Category Archives: ideal event management

OSR 2017, Amongst Other Things!

I will tell you: things are so chaotic right now, I feel like I can’t catch up! Honestly, part of a reason for this is because I was sick this week, but it was worth it because my longtime boyfriend Dan and I got ENGAGED!! (Funny story: we found out later that he exposed me to a cold and here we are!)

So… A thing happened today!!! #engaged #bfturnedfiance #thefutureisbeautiful

A post shared by Katie L Mortimer (@katielmortimer) on Jul 30, 2017 at 9:20am PDT

Yes! We did!! My mind is in a mix of rejoicing and daydreaming about our near-future lives as newlyweds.

However, I have so many things going on before we take our vows next year: working on my career, losing the rest of my weight, and other things.

One of those “other things” is attending Ideal Event’s gathering at Ohio State Reformatory this weekend. I’m honestly excited to experience the haunted prison at a different time of the year (the previous three events there have been held in May, not August). I expect the vibes will be awesomely different for multiple reasons.

First off, it’ll be close to fall, which is always the time of year I feel more energized, both physically and spiritually. Second, because of this, the event will be taking place a month before the prison shuts down for their annual haunted house–this year dubbed “Escape from Blood Prison!” Personally, I’m wondering if it’ll have an affect on the ghosties or not. Surely, because there are some intelligent haunts, it’s possible they could pick up on the change of seasons? Who knows. The experience will tell!

All in all, I’m excited to see what will happen. I’m especially excited to be investigating with Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango again–although I am a little curious as to why they were the only celebs that came back this year.

HOWEVER, in addition to their awesome selves, we will also get a lecture about the history of the Ohio State Reformatory! I’m very giddy about that as well; even though I’ve researched a lot into the infamous prison, I still want to see if I’ll learn something else!

We’ll see how the night goes. See you all soon!


Author’s Update:

There will be more to come on this blog soon. I’ve backed off on a few things–like Media Mondays over on my YouTube channel and my fanfiction releases–so that I can focus more heavily on my writing career, especially the novel I’m itching to complete, but this blog is not one of those. I’m aiming to release a new blog post around the 1st and 15th day of every month.

For more, check out my Youtube video where I talk about the tough decision of backing off on my fanfics and reviews:

Thank you all for your support and see you next time! *blows kiss*

Ghost Hunters S11 Premiere Tonight!

YES! It’s August! One more month of grueling hot weather and–hopefully–a crisp autumnal bliss will sweep over Ohio. Enough of the 90 degree weather! Good grief, I want my spookiness, 5PM sunsets, love sleeves, and hot drinks!

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All in due time, though. All in due time. Must. Be. Patient!

Truthfully I’m not ready to revel in fall just yet. (Says the girl listening to Pandora’s Halloween radio whilst writing this!) I have two more excursions this summer. After those I can settle down, work on my writing projects (including this dear blog), and soak in the 40-60 degrees! It’s honestly been a hard summer; not solely with this borderline drought weather but with personal issues themselves. I’m looking forward to the season change and with that, maybe, I’ll get some time to work. One can only hope!

On that note, Fall TV shows are going to start up again! YAY! I have missed my evening TV rituals!

It all starts tonight with the season 11 Ghost Hunters premiere! Catch it on SyFy @ 9PM (ET)!

And guess where the location is? Cleveland! My own back yard! YES! I’m definitely adding this location to my list!

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Unfortunately, it was announced a few weeks back that this would be the final GH season airing on SyFy. Last I heard the show wasn’t cancelled, but TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) were just shopping for a different network to work with.

Honestly, if you all haven’t watched Ghost Hunters yet, you should! You don’t have to start at season 1, you can just pop on SyFy when the clock rings 9PM!

TAPS is honestly the best group out there in the paranormal media mainstream. They don’t embellish evidence, they don’t provoke entities, and their main aim is to help people with paranormal problems… as well as continue to develop the paranormal field. Furthermore they are the kindest people you will ever meet! I’ve been to five Ideal Events now–I’ve probably met Steve, Tango, and Dustin four times each–and these people are amazing, plain and simple! You get to interact with them and learn investigation techniques; no stage vs audience, just the TAPS crew (plus other celebs) and fans hanging out in a haunted location!

Side note: Ohio State Reformatory back in May was, quite frankly, the best experience I’ve had thus far at an event! But more on that in another post!

Let me just say: Dustin Pari is a joyous rainbow– a Steel Unicorn gift from God! At his events, his motivational lectures are soul inspiring, as well as hilarious, and will leave you with a smile!  Go follow him on Twitter to see what I mean! Bonus: he is one of the few celebs that makes it a point to respond to as many people as possible!

All righty paranormal enthusiasts, I’ve said my two cents on one of my favorite shows and am off to do some other writings before Ghost Hunters begins! I’ll see you in the next post soon!

REMEMBER: Ghost Hunters. SyFy. 9PM (ET). GO WATCH! 

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Post-Ghost Hunting at Mansfield Reformatory PART 2 – Ghost Hunting + Evidence

Now I guess you guys want to hear about the actual investigating of Mansfield Reformatory? Right? Good. ’cause here we go.

(Read here about Part 1: Paranormal Background + Meet & Greet)

Okay so at approximately 9PM the Meet & Greet and lectures concluded. I learned a lot of things. I learned that Adam Berry is literally the nicest person in the whole wide world. And I’ve learned from Josh Gates that there’s an ancient ghost story written by Pliny The Younger (A.D. 61 – 115). (Which you can read here: An Ancient Ghost Story)

And I got some confirmation on things that I already believed. Like John Zaffis saying that demons aren’t everywhere, that most times those cases tend to be the client freaking themselves out or just an angry spirit. (I had previously figured this out when reading Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson’s books on their experiences at The Atlantic Paranormal Society.)

At 9PM we started investigations (with a little break) I readied myself: putting on my jacket (considering it was in the 40s and there was no heat), my flashlight (no electricity), and my digital recorder (the greatest and most useful tool a paranormal investigator can ever have on him/her).

Let me just say here and now this building’s reputation is very accurate. It is creepy and very active. Within the first 30 minutes of investigating something happened to me that totally creeped me out.

Like literally I stood there in the East Cell block like this–

–trying to figure out a logical explanation. Thank God for Amy Bruni and Steve Gonsalves for attempting to give me a logical grasp on the situation BUT–just–it was weird. It’s still weird looking back on it. I can’t explain it. I’m not saying that it was 100% paranormal but it was a personal experience that I will be confused about for the rest of my life.

The night started with me, Allison, and the group over in the East Cell Block showers.

Amy Bruni demonstrated her flashlight technique which was absolutely AWESOME to watch. The flashlight technique is another way for a paranormal investigator to communicate with spirits. Amy stressed that using three flashlights (a “yes”, “no”, and “maybe”) works best and is more credible. Here’s an example of the technique (found it on YouTube, not mine!):

One day I would like to try this. Although it is a patience killer. Amy explained that contrary to what SyFy shows, it sometimes takes a very long time for the spirit to learn how to use the flashlights. But it is pretty cool to watch and wonder if it’s a spirit communicating. If it is: what is the spirit thinking? Do they see us? Or just the flashlights? Are they aware of the year, the time, the month, the day? Or is it just one continued existence that would be totally confusing for us to experience ourselves?

After the flashlight experiments Allison and I departed from the group and went to investigated by ourselves.
We had about an hour to explore the East Cell Block and we were excited to get going. It was creepy, I tell you, the first time turning off a flashlight in an abandoned prison. Even though you know there are people close by, just the thought of something jumping out at you, getting touched by something that’s not there (or someone) is unnerving.

I got my emotions and thoughts under control and started walking around the small room we were in. There was literally nothing but a small table in the center of the room. I wondered: what was the room used as? As a room for the guards? Probably not something for the prisoners because it wasn’t out in the open. I walked into the back right hand corner of the room… and then I got a headache.

Now I thought this was a little odd at first. I never have headaches to this extreme — it was approaching a migraine but stayed centered on the left side of my head. It reminded me of when I got hit by a ball in my high school gym class. Soon Allison and I made our way from the East Cell Block to Solitary and while Steve Gonsalves was instructing the group I say an “Our Father”. As soon as I say “Amen”… the headache vanishes on freaking cue.

Okay. The reason why this is so weird to me is that I have never, never, NEVER had a headache vanish on cue. NEVER. It always throbs until I go to sleep and wake up the next day. Medicine hardly ever takes it away.

But I chalked it up as very weird, talked to Steve about it, and even he said “wow” in response to my personal experience before suggesting to see if it comes back, and if it does, say a prayer again.

Well about fifteen minutes later it did come back. But not to me… to Allison. We went outside, tried to get some fresh air (which was a thing that Mansfield offered to do if things got too crazy), and went back inside. All the while the headache was still going for Allison. It lessened only slightly with the fresh air. Then what did Allison do? Say a prayer. And it went away. On freaking cue AGAIN.

The rest of the night we didn’t have any headaches but I swear that was one of the freakiest things that happened to me. I’m proud of myself and Allison though because we just laughed, brushed it off, and continued investigating.

The second weirdest thing that happened to Allison and I were in the West Cell Block. There we met up with Adam Berry and did a group investigation. As he encouraged shadows to lean out of the cells, I was avidly watching, soaking it all in. I really, really, really wanted to see a shadow. Or to see some kind of apparition. Allison and I had possibly seen a shadow cross in front of us at Hill View Manor a couple years ago, but I was still uncertain if it was a shadow, or a person just walking in the dark. It was so solid but so silent that it still makes me wonder. But I knew Mansfield was famous for shadows running around the Cell Blocks, I wanted to see one for myself.

I never did see one but I did experience another first. There were cells to my left as I stood in the group, actively learning from Adam and waiting to see a shadow. Suddenly I felt a hand brush across my right shoulder.

I flipped around, looking back at Allison, and said: “What?”
Allison: “What?”
Me: “Did you just touch my shoulder?”
Allison: *brushes my shoulder and it feels similar, but different*
Me: “Yeah, did you do that right now?”
Allison: “*confused* No?”

I know people would debate that Allison could’ve just been pulling my leg (after all we both like to prank each other). But I stand by the fact that I flipped around so fast I would’ve seen Allison putting her hands down. There was no one else in proximity to me. So I believe I was touched.

But Allison had quite an experience when we went into one of the cells to do an EVP session. As the session progressed she was… very confused… and slightly weirded out to feel a pressure on her chest. Me? I started cracking up as Allison looked dumbfounded and started making jokes about being groped. “Wait until I tell my mom that you made a ghost grope me!” she exclaimed while I just bent over laughing. We had asked the ghost in the cell to touch one of us, and kept asking through the thirty minute session. The ghost must’ve liked Allison because she received a firm butt grab too, after we had switched places.

*wince* Sorry Allison for making a ghost grope you…

The night ended up wearing down, and Allison and I became physically exhausted as we shuffled through our last two locations: The Attic/Chapel with John Zaffis and The Warden’s Quarters with Chip Coffey. The last two locations almost literally ended in a blur. It seemed that the rest of the group felt along the same lines. When we got to the Warden’s Quarters everyone slumped to the ground while Chip commented on how different our group felt in dynamics, as well as how drained the activity of Mansfield was.

I think the only thing that got me through the last two locations was the hope of seeing Josh Gates and talking to him more (he had proclaimed at the lecture that he was going to drift around from group to group). I had had enough of the investigating, and had more than enough experiences to keep me going, but I was absolutely exhausted.

Allison and I ended our night at Mansfield driving home and flopping in our beds at 3AM. For the next day I analyzed my recordings and categorized them chronologically. I will say that I’m visiting Mansfield again. I’ve already purchased the tickets to next year’s event with Grant Wilson and I CAN’T WAIT!!

Purchase your tickets here before they sell out: 2015 OHIO STATE REFORMATORY (MANSFIELD)

Concerning the evidence: I don’t pretend to be an expert paranormal investigator. I’m still learning, and this is my hobby. I also don’t pretend to be making excuses. All I present to you are some audio recordings that definitely raised my eyebrow.

(Edit from the future (5.21.15): I’m converting these into a YouTube video – should be up the next couple weeks!)

East Cell Block:
01 – Me getting a headache.

Solitary:
02 – Some warping (?) of Allison’s voice (which didn’t happen again for the rest of the night)
03 – “My room!”

Basement (by The Hole):
04 – “Get out”?
05 – whispered “for you”
– my shoulder being pushed
– a groan/moan
– hammering (which we DID NOT hear live)
06 – “Hey!”

Solitary:
07 – Allison gets a headache
08 – moan

West Cell Block:
09 + 10 – Adam’s group investigation trying to draw shadows out of the cells.
*During this time I felt fingers brushing my right shoulder and Allison didn’t do it or see anyone doing it — FIRST TIME being touched by a ghost*
11 – walking the length of the block by myself. I hear whispered “who are you” and “what’s your name?”
12 – 3:11 “Quit it!” when I turn on my flashlight
– 4:40 “No”
– 4:50 Allison is groped
– 8:35 We hold our hands out and feel like we can’t keep them open – like we’re sticking them in Molasses.
– 12:53 Allison’s thigh is touched.
– 13:08 “Hello”
– 15:45 “No I don’t” when asking if he knew who caused our headaches.
– 17:30 Allison’s hair lifts.
– 18:35 “No”
– 19:30 My hair’s grabbed?
– 21:11 moan
– 21:39 moan
13 – 11sec Me: Can you say our names? “Too easy.”
– 14 sec Breath. (We audibly heard this)
14 – 50sec Allison’s groped again
– 1:28 “Oh-kay”
(We switch places in the cell – Allison at the door, me farther in. We want to know if he likes Allison or if it’s a proximity thing)
– 5:16 Breath
– 7:20 My left hand starts to get extremely cold while my right stays the same temperature. It gets colder when I ask him to squeeze tighter.

Attic/Chapel:
15 – John Zaffis spirit box session

Warden’s Quarters:
16 – Chip Coffey’s session (at this point everyone is so physically drained, especially Allison and I, that we just sit on the floor and do a group investigation with Chip before departing the location)

Comment below what you guys think and thanks for checking this out! It was certainly an enormous adventure and I felt honored to [again] be ghost hunting with TAPS, John Zaffis, Chip Coffey, and Josh Gates.

…even though I never saw Josh again that night…

What about you guys? What paranormal experiences have you had? Have you gone to an Ideal Event? How was it?

Post-Ghost Hunting at Mansfield Reformatory PART 1 – Paranormal Background + Meet & Greet

Okay, gang. This has been a long time coming!! And I’m finally posting about it!

My trip to Mansfield Reformatory! 

Part 1: Paranormal Background + Meet & Greet.
(Because this would be reeeeallly long if I put everything in one post!)

A week ago my friend Allison and I made the 40 minute journey to The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio (commonly referred to as “Mansfield Reformatory”). And… man… was it creepy. And awesome. And… jarring… and beautiful.

Here, take a look:

The night began when this picture was taken, at 5 PM, at the steps of Mansfield Reformatory. It was my third public ghost hunt with TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society a.k.a. “Ghost Hunters”), and I was ABSOLUTELY EXCITED for it!! For investigating with them and for the location!

I had been wanting to visit this place again for maaaaany years. I kid you not, it was more than a decade since I had been here. I went with my parents on the Shawshank tour during the day. Which it was a very nice tour to go on and I loved seeing the movie set pieces.

**Fair warning: here beginneth my ranting about TAPS and how I got interested in the paranormal (Thusly entitled “Background”)**

This was before I had gotten into the paranormal. It was around the time that I had first been immersed in “Scariest Places on Earth” (which, nowadays, is a show I’m very skeptical of). It was when I had started to realize that ghosts were not just fiction… but a reality. Back when I was afraid to sleep in the dark, and wouldn’t dare sleep with the covers any lower than my chin. When the sounds of a house settling stirred the deepest horrors of my imagination… when the sounds of mice making homes in my bedroom wall made me fear monsters were coming to get me… (I never had a real definition of what “get me” was, by the way, I just knew I didn’t want it.)

Check out the “Scariest Places on Earth” video here:

So fast forward to October 31, 2010. I was in my college apartment, at Otterbein University, just aimlessly browsing the internet, and listening to the TV in the background. I don’t exactly remember how, but I came across a TV show called Ghost Hunters Live. Now I was still interested in the paranormal, especially considering the experiences I have had since my Grandpa Nolletti died, and it was Halloween. So I thought “Why not? I’m not doing anything special tonight…”

And down the rabbit hole I went.

(PS – I miss the Live shows. PLEEEEASE BRING THEM BACK SYFY!!)

Now, in present day, my interest in the paranormal has grown… and my fear has diminished. In  my four years of being a fan, TAPS has taught me how to “debunk”. That the creaking of my house was really the wood settling… that a strange noise in the forest outside was probably a fox… that the scratching in my wall was actually mice trying to make a home… and now, when I’m sweating in the summer night, I can fully kick off my covers and not worry about monsters coming to get me.

But, on the flip side, I wanted to experience the paranormal and learn more about it. Because, as I said, I have had experiences I cannot explain. And I want to know more about the afterlife. And I want to talk to other people about their experiences. It really is a fascinating conversation if you only just let yourself have an open mind!! Whether you believe or not.

Which is why I like Josh Gates so much, too, because he has self-proclaimed that he doesn’t believe in ghosts, because he hasn’t found concrete evidence of them. But what he’s really after is talking to people, and the story.

(“The only thing that matters–” AH!! Down, Mort Rainey, down.)

Okay, so thus endeth the “Background” section of this post. NOW we return to this place:

At 5 PM I take this shot as Allison and I are walking up to Mansfield Reformatory. It is a beautiful shot, and a beautiful place. Though I can understand the stories of how inmates felt dread when they were sentenced to serve time here… “Dracula’s Castle” indeed!

We walk in the building, present our tickets, and stand in line in a hallway leading up to the Bull Pen… and where the Meet & Greet and lectures/Q&As are going to take place. Me? I’m standing there trying not to focus on the fact that in less than 30 minutes I will have met Josh Gates and I’m actually kind of terrified of how well that will go over.

God bless Allison and a woman (I never got the name of) from distracting me. We talked about the paranormal, paranormal investigations, haunted locations (Zoar, Ohio and Hill View Manor specifically), Ghost Hunters, and Ghost Adventures while we stood in line.

 

(Note: whenever you’re at a public ghost hunt, no matter your personal beliefs, you always talk about the paranormal in some way. It’s just another way to learn a person’s story. And I love it.)

Then… the moment hit me… the moment that I would meet Josh Gates, get to see him face to face, have him finally autograph my copy of his book, and I would get to say… something. But what? I didn’t know what to say. How do I convey to a man how much I appreciate his existence? And that it’s not meant to be creepy, but a compliment? How do I tell him that he’s just plain… awesome? 
I said it in a Facebook post perfectly to a friend who didn’t know who he was: 
“This is Josh Gates. He used to host Destination Truth on SyFy. Now he’s creating a new show called ‘Expedition Unknown’ on the Travel channel. He has self-described himself as a ‘professional vagabond, international monster hunter, and paranormal Hardy Boy.’ (Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, Foreword). I describe him as a kind of Indiana Jones figure too. He travels the world to investigate legends and myths, talking to natives about their experiences. He’s been to all 7 continents, 92 countries, and 49 states. 

But what I really like about him (and yesterday at Mansfield proved it to me) is that he’s an awesome, kind, funny guy who has experienced a lot of the world and loves to share the passions of travel and adventure with others. He actively encourages people to explore outside their comfort zone. Oh. And he’s a movie geek too. 

I think basically his personality can be summed up in this video (from Destination Truth):

Then, suddenly, I was at his table, next in line, and I pushed my fears out of me. He’s human, after all. Even if I didn’t magically become best friends with him in the next minute, I was going to do what I do best: be myself. Josh looked up, smiled, and we said hello to each other. Then I handed him my book to be signed.

The conversation proceeded to go as follows:

Me: “I love the book and show. Sad it’s not on but excited for the new one!”
Josh: “*as he’s signing* Aw, thanks!”
Me: *pause* It’s an honor to meet you.”
Josh: “Aw, that’s really sweet!”

And then this happens:

Josh Gate’s autograph

So, yeah, I’m not magically best friends with the guy but I said what I wanted to say. I was brave. I spoke from my heart and meant it. And he responded in the way I thought he would.

(Lesson learned: be yourself. What others think of you is their problem, not yours. But most of the time people will love you and accept you for who you are.)

I accomplished two milestones in that moment: I finally met Josh Gates, and I FINALLY have one of my most favorite books in my library autographed. Both make me EXTREMELY happy. Yes, as a fan, I kind of wish to be one of those special people that end up becoming friends with the celebrity they admire most in this world (but not a Josh Gates “fan ambassador” because a girl named Amanda already has that job over at SINGULARITY ). But right now I’m just happy to have met the guy. And I still grin at that picture above.

(Josh or Amanda, if you find this post here…  just… uhm… hi. *runs away*)

Some more photos that I (and Allison for the ones I’m standing in) took at the event:

Me + Amy Bruni
Me + Steve Gonsalves
LOOOT!! 

East Cell Block

Bull Pen lecture
East Cell Block 

Amy Bruni + Adam Berry goofing off
Josh Gates’s lecture
John Zaffis Q&A

TAPS/ Ghost Hunters Q&A
(Amy Bruni, Adam Berry, Steve Gonsalves) 
“So was Red”
“Brooks was here”

Mansfield @ Night
Picture of the Chapel during investigation

Comment below! Let me know your thoughts!

Have any of you ghost hunted before or had paranormal experiences? Go ahead and share! I would love to hear them!