Host of “Darkness Radio” will present a Keynote on November 5 on “Exploration of the Spirit Realm”
Many of us as children were afraid of things that went bump in the night, and we went to sleep thinking about boogie men hiding in the closet and under the bed. Some of us headed straight to Stephen King as teenagers, and now, as grown men and women, we stay up late and listen to scary stories of ghosts and goblins on the Twin Cities’ “Darkness Radio” or George Noory’s acclaimed “Coast to Coast AM.”
Why do we seek out answers to the mysteries of life in the dark of the night? And why do radio hosts devote their lives to bringing some semblance of reason to topics that chill us to the bone?
Dave Schrader, host of the popular and internationally heard paranormal talk radio show “Darkness Radio” from 9 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday on AM 1130 in the Cities, will be presenting “Exploration of the Spirit Realm,” a 90-minute keynote talk on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the 2016 Minneapolis Holistic Expo, presented by Edge Life Expos & Events.
Co-author of the book, The Other Side (2009, Houghton Mifflin), Schrader has contributed to TAPS ParaMagazine (the official magazine of SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters” show). He is frequently a guest speaker at related conferences worldwide, and has been featured on Paranormal Programs on A&E (“Paranormal State”) and Travel Channel (“Ghost Adventuress” and “Paranormal Challenge”). He’s been an active participant in hundreds of investigations worldwide and is a recurring fill-in host on “Coast to Coast AM.”
Schrader agreed to let us delve into his mind for a bit to learn more about why he does what he does and what he will present at the Edge Life Expo this fall.
What was your most memorable paranormal experience?
Dave Schrader: The dream visitation from my grandfather about a month after his death. He came to me when I was at my lowest point of grief and delivered some of the most inspiring thought and insight into death and what comes next. That had a profound impact on my life. I was able to validate that it was more than a “dream,” as he gave me information about family that I had no way of knowing. That really shifted my paradigm.
When did you become interested personally in the paranormal and how did that manifest in your life?
DS: I truly believe the paranormal had an interest in me first. I had visitations from my grandmother after her death when I was 3 and 4 years old. I had a Bigfoot sighting when I was 11 and lived in a very haunted house growing up — and in 2006 I had an encounter with a UFO.
I think the supernatural is stalking me! It has my attention, that is for sure. I also had a very supportive family that inspired me to ask questions and seek the truth.
What led you to be a radio talk show host on unexplained phenomena and the paranormal?
DS: My co-host, Tim Dennis, and I worked together in college radio in Winona, MN on KQAL 89.5 FM when we were young. He stayed in radio his whole life and I ventured off into sales, but eventually our paths collided when he worked for a station that had a slot to fill from 11 p.m. to midnight on Sunday nights.
We thought it would be fun to do a little talk show together. We both had a life-long fascination with the topic of the paranormal and thought it was a solid subject to investigate and research on air. That was the birth of Darkness Radio on January 1, 2006.
You have traveled the world investigating claims of the paranormal. What stands out as far as your most remarkable findings?
DS: I am excited by the differing views of life, death and the paranormal from state to state and country to country. There is always something new and interesting to uncover. I have had the great fortune to see haunted cemeteries, crypts, castles, hotels, asylums and prisons around the world.
What was your experience at famous locations that proved utterly disappointing in terms of not revealing anything at all to report on?
DS: I was a guest on the TV series “Ghost Adventures” on the Travel Channel last year on an episode about a possible demonic and poltergeist haunting in Seattle, Wash. It was a total let down to realize the people involved were, in my opinion, greatly exaggerating the extent of the haunting and, I believe, faking evidence.
Our investigation yielded no evidence of any kind. The show did a great job of portraying the truth and did not over dramatize or exploit the situation. It was a great episode to be a part of in spite of the lack of evidence.
Why do you explore ghosts and take part in ghost hunting?
DS: I want proof that there is something that survives these meat suits that we wear. That death is NOT the end of it all. That fear has kept me awake nights since I was 5. I am now 49 and that same fear still grips me. I want definitive proof that we survive beyond physical life, so I will continue my journey and education.
Your show covers the duality of experience, from lighter topics such as quantum consciousness and synchronicity, dolphin ancestors and animal communication, to much darker topics like exorcism, demonology and satanic practices — and everything in between. How do you choose topics that are covered, and are there topics that are off limits in your mind, and do you make a conscious effort to include a balance of “light” and “dark” on Darkness Radio?
DS: Our show was designed to do three things: enlighten, educate and entertain, so we keep that in mind when vetting our guests. We also like to try and keep things light and educational even during the creepier topics, because we believe fear is tackled head on with education and light.
What current areas of inquiry do you feel are on the cutting edge in terms of what the public is aching to know more about right now?
DS: The focus on proof of the many claims we cover is paramount to our listeners. They demand more than just fluff pieces and folklore, so we try to give a well-balanced look at fact and fiction of claims, often taking on the position of devil’s advocate for and against certain subjects to give a better and more detailed understanding of those topics. We very rarely accept things at face value. We push for truth and answers where we can, and I think that has been a large part of our success.
What is your personal reaction to conspiracy theories — about world domination, about the end of the world, about ETs affecting the world — and the people who seemingly have their lives revolving around these ideas?
DS: That is a slippery slope and I have to temper myself, because going too deep can bring on severe depression to me and to listeners. We are cautious about those topics and how we cover them. Again, we want truth but not at the expense of decency or respect to people involved in the stories, the victims.
Tell me about your radio audience and callers. Who are they and what motivates them to spend three hours a night listening to your show — and what is your relationship with them?
DS: I love these people! I love their inquisitive nature and how they seek information from alternative sources, and I applaud our audience because they want to know more and see the magic and miracles of life that surround us. We make ourselves as accessible as possible to the listeners and we are open to dialogue and conversation with them.
That is how we believe real change takes place — people coming together and speaking freely and openly without fear of judgment, exchanging ideas and opening our minds, and theirs.
What will you be sharing with those who attend your keynote talk at the Minneapolis Holistic Expo, and what message do you want to leave with them?
DS: I will discuss spirit communication by trying to make it accessible and understandable. During my discussion, we will examine: What is a ghost? What are the common theories and beliefs? How do we open ourselves to finding the right answers?
I am very excited to speak with the guests and share with them. I want to leave them entertained and hungry for more knowledge, hopefully with a better understanding of the paranormal.
Is there anything we haven’t talked about that you’d like to share with our readers?
DS: Our time here is limited and precious, so make the best of it. Live a life like there is no afterlife, because we need to learn and make the best choices while we are here. Once we grasp the fact that we need to be kinder, more loving, forgiving and understanding, I believe we will open a whole new paradigm shift that will leave a ripple effect and change the world.
With that said, it starts from within. Make the best of the love and relationships in your life now so you don’t need to make amends with the dead. Leave the life you were given better than the way it was given to you. Shed the chains of anger, pettiness and aggression and embrace understanding — and the magic that surrounds you every day will become abundant and apparent. It is life changing.