An Interview with Ryan Bluell
Coconut Creek, FL
October 8, 2011
From the depths of South Carolina came a young boy who would experience one terrifying episode during childhood: the paranormal.
Ryan Buell, best known for his hit documentary series on A&E, Paranormal State, is more than just a real life Fox Mulder—he’s an author, a college graduate from Pennsylvania State University [with a double major in Journalism and Anthropology], and the founder, which he became at the tender age of nineteen, of Penn State’s Paranormal Research Society (PRS).
What you may not have known about Buell and his success with Paranormal State is that he didn’t seek out to have a reality television series; it was an opportunity that fell in his lap.
“A bunch of different networks contacted us…a couple of years before I started PRS and I just didn’t feel right about it at the time,” Buell said. “But finally one network approached us, A&E, and said they would just follow us around and do a documentary show based on what we do.”
Buell founded PRS in order to help families cope, and more importantly cleanse themselves from their paranormal occurrences that affect their daily life. No this isn’t a Paranormal Activity spin-off, nor is it Poltergeist the movie. This is a show that follows a group of people who go deeper than just holding a camcorder; they investigate the psychology of the families unit, and the history of their home and town. They use a physiologist, technology and psychics such as Chip Coffey and Michelle Belanger to seek answers.
When Buell isn’t investigating the paranormal on your television set he is your “Average Joe” who enjoys drinking with his friends at a local bar or hanging out with his dog, Xander.
Buell is currently writing a fictional novel as well as working on his second paranormal book. He also has produced and is starring in his first feature film American Ghost Hunter that comes out in 2012.
“In my spare time I do not watch paranormal shows. That’s the last thing I want to do,” Buell said with a chuckle. “People are shocked to find out that I am a regular person. On my time off, I don’t have a Ouija board or tape EVP [Electronic Voice Phenomena] at my house or go hang out in cemeteries.”
Though we don’t know if Paranormal State has a future, Buell made it very clear that he will not be returning to the show and it is up to A&E if they wish to continue the show without PRS.
“It was a personal decision that I made. I felt that Paranormal State had reached its peak creatively for us and that we just kind of felt we were going through the motions,” he stated.
However, the group will continue to investigate and experiment with new ideas. With PRS, Buell hopes to “grow, evolve and tackle new subjects and do things a different way.”
There is no way of stopping Buell and his future endeavors. He intends on applying to grad school and pursuing freelance journalism for some online magazines. Buell is currently writing a fictional novel as well as working on his second paranormal book. He also has produced and is starring in his first feature film American Ghost Hunter that comes out in 2012. Though Buell has a lot on his plate, he refuses to give up his paranormal research.
“I have sacrificed a lot. I didn’t just wake up and say ‘Hmmm, I am going to investigate ghosts one day’…” Buell said. “The moment I could speak, I could read, I was reading about the paranormal…It’s a calling if you will. This is what I’m meant to do, I’ve made peace with that. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to do PRS. I am not just walking away.”
Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, you can’t deny its popularity in society today. It’s on your TV, in your nearest theater and there’s a countless amount of paranormal research groups in your town. Just Google it.
For more information and content please watch our exclusive video interview with Ryan Buell.
Interview and Article by Leah S. Pritchett
Photos by Jennifer Chaffee