First, You Make a Roux

Mme. Blahblatsky is still in a stew about the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum episode. I, the Talking Mongoose, am trying to tend the shop in her absence. Fate has kindly bestowed upon me the fascinating Pam of the DeVille “Gumbo” episode (part of the TAPS invasion of Louisiana in the second season of Ghost Hunters, February 2005). Pam was a founder of the Southern Louisiana Ghost Hunters group, whom we were supposed to believe had called up Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes, as a member of the TAPS “family,” asking for help regarding the haunted sugar plantation. Well, we’re not idiots, and we knew that wasn’t the way it happened, but we couldn’t figure out the real story until now, because Pam herself has given us the other side.

Go with us now into the roiling depths of the icky TAPS “family” as we get an exclusive interview with Pam Gates Hoyt. Remember that opening and closing door they couldn’t debunk? Oh, dear.

How did TAPS approach you with the idea behind the episode? What did they tell you up front? Did you know they were going to pretend you were asking for help? Did that annoy you?

I was contacted by someone with Pilgrim Productions through my website. I didn’t even know Taps was in town. I gave him my phone number and he called me. He said that they were in New Orleans and would be taping for a week. They had made arrangements to do an investigation of a private residence (they didn’t want to do just public places). I thought it hilarious that they had made arrangements for this residential investigation through one of those phony, money-grubbing fakes in town (she takes buses into cemeteries, dresses all in black and charges money for something tourist could do for free). She was a member of their “Family” and they had never even met her. So, her investigation [fell] through at the last minute and they were clambering to find an investigation at the last minute. I guess they started scanning the net and they came across Michelle and me. No, we did not know they were going to pretend we were asking for help. I would NEVER have asked them for help. And Hell Yeah, it annoyed me. I thought it made me look incapable and I have been involved with the paranormal a lot longer than they have. I started training as a medium from my Cajun Grandmother around three years old.

How did you happen to meet the DeVilles?

They contacted me through our website, referred to us by a friend who had a group in North Louisiana.

When had you first been involved in the DeVille house, and what was the status of your case when TAPS called?

I was originally contacted by Bruce DeVille’s younger brother a couple months prior to the taping. We went out and did an initial investigation. I asked the clients not to tell me anything about what was going on there (something I always did). Michelle did background investigation on the property; she knew more about it than me. After our initial investigation, we were in the process of scheduling a full investigation. We were gathering the proper equipment and making arrangements when TAPS came into the picture.

Had you seen the first season of Ghost Hunters previously? What did you think about TAPS before you actually met them?

Yes, I had seen the first season. Michelle and I did things alone for a long time before deciding to form a group. We used The Myrtles as our training ground. We thought that we wanted to use TAPS as a model for our group as far as having certain people in charge of certain things, such as Case Manager, Tech Manager, etc. And we were looking at the equipment they were using to decide what we liked and didn’t like. What did I think about TAPS? I thought Jason was a total Ass and swore I never would treat people that way.

Exactly how long did it take to do the filming?

Not long enough. We met them at their hotel on the West Bank that afternoon. I was immediately annoyed by the filming and refilming of stupid little things like greeting them, walking out of the hotel to go to the cars and even re-filmed leaving the hotel THREE times. I took an immediate dislike to the Director. He was snotty, condescending and controlling. Look, Cajuns have traditions, just like the Japanese, Chinese and other cultures and this guy was just insulting. I also thought it was extremely disrespectful to me, Michelle and our clients that they (TAPS members and crew) were all hung over from too much Bourbon Street the night before.

Who was in charge of the production? Who made decisions affecting content? You mentioned Kristyn Gartland didn’t really refuse to sit with Bruce. Whose hare-brained idea was that?

I was first contacted by someone in California, then by the location manager who was with TAPS in New Orleans, then the Director of the shoot. It was clear that the Director was calling ALL the shots. As far as Kristyn, that was a complicated one. Michelle’s sister Ashley had gone with us. She was not a member of SLGH, [she] didn’t plan to be a part of the show, she just came along to watch her sister tape a TV show. Originally they had asked Ashley to sit with Bruce. Well, they didn’t ask her. The Director kind of shoved it at her. Ashley is kind of skittish about the paranormal and had never met Bruce before that night. She originally reluctantly agreed to do it, but then Mr. Hot-Shot Director insulted her and she came to Michelle and asked her to get her out of it. So that’s when they decided to use Kristyn. But, Michelle decided she wasn’t going to let anyone treat her sister that way and pulled Grant aside and said “look, you just don’t treat people like this in the south. If you want Ashley to sit with Bruce, she0ll do it, but show her some respect. The part with Kristyn refusing to sit with Bruce was a complete lie and completely scripted.

What was in that gumbo? Who made it? It sounds like it wasn’t Bruce, to my disappointment.

The Gumbo was a chicken and Andouille (sausage) gumbo and it was made by Bruce’s sister who owns a little café in town. It is a Cajun tradition to cook a gumbo when company is coming. To not at least taste it, is an insult. Steve’s remarks were an insult to Bruce’s family and to Cajuns in general.

(They did eat the gumbo, although we still don’t know about prissy-sissy Steve. TM)

Did you get those shirts on your own, or did the producers make you wear them?

Those were our shirts. I mean, we wore those shirts on all our investigations and all of our team members (who the production company said COULD NOT COME) wore those shirts on all our investigations. They didn’t make us wear them, it was our investigation and we were representing our group, not TAPS.

Was the filming straight “documentary” or did they make you repeat scenes multiple times? Was there any script?

We didn’t have a script, but we were at times told what to say. Multiple times????? We introduced Jason and Grant to Bruce about 5 times at the door. It got so damn annoying! For example: we were told to introduce Jason and Grant and that they would then say, “We’re from TAPS. We’re here to help.” How lame is that?

Bruce made one of the most rational presentations of paranormal household problems ever. What did you think about the editing decision to try to make him look like a nut?

I was FURIOUS!!! Bruce is a down to earth, hardworking guy, who has taken care of his youngest brother since both their parents died. He is a good person, the kind of guy you would want to have for a big brother.

What is the “smell of death?” Did they make you say that, or was that for real? We are familiar with the smell of a dead rat inside a wall, mind you.

No, they didn’t make me say that. Maybe it is something only a medium can understand. But can you imagine finding a dead body after it had been there for a few days. Just a rank and disgusting smell.

Do you think the door opening incident was real? Where was everybody between 8 and 8:30 anyway?

OK, this is kind of tricky. I don’t want people to think that there is not activity at that house. They chose to zoom in on only one of the spirits on that property. The history of that property has recorded everything from the Houmas Indian tribe, a Civil War skirmish, deaths of children from yellow fever, the overseer dropping dead of a heart attack in the kitchen, his wife [dying of] a brain tumor in the bathtub, and one of the original owners of the Plantation (who was German) allowed Confederate soldiers to camp on the grounds and then informed the Union, thus a bloody battle ensued. The Deville House is only one of several houses on a working sugar cane farm called “The Georgia Plantation”. The big house has been gone for years, but two overseers’ houses still remain. The house is over one hundred years old.

So, now to answer your question and burst everyone’s bubble. For you to know that I am telling you the honest truth, let me give you the layout of that room in proximity to the house. You saw us greet Bruce at the front door. As soon as you walk into the front door, the room is directly to the right. So that anyone going in and out of the front door had to pass that room. When you go into the front door, there is a long hallway with two bedrooms on each side and the stairs at the end of the hallway before you would go through a closed door into the living room where Bruce was sitting all during the taping. Jason DeVille was kept outside, supposedly [being interviewed] the whole time. The hallway was never dark, in other words, there was no “lights out” in the hallway because crew members were constantly going in and out of the house. You can’t go by the time they showed you on TV – that was totally fabricated. We got to the house around 6-7 pm. At some point (when Ashley was in the living room with Bruce), Jason called Michelle and me out to his Tahoe or whatever it was, to have a frank and honest talk with us. [Ha! TM] He wanted to give us advice, find out if we had any questions and wanted to steer us away from a certain person (I won’t name him) who has been in the field for many, many years. He was really hating on this guy. So he kept us out in the truck for at least forty-five minutes or more. So, it really upsets me that when I was in that room, trying to tell that brainiac girl that there was someone in there with us, she debunks the temperature change by pointing the thermometer to a lamp that WAS NOT PLUGGED IN! But then the door of that same room opens and closes on its own twice while people are constantly in the hallway in front of it! You decide. Did I mention that there were 21 crew members from Pilgrim Productions, 7 members of TAPS, myself, Michelle and Ashley, Bruce and Jason DeVille all there at the same time?

And that reminds me. Where does everybody go and what do they do during the hours and hours we don’t get to see what’s happening? Is someone really watching the video monitors all the time? How did that door get missed, if so? Isn’t it really true they’re all lollygagging around the craft services truck, smoking and gossiping?

I don’t know about that one. Like I said, we arrived at the house between 6 and 7 pm and we were told that they had to have the crew back to the hotel in NO before midnight or they would have to pay them double time. So, everything wrapped up by 9:30 or 10 at the very latest. Not much of an investigation huh?

What was the story with the younger brother Jason? Was he filmed at all and cut out in post-production, or cut out from the start? Too many Jasons for Jason’s taste? Is it true he shaved his head bald to look like the TAPS Jason?

This is the saddest story of all of it. Jason has epilepsy. He keeps his head shaved because he has an electrical device and a shunt in his brain to cut down seizure activity. They pretended to be filming him, but never intended to use him on the show. He has a bit of a stammer. He was such a fan of the show and was so excited about the shoot and then they crushed him. He was SO hurt! We made him an honorary m ember of SLGH to try to make up for it. He is the one that caught the debunking of the door scene. He called me and said, “Pam, you know when they came back out here for the reveal (we were not allowed to go), the door that Jason is looking at to make sure it couldn’t have opened and shut on its own? That door is not even in this house.” I questioned Jason about it. He got pissed off and gave me some crap about it being too dark to film in there so they filmed it back at their office in Rhode Island. That was the beginning of the end of me with TAPS!

What happened after the episode was filmed? What was your reaction upon seeing it? How did you get banned from the TAPS chat board?

Michelle and I watched it together at my apartment. We were told it was to air on a certain date and it turned out [to air] a week prior to the date we were given. We had planned to have a little get-together at my apartment for the whole team on that night. Michelle and I use to watch together every week, mainly always on the lookout for new equipment. We were shocked when they announced it was our episode on. Then, we were a little stunned and didn’t know what to say, especially when we saw how they had cut Jason DeVille completely out. We didn’t know what we were going to tell him. It was weird seeing ourselves on TV and I was furious at the segment with me and what’s her name in the bedroom. When we saw the door, at first we were excited, but then it was Jason DeVille himself who discovered the first deception and pointed it out to us.

I was banned from the message boards for telling the truth; plain and simple. I wouldn’t lie to people.

What’s that business about you getting your head run into a beam and a window sill about? We want details.

The female entity is a possessive spirit. Having been a medium now for over forty years, I can tell you that the more familiar spirits get with you, the more they will interact with you. She did physically attack me on several occasions. At one point, she cornered me in a room in the attic and it took Michelle and two guys on my team to pull me loose from her. She also attacked a couple other people on the team. But she singled me out, I think, because I specialize in cleansing houses of malevolent spirits and demonology.

We called TAPS a lot of names in this episode. What would be your preferred names for them? (You don’t need to use ours – make up your own!)

Cruel, gold-digging fakes who don’t care who they hurt to make a buck. They give people who are doing this for the right reason (finding the truth or comforting the grieving) a bad name. They are using the paranormal for fame.

What do you think is TAPS real agenda? What is this TAPS family nonsense, anyway? Are they trying to be the Sopranos of the paranormal? Is it really a cult, and is there a secret handshake? Dues?

You know, that is a good way to put it. Yes, they are trying to be the Sopranos of the paranormal. If you are not one of their “Family members” in their eyes, you’re nothing. No it’s not a cult; it’s just two guys who play good cop/bad cop for ratings. Grant has some kind of bachelor’s degree in computer technology; you think he really wanted to work as a plumber?????? There are no monetary dues, but when you get in bed with those guys, you pay, believe me.

What do you think of Jason’s green-olives system of keeping away ghosts? And is he as much of a pill as he seems?

I don’t know anything about the “green olive” thing. I never heard of it. He is more of an ass than you will ever know. He is a know-it-all, pretentious, condescending ass. Why do you think the twins are no longer on the show? I quit watching the show after the Myrtles Episode. It was soooooo wrong. The supposed “slave” house they were staying in: it is a building that is not original to the property. When Mrs. Teeta Moss first bought the house, she lived in it. Her sons were toddlers at the time and she had this built for them as a club house or play house. After Teeta built a million-dollar home at the very back of the property, she did have her maintenance guy stay in it for a while, but eventually it was incorporated into the bed-and-breakfast and could be rented out. That room is no more than twenty years old. Michelle and I became friendly with Teeta. We spent every Friday at that house when we first began to explore the paranormal together as two friends and co-workers. We both taught at a Health Career College and had every Friday off. Michelle practiced Wicca, and taught me about it, while I used The Myrtles to exercise my skills as a medium and taught Michelle about the Cajun rituals of Cadoo. That episode pissed us off just about as much as our own. The Myrtles is a sacred place to us.

What was going on at the Deville house the last you heard?

The last I heard, Bruce was working offshore and had another brother living there with him. This brother felt that TAPS had made Bruce look foolish and was angry about what they did to Jason. He wouldn’t allow anymore investigations. Bruce has told other people that he won’t allow anyone else to investigate but me. The reason is because, also as a Cajun, I respected him and his family and he knew I would never exploit him.

What’s your favorite haunted house in Louisiana?

The LaLaurie House in New Orleans.

What is your most interesting paranormal experience ever?

Dying. I have been clinically dead twice in my life.

What are you doing now?

I have a book coming out soon. “Spirits of Louisiana; Experiences of A Cajun Medium.” It is an autobiography of my life, from the confusion of my childhood. My Mother was a fire-and-brimstone minister and my Father believed in my gift. I also consult with other paranormal groups, as long as they are not with TAPS or LASpirits fans.

We’re of the opinion, generally, that ghosts are mostly sad and dull. They’re unnerving because we don’t understand how they can be. Also, that TAPS’ version of ghost hunting is kind of pointless, because it will never be possible to prove anything. What’s your take on this?

You are right about TAPS and the International show is even worse. But you are wrong about ghosts being sad and dull. They are anything but. I love playing with the children at the Myrtles and I love a good fight with an inhuman. You’d be surprised at what happens when you are not doing this to promote yourself!

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24 Responses to “First, You Make a Roux”

  1. Cathy Says:

    Hey, you’re back! I was just thinking about you all last night when the season premier of GH was on.

    Great interview, although I can’t say I’m very surprised by anything in it (i.e., “Reality” show are manipulated, Jason is a donkey, TAPS is actually slip-shod). This story has a way better plotline and dramatic arc than the “reality” show!

    My best to la Madame!

  2. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    Jeezum crow! The next season has started??? Mme. B. has been out grubbing in garden, and I have been too consumed by a new fascination with Gordon Ramsay to notice.

    We are falling so far behind. The spread of TAPS inanity is too viral. It can’t be stopped, so it must be documented! I will convey your kind thoughts to Mme. B. I think she is weakening. She had a deeply furrowed brow when she read this interview, and she made some noise like a teakettle before she retreated to the tomato patch again yesterday.

  3. Questionable Says:

    The interview was way too bitter. When someone acts like that I always want the other side of a story as well.

    She seems to be a very angry person as well. You can be critical over an experience without acting like that. When you act like that the whole credibility factor is challenged. Im not talking about Jason. Im talking about Pam.

    Dear God, when you go into detail about Michelle’s personal married life and how the guy who wanted to sleep with her was getting a divorce, etc. you utterly lost me. That stuff is personal. Just because Pam got pissed off over TAPs doesn’t give her the moral authority to publically expose Michelle like that.

    Im sorry. The interview was just too immature for me to even remotely take her seriously. If she was more mature I would have taken her more seriously

  4. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    La di da. Can you take anyone who associates with TAPS seriously? Does that mean you take TAPS seriously?

    Pam was dead on about that fake door debunking. Plus, she doesn’t associate with TAPS anymore. She wins.

  5. Questionable Says:

    Whether or not TAPS can be taken seriously is besides the point. Pam got so personable on so many different levels that you need to hear two sides of the story.

    When she acts childish like this it makes many people wonder. She probably would have had a more credible response if she was mature in her answers but it just sounded like a pissed off seventh grader talking about what her “former friends” did to her at the school dance.

    My point is you can talk your mind and what happened without acting like that and as I said in my earlier response…you don’t tell the world about someone else’s marital issues. As a southerner she would know this.

    She could have gone a long way with this interview if she handled herself like an adult. Two wrongs do not make a right. If TAPs was acting childish, she shouldn’t stoop to that level…it makes her as bad as the examples she gave

  6. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    No one gets to tell me what is “besides” the point on the Ouija Board, besides Mme. Blahblatsky. But she is still messing around with tomatoes and boiling water, so I tiptoed into her kitchen and read your comments to her.

    Mme. B. stated that she does not care if Pam doesn’t choose to be Melanie Wilkes. Then she snorted about “Ms. Malaprop’s concept of the power of the Ouija Board.” Then she started in on another rant about charlatans and fake door openings, and I thought it best to retreat as she was waving a ladle of hot syrup rather wildly.

    I regret to say that she’s now demanding you clean up your “execrable English” (her words, not mine) if you’re going to “natter about etiquette” here. Don’t take it personably.

  7. Questionable Says:

    you just proved my point. Its hard to take these comments seriously with the childish comments in the interview and with you.

    If the interview was more serious, you all could have gotten a better response of people “believing you all.”

  8. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    Mme. B. here.

    Questionable, poor lamb – you seem to be lost. I don’t know what alternate reality you wandered away from, but here in this one, maturity is not part of our Ouija Board mission statement. If we had a mission statement.

    Now about that screen name – you do realize you have labeled *yourself* as questionable instead of us? I.e., you have defined yourself as *not credible.*

    All this muddied thinking and adjectival abuse concerns me. You would benefit more from remedial English classes than hanging about the internets and watching bad television.

    Regards,
    Mme. B.

    P.S. Trying to argue with the Talking Mongoose is a waste of time. It is too obtuse. Trust me.

  9. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    If you want to publish your thoughts here and have nothing remotely amusing to say, we strongly advise attention to the following:

    Freaking learn how to spell.

    Grammar, people – it’s what separates us from the savages.

    If you don’t know the meaning or spelling of a word, DON’T USE IT. Better yet, get out a dictionary. There are dictionaries on-line, did you know that?

    Remember, punctuation is your friend.

    Also, we SO don’t care what you think about Pam Gates. You can abuse her and the English language someplace else.

    Brew-ha-ha. Exasterbate. Rediculous. Jeezum crow. We are all going to hell in a handbasket.

    Mme. B and the Talking Mongoose

  10. Gertrude Says:

    I’m still not sure how I bumped into this site but I am very happy that
    it happened. I will be purchasing Pam’s book. Some people are able to
    make the reader feel like they are standing beside them witnessing the
    events that are being described. Pam has that talent and I am eager to
    read/see more.

  11. gift horse Says:

    Thank you for posting this interview. I was a one-time fan of Ghost Hunters because they claimed to want to debunk false cases of hauntings, but as the show has developed it’s become apparent that they are faking evidence for money & fame. It’s sickening. I’m glad you explained the door incident. That makes things so much clearer. I’m very sorry to hear that they hurt the feelings of the brother like that, though . That is very sad. 😦

    I wonder how many families TAPS terrifies with their souped-up stories of flying objects, ghost attacks (scratches on their backs, being pushed, etc) and voices that supposedly say things like “Get Out!” in people’s homes. Then TAPS just leaves these poor shell-shocked families to deal with their terror. It’s cruel. They could be sued for fraud and emotional pain & suffering they’ve inflicted on these families; especially the ones with children.

  12. Brad Selvage Says:

    Anyone who saw that Halloween show knows in thier hearts these two guys (and Pilgrim) are phonies. Three collar pulls AND a LOUD EVIL voice? COme on, folks. They are con men. End of story.

  13. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    *I* wanted to sue TAPS for emotional pain and suffering (mostly ennui), but Mme. B. told me we got what we paid for. Easy for her to say.

  14. Guardian Says:

    I have to agree with the sentiments of Questionable. The interview does seem to have a sense of disgruntlement, and that always taints the facts and intents of the interview. As such, I am also having difficulty taking her seriously as a result. Furthermore, I am having a hard time seeing any spelling or grammatical errors in these posts. So, Moose, I’m not sure why you are getting so upset about poor English usage.

  15. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    Ha ha. “Moose.” Very funny.

    Wait. You’re being ironic, right?

  16. nuekerk Says:

    Awesome interview. Mind if we quote a few sections and send some people here from our own paranormal blog?

    http://www.whofortedblog.com

  17. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    Feel free! That you would ask for permission is weird, but kind. Your blog looks intriguing. We will be stopping by at greater length later.

  18. Bren Says:

    Hi. New here. I am Brenda- episode one and just had to leave my thoughts- they are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo fakeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee it makes me sick- read my posts at the skeptical reviewer- you can’t sue- because big whigs and money keep us all quiet……… Jason and Taps better never let me catch him/them near me and mine- I bite back. i have evidence but lack themoney to pursue…. i tried. Just remember- they will die someday and when the face God or Fate or Kharma- they’ll get theirs,,,, I’m patient- very patient…

  19. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    Well, hey Ms. Brenda, if that indeed be you. Your patience is admirable. But we don’t have any! We figure we’re both going to be dead and walking into walls by the time Karma gets her act together.

    I always knew those Altoona episodes were screwy. Mme. B. says hi, and wants to know if you’re up for an interview on our little talking board here.

  20. Melissa Says:

    Wow…I love this site, and now have my boyfriend hooked. Up until last week, I was still watching Ghosthunters. I was aware of the accusations of it being faked from reading the message boards on Destination Truth, where NO ONE likes TAPS. I just never really looked into it because I didn’t want to hear that it was true. I gave in yesterday and was brought to your site via darkrealmlabs.com. WOW. So, basically none of these shows really have any truth to them. I’m so disappointed. And, even more so, because my favorite show, Destination Truth, is dangerously close to becoming Ghosthunters 2…ugh. Did you happen to watch the Alcatraz episode? During the live part, with Josh Gates hosting, and the flirting between him and Kris Williams…I almost barfed. And I LOVE Josh Gates! Oh I’m so heartbroken….thank you for opening my eyes.

  21. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    Don’t be sad. We’re not sure, but we’re developing a theory that guys always cry when they’re touched by ghosts for real, so you can sort it out from there. Of course, once they hear about this, they’ll probably start blubbering on camera all the time.

    We don’t really watch GH anymore. Mme. B. is still pissed about Grant and the string.

  22. Melissa Says:

    But you have to watch…your comments on this blog are so freakin funny! And I am now addicted to your site, so you are going to have to watch and report….or find another show to make fun of….whichever. Please???? :o)

  23. thetalkingmongoose Says:

    Thank you kindly. Alas, it’s all I can do to keep Mme. B. going at the current snail’s pace. She needs to recover from Barry Fitzgerald’s accent before I suggest the next episode. But she will be heartened by your compliments.

  24. Vivian Says:

    I found your website two days ago and basically have spent every free minute reading it since then. Very enjoyable! I had to laugh out loud several times because your comments and way of writing are just brilliant.
    The interview with Pam was informative even though I have to agree with other posters that she got a bit too personal at times. Still, if everything happened as she said, I understand that she’s bitter. What did spoil the interview a bit for me was her saying “when you are not doing this to promote yourself” and then mentioning her book’s full title not only in the interview but also in her comment about the “Gumbo” episode. Kind of made the “not promoting yourself” bit unbelievable.
    Anyway, much enjoyed reading your website and am delighted by your writing style! I wish the Mme. a speedy recovery.

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