 

[00:12:24] Kristy Sumner: We'll get it's a hidden gem. It really is. It's a great little jail with a big paranormal punch. I think. 

[00:12:30] Jolie Downs: Very cool. You've done different things and it sounds like you were successful in the corporate world. You were a professor you've worked in the family business. You've started your own paranormal business. Now you've started a museum. What do you feel has been your greatest success one or two of your greatest successes and why, and what did you learn from.

[00:12:49] Kristy Sumner: I think, I've obviously I've had a couple of great successes in my life. And I think just having tenacity and not giving up on your dreams is really a big stepping stone. There was a lot of times where. I could have said, this isn't the door I think I need to walk through.

[00:13:03] But really just being tenacious about it. And then as I said before, just having the family support I am very fortunate and blessed to have a great support system, a great fan base. And so to have that encouragement in life. Yeah. A lot of people don't have that. So I'm very blessed to have that.

[00:13:19] And, just really, again, taking advantage of opportunities. As I said before the paranormal investigation side of things, it was really just meant to be something that my sisters and I could get together and do a few times a year and just have a fun experience doing it. I never dreamed that we would have an actual YouTube following that, one of our video.

[00:13:38] It would go viral and that we would get a really cool fan base on our Facebook page and other social media outlets. So it was never meant to be that. But then because of that growth, I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to open this museum and which I might not have had otherwise.

[00:13:53] So it really does it, it's one of those things where you follow the paths and they lead you to where they need to go. So I think really just being tenacious in following my. Plans. I think that's one of the things that have allowed me to be successful in this. 

[00:14:07] Jolie Downs: Absolutely. And like you said, when you follow that, when you're following the path, that's within yourself, the one that that you can feel you're supposed to be falling, the one that, that tunes, that tuning fork, and you keep going on that path, it does lead you where you're supposed to be. You just, you just keep going and all of a sudden, all this beauties just popping up around you.

[00:14:25] It's, that's wonderful.

[00:14:27] Kristy Sumner: Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's just I've always been a firm believer that the doors will open when they need to open and they'll close when they need to close. There's been several doors where I've been told you're not going in there anymore, so bam it shut. And here you go. Here's your next door or your next window.

[00:14:41] So let's move through that. And again, it's just, it's taking the opportunities, finding your dreams, finding your passions, and really pursuing them because life is just too short to be just stick stuck in a grind that you're not having. And like I said, I've been fortunate enough to be able to take those different leaps and have the background of my family to support me in that. 

[00:14:59] Jolie Downs: That's great. Yeah. It, having family can make all the difference. It definitely is a very great big help. That's for sure. Now what about the flip side? What about your greatest challenges or your greatest obstacles? Think mistakes. And then and what did you learn from it?

[00:15:17] Kristy Sumner: There's been those two. And it's it's one of those things where you do have to pick yourself up. There, like I said, there's been times where I've had to make the decision, do I stay in this position, which is a high pain. High octane high exposure position.

[00:15:32] Do I stay in that or do I close that door and move on to something else? So those are decisions. I've had to make those several times in my life and, like I said, I I did make those I did, there's some instances where I went back and downgraded a little bit, took a pay cut, but in the end it made me happy.

[00:15:48] It was something that I was able to pursue and I wasn't I didn't have the stress or. The conflict within myself to, to stay in something that I wasn't comfortable with or that I morally didn't support. So to take a step back from that and to move on to something, those are big decisions, 

[00:16:02] You just can't make them lightly.

[00:16:03] And to, again, to be able to be in the position to make those decisions like I said, it's been a big blessing in my life. 

[00:16:10] Jolie Downs: Oh yeah, no, it's very hard to make those decisions. It's one of the harder things to do in life is to make those decisions really. And did you ever stay stuck for a while or did you, or were you one of those people when you felt that you, and you knew it, you made the.

[00:16:23] Kristy Sumner: Pretty much the ladder. I've always had a strong will. I've always had a very strong personality again, due to my upbringing. My family has taught all of us my sisters and I, to be strong to follow your dreams to not back down. And so most of the time when I come to a decision, it's one of those that I come to.

[00:16:40] I make it and we move on, the door is closed. Here's the next opportunity we've learned from what we just we've just went through and now. Pursue something else, something different. But each time has led me to unique opportunities. Just from moving from the corporate world back into academia, to teaching, I met some great people there, some great avenues opened up for me in that regard and, again, then moving back home again.

[00:17:01] Great avenues there, learning experiences there. And then, like I said, the paranormal investigation thing, it was just meant to be. This interesting hobby, but it's open something that I enjoy that it makes me happy. Now I'm making it's a financial commitment now, which I enjoy.

[00:17:17] Like I said, it's just one of those things that you just follow the past and it'll take you where you need to. 

[00:17:20] Jolie Downs: Yeah, absolutely. W what is your personal definition of success? And based on that, what do you think is key to having continued success throughout.

[00:17:31] Kristy Sumner: I think my personal definition of it would be something that. Makes you happy that you can wake up every day and say, okay, I'm following my moral compass. I am successful in doing that. It's not, Yeah, There's money aspect in it, a financial aspect in it, but that's really not in my mind, the driving force, like I said, I've walked away from six figure jobs.

[00:17:54] Because I just, I didn't feel that I was going to compromise who I was. To maintain that type of a salary or that type of a position. So for me personally it's following those things that you can pursue, that's going to make you happy. And in the long run just make you personally feel successful.

[00:18:10] Like I said operating a museum in Huntsville, Tennessee. That makes me happy right now. Is it going to buy me a Learjet? Probably not, but that's not important to me. That's not my idea of success. My ideas accesses is waking up, connecting with people, letting them know my story, letting them know the story of the historical component of where we're at the historical jail and stuff.

[00:18:30] And letting them have that experience. And so for me, that's my definition of success. It's F and that's personal. Just going out there, pursuing your dreams and what makes you.

[00:18:38] Jolie Downs: Yeah, I agree. I completely agree now for people who aren't pursuing their dreams and they aren't pursuing the things that make them happy. Is there any advice that you would give them?

[00:18:47] Kristy Sumner: Honestly just reverse course. And do that. As I said, I've, I'm in a unique position to be able to do that. I do have the background that if this doesn't work, I can fall back on. My other experiences I can pick up again as a college professor or something like that.

[00:19:02] So I had that safety net. So it's not easy. I know it's not easy for everybody to do that, to just, change course and pursue their dreams. But, I would feel really. I think upset if I get to the year 60, 70, or 80, and I look back and I say, I didn't get to do anything that made me happy.

[00:19:20] There was no real joy in my career or joy in my my daily life. And so just when you realize that the life is short, you don't want to get to the end of it and say what have I done this for? When I could've been doing this just make the change. And if it's something that you need to switch back from, then you can do that.

[00:19:37] But but for me it is really one of those things where I think you need to pivot and move to something that, that does make you happy. That will bring you joy. When you look back on what you've accomplished in life, 

[00:19:48] Jolie Downs: Completely agree. You have to get advice. Completely agree. And know what about during your struggles, your day during your difficult times, how do you push through your worst times? This be honest, a lot of people have gone through some really hard.

[00:20:02] Kristy Sumner: Yeah. Again, for me, I can only speak for myself. It's been my support group from my family. Being able to bounce ideas and questions and problems off my sisters, off my parents. Even my aunts and uncles, I knew that I can call them twenty four seven. I have a great network of friends who the same way I can call them.

[00:20:18] I can speak to them about what is going on and really just help me for me. A coherent decision if you will, on, on what to do and how to make that change or that pivot. But and again, I can say this, that I am fortunate. I know that not everybody has that network or that support group, but then in my mind, you need to find somebody like that.

[00:20:36] You need to find somebody that you can rely on to bounce those ideas off and talk it through. And that's really what has gotten me through, the lower points of the struggling points or the in decisiveness on some On some issues is really just be able to talk through it with people who know what I'm going through and understand.

[00:20:52] And then, give me a smack in the head when I need it and just saying, no, this isn't going to happen. Just let's do this instead. Or have you thought about this? A support group in a network is really something that's important. 

[00:21:03] Jolie Downs: Yeah, I agree. I think he said to the sounding board, 

[00:21:07] Kristy Sumner: Yeah, 

[00:21:08] Jolie Downs: you do need a smack in the head every once in awhile, 

[00:21:10] Kristy Sumner: exactly. 

[00:21:11] Jolie Downs: that you trust, who they'll give that to you.

[00:21:13] Kristy Sumner: Oh, yeah, nothing better than a twin sister or younger sister in that regard. 

[00:21:18] Jolie Downs: I can only imagine, 

[00:21:20] Kristy Sumner: Yeah. 

[00:21:21] Jolie Downs: no. Did you face any struggles or challenges entering into this field? Because it's a unique field to to be jumping into, I don't know if you if you have to have some cred or what have you, what was that like for you? 

[00:21:33] Kristy Sumner: It, there is there is a credibility level with what we do with the paranormal investigation aspect of it. It is to some extent, a male driven field. There are a lot of female paranormal investigators, but it's a different challenge for the females in the community.

[00:21:45] I think we have to build ourselves up a little bit more, but then again, we do have a support community here as well. The paranormal community. When you find those that are like-minded that are in it for what I call the right reasons. I E the pursuit of history and the pursuit of paranormal investigations to find answers to what happens next.

[00:22:04] I think that that there is a strong bond there with that community that, like I said, I met my best friend and now business owner co-owner with me Miranda, we met through the paranormal. And she's another paranormal investigator, a female paranormal investigator. So we met on a collaboration investigation about two years ago.

[00:22:21] And we formed a connection of a Very strong friendship and now we're, co-owners together of this, of the, of history highways and haunts and in Huntsville. But yeah, so there is that kind of you do have prove yourself if you will. That's why, when we first started in order to build our portfolio we did start investigating some of the most reported.

[00:22:39] Locations in the country. Our Very first investigation, as I said, was West Virginia state penitentiary. From there, we went to the Liska Axe murder house, the trans Allegheny lunatic asylum, the St. Augustine lighthouse. And these are larger locations in the paranormal community. So to be able to investigate them and find some compelling evidence that really did.

[00:22:56] Build us up in the community. And so through that, we've made some amazing friends both others in the community, as well as a really interesting fan base. And we love our fans. There are several that that, that are with us, no matter what investigation we go on or what video evidence we put out there.

[00:23:11] So that's really cool.

[00:23:12] Just to have somebody contact you and say, Hey, I've watched your videos and thank you for what you do. And can I buy a t-shirt and now I'm a fan. And so it again, I never dreamt that. That would morph into what it has morphed into. But it is just, it's absolutely a blessing in my life. 

[00:23:29] Jolie Downs: Oh, it's amazing. It's really amazing. Now tell me what has been the most intense place that you've stayed.

[00:23:36] Kristy Sumner: I'll give you, I'll give you.

[00:23:37] the first one. I'll give you two, but the first one was the old Gillcrest county jail in Trenton, Florida. This is a location. It's about an hours west of Gainesville, Florida. And it was a jail that was an operation from 1928 to 1968. It's a small county jail. It's got four cells on the first floor and four cells on the bow on the top floor.

[00:23:56] There's a small jailers cottage in the back. That's connected to the GLB a doorway and this location is not in the best part of the county. In fact, when we investigated the first time the owner said there was just two females, myself and Miranda that we're going to do this investigation.

[00:24:13] And the owner said deal have hand guns, do carry handguns. And we're like, yes, we carry. And she said, I highly recommend that you carry your guns with you at all times during. Because this is the area that we're located in. Cause there's a lot of different activity that goes on, not just to the paranormal variety.

[00:24:28] So we 

[00:24:29] so we had our guy. Yeah exactly. So she and I went into the jail. We were there.

[00:24:34] by ourselves for the night. Nobody else on the property. And when we first went in that we weren't feeling anything, we weren't picking up anything. None of our equipment was indicating that there was anything paranormal going on.

[00:24:45] And so Miranda said, I wonder if they think we're law enforcement because we have our guns on. And I said let's, let's try taking them off and see what happens. So there was a cut in the cell that we're, that we were in. So I took my gun off and I put it on the cot and she took hers out of her holster.

[00:25:00] And as she's putting it down on the cot, she says, I'm putting my gun down. Nice and slowly. And behind us, a male's voice said good. And we both heard it. We captured it on our voice recorder. And from, and after that, the night was really on. We are seeing shadow figures. We are capturing on camera. We heard voices in the moment.

[00:25:19] Again, we're the only two people in the building. We heard voices talking to us in the moment we captured them on our stationary voice recorders. Again, we saw shadow figures. All of our equipment was indicating that something was going on because there's no power in the building at all. There's no electricity.

[00:25:35] And so when you deploy devices that are designed to measure electromagnetic magnetic energy, And yet there's no energy in the building when things act upon it that's extremely compelling. And so that night, everything that we had was alarming. So that was probably the most intense investigation that we'd been on.

[00:25:51] Another one that I really enjoyed was the grand old lady hotel in Ballston, North Carolina. And so this was a hotel that was built in 1919. And it was built as part of the rear railway system that runs through the mountains there in Ballston, North Carolina. And so it was a great hotel. It was very opulent when it was built three stories, it had a hundred guest rooms, a grand ballroom, a large kitchen and dining area.

[00:26:15] And so when we investigated there a couple of years ago, we rented out the entire building. So it was just three of us for a weekend, for the entire, in inside the entire building. So we had control of the building and the property. And so on Friday night, Miranda did her investigation. And then Saturday night, my, my twin sister, Jenny and I, we conducted our investigation and we had objects moving on us.

[00:26:37] We had a table overturned in front of us. We had a coffee pot turn on inside the kitchen when we asked something to happen. And so on that Saturday night, We all decided to sleep in. So they have different rooms structures, so single rooms, double rooms, and they also have suites. And so one of the suites that we decided to sleep in, it had two rooms an interior room and an exterior room, but the entire suite was access through one doorway that went into the hall.

[00:27:03] So we had the door shut that hallway door shut. And a night vision video camera on the inside and the night vision, video camera on the outside. So we had control of that environment and we had voice recorders by the beds that were sleeping in. And so w you hear us say are good nights and everything is quiet for about 15 minutes and a man's voice outside the bedroom door said, please don't go.

[00:27:24] And we captured it. Miranda said, what was that? And I said, there's a man standing outside our door. And she's Yeah.

[00:27:29] that's what I thought. And, but yet there's no man, there's nobody else on the property. So that was a great investigation for us. So you know, every place that we've been has really had some compelling evidence that we just can't explain. 

[00:27:41] Jolie Downs: It gives me the little shivers on this side, over here, just talking about it. What is it like for you? Like when you're in it and go, like living it.

[00:27:50] Kristy Sumner: It's interesting. It's not, it's different than the popular media portrays, right? So you can watch a ghost show on television right now, or a haunted paranormal show on television. And essentially it's instant gratification where you have an investigation in 15 minutes, they talk about it for 15 minutes and then they wrap up the evidence.

[00:28:07] And then in the last 30 minutes of the show, and that's really not how it is for us. You were sitting there for sometimes hours. We're not hearing anything or whatever, it's like fishing. So you're there, there's long periods of silence. There's long periods of just sitting there in the darkness.

[00:28:21] But when something happens, it's definitely an adrenaline rush. There are a lot of times where we'll leave an investigation and feel like we hadn't really captured anything, but yet we go back and re we review our audio and video footage, and we found that we've captured a lot of compelling evidence.

[00:28:36] For example we investigated the Lizzie Borden house and fall rivers, Massachusetts. And this is the site of the 1892 deaths of Andrew Borden and Abby Borden. Where they were bludgeoned to death by an ax. The prime suspect was Lizzie Borden. She was acquitted of the murder, but we had these two deaths in this house and today it's one of the most haunted locations in the country.

[00:28:56] So when we. The very first thing that we do when we go to investigation, we turn on our voice recorders, right? As we cross the threshold, because we want them running no matter what we're doing. So we were setting up all of our equipment. Again, our voice recorders are going and Jenny and Michelle are standing in the parlor, just talking, just like we're talking just about normal day stuff.

[00:29:14] While the rest of us are coming in the house, putting up stationary. And so you can just hear them talking. And on the voice recorder, we captured a man's voice saying I'm standing right here next to you yet. There's nobody else in that room with them. So that was really intense, but again, it was intense because we heard it afterwards, but not in the moment.

[00:29:35] Oh, about an hour later, Jenny and Caro were sitting in that living that same living room. And they were talking about the differences between the Valesca Axe murder house and the Lizzie Borden house. We had been to the murder house earlier that year. And Cora said, being axed to death would be a horrible way to die.

[00:29:53] And we captured a man's voice saying it was. And so again, that's just, one of the things that they did not hear in the moment, but when we go back and listen to it, it's extremely compelling one because there's no man there. And two, because this voice is responding intelligently to the conversation. 

[00:30:10] Jolie Downs: Crazy. That's crazy. 

[00:30:13] Kristy Sumner: It really is. 

[00:30:15] Jolie Downs: Now, is it difficult to get access to these places? Did, when you decided to do this, did you know you'd be able to.

[00:30:22] Kristy Sumner: We did, to.

[00:30:23] some extent now there are some locations like the Lizzie Borden house or the Valesca ax murder house that you can rent specifically for this purpose. So the larger quote, unquote commercial locations, like a Lizzie Borden house, or brushy mountain state penitentiary, we decided to go on these investigations and rent those properties out because as I said before, We really wanted to build our portfolio and add to the knowledge base of paranormal activity.

[00:30:45] But we've had a lot of locations that will call us. 

[00:30:48] Jolie Downs: That's great.

[00:30:48] Kristy Sumner: I know what you do. I've seen your website, I've seen your videos. Will you come and investigate our location? And they'll allow us just to come in for the night and do that investigation. And then we will have private residents or private people who own a house or a business they'll call us and say, Hey, can you come investigate my house?

[00:31:06] Can you come investigate my business? And tell me if there's anything that you think is haunted going on. Because I think that there is, so we have both of those that. But like I said, the commercial side and those that are private residents, those type investigator. 

[00:31:20] Jolie Downs: It's really interesting. And yours is mainly investigation. You're not trying to communicate with them. You're more investigating if it's happening.

[00:31:26] Kristy Sumner: Correct now? No, we will. We will sit down and try to communicate with them. For us, it really is. We go in with a sense of respect for the history of the location, as well as any spirit that we're trying to contact. And so we're not mediums per se. We're not psychics or anything like that.

[00:31:42] We're going in with that sense of research and that sense of exploration. We, and we also go in with a sense of healthy skepticism. So the first thing that we try to do is we try to account for anything paranormal that could be caused by environmental factors, like light pollution, noise, pollution, anything like that.

[00:31:58] So That's what we go in with the mindset of, and then when we control for all of those things, what we're left with is unexplainable. So as I said before, when we're in a location where. There's four females investigating yet. I'm capturing a man's voice or I'm capturing a child's voice. That's unexplainable to me.

[00:32:17] And so we don't go into like I said, to sit down and have a seance or anything like that, we go into see if we can communicate with them and really get their story. So if you watch any of our videos, the theme that we always have throughout is can we tell your story? Will

[00:32:30] you allow us to do that? And we've been fortunate enough to do that. Yeah. 

[00:32:34] Jolie Downs: Very cool. That's very respectful because I would imagine that opens them up to want to, tend to be open to communicating. 

[00:32:42] Kristy Sumner: Yeah, it really does. And go ahead. 

[00:32:44] Jolie Downs: has a say, everyone wants to share their story.

[00:32:47] Kristy Sumner: You're absolutely right. And that's what I, that's my common theme that I say, the very core of human existence is to be recognized. Nobody wants to go through life thinking that they're invisible and that's the same thing with the spirits. They do what their story told. And if we can do that, if we can put that Really out there for our audience, then that's what we're gonna.

[00:33:04] Jolie Downs: Really cool. That's really cool. Now, from everything that you've learned, what do you think has benefited you the most?

[00:33:12] Kristy Sumner: Honestly, I really just think having that the strong spirit, internal spirit, not paranormal spirit, just having a strong spirit really being able to face challenges, knowing when to say no, but also. Not being afraid to say no or not being afraid to say yes. And really just again, follow your passions, but have the strength and the courage to do it.

[00:33:34] I've talked to, I'm able to talk to somebody who works on the TSA security line. I've been able to work with them, but I've also spoken to members of Congress. So to be able to have that strength of character, to be able to really know what you're speaking about and have the courage to do that.

[00:33:50] I think that's one, one of the things that. I think it's really benefited me throughout this entire journey of life. 

[00:33:58] Jolie Downs: that's great. And what about, is there been a certain talk or a movie? A book that you've read that has had a big impact on your life that you think others might benefit from it.

[00:34:08] Kristy Sumner: I do watch a lot of movies. I read a lot of books but, and this may sound really corny, but star wars my, one of my favorite movies is star wars. And I actually wrote my college essay exam on star wars because yes I Did And it was too 

[00:34:23] arousing success. 

[00:34:26] Jolie Downs: what was it about, what was the theme?

[00:34:27] Kristy Sumner: The, the theme?

[00:34:28] was really, again, just following your passion.

[00:34:31] So if you know the original the story of the 1977 star wars version it is one of somebody that wants to pursue their dreams and they make it happen. And so even though you can't move object with your mind you to be able to think that you can. Can really, again, have to give you that strength to move really mountains to find your goals to reach your goals.

[00:34:52] And so that was really, I'm paraphrasing obviously, but that was really the theme of the college essay exam. And it was, I did, I wrote it on star wars. 

[00:35:00] Jolie Downs: I love and I love that's so inline with, your strengths in life and the things that have served you so well in life. That's, it's a nice correlation there. Isn't it interesting. Is there anything unfinished for you? You just started your museum. I'm curious. Is there, do you have these other things on the horizon that you're thinking about for next and next?

[00:35:20] Kristy Sumner: Oh, absolutely. Like I said we did open the jail there in Huntsville, Tennessee to, to, to tours general history tours and paranormal tours. But for us, that's really just the beginning. It's interesting because we are a two person team of two. We're two females, I'm a two person team and we've designed what I feel is just this amazing concept from advertising and marketing and pitching our concept to promoting our concept, to really building our entire brand.

[00:35:48] It really looks like I feel of a big corporate business, but it just, it's just the two of us. We do everything from designing the website to designing the the t-shirts and all of that to, plumbing in the building. So it's just the two of us doing all of this, 

[00:36:03] but 

[00:36:03] Jolie Downs: in the building.

[00:36:05] Kristy Sumner: Yeah, yes. It's an old building.

[00:36:07] So things go on a lot. But so to be able to do that, I am very proud of what we've done. Miranda and I couldn't ask for a better business partner than Miranda young. But I think, my, my strengths with regards to being in, in corporate world and her strengths of being a graphic designer and a marketing genius, really I think it has really allowed us to show people what we can do.

[00:36:29] And because of that, We're going to take the Huntsville model and try to incorporate that in other locations. As I said before, we've already had several people ask us to come and speak on paranormal tourism and historic preservation. And so for us, we want to take that and continue that, whether it be consulting and allow and help.

[00:36:48] Businesses grow like that. That's what we want to do. That's where our passion lies. If we can consult and help other historical locations do what we've done. Like I said, we've only been open seven weeks, but we've really had an amazing seven weeks. We've gotten recognition.

[00:37:01] We've gotten tours booked and people coming in and buying our merchandise and stuff. So I'm very proud of what we've accomplished. And I think that's just going to lead to better. 

[00:37:10] Jolie Downs: Oh, yeah. Fantastic. I congratulate you and I'm excited to see what you do because I think I can definitely see that going far and wide and I will follow, I will check it 

[00:37:20] Kristy Sumner: Oh thank you. I really appreciate that. 

[00:37:22] Jolie Downs: and for people who are interested in checking, coming to check out your museum or learning about your show on YouTube and finding more information about you, where can they find that?

[00:37:30] Kristy Sumner: On the soul sister side we're soul sisters paranormal, and our website is www dot soul sisters, We're very active on Facebook under soul sisters, paranormal and on our YouTube channel is undersold sisters paranormal as well. For the historic Scott county jail, we are located in Huntsville, Tennessee.

[00:37:47] Our website is www dot historic. Coco Again, we're also very active on Facebook under historic Scott county jail. And anything you want to know, if you want to book a tour or, give us a call and arrange a private paranormal investigation, we can absolutely do that. Or if you want our consulting services, let us know as well. 

[00:38:07] Jolie Downs: Very cool. All right. My final two questions are based on curious. First did you ever dress up as Ghostbusters for Halloween growing up?

[00:38:16] Kristy Sumner: Not growing up, but last year I did. Yeah, I did. I had this, the, I had the suit, I had the proton pack. I had the whole little utility belt with all of the stuff. Yes, 

[00:38:27] So 

[00:38:29] Jolie Downs: I did two, seven years ago. 

[00:38:31] Kristy Sumner: there you go. 

[00:38:32] Jolie Downs: One of my favorite costumes.

[00:38:37] All right. Last question. What are you sure?

[00:38:40] Kristy Sumner: In, in life, I'm sure that I'm going to be successful no matter what I do whether, like I said, whether it's run a museum or write a book or whatever I'm sure?

[00:38:48] of that. And as I said before, it's going to reach my definition of success and that entails being happy and just having a great support system.

[00:38:55] And so that's, yeah I'm happy with that. So I'm sure.

[00:38:59] Jolie Downs: I love it. Thank you so much. It's has been wonderful Christy. I really appreciate your time. Thank you for coming on fresh blood. 

[00:39:05] Kristy Sumner: Thank you have a great night.

Jolie Downs:

I so enjoyed Kristy’s story. I love that after 9/11 she took the horrific impact of the day and found a way she could make a change for the better, going into aviation security and helping keep us all safe while we’re up in the air. Once she excelled in that role, she turned to helping others to learn how to do the same and became a college professor, further aiding our aviation security by teaching the future. Thank you for that time spent Kristy. 

After awhile, the travel and corporate burn out became too much for Kristy. She listened to that voice inside that said, it was enough, and she took a break. 

As Kristy mentioned, she has been lucky to have such a strong, supportive and loving family through life. When she was ready for a break, she was able to go home and assist with her family’s property management. This gave her time to re-evaluate her life and take some time to think about what she wanted. 

Given that time, Kristy was also able to think about the things that greatly interested her. Kristy shared how she had always had a fascination with the paranormal, as did her sister and they always promised themselves they would jump if ever given the chance to do a paranormal investigation. When they were given the opportunity to visit and then subsequently spend the night at a haunted penitentiary – they did what they had promised themselves, they jumped and made it happen. 

They loved it.

They wanted more. 

So they did more. 

This may seem like a simple thing. But it’s not. It’s a great, huge wonderful thing that we all need to emulate. What do you love to do? What brings you joy? What jump starts that brain into a million questions and curiosity? 

Now, How much time are you giving that love, that joy, into your life? 

Unfortunately, finding personal joy, adding things you love to do during your week, is way too far down the list for a huge percentage of the population. If you do not have something you are looking forward to – it’s time to fix that situation right now. What can you add to your calendar that will bring you that joy? It can be small, but add something to your weekly calendar that will light you up, that thing you can look forward to. 

Kristy and her sister continued with their investigations and soon their family and friends became curious. When they shared what they were doing they were given the amazing encouragement to keep it going – I applaud this family, we should all be so lucky to have such an amazing support system. 

They turned their experiences into a youtube channel, which gained a following and led to more and more investigations. This led to new doors and opportunities which resulted in the start of a new museum, the preservation of an old building, speaking engagements and the creation of history tours. Through it all, Kristy has become an industry expert. 

All because a couple of sisters decided to pursue a passion. 

Story after story proves the power of following the path of your greatest interests, it’s truly incredible - as Kristy shared, having the tenacity to go after her passions and dreams has led to amazing opportunities. Just like when we heard from past Fresh Blood guests about their passions for Lego, Handwriting analysis, cabaret singing, children’s books, inventions, mentoring, comic books, ballroom dancing, languages and so much more – they turned these passions into amazing, uplifting, fulfilling careers. 

You can too. 

You don’t have to quit your job. You don’t have to make drastic changes. You just have to make it a priority to add the joy – add the passion – say yes to any opportunities that come your way, follow what lights you up and see where it takes you. You never know what might happen but your Worst case scenario is you will have a much more joyful, happy life.

For Kristy, it led to an entire new career and life calling. It led to a creation of life that makes her happy. Kristy is living her successful life and I’m wishing the same for you.

Kristy shares that making these transitions isn’t easy, what helped her get through is sheer tenacity, not giving up on her dreams, which is an essential element to any success story. This is why following your passion, following your why, is so important. It is so much easier to be tenacious, so much easier to not give up, when you are deeply connected to what you are doing. When you love what you’re doing, it makes it much easier to keep going through the hard times. 

Having that family support was another key factor that helped Kristy along with her success. Having a supportive family or friends, having an encouraging fan base of some sort, will make a huge difference in helping you reach your goals. Having people that are ready to assist, to listen, to boost you up when feeling down, can make a huge impact in life. But Not everyone has a ready-made supportive family, we are all born into different situations, and for any variety of reasons, we may not have loved ones alive or near. And that’s ok. Families can be created anytime, anywhere. Find your new connections through your passions and interest. Sign up for groups, go to events, show up over and over at the places that bring you joy and you’ll find others there, doing the same, a natural place to connect over interests. 

There are so many options out there – both online and in person, just make a list of your interests and start looking up groups and events today. Look what happened for Kristy. She met someone through a mutual interest of the paranormal and now she has a new business partner that she started a museum and ghost tours with. Who knows what kind of light new like-minded individuals could bring into your life? Put yourself out there for friendship, it does take time but the effort is well worth it. 

If you’re looking for a way to connect when you meet other people, take a note from my conversation with Kristy, everyone wants to share their story, everyone wants to be visible, to be seen and be recognized. So start there, when you meet new people, ask them about their story. 

I loved Kristy’s definition of success, doing something that makes you happy, following your moral compass. And I love that Kristy is living her definition of success, she is following her dreams, she walked away from a great successful job because it didn’t make her happy inside. She listened to that internal voice, making the hard decisions in order to find the right opportunity for her life. Kristy knew life is too short. It is much too short to stay stuck in a grind you are unhappy in, I commend her for making the leap, I applaud her for taking the time to find the thing that lights her up, for being brave enough to say yes to the new opportunities that came her way and for then finding a way to help others learn how to do the same.

And that is my wish for us all, that every day we are brave enough to say Yes to the right opportunities that come our way. 

Until next time

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