Interview with Jay Bachochin of Wisconsin Paranormal Investigators

Wisconsin Paranormal Investigators (WPI) was founded in March 2007 by Jay Bachochin and his wife Katie. Together, they began a quest to find the answers to their questions and formed a small group with friends who shared their interest and passion on learning more about the paranormal.  They set out to determine ‘What is normal versus what is paranormal’ using electronic equipment, the scientific method, and being 100% skeptical. WPI has hosted events at The Rhode Opera House and the Illinois State Beach Resort and Conference Center to help teach others about the paranormal field, how to use equipment, and how to get started investigating.  They’ve been featured speakers at local events such as Zombie Con in Milwaukee, were featured on Wisconsin’s Channel 12 news, and featured in the book Picture Yourself Capturing Ghosts on Film.

Please tell our readers a little about the origin of Wisconsin Paranormal Investigators. How did the group come to be, and what region of Wisconsin do you focus on? What sparked your own interest in the paranormal?

Katie and I were both so intrigued by the paranormal evidence we’ve seen in our lives. We actually took an interest in paranormal investigating as a husband/wife quest in 2006. In later March 2007, we founded The Wisconsin Paranormal Investigators along with the help of some very close and personal friends that shared the similar passion. We all believe there is more to our everyday normal lives. Does the paranormal really exist? Is it simply suggestive thought or mass hysteria? We needed to find the answers for ourselves. That is how our mission Hunt the Truth was born.

Over the years WPI has investigated Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, South Dakota, Wyoming, Arkansas and Oklahoma but since our headquarters is located in southeast Wisconsin, Elkhorn and Eagle Wisconsin makes perfect stomping grounds.

I’ve been interested in the paranormal, pretty much since I was old enough to hold an interest. I was raised on Creature Features back in the early 70’s. I just loved anything supernatural. It wasn’t until 1979 when I witnessed something paranormal for the first time in my life. Me and my siblings saw the most amazing display of a well lit flying object above our heads in my hometown of Lindenhurst, Illinois. What did my mom and her kids see that night? We could all say it was a UFO, but until this day …. we still can’t explain what we saw. However, it was fascinating to watch these lights move in the night sky over a total of :20 minutes. I’ve witnessed many different unidentified flying objects near my hometown and my current residence over the years. Only if they had smart phones with cameras back in the day where I could get that evidence everybody wants.

Throughout my life I have experienced many different types of paranormal activity. Not all ghostly experiences but ‘odd’ to say the least. I’ve experienced a 5 second black-out when I was 8 years old. The black-out didn’t only happen to me at that time, but also the friend I was with at the time. This 5 second black-out was the most bizarre thing I can recall from childhood. How can 2 people share the same black-out? Even until this day I can’t find an explanation.

Finally, during some investigating I have experienced what some people would call a ghost. Not sure if it was a deceased person’s spirit running through my body, or if there is something natural that we don’t comprehend. Whatever it was …. charged me with static electricity, made every hair on my body stand as tall as the Redwood National Forest yet was as cold as ice.

I believe that we are not alone in our universe. Maybe another race of alien beings? A greater force beyond our comprehension? Worm-holes? Timescapes? Parallel universes? Bottom line is I THINK-OUTSIDE-THE-BOX. Maybe it’s my faith in God knowing that anything and everything is possible?

On September 6th of this year, you premiered a documentary called The Hidden Truth? at the Onalaska Omni Center in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Directed by Scott Marcus, the documentary explores a paranormal connection to a series of drownings in the LaCrosse area. How did you first become interested in these drownings, and what made you believe there might be a paranormal connection behind them? What was the audience response to the documentary?

Neil Sanders, retired Chief Deputy Medical Examiner of LaCrosse

Neil Sanders, retired Chief Deputy Medical Examiner of LaCrosse

Neil Sanders contacted us on February 20th, 2010 in search of a possible/plausible paranormal connection to the river drownings. Neil is a retired Chief Deputy Medical Examiner of LaCrosse that worked on some of the victims. Neil went over the scientific facts that the drownings did not indicate any foul play, drugs, or anything else that could lead to a homicide. At this point, we were hooked. Here we had a credible public medical authority figure who only found high counts of alcohol in the blood of the victims. So without evidence of a serial killer, or the binge drinking and bad luck reports, we determined it was paranormal in nature. The word paranormal does not mean ghost, it means ‘not normal’. The drownings and circumstances was anything but normal. At this point we were open to any possibilities.

What interested us from a paranormal angle is the bodies of water/rivers that are directly in front of LaCrosse’s Riverside Park. There are the three rivers. The Mississippi, The Wisconsin and The Black rivers all converge directly in front of LaCrosse. It is believed that large bodies of water, rivers or especially three rivers have a strong conduit for paranormal activity. So we conducted a study on these rivers using our paranormal investigative techniques. We uncovered a true fact of a steamboat called ‘The War Eagle’ caught fire on the docks and burned down. Everybody got off the boat except for six men and one 18 year old girl. Is it possible that her spirit lays at the bottom of the river calling for help? Or could it be the Ho-Chunk Native Americans belief that a Water Spirit claims a life to satisfy the river? Could it be that these college men were so intoxicated that their subconscious can hear someone or something calling for help in the river? We now had plausible evidence to support a paranormal claim.

I would say that the audience liked it a lot and the documentary was well received. We had over 300+ viewers of our Premier in Onalaska, WI on Saturday, September 6th, 2014. I was in shock when everybody sat quietly through the credits and not wanting to get up and leave. Everybody stayed for the Q&A with Neil Sanders and myself. Neil and I fielded each question with honesty, sincerity and with the best of our knowledge. While we know these cases inside and out, we still don’t have all the answers, thus the question mark at the end of the title The Hidden Truth? The audience stayed around after the Q&A to talk to us individually as well. They purchase some DVDs, Posters and thanked us for our hard efforts to bring this to the public’s attention.

Eugene Kane at believes these drownings are the work of a serial killer some people call the “Smiley face killer.” Have you heard this theory, and if so, did you find any evidence to support or refute it?

Of course we’ve heard about the Smiley Face Killers. This is one of the reasons why we took this case. We investigate the paranormal and if the authorities can’t prove this was homicide then it isn’t a serial killer. For many years after several college boys drowned, two retired NY detectives have been trying to prove that all these drowning victims are the result of The Smiley Face Killers. Question is, why aren’t these suspects behind bars if there is Smiley Face Killers? True, this is the most popular theory because the official report from the Lacrosse medical examiners office is binge drinking and bad luck and people were not buying that answer. This theory all began because there was 1 out of these 10 drownings that had a smiley face logo near the scene. The bottom line is there isn’t any evidence to support foul play but plenty of evidence to support the ‘not normal or paranormal’. We set out to see if the paranormal was even plausible and what we found out was … it is.

How is Wisconsin Paranormal Investigators’ approach to paranormal investigation unique or different from other teams?

What separates WPI from some teams out there is that we like to think ‘outside-the-box’ while investigating the paranormal. But doesn’t every paranormal think outside-the-box if they are hunting ghosts? Sure, but most think in the mainstream of the paranormal as their final answers. This is ours:

(1) In order to understand what the word paranormal really means, you must unlearn what you’ve already learned
(2) Begin again
(3) Think outisde-the-box
(4) Hunt the Truth
(5) When you have finally reached a paranormal conclusion you must repeat step (2)

Paranormal simply means ‘not normal’ and it doesn’t always mean ghost. i.e. we do not believe that all bumps in the night are ghosts, we do believe there is something going on but don’t believe it is a dead person rattling chains. We believe people are seeing some hairy hominid of some sort but do not believe that those huge tracks in the snow were made by a Bigfoot. Finally, every light in the sky is not an alien space craft but from experience some are very real. It’s difficult to research the paranormal because it’s not as black and white as you see on TV. There is a lot of sitting on the fence and coming up with no conclusion at all. It is frustrating but our passion to Hunt the Truth goes on. So what are people seeing or experiencing? We may never know but the only way to find out is to be out in the field and study it. This is why we Hunt the Truth.

What was the most interesting investigation your team has conducted, and what evidence did you find or experiences did you have during the course of that investigation?

I’ll have to separate the most interesting investigation into (2). One being the ghost phenomenon at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, OH and the other a Bigfoot in the Kettle Moraine in southeast Wisconsin. Both of these investigations are the pinnacle for WPI. In 2009 WPI conducted an investigation in Mansfield, OH at the Ohio State Reformatory. Besides dodging bats, having our camera cords tugged and disembodied clanking of old warden keys …. we caught probably one of the best Class A EVPs to date. We captured the sound of a woman screaming, a gun shot and then a louder scream within a :15 second span. Interesting enough, the two WPI members did not hear it at all or called attention to it. You can find this EVP on our website under Audio Evidence section. Something was there that night, whether your typical ghost or not a deceased person at all. It very well could be the past still happening but colliding with our own time line.

How can our readers get in touch with you or WPI if they are interested in learning more about your team or your documentary, The Hidden Truth?

To learn more about The Wisconsin Paranormal Investigators please visit: you can also find the link to our documentary about the LaCrosse river drownings called The Hidden Truth?. To learn more about Hidden Truth Productions please visit:

Sorry guys, this page is copyright, 2014. You do not have permission to copy this for any reason. Please learn how to cite your work. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are courtesy of Jay Bachochin.


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