Nathan D. Schoonover
Nathan was born in 1971 to Ernest and Mary Schoonover, career farmers in the small community of Newton, New Jersey. When Nathan came into the world, his sister, Christina, was already 20, and his brother, Ernie Jr., was 7. Because he wanted to interact with his older siblings, he matured very quickly—as children with older brothers and sisters often do.
By the age of 7, Nathan was studying the Bible with the encouragement of his family. His mother, who later became a Baptist prison missionary, had high hopes of his becoming a minister; however, it was about this time Nathan was found to be dyslexic. Since little was known about the reading disorder at the time—and even less on how to help people with it—studying in the traditional manner was too difficult. Nathan, therefore, started attending college-level and adult Bible classes and theology lectures, since there weren’t any for children his age. During that time, he also worked on improving his reading skills.
When he was 12, Nathan attended a lecture on the occult that would change his life: The idea that devils and demons were real frightened him so much that he was left unable to sleep. His mother, worried about his distress, recommended that he focus his studies on the subject—because knowledge was power, and the only way to get over his fear was to learn more about it.
Nathan did just that. He shifted his Biblical studies to concentrate on the demonic, and became known in both church and school as being “a bit weird.” By the time Nathan reached his late teens, he had already started working with demonologists and exorcists, first assisting a deliverance at the age of 18.
Soon after, Nathan met a an entirely different group of people who fascinated him: they used psychics to help people living in haunted houses. His research now went in two new directions: The first was researching these haunted cases, and the second was studying the beliefs of the psychics involved with the cases.
Nathan married at 20 and was divorced at age 22. After his divorce, Nathan started keeping his studies private, as he was trying to rebuild a social life and felt his work would make others uncomfortable.
At 23, Nathan combined his prior fields of study and began working on haunted cases focusing on the occult aspects of paranormal events. For years, he worked in the background, assisting with several malevolent hauntings and possessions while continuing his research. In 1995, he felt that the nature of his new role in the paranormal necessitated more knowledge, so he started traveling all over the world, living and working with occult practitioners of all different beliefs.
In 2005, Nathan attended a lecture by John Zaffis. After discussing their research and the people and cases they had in common, and despite their different approaches, John offered to have Nathan come work with him. Sadly, their differences were too diverse, and the relationship didn’t last. It did, however, have a positive affect on Nathan’s future: For the first time, Nathan was not researching for other people, but taking on cases of his own and working in the forefront of the paranormal field.
In 2006, he became a reporter for Ghostly Talk Radio, which led to his starting The Ghostman & Demon Hunter Show in 2007. Over its four year run, the show attracted tens of thousands of listeners worldwide; in 2008, it led to Nathan being picked up for the two-night A&E special Extreme Paranormal. When the show first hit the air, it was considered controversial for its groundbreaking methods which defied what had become “standard” in the paranormal community. Now, however, many paranormal groups that never would have before are admitting these methods have been used in the past and should be part of investigation; in fact, subsequent television shows are beginning to adopt a form of EP’s methods.
Nathan’s journey has not ended. There are unanswered questions, but he will not stop researching, and as ever, there are new adventures he cannot wait to try.