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The Examiner Los Angeles

The Examiner Los Angeles
January 12th 2010


Interview Paranormal Filmmaker Danielle Egnew - Montgomery House: The Perfect Haunting
by Terra King

Danielle Egnew is a paranormal researcher and an empathist (commonly called an empath.) Her latest project is a documentary entitled "Montgomery House; The Perfect Haunting."  Danielle's film about a haunted Bed & Breakfast in Washington State is an amazing work of paranormal filmmaking. Her
film is always interesting and oftenterrifying. Below is my interview with the multi-talented Danielle Egnew.

Terra - In your film 'Montgomery House: The Perfect Haunting,' you've shown a home that is

Danielle Egnew in Montgomery House: The Perfect Haunting

truly a 'perfect' haunt. There is a bit of every type of activity. How did the house come to your attention?

Danielle - At the time, the home was owned by Eric and Julianna Montgomery, who were both artists signed to the same record label that I’m signed to. We were all coming back from a tour date in southern Washington where we had all played, and we stopped at Eric and Julianna’s home for a cup of coffee and brief visit. I immediately noticed that something was up with the house.  I didn’t really mention it much at the time, as I didn’t want to startle either Eric or Julianna, who as it turns out, knew all about the paranormal activity anyway since they were living with it, but you’re never quite sure in instances like that. I eventually brought it up to Eric, and he told me he knew there were ghosts in the home, and I later on expressed my interest in doing a documentary about the house.

Terra - During your first investigation in the basement of the house, you saw some very scary entities. How did you hold it together? Most people (even other psychics,) would have ran.

Danielle - (laughing) Well, it was pretty unpleasant, but I knew that the energy in basement would feed off of that kind of fear. And the worst thing about Demonic Activity, for me, is how it physically feels. Yes, it can appear in creepy forms, but the worst part for me is that oppressive, electrical feeling that hangs right behind your head, like at any minute a cobra is going to strike at you two inches from your face, so there’s no ducking out of the way. Also, I don’t tend to give into the bullying of Demonic Energies. I find them to be the worst type of parasite. Like roaches – you kill a bunch and they come back, so you have to roach bomb again – they’re very resilient pests. Having knowledge of the nature of that type of paranormal parasite really does help prepare a person in situations like that.

Terra - Were there any scenes that didn't make the final cut of the film? If so, why did you choose not to include them?

Danielle - Oh, there were so many, and they were all hard to cut, but I thought to myself, sheesh, this film is going to be four hours long if I don’t trim some of this! Many of the cut scenes made it into the special features, like parts of the investigation and extended interviews. But there were more scenes with different parts of interviews that I would have loved to keep, and there simply was not enough time. Now if I were cutting this as a TV series, that would be a different story (laughing). And there was quite a bit of the walk-through footage that was cut that actually had more house history and paranormal information included. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the beast with film. You have to pick the most relevant  of what you’ve got and scale back the rest. Not everything caught on the camera makes it onto the screen even though you love it.

Terra - What are some of the side-effects for people living in a haunted house?

Danielle - The side effects can vary, depending on the nature of the haunting, but often if the haunting is bad enough, as it was in this location, side-effects on the residents of the home can be personality changes, paranoia, difficulty in sleeping, financial and family troubles, and mood swings. If the haunting is bad enough, residents of a home can incur what I call a “spiritual sickness”, like getting the flu you’ve picked up when riding a subway train. When a person is submerged in energy that’s very negative, that person can’t help but soak some of that up, unless the individual guards themselves with prayer or meditation. How that energy is going to affect the individual, or how much of the negativity they soak up, will depend on the individual. The same goes for positive spirits – if there is an overwhelming positivity in the house, the individuals living in the house will feel bursts of peace, contentment and solidarity. Just remember what Einstein talked about – energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred.


Terra - Is there a sequel in the works???

Danielle - No, there’s no sequel. I think the story wraps itself up pretty well. There are still some mysteries left surrounding the house, and I felt it was appropriate to leave those in place.

Terra - How long did you stay at the house for the actual shoot?

Danielle - Eric and Julianna Montgomery were gracious enough to let myself and Art, the director of photography, stay in the house for the duration of the shoot in Kalama while we were interviewing the townsfolk and the members of the Cowlitz Indian tribe. We were in the home for seven days total. The paranormal team and our second unit director came in for three days of that weekend. We shot for two days prior to arriving at Montgomery House while up in Tacoma, WA, right after I came off of tour releasing my Red Lodge album. I mean, literally, right off tour. I had my last concert of a three day stretch that started in Los Angeles and ended in Seattle, and then we went right into principal photography the next day. So it was a real grind. The majority of the work on the film came, of course, in post production. That was a near-year long process that I literally shelved everything else in my life to finish, and with so many creative irons in the fire that I have, that was a really big commitment for me. But I believed in the project, and the payoff has been huge, in terms of creating something I’m extremely proud of.  I edited the film, as well as did all the post production sound and scoring, and even did some 2-D animations to illustrate some points, so I am really, really excited about what was created. It really ended up being something everyone involved in the picture can feel very good about being associated with.

Terra - At what age did your gifts become apparent?

Danielle - I realized that I was seeing something that other kids weren’t seeing at a very early age. I recall being two years old and seeing a great aunt of mine who had died before I was born, but she looked as real and three dimensional to me as anyone else, so I described her to my parents and sort of freaked the adults out (laughing).??

Terra - How were your gifts discovered and do you consider them 'gifts?'

Danielle - I do consider them gifts, although I think managing them has had some interesting challenges over the years. When you continually simply “know” what’s going to happen next, or you experience events before they occur, or you are able to interact with spirit life on a regular basis, that’s a lot for a kid to handle, and I had to work through a lot of anxiety on my own. Now days, the awareness is much higher for children with extra-sensory abilities, and there is much more support – just look at the wonderful work that Psychic Chip Coffey is doing on his show “Psychic Kids” on A & E.  But back when I was a kid, 30, 40 years ago, this was all very taboo. I was raised in a very religious family in Montana, and though the family was very spiritual, anything paranormal as we recognize it today was considered to be Demonic or part of the occult. I have always considered these abilities to be gifts, and I hope to be able to continue to use them as such.??

Terra - Are other members of your family gifted?

Danielle - Oh yeah. It’s genetic. I really believe that. My mother is very empathic, and one of my cousins is extremely psychic, like me. I suspect another one of my cousins has “it” as well, but we don’t discuss it. My grandfather, my mom’s dad, saw death masks on people. My great great grandmother was Cherokee and dealt a great dealt in the spiritual realm.  So I do come from a long line of people who have had interaction with the other side.

Terra - Do you have to open yourself up to see entities or are they always around?

Danielle - Oh, they are always around, and mostly, I filter out what I don’t want to deal with, or what I don’t have time to deal with. I’m fortunate in that I don’t get plagued with spirits like some people do. I’m not sure if that’s because I tend to personally employ my Clairvoyance more often than my mediumship aptitudes, because it’s more removed emotionally and very heavy on information, or if spirits can feel that I’m really not the one to come knocking to on most occasions because my schedule is crazy (laughing). I do think I make a conscious choice to not engage spirits through the veil unless it’s for a specific purpose – paranormal investigations, assisting a client, working with law enforcement. And it’s been my experience that spirits will honor whether you’re up for chatting or not. Well, the good ones will. The negative ones aren’t always so agreeable. I am always wide open for chatting with spirits if it will assist someone, or something, again, like during an investigation.  It’s no different than being in a room full of reporters. If you constantly take questions, they’ll just keep shouting them. You definitely have to draw lines with spirit life, and lay down boundaries, just like you would with people. Well, for the most part, the spirits were people, so that does make sense.

Terra - How do you protect yourself from evil beings that might want to get inside your body, as one tried in the film?

Danielle - I have a very strong belief in God, and the power of God, and I only allow that power to course through my veins on any investigation. I do not give any room at all to Darkness, and I have an acute awareness that Darkness has no dominion over me. I say prayers and ask God and angels for protection, and I believe 100% in that protection. And I don’t say this in arrogance, but to point out that Darkness can only affect a person when it is invited, and given room. I see evil or dark spirits as a parasite that tends to pick at people who are hurting, and that infuriates me. I tend to become rather confrontational with spirits like that. I’ve never been afraid of bullies, and though I have a healthy respect for the fact that demonic energies have the capability to wreak a great amount of chaos, I don’t respect them, and I don’t fear them. Just like I don’t fear mice. It’s a drag if you’re house is infested with them, but they’re just pests. But like mice, you do have to take certain precautions in dealing with them, for health reasons. Only with negative energies, it’s for spiritual health reasons.

 Terra - Do you have one specific incident that stands out in your mind that happened during an investigation? Is there something you encountered in your everyday life that you had to resist?

Danielle - Well one occurrence that stands out was actually during the Montgomery House investigation up in the attic. It wasn’t extra dramatic, by any means, but it was eerie. I had my back against a section of wood studs, and this awful feeling kept encroaching from behind. I finally couldn’t take this entity of a small child stepping up so close to me, the energy off of this kid was so unsettled, and I moved and announced why I was moving, as there were many digital recorders rolling at the time. Later in reviewing the footage, it turns out that at a separate time, we caught the entity on camera, right where I had been catching the creepy vibes, and that was sort of a shocker, to see the entity in real time, on film. Even though I work in this field, things will still happen that are a little jaw-dropping. For me, personally, having the camera catch with it’s eye what I was seeing with mine, and what I had described in an earlier walk-through, was a really telling experience. I gave me the extra-creeps that this kid tuned up right where I had been sitting.

Terra - Your resume includes not only paranormal investigation, but singing, acting, writing, and many other activities. How did all of these things come about, and what do your consider your occupation?

Danielle - Though I always had these gifts and abilities, it really wasn’t until about ten years ago that I really became comfortable talking about them, and working with them. My professional background is in entertainment. If I had to check an employment box, it would say “rockstar and psychic” (laughing). And it’s funny – the people who follow my work in the spiritual and paranormal world are often times completely oblivious to the fact that I’m signed to a record label, had been signed to one before, that I was indeed the same chick that fronted and produced the girl band Pope Jane – I get that alot: “Do you know who you look just like?” (laughing) and I have put out 15 albums with different bands and solo projects. And the fans of my music often times have no idea that I’m Psychic and have worked with law enforcement and Fortune 500 Companies, or worked as a creative consultant on a few hit paranormal TV shows, or run my own spiritual private practice! It’s not until the last two or three years really that these two worlds in my life have collided, with the mainstream media adopting so much allowance to the paranormal.

Terra - Is there anything you want your fans to know about your investigations or your other endeavors?

Danielle - My paranormal investigation group is called The Western Pacific Paranormal Alliance. You can find us online at HauntedPlayground.com. I’m a co-founder and Psychic in that group, and my function in the evidence review department is often audio specialist. I can pick an EVP out of white noise at 20 paces (laughing)! That’s the benefit of having produced music my entire life. I’m very blessed to have excellent hearing, both physically and on the spiritual plane, and I put my acoustic sciences background to work in the field on investigations. I’m also the “Resident Psychic” on the top-rated talk radio show,  The Sheena Metal Experience on LA Talk Radio, which airs every Mon-Fri from 5-7pm PST, and can be heard online anywhere by logging onto LATalkRadio.com and clicking on the “number 2” icon on the front page.  I’m honored to report that I have the record for appearing on the show more than any other guest, and I say honored because Sheena’s guests are amazing, ranging from Carol Channing to Chip Coffey from Paranormal State and Psychic Kids, The Klinge Brothers from Ghost Lab, and Barry Fitzgerald from Ghost Hunters International, just to name a few. In music, I have a new album coming out this spring / summer that I recorded with Pope Jane drummer Kristen Coyner, although this time she’s wearing a guitar and singing with me in an acoustic duo called The Dashboard Marys. We don’t have a website yet because I have been swamped with film events, but people can check out my website at DanielleEgnew.com for upcoming news about The Dashboard Marys until we are able to launch the website. And for those wanting to own my film Montgomery House: The Perfect Haunting, they can order their very own copy right from the film’s website at MontgomeryHouseHaunting.com , which includes over 20 minutes of special features encompassing additional investigation footage and background interviews.

Terra - What's next?

Danielle - This year I’m very honored to work with famed cold case-cracking Psychic Robbie Thomas, who has asked me to speak and participate in the Los Angeles leg of his “Psychic Justice Tour” which is dedicated to the families and victims of violent crimes. That should be sometimes in the summer, July / August. The dates are still TBA, but you can check out Robbie’s work, and Psychic Justice Tour at RobbieThomas.net . I’m very passionate about helping in cold cases, and so is Robbie, so it’s great to work with such a gifted and giving professional in this field. I will also be finishing my book on the paranormal this year, but I won’t tip the hat too much there until a few more details are nailed down. Other than that, I’m making appearances for the film, and continuing to work in music where I have time – I will be producing Pope Jane Bassist Holly Shawver’s very first solo album this year, and I’m pretty excited about that. And I’m sure I’ll have some music concerts here and there, so make sure to check out my website at DanielleEgnew.com for news of appearances and concerts in your area. Make sure to come on out and say “hi” -- I always love to meet and visit with fans. All in all, 2010 is really shaping up to be fantastic!

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