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Meet Nicole Strickland of San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS) in Tierrasanta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Strickland.

Nicole, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have had an innate fascination with the paranormal realm since early childhood. In fact, I can distinctly remember my very first supernatural encounter that occurred on a warm, dusky night in Las Vegas, Nevada. My parents and I were drying off after a long swim in our backyard pool when something quite intriguing occurred: I saw this dark misty mass float right by us, which prompted me to ask, “Mommy and daddy, did you see that?” I was around five years of age at the time and the only person to witness this unusual phenomenon. While residing in Las Vegas during my early years, I came into contact and subsequently interacted with a male spirit from the 1800s. As an adult with twenty-plus years of paranormal research under my belt, I have safely surmised that this particular ghost emanated from the Gold Rush period.

As I grew older, my interest in the afterlife and supernatural matured along with me. During my senior year of undergraduate college, I experienced a profound, life-changing paranormal event, which catapulted me into active research and investigation of the unknown. I have always been close to my maternal grandmother, Helen Lopinto, and was devastated when she passed at the age of 96 from congestive heart failure. In fact, she called me on the phone the night prior to her transition to the stars wanting to make sure I was “okay.” I thought this gesture was rather odd considering it a grandmotherly action on her part. I have now realized that she was most likely getting all her affairs in order prior to departing the physical plane.

A few days after Helen’s funeral, I started experiencing odd phenomena in my college apartment. It commenced with my doorknobs rattling of their own volition. Then came the disembodied caress on my face as I was studying – a feeling that came from someone I knew and loved deeply. A few days later, I saw my grandmother’s spirit form in my bedroom. Her apparition looked to be about ten years younger and adorned in her favorite blue and white house dress. She had a white light behind her, which mimicked that of a spotlight. I shared these profound experiences with my mom Norma (Helen’s youngest daughter). Norma and I subsequently talked with Helen and let her know that the family is okay, and she is free to move on. After we did this, the experiences ceased; however, Helen does visit now and then in ethereal form. In a way, I have to sincerely thank my grandmother as she helped to pave the way for me as a professional paranormal investigator and researcher. For the past twenty years or so, I have devoted much of my time to studying the unknown realm, with a keen interest in ghosts, spirits, and hauntings.

I have worked with various Southern California-based research teams prior to developing the San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS) in 2009. The SDPRS team is a professional, highly experienced and devoted group that has evolved into one of San Diego’s premiere, well-respected research groups. We have conducted numerous case studies at historical sites, businesses, and private residences throughout the city and beyond. As strong advocates for the spirit realm, the SDPRS operates with respect and reverence at all times. In a way, our research is a great way to learn about the people that walked the land before us. Furthermore, the SDPRS has spent the past eight years researching Vista’s iconic Rancho Buena Vista Adobe and is the official host of the monthly “Spirits of the Adobe” fundraising paranormal tours on the property. For more information, please visit

As a well-respected research group, the San Diego Paranormal Research Society is often requested to appear in film, television radio and/or print mediums. Some of my media outlet appearances have included Travel Channel’s “Ghost Stories,” BIO’s “My Ghost Story – Caught on Camera,” “KPBS Evening Edition,” “San Diego Living,” “Good Morning San Diego,” “Channel 8 Morning Edition,” and most recently on an upcoming Travel Channel series. I have also appeared in various documentary films, including the ground-breaking “All Around Us.” I thoroughly enjoy appearing on radio shows and to date, have been a guest on around fifty terrestrial and/or internet-based podcasts. The SDPRS team has also been featured in various San Diego newspapers.

I have a love for writing and accomplished one of my life-long aspirations in 2009 – the writing of my first nonfiction book, “Field Guide to Southern California Hauntings.” Since that time, I have written and published six other books with Penoaks, Schiffer, and The History Press. These include “Haunted Queen of the Seas: The Living Legend of the RMS Queen Mary,” (1st and 2nd editions), “Spirited Queen Mary – Her Haunted Legend,” “RMS Queen Mary – Voices from Her Voyages,” “San Diego’s Most Haunted: The Historical Legacy and Paranormal Marvels of America’s Finest City,” and “Spirits of Rancho Buena Vista Adobe.” My books about the Queen Mary historic ship are considered best-sellers aboard in her various gift stores. In addition to writing books, I am also a writer and correspondent to Paranormal Underground Magazine, one of the leading print resources on all things supernatural.

During my years as a paranormal researcher and writer, I also discovered my affinity for presenting. There is something quite awesome and special about sharing your passions with people, and that’s exactly what I do when I give various presentations about the paranormal and spirit realm. To date, I have lectured at numerous conferences, events, and libraries. Some of these include the annual Oregon Ghost Conference, Port Gamble Ghost Conference, Preston Castle Benefit Paracon, Ghost Fest IV aboard the Queen Mary, Amy Bruni’s Strange Escapes aboard the Queen Mary, Maritime Ghost Conference San Diego, Haunted America Conference West Coast, OSHER Adult Learning through California State University San Marcos, San Diego History Center, San Diego Ghost and Paranormal Meetup Group, among others. The San Diego Paranormal Research Society has a partnership with the Escondido Public Library where it’s presented three years in a row and most recently with the Chula Vista Library. I have also lectured at many other San Diego libraries. Furthermore, I am proud to be one of the veteran presenters for Vista’s Aztec Brewing Company’s paranormal lecture series. I offer many different presentation topics; some of the most requested include “Children and the Paranormal,” “San Diego’s Most Haunted,” “RMS Queen Mary – Haunted Queen of the Seas, “ “Tulpas and Thought Projections – Implications for Paranormal Research,” “Beginner and Advanced Paranormal Research,” “Trends in Paranormal Research,” “Spirits of Rancho Buena Vista Adobe,” “Developing a Paranormal Research Team,” “Ghostology,” “Data Analysis, Documentation and Report Writing.”

By now, you have read where I have mentioned the words “Queen Mary” several times. Well, there’s a reason for this as I have spent the past 15 plus years researching both the liner’s history and paranormal phenomena. I fell in love with this legendary historic ship back in 2005 when I first stepped aboard. Indeed, the Queen Mary is a beautiful liner considered to be one of the most iconic vessels of all time. She is also known as one of the top ten most haunted locations in the world. In my extensive research of this ship, I have discovered how many of her former crew, passengers, WWII veterans, and war brides have developed a soul connection to the ship just as I have. Legacies are to never be silenced and I am honored to share the Queen Mary’s legacy and chronicles on the seas with people of all ages. It’s a sheer honor to be known nationally and internationally as a Queen Mary historian, and it’s one of my life’s duties to keep her amazing story alive.

I absolutely have a passion for what I do. I believe studying the paranormal and doing what I do is my destiny, which has perhaps, been sealed long before my inception. Currently, I am writing future books about the afterlife and supernatural fields. I am also co-developing a brand new television series with some of my trusted colleagues. For more information, you can visit my websites at and

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For the most part, my journey has been a smooth ride. My family and friends are quite supportive of the work I do as it can be a very sensitive and controversial subject.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about San Diego Paranormal Research Society (SDPRS) – what should we know?
The San Diego Paranormal Research Society is a paranormal investigative and research team based in San Diego, California. Since 2009, it has evolved into one of the city’s most well-respected teams. We specialize in the study of ghosts, spirits, and hauntings; conduct case studies at historic sites, businesses, and private residences. We are also an educative group, having lectured and presented at numerous conferences, events, and libraries. We are also known for our monthly “Spirits of the Adobe” fundraising paranormal tours at the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe. The SDPRS has been featured in numerous media outlets, including television, film, radio and print mediums.

We are proud of our keen ability to connect with the spirit realm and build lasting relationships with our clients and the community. We are an experienced, professional paranormal research team that operates with respect and reverence at all times. The SDPRS blends metaphysics, intuition, and science when conducting its case studies. We are not ghost hunters as in our belief, there is a different psychological mindset with paranormal research as opposed to the former. We are not thrill seekers and as such, devote a lot of our time to the many components of paranormal research – client interviews, data analysis, adjunct historical research, case report writing, professional development, etc. Most importantly, we are advocates for the spiritual entities we come across as well as for our clients and the supernatural community at large.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There are so many people to list here.

I have to thank my mom, Norma Strickland and my dad, Byron Strickland for their love, support, and encouragement.

There is no “I” in TEAM; as such, SDPRS would not be where it is today without its members. Ali Schreiber is not only a dear friend of mine but also the team’s co-director and “Spirits of the Adobe” tour co-host. Ali and I have this amazing “mojo” and uncanny albeit amazing unity when conducting our research. The spirit realm seems to know this as we have documented very compelling data from our case studies.

Every other SDPRS member serves as a mentor, supporter, cheerleader, and advocate. These individuals include best-selling author Marie Jones, radio host and EVP guru Todd Bates, the genuine and gifted Dawn Short, the ever experienced Thomas Durant, our Vista historical consultant Fred Tracy and last but certainly not least, our main historical consultant Gabe Selak who now knows the secrets of the universe after peacefully transitioning to the stars. Gabe’s eternal light always shines in our hearts and the continued research we do.

We all learn from each other; shared knowledge leads to brightened horizons and the discovery of the previously undiscovered. Thus, I want to take this time to thank every single paranormal researcher out there who is helping to uncover the truths of our universe and galaxies beyond.

This section would not be complete without giving a shoutout to the many ghosts and spirits we’ve come across. Each and every one of you has taught me and the SDPRS something special about the afterlife. Honorable mentions go to Jackie, John, Juan, Ysidora, Lillian, Max, Simba, Merlin, and Joey.


  • Our case studies are free of charge but we do accept donations if you feel the need to give back.
  • Our “Spirits of the Adobe” tours are $25 per person for a two-hour tour. Proceeds benefit the continued upkeep of the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nicole Strickland

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