- One of the leading paranormal researchers on the West Coast, Nicole Strickland is the founder and director of the well-respected San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS). Since 2011, she has co-hosted the “Spirits of the Adobe” tours at the iconic Rancho Buena Vista Adobe. Since 2009, she has worked with Dale Kaczmarek's Ghost Research Society, serving as the Southern California Area Research Director and California State Coordinator. Nicole is also a consultant to various other investigative groups including the American Spectral Society. She is known for her gentle and humble approach to working with the spirit realms, her clients and the paranormal field at large.
- Blending her love of history, paranormal studies and writing, Nicole has written several books, including Field Guide to Southern California Hauntings, The Haunted Queen of the Seas: The Living Legend of the RMS Queen Mary, Spirited Queen Mary: Her Haunted Legend, RMS Queen Mary: Voices from Her Voyages, San Diego’s Most Haunted: The Historical Legacy and Paranormal Marvels of America’s Finest City and Spirits of Rancho Buena Vista Adobe. Her next book, The Afterlife Chronicles: Exploring the Connection between Life, Death and Beyond will be published in 2021. All three of her books about the Queen Mary continue to be popular sellers aboard the ship. Nicole also contributes to Paranormal Underground Magazine as a writer and correspondent. Check out her website's blog feature for written pieces about various topics.
- Nicole is known nationally and internationally for her research of the iconic RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. With her passion, knowledge and unique ability to tell stories, Nicole is continually invited to speak at conferences, business events and libraries. She has offered compelling presentations at some of the best-known conventions, such as the Oregon Ghost Conference, Port Gamble Ghost Conference, Troy Taylor’s Haunted America Conference, Maritime Ghost Conference of San Diego, Preston Castle Benefit Paracon, Ghost Fest IV aboard the Queen Mary, Strange Escapes, USS Hornet History and Mystery event, among others.
- Nicole has been featured in a myriad of media outlets discussing her work as a paranormal researcher. These include several local San Diego news programs, such as Good Morning San Diego, San Diego Living, KPBS Evening Edition and Channel 8 Evening Edition. Nicole has interviewed for national televised programs, including My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera, Travel Channel’s Ghost Stories and Famously Afraid. She has also been a guest on numerous internet-based and/or terrestrial radio shows. Nicole has appeared in many San Diego newspapers and magazines discussing her work as a paranormal researcher.
- She is also the executive producer / occasional co-host of Haunted Voices Radio (WLTK-db), one of the longest running radio programs featuring a plethora of guests from all areas of the supernatural. On October 8, 2020, Nicole debuted her own radio show, The Afterlife Chronicles and Beyond, on the WLTK-db network. The show has been selected by Feedspot as one of the "Top 25 Afterlife Podcasts." It's ranked as #13.
- In addition to working on other projects, Nicole enjoys cooking, reading, traveling and spending valuable time with family and friends. She enjoys working with other paranormal researchers as she believes that through diligent research, teamwork and collaboration, we will all better understand the vast field of the unknown.
- Do you read / query manuscripts?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do this but may be able to help you find someone who can.
- Where were you born?
I was born in the Surf Capital of the USA – good old Huntington Beach, California.
- Favorite city?
I absolutely adore New York City and Savannah, Georgia. Towns and cities with rich historical backgrounds call to me.
I love food. Cheese, sushi and chocolate especially. I am always in the mood for a delicious cheese enchilada, extra cheese pizza or decadent chocolate cake. I can have Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Mexican any day of the week.
- Favorite author
Dan Brown and Stephen King are two of my favorites. Their plots captivate me so much that I fight much-needed sleep to read their work.
- Will you come visit my city or town?
I would love to; however, it depends on where my publishers schedule book events and signings. Most of these events are located in the Southern California area. I do travel occasionally to present at paranormal events and conferences. If you’d like me to speak at your venue, please e-mail me at email@example.com
- Favorite film / TV series
The Shawshank Redemption is among my favorites. Other contenders include anything Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. My favorite TV series is The Twilight Zone.
- Are you willing to appear on media?
Yes, absolutely. I have appeared to date in various television, film, radio and print mediums.
- Can I get signed copies of your books?
Yes! Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you how you can get your own signed copy.
- What’s your next project?
There’s currently a few in the works. In addition to working on future books, I am also working on a proposed television project with some of my Pacific Northwest colleagues.
- Explain your love affair with the RMS Queen Mary?
When I first stepped aboard the ship in 2005, I immediately fell in love with her. A renowned historical icon, the Queen Mary has touched the heart and soul of people from all over the world. There is just something remarkable about this ocean liner; words cannot definitively explain it. Since 2005, I have devoted much time to researching the ship’s history and profound paranormal phenomena. You can read more about her legacy and my experiences in my three books, RMS Queen Mary – Voices from Her Voyages, Spirited Queen Mary – Her Haunted Legend and The Haunted Queen of the Seas: The Living Legend of the RMS Queen Mary or by visiting my website, http://www.spiritedqueenmary.com
- Do you have any animals?
I am a cat lady and proud of it! My Cindy, Mittens, Max, Merlin and Simba have traveled over the Rainbow Bridge. I miss them profoundly but they do visit in spirit form. Max’s sister, Kayli, is still with me as is her cousin, Aeries. They are the light of my day. There is nothing like cuddling with a soft, warm, purring kitty.
- Tell us about your most profound ghost experience.
Without a doubt, this would be encountering my maternal grandmother’s spirit shortly after her transition. A few days after her death, I saw her full-bodied apparition in my apartment. She looked about ten years younger and was adorned in one of her favorite blue and white house dresses. She looked rather calm and peaceful. I elaborate on this experience further in my book, The Afterlife Chronicles: Exploring the Connection between Life, Death and Beyond. I have had many experiences with the spirit realm throughout my life.
- Where did you go to high school? College?
I went to high school at University of San Diego High School, which is now called Cathedral Catholic. I received my undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona and my masters degree at National University, both with honors.
15. Do you teach any paranormal investigative classes?
Absolutely. I offer various courses related to supernatural research and paranormal investigative practices. Please see the "events" page to learn more about the classes I offer and registration information.
My Journey into Paranormal Research
by Nicole Strickland
I have always had an innate fascination with the supernatural, especially the field of ghosts, spirits and hauntings. I had some unique experiences growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the experience I had with my maternal grandmother’s spirit during undergraduate college that catapulted me into research and investigation of the unknown. In my twenty years as a paranormal researcher, I have worked with some amazing individuals. In 2009, I developed the San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS), which is one of San Diego’s well-respected groups.
- The development of the San Diego Paranormal Research Society team
I have always had a dream of founding and directing my own paranormal research team. That aspiration came to fruition in 2009 when I developed the San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS). The team primarily focuses on ghosts, spirits and hauntings but is well-versed in other areas of the supernatural. You can find out more information by visiting the team’s website at http://www.sandiegoparanormalresearch.com
The SDPRS team blends various scientific and metaphysical methodologies. These include paranormal vigils, spirit photography, Instrumental Trans Communication and electronic voice phenomena sessions, environmental monitoring, divining (dowsing) rod and pendulum uses and psychic mediumship.
- Blending metaphysics with science
Since no two intelligent energies are alike, it’s imperative to experiment with various methodologies. What works best for us is blending science with metaphysics as it offers a more well-rounded, holistic approach to paranormal research and investigation. Some locations and ethereal entities will demand different methodologies. What some experiments work for one locale won’t necessarily work for another. In addition to client interviews and testimony, it’s important to study the site’s history, genealogy, geology, etc., as it will help you prepare the right experimentation.
- The Importance of Protocols
I am very systematic and methodical when conducting paranormal research work. I have an overall process to how I approach a case study as well as certain protocol for various experimentation and methodologies. This is needed to conduct a thorough, cohesive case study.
- Working with clients
It’s vital that paranormal research teams build a solid, trusting relationship with their clients. Part of a research team’s responsibility is to properly educate clients on its approach to research; paranormal theories and reasons for why a case study is recommended. Our client interviews are quite extensive and we interview all eye witnesses separately to avoid bias. We also offer various resources to our clients so they can better understand their specific situation.
- Top cases
To date, I have investigated numerous private residences and businesses for paranormal activity. Additionally, I have been blessed to conduct paranormal case studies at numerous haunted historical locations on the West Coast and in the Midwest. Since 2005, I have been studying the RMS Queen Mary’s legendary history and paranormal phenomena. Since 2011, the SDPRS team and I have been researching the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, an iconic land rancho in Vista, California.
- Private residence versus business versus historical cases
The systematic, methodological way of approaching each case study will be similar for all three locations. With private residence and/or business cases, you may run into a more concerned client(s); with private residences, you have to carefully balance the family dynamic and situation and conduct extensive interviews. With historical cases, many of the museum curators and site owners know the history and paranormal phenomena that occurs; this is not typically the case with homes and businesses, so a lot of client education goes into these types of cases.
- Don’t be a lazy ghost hunter
There are many facets to a paranormal case study. Spending two hours at a location, taking a few pictures and recording some audio is not classified as a paranormal investigation. There are hours, days and months spent on one supernatural case study. This time includes supplemental research, client interview(s), preliminary work, actual case studies on the premises, data review and analysis, case study reports and meetings with fellow team members and clients. It takes due diligence, passion and devotion on the part of each investigator and researcher to complete a research project.
- Core values of an excellent researcher
Our core values shape the culture of the SDPRS team and its individual researchers. They guide us in our interaction with clients, the communities we serve and the paranormal community at large.
ACCOUNTABILITY: encouraging commitment and ensuring responsibility of actions
INTEGRITY: always being honest and conducting ourselves in an ethical fashion
TEAMWORK: working together as a team to accomplish our goals while respecting our individual differences
EXCELLENCE: striving to meet our standards, goals and expectations
RESPECT: treating ourselves, clients, locations and spiritual energies with the highest respect and reverence at all times
Our team principles include:
Listen to client concerns;
Approach each investigation with an open mind;
Treat every client / team member/ with respect and dignity;
Keep all client and investigation information confidential;
Conduct each investigation professionally, ethically and morally;
Treat all entities and spirits respectfully;
Help clients understand their individual situation;
Conduct research pertinent to investigation location;
Refer clients to specialized investigators when necessary;
Analyze all data collected thoroughly and in a timely manner;
Meet with clients to review collected data and possible paranormal evidence;
Recommend further case studies if warranted;
- Spiritual protection
It is vital that all individuals studying the paranormal engage in spiritual protection. A person must be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy when investigating the unknown. In addition to meditation practices, the SDPRS partakes in a group grounding session, which helps each member stay centered and on-track. We also offer an opening statement to the energies where we state our intent for communicating with them.
One grounding exercise that I have found helpful, goes as follows:
- Take some deep breaths.Inhale for six seconds; exhale for six seconds.
- Imagine yourself sitting on a chair in an empty room. There is one window present.
- As you envision your feet touching the ground, you will imagine pure energy coming up through your feet, move through each chakra; cleansing it in the process of unwanted energy.
- Envision a white, pure energy filling through your entire body.Say, “the only energy that is allowed is energy that will serve my highest good.The rest is not welcome.”
- You can picture the unwanted energy leaving your body and dissipating as it exits through the window
- Continue to take some deep breaths.Once you feel grounded, you can say out loud, “I am now grounded and ready to communicate with the spirit world.”
- The importance of the Golden Rule
You will get back what you put out. It is imperative that all paranormal researchers treat themselves, their clients and the spiritual entities they come across with respect and reverence. You will be more successful in your case studies and build a trusting relationship with the spirit world.
For more information, please visit the SDPRS website at http://www.sandiegoparanormalresearch.com