Becky Vickers sounds like she could be anyone’s HR manager — her job by day. But by night Vickers heads up BECKS Ghost Hunters (BECKS = “Behind Every Cloud Is a Kindred Spirit”) and has appeared on Ghost Adventures and Ghost Stories on the Travel Channel. The Lake Dallas resident has been studying the paranormal for 37 years, conducts investigations for residential and commercial properties, and hosts tours on Goatman’s Bridge north of Denton. We discussed her startling experience at White Rock Lake, the spirit that followed her home, and the reason you might want to think twice about antiquing.
D Magazine: How did you get interested in the paranormal?
Becky Vickers: Well, when I was really young, I had my grandfather die unexpectedly, and I just couldn’t deal with it. I thought he hung the moon. So in my teen years I started researching the paranormal, and how to communicate with someone that’s passed away. It really started from there, and I’ve never lost interest.
D: When you do the investigations, how often are you finding evidence of paranormal activity?
Vickers: You know what, there are those cases that we don’t find anything. A lot of times people, I think they just get nervous. There’s a lot of TV shows about every little thing that goes bump in the night, it’s gotta be a ghost. We’ve definitely been to some homes and some businesses that we found nothing and were able to explain how come the door’s slamming on its own is because there’s a draft in between the hall and the bedroom and it’s causing suction.
But quite honestly, we do a lot of research in advance before we go set up an actual investigation. Usually if we come out to a home, we feel pretty strongly that there’s something going on that we need to dive deeper into. Most of our cases, we are able to prove that there is some sort of paranormal activity.
D: What kind of equipment do you use?
Vickers: Oh, my gosh. We have everything. We have cameras, the EVRs, we have periscopes, we have the new SLS cam, which is able to detect a spirit in real-time. You’ll be able to see it on a screen as a stick figure, like if you ever see Ghost Adventures on TV, Zak uses it a lot. The Dead Files uses it some. We have just about everything you can imagine.
D: What’s the most intense paranormal experience you’ve had?
Vickers: To be quite honest, the most intense one I ever had was at White Rock Lake. Just one night, one of my team members, we didn’t have anything to do. We’d never been out there. So we drove out fairly late, I would say after midnight, and we were actually going to a cemetery that’s roped off and you’re not allowed in after hours, that supposedly a lot of bad things had happened.
Anyway, long story short, we found the cemetery, but we weren’t ready to go. We were just driving down some long roads around White Rock Lake, and for lack of a better description, we found these things that looked like barracks, like bunkers from the war. A big row of them with doors and windows, and the doors and windows were all broken out, but it’s just this huge row of doors.
We get out of the car; he gets out of one side, and I get out on the side of the barracks. As I’m walking down, I’m taking pictures constantly, and it was a pretty still night that night. All of a sudden I hear rustling in the leaves, and I’m like, OK, that’s got to be an animal, you know, an opossum, an armadillo, whatever. And it started getting closer to me.
I can physically see the leaves moving, and there’s this noise of swishing. I don’t know how to say it other than swissshh, swissshh, swissshh. So I’m like in amazement because whatever it is, it’s definitely walking right up to me. I’m getting a little nervous because I’m like, I don’t know what I’m up against. I don’t know anything about this area. I have no clue.
It got really, really close. I would say a foot from me it just stopped. This whole time I’m holding my breath now, and the swishing stopped, and I just holler at my friend, “Get in the car. Get in the car.” He’s like, “OK, what is it? What is it?” I’m like, “I have no idea,” but all I kept saying on the whole ride home was, “It was swishing, it was swishing,” which is not a normal term that you would use in ghost hunting, or to describe a haunting.
The next day, I was able to reach what I guess was the park association for White Rock Lake, and the lady proceded to tell me that there was an actual death, and what we were at was an old boat storage. A lady back in 1960-something had committed suicide off the boat dock in a long dress, and she pinned a note to her dress to contact her family in Fort Worth, Texas, before she jumped off this boat dock.
So I 100 percent feel that this was the lady dripping in this dress, and she’s walking through the leaves, so the swishing of the wet dress is what I’m hearing. I 100 percent feel like she walked right up to me, and it was just … it freaked me out. I never had that kind of overwhelming sense there is something right in front of you and I can’t see it. So that was pretty intense.
D: Are you usually afraid of ghosts?
Vickers: You know what, I’m not. A lot of times I can see the actual apparitions. So I’m more intrigued than scared. Some days, maybe I’m driving or sitting in the car having lunch or whatever, and I’ll see somebody pass that’s not from this period. Maybe I see an old farmer, and he’s walking, kicking the dirt, and it’s like, “No way. There’s nobody here,” you know? So crazy stuff like that.
D: Do you think you’ve gotten more in tune…
Vickers: Yes, yes. Everybody has the ability. It’s how you learn to deal with it and learn to use it. Anyone could home in on their ability to communicate with the other side if that’s what they choose. So definitely I think it is considered a gift because it gets stronger with time. I know now I’m way more aware and can hear things and see things that I couldn’t maybe 10 or 15 years ago, and I wouldn’t have paid attention to.
D: I just finished the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House, and one of the things I thought was interesting is that this family, they leave this house, but they continue to have things happen to them.
Vickers: That happens.
Vickers: Oh, yes, definitely. It’s an attachment. There could be an attachment to the person. It’s funny, because a lot of people think if you have an attachment, it’s automatically gonna be bad souls. Sometimes it can be. It’s not pleasant, but also people will go with you. I haven’t seen the show you’re talking about, but it could be because of an emotional connection that the spirit still follows them around.
D: Have you had people call you and say they feel like they’re being followed by something, or is it usually based within a place?
Vickers: No, I’ve definitely dealt with people that had attachments, and it’s crazy, but sometimes the attachments are from antique stores. I know there was a lady that lives maybe two blocks from me, and she knew what I did and she called me, and she’s like, “I don’t know why, but literally things are falling off my shelves. In my bathroom I have these breakables, and they’re all just falling down.”
I’m asking her, “What’s changed? Why all the sudden are you having this? Do you have someone new that’s staying with you?” And then I’m asking her, “Have you bought anything?” And she’s like, “Well, you know, I bought a little jewelry box from an antique store.” “Perfect, let me see it because there could be a spirit attached to that, and now you’ve just brought it into your home.” And that’s exactly what it was.
I’ve had an actual attachment from Goatman’s Bridge, where I’ve been doing tours forever, follow me home. My TV came on every night at 3 a.m. It was literally not plugged in, not connected to anything. I had the cable people come out, electricians. The water in my house—I have a two-story house—all the faucets would come on at the same time. Things would show up from one room to another to sit in the dead center of the room. It was crazy. So it can be very unnerving, and especially to someone that really don’t know how to handle that.
D: How did you get rid of the attachment?
Vickers: This went on for, I’m gonna say, about a week or more, every single night. The TV wouldn’t be on a show, it would be static. If you’ve had cable, you know when your cable’s out, you get a blue screen. You don’t get static, you get a blue screen. This was static every single night, full blast. I would get up and I would turn it off.
I never acted startled because that is the one thing—if you’re in a haunted location and you’re fearful, man, that’s just like throwing gasoline on a fire because you’re burnable and that’s the one the spirit is gonna seek out.
In my instance, I let this go on. I tried to debunk everything I could about why my TV’s coming on, but then the lights started flickering, the water was coming on, my daughter literally ran out of the house when all the water came on at once. I just stood in the center of my house and demanded that all of this stop because I wasn’t going anywhere, that I didn’t mind. Whoever was here could stay, but we needed to live together peacefully, and if that couldn’t happen then they needed to go back where they came from. Honest to God, it never happened again.