||The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt is a movie spin-off from a popular podcast that pits the rational sceptic against the believer in the supernatural. In it, intrepid explorers Ian Boldsworth and Barry Dodds venture up and down Britain in search of proof of the paranormal. Do they find it? You'll have to watch and see, in a highly enjoyable and thought-provoking project. The sceptical side of the team, Ian Boldsworth, was good enough to answer some of our incisive (?) questions.
TSI: How important is it to have a good sense of humour as a sceptic (because a lot of sceptics really don't!)?
IB: Do you not reckon? I'd be more inclined to say that’s the other way round, and it's the people who subscribe to paranormal belief who tend to be ultra-defensive and serious about it. I think sceptics generally have an eye-rolling element to them, so we are pre-disposed to be laughing at daft claims.
TSI: When Barry was totally freaked out in Edinburgh, wasn't it just that sheet on the wall he had seen illuminated by torchlight?
IB: No that wouldn't fit with what he says he saw. He had a pretty defined description of a physical form, not a big white blob!
TSI: You reacted very well to the psychic and her surprisingly aggressive spirit guide "Alan", do you get a lot of hostility for your rationalism in the face of the supposed paranormal?
IB: Not generally speaking, but that may come when more people see the film. We've noticed a trend, which Barry finds a bit frustrating, that I generally manage to charm believers with my mischievous sceptical attitude. When it's confrontational on their part it's usually in a sort of condescending "Oh you wouldn't understand" way, but I very much enjoyed the tactical employment of an invisible spirit to shout at me.
TSI: Why do so many ghost hunters insist on conducting investigations in almost complete darkness, when if they turned a light on they could see what they were doing better?
IB: Well the actual cynical reason is because darkness removes a sense (sight... obv), and removing a sense removes a stimulus. The brain requires stimulation at all points (hence why we dream during rest time), and if it gets nothing it will start entertaining itself. Ergo, your brain is more likely to spark you into fear or assumption if you are in the dark.
TSI: Who threw the mug at the film's last investigation?
IB: I reject this as a biased question. You have stated "threw" and it wasn't.
TSI: The Battersea Poltergeist looks to be the next big celebrated case - how would you go about explaining something like that (e.g. multiple witnesses and repeated phenomena)?
IB: I can actually fly. I don't mean like gliding. It's like when Superman flies. I stand still, put my arms up and take off. My mum, my partner and three of my friends will all verify that I can fly. They have seen me do it many times in the fields around my house, and will happily testify that it is true.
TSI: Where do you stand on The Conjuring franchise? Because the Parapod movie is a lot more enlightening.
IB: I think I only saw one of them at the cinema once and can't remember much about it. Dodds would probably have more of an answer for you on this. Ultimately, The ParaPod is strangely not actually about ghosts, it's more about behaviours and relationships.
TSI: Will there be more from the Parapod on the way?
IB: Not any time soon. This film has been a huge undertaking and deserves its time in the sun to breathe and be. I wouldn't want to immediately shove it to the side for a different ParaPod project, and I'm working on an animation show (The Rocky Robot Show) for a personal change of scenery.
TSI: How vital is it in this day and age to show people with opposite views being able to be friends?
IB: Well... I don't know if it's a case of it being vital to "show" it, but I do think it's an awful shame that such a divide exists in the world these days. It's not even a case of extremes, it's a zero-tolerance approach to any deviance from a very specific (and constantly changing) doctrine on all sides. I like that The ParaPod - A Very British Ghost Hunt has its divide and debate in perspective.
Many thanks to Mr Boldsworth for answering our queries, much appreciated. The ParaPod - A Very British Ghost Hunt available on Digital Download now. More information available at theparapod.com
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