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Now Haunted Magazine all the way from the UK has made the journey across the seas, and has landed on American soil. This magazine features Dakota Laden and Madison Smith. Please message Daniel Klaes to order one direct from him. Madison Smith Merch:
Madison Smith


Two years in, as a paranormal investigator, Madison enjoys exploring mysterious locations alleged to be haunted with spirits. She examines the evidence that she captures herself, trying to catch all types of paranormal activity using her ghost detection devices.  She was taught how to use them by her network of seasoned paranormal mentors.


How it Started

“I was young around four I believe when i became interested in the paranormal.  I started watching paranormal videos on YouTube and got hooked on wanting to learn more.  I started ghost hunting when I was ten. My dad signed me up for an investigation at a location called Renwick Mansion in our state.  I met a lot of paranormal investigators’ there, and they all support each other. They have become my second family and I enjoy seeing them at different locations and paracons each year.


Our family is Christian, but we don’t attend church regularly. I am pretty busy with softball and ghost investigating.  I try to get all my homework done at school. If I don’t have good grades, my parents say I can’t keep investigating. It really motivates me to do well in school.


Unfortunately, I did not grow up in a haunted area like many other paranormal investigators out there, but there are places near me that have tons of activity. I think the paranormal is interesting, I love to learn about the spirits and their past lives.  I think It’s fun to learn about places and then be able to have the ghost communicate in one form or another to me. I want to keep finding paranormal evidence to prove to skeptics that ghosts do exist. Once at a location called Rock Island in Illinois, I made contact with a spirit, and have never forgotten what it was like.  


School Life

If you meet me at school you may say I am low energy.  I just go about my day to get it over with. When im ghost Investigating I go from low to super high energy. I think It’s so fun. I am in my comfort zone ghost hunting and have no problems taking a bunch of kids or adults on a ghost tour. Before I started investigating I was shy.  Now I am getting used to meeting new people.  


Some kids are skeptics but it doesn’t bother me.  I think skeptics are just people who need proof that spirits exist before they can believe. I tell them to open their minds and try not to overthink everything you see or hear. Just be open to it.”


Some kids are fine about me being a ghost investigator and some aren’t.  It’s a mixed reaction. Everyone has their own opinions of what they think of me.  I am okay with that. I respect their opinion even if its different than mine. If kids are interested, I tell them my personal stories about my investigations.  I think if I tell them about it, they will feel less afraid of the paranormal and come with me some time.


I think ghost hunting can help kids at school who have been teased and bullied.  For me, ghost hunting gives me a comfortable place to feel welcome. I feel so safe and comfortable when I am in the zone with my other paranormal investigator friends.  I really want to get more kids involved in the paranormal. If kids are interested I am open to talking to them.

On the Road

I like to do a little research before we leave for the ghost hunt, so I know the history of the building and its people.  To pass the time on the long drive to locations I use my phone to watch videos and play games. It clears my mind in a way, so I can be ready for the ghost hunt.  If I get hungry I eat candy and drink fruit drinks.  


Advantages of being a young Paranormal Investigator

When you’re a child you haven’t started blocking ideas that don’t make sense, out of your mind.  Although being young has given me a chance to investigate most of the time you don’t see people my age doing this.  Many locations are ages 18 and older, so I am not allowed. I think the more kids that get involved, the more location owners will be open to allowing us in. When I investigate, I am always watching for other kids to show up.  I like to team up with them. There aren’t as many kids in the field as you would think.


Sometimes I am drawn back to the same locations. I make friends with the spirits and I learn about their past.   Sometimes if you’re lucky you can capture a voice evp or see an apparition. I try to debunk noises that may be other things like wind or a creaking floorboard.  Not everything is paranormal. I watch horror movies, and they dont scare me. The only things that scare me are creepy dolls and bugs.


When I meet negative spirits I tell them that I’m not there to hurt them and if it gets too intense I just walk away from the situation. When I am ready to go home, I tell the spirits I am leaving them.  They need to stay where they live. And that I will be back to visit them again soon. So far, I have not had any attachments. Sometimes after going to a location I feel different. Drained of energy. I have learned how to burn sage to cleanse myself.


My favorite piece of ghost hunting equipment is the Mel Meter.  I love the story behind the reason it was built. A father built it to talk to his daughter who had passed away.  I have a video recorder and a voice recorder to record any paranormal activity. I use crystal pendulums to talk with the spirits.


Tools of the Trade

In my ghost hunting backpack I have my flashlight, lighted dowsing rods, mel meter and a light up stuffed bear.  I love my dowsing rods because I can see them in the dark so no lights or electricity are needed. Great in old haunted locations.  I have also used a Ouji board. It is just another tool to talk to spirits. It is a portal. After you have talked with a spirit using a Ouji board, you should close the portal.  If you do not close the portal, negative spirits can come through and very bad things can happen.  


I have seen a few shadow people and  talked to them using my spiritus app on my phone.  I have been touched, but it wasn’t a negative experience.   I enjoy capturing evidence. There is nothing better than an evp to prove something or a picture or video. 



Ghost hunting can be expensive.  I go as much as possible. To pay for ghost hunts I mostly save money I get for doing chores like folding laundry, washing dishes and help cooking.  I make part of the money selling my handmade pendulums. I don’t mind doing chores, because I know it will allow me to go on ghost hunts. 


Two of my dream locations to visit are the Haunted Hinsdale House in New York, and Waverly Hills Sanitorium in Louisville Kentucky.  I would love to be invited to the U.K and investigate a castle one day.



I play softball, I like to draw, and I love researching history. 

I am against bullying and I am a member of the “Paranormal Bully Busters”.  I also spend time with my two dogs Lucy is a Chiweenie and Sassy is a Boston Terrier. 


Pet peeves.  “I don’t like that people call us “Ghost Hunter’s” because we are not actually hunting ghosts.  That term makes me feel like we are chasing them down to do them harm. I am just talking to spirits not trying to harm them.”


Future projects:

I have thought about starting my own YouTube channel.  It would probably be talking about paranormal activity.  Right now I have my own podcast show called SpoopyTalk.


I have thought of filming my own ghost hunts and editing them myself.   But would need help since I don’t know anything about doing that. My goal right now is to keep searching for paranormal evidence.


Where can readers find you?  You can find me answering questions on “What it’s like to be a kid in the Paranormal Field” on Paranormal Panels at ParaCons across Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.


Tips for other young people interested in ghost hunting?

I have experienced paranormal activity in daylight and at night.  This is a good way to investigate two locations in one day. I would tell them don’t be afraid.  Always have someone with you, never go alone it could be dangerous. And don’t let other people talk you out of ghost hunting if you think its fun.  I would definitely recommend other kids to ghost hunt.  It’s an exciting way to learn about History.


Places Madison frequently investigates are:

Old YMCA Rock Island, Illinois

Farrar Schoolhouse Maxwell, Iowa

Malvern Manor Malvern, Iowa

Eloise Asylum Westland, Michigan

Conover Square Mall Oregon, Illinois