From the outside, it’s an ordinary East Long Beach home with a front yard, long driveway, small porch area, and even an inflatable ghost hooked to the grassy lawn in recognition of Halloween. But when entering into the home’s living room, there is different interior decoration than one would expect.
Haunted Mansion tapestries are on the walls. A Ouija board is hung where a clock is normally placed. A photo of late friend Debbie Constantino, who was a paranormal investigator and featured on Ghost Adventures, is displayed. Though it can be confused as decorations for the upcoming holiday, it’s a lifestyle for the paranormal investigators who live in this home.
The Temperilli family has been involved with exploring the paranormal for many years, especially after their 19-year-old daughter, and now radio host, Sophia experienced a haunting in their own home in Bluff Park.
“The paranormal experiences started pretty young,” she said. “When I was a toddler I used to stand and stare in our house. I didn’t move and was frozen.”
Her mom had to intervene and move her to a different area of the home. But when Sophia was about nine years old, she felt a presence watching her everywhere throughout the home.
“I told my mom there was a ghost in her closet because that is where he was—in the vanity area of my parent’s bedroom,” Sophia said.
Her mother did know what to think, as they had never experienced any prior paranormal experiences. That’s until she encountered the ghost.
“One day she was putting on her makeup and heard three knocks on the closet door,” Sophia said. “No one was home, so she grabbed an EVP recorder (electronic voice phenomenon) since ghosts speak at a different frequency than we can hear, so only audio recordings can pick it up.”
The EVP recorder spoke, “I’ll help you put these lights up.”
“It makes no sense when I just say it, but when you look at how her vanity was, she actually had a chandelier sitting on a chair for about eight years, not knowing how to put it up or how to mount it,” she said.
It was an intelligent response.
Sophia describes the ghost who watched her everywhere to be a male, about 20 years old with brown hair with jeans and a white t-shirt. But she was not the only one in her family who could see him—her dog saw him too.
“Where I would see the ghost, she would go into the hallway and violently bark,” she said. “It wasn’t a good spirit and she (her dog) was angry at it. A very angry pug.”
But before experiencing the haunting, her parents were always interested in the paranormal from watching television shows like the “X-Files” and “Sightings.”
“They always had an interest and that’s where they saw the psychic, Peter James, who discovered the ghost girl on [the Queen Mary],” she said. “Peter did tours on the Queen Mary and eventually, we all took a tour and I’ve been in the field ever since.”
Sophia begged her parents to let her have a paranormal radio show and at age 12, it finally happened.
“My dad had been asked to do a radio show after co-authoring a book with Peter, so he talked to the LiveParnormal site founder Rob Szarek,” she said. “Rob said go for it, and I became a radio host.”
LiveParanormal.com is an internet radio station for various radio hosts to come together and have a platform to talk and do interviews. It’s the world’s largest paranormal broadcasting network, and Sophia just celebrated the seven-year mark on her show “The Ghost Host” in June.
However, when she first started as a 12-year-old, she had to prove herself because kids are not accepted into the paranormal due to its nature.
“Kids can get punched, slapped and burned,” she said. “There are so many dangers, not even spiritual. You can walk into an abandoned building and fall through the floorboards.”
Because her parents were in the field and all three became a packaged deal, the paranormal community was accepting of it.
“I wasn’t doing anything to harm myself and my parents were not putting me in danger,” Sophia said. “So they became more accepting of it, especially through my radio show.”
Now, every Saturday from the comfort of her home, she interviews an array of people in the field like demonologists, priests, investigators and occasionally a few horror people for “The Ghost Host.”
“It’s been great having psychics to talk to people who need help, and it's been amazing to help people the way it's helped me,” she said.
Although Sophia had a bad experience living in a haunted house, she wants her listeners to know not to be afraid.
“It’s people who have passed on so if they were mean in life, they are going to be mean in death,” she said. “It doesn’t mean every ghost is Casper but not every ghost is Annabelle, someone trying to kill you.”
Throughout the years, Sophia has developed her own thoughts and theories, but still respects people who do not believe in ghosts.
“I respect skeptics wholeheartedly because unless you experience it yourself and with technology, there are many ways to say it is fake,” she said.
For her, living in a haunted house shaped her interest in the paranormal field. Be sure to check out “The Ghost Host” on http://liveparanormal.com/ every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. PST to learn more about the paranormal.