Phil Payette

Founder and Director


Phil's family lived in a haunted colonial house in New Hampshire back in the late 1960's/early 1970's before moving to Virginia. He has been interested in the paranormal since childhood after several encounters with shadow people. Growing up, the paranormal related movies and television shows he found fascinating and the most inspiring were: "Close Encounters", "Ghost", "The Fog", "Ghostbusters", "A Christmas Carol", "The Amityville Horror", "The Exorcist", "Poltergeist", "Project U.F.O.", "In Search Of...", "Scooby-Doo", "The Twilight Zone", and the occasional paranormal episodes of "Unsolved Mysteries". In the mid 1990's he witnessed UFOs while stargazing with a friend. After another spiritual close encounter in 2001 while visiting an old fort in Maine with his older brother, he became familiar with the reality TV shows "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Adventures" and then decided to become a paranormal investigator himself.

Phil is a Navy veteran who worked in aviation electronics. After the military he graduated Strayer University in Fredericksburg, VA with a Bachelor's in Computer Information Systems. He served on the Board of Directors of the Coast Defense Study Group (CDSG), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization promoting the preservation efforts of historic coastal fortifications, and sat as Chairman of the Board for one year. While with the CDSG for 12 years he was the Hampton Roads regional representative and played an important role in saving historic Fort Monroe from developers. Phil has also been active in the community volunteering his time with organizations such as Virginia State Parks: First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach Community Emergency Response Team (VBCERT), Skywarn, and has attended Currituck County Sheriff's Dept Citizens Police Academy which provided some learning experiences that can be adapted to paranormal investigation. He currently volunteers a considerable amount of time as an adult leader of a local Boy Scout troop.

Phil was previously educated in the paranormal by Paranormal Encounters in 2008-09 and helped administer It's Haunted, a now-defunct social media site. Phil also helped a friend restart a group called Orange Paranormal Group in Orange County, and in 2010 helped start Old School Ghost Hunters meetup group in Hampton, which was quickly replaced by Eastern Virginia Ghost Riders meetup group in Norfolk, the predecessor of Tidewater. Tidewater was formally established in 2011 by the majority of the members of EVGR. Phil actively participates in joint investigations with other groups at many out-of-area locations. In November of 2011 he attended the very first session of TAPS Academy (now called TAPS Institute). In March 2013 and August 2014 respectively, he received training in spiritual warfare and demonology from Father Robert "Bob" Bailey at the Praesidium of Warriors of St. Michael Ministry, and Reverend Dave Juliano of Sanctuary Paranormal Ministries. He is also a member of the National Paranormal Society, and the Virginia Paranormal Assembly.

Phil currently lives near the state line between Virginia Beach, VA. and Currituck County, NC. He is the Founder and Director of Tidewater Paranormal. Having been raised in the Fredericksburg area and interested in the Civil War nearly all his life, he began a personal mission in February 2012 to investigate Civil War battlefields in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the states of West Virginia and North Carolina during the 150th Anniversary of the great conflict. 

Formal Education outside of the Paranormal field:

Citizens Police Academy from Currituck County Sheriff's Department

CERT Community Emergency Response Team from Virginia Beach Fire Department

Advanced Skywarn Trained Spotter from the National Weather Service, Wakefield VA

AT Aviation Electronics from the U.S. Navy, NATTC Naval Air Technical Training Center, Millington TN

Bachelor of Science: Computer Information Systems from Strayer University, Fredericksburg VA

Continuing education from FEMA Emergency Management Institute

Make a free website with Yola