Category Archives: josh gates

Ohio State Reformatory 2015 Masterpost!

Well, jeez. In case you guys aren’t following me on my social accounts (which you really should do *snerk*), it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Heck, month. HECK, 2015 ITSELF. Certain things are in motion; I’ve moved on from Fangirlish, and am in the process of leaving Dollar Tree, too. And I’m devoting the ENTIRE SUMMER to my writing — with a little break for vacay in New Orleans. EEE!

I’ve made a video about those changes and will be posting about it later. (The video itself will be posted later today)

This post, however, I’m going in depth with what happened at Ohio State Reformatory.

Over on my YouTube channel, I posted these two videos:

OSR Meet + Greet 2015

OSR Evidence 2015 

I do talk about my experiences in both of these videos, but don’t talk much about the “highlights” of the night. (PSA: this will be a loooong post, so I’ll split them up) SO HERE WE GO!

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1. Meet + Greet with Josh Gates

Okay. So those who are new to the land of Katie, Josh Gates is a person I hold in high regard. Honestly, he’s my role model (outside of, like, my mom and other family members). I also tend to consider him a colleague. Although while I don’t have 96 countries under my belt, I think he’s a really excellent writer and a very passionate traveler. Which are traits that I possess too. Hence, “role model” and “colleague”.

So I’m in line at Ohio State Reformatory, waiting to meet Josh Gates (again). He’s, of course, the first table at the Meet and Greet. I fish out my copy of the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” travel journal and present it to Josh. To my astonishment (which, like, I don’t even know why I was astonished: he is a traveler after all!), he starts flipping through the journal. He respectfully bypasses the parts that I’ve written in, which was very cool of him. (Even though he didn’t need to. The entries are only a page long, so they’re mostly full of “OMG I NEED TO GO HERE AGAIN” and “Here’s what we did”)

He stops at “EIGHT PLACES TO FIND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FEMALES IN THE WORLD” and he starts verbally checking off places he needs to go to, and places he’s been.

Meanwhile, my mind’s going:

freaking-out

What were the places on that list? WHAT WERE THE PLACES ON THAT LIST?! 

So I just… kind of… blankly stared… at… him…

Yeah…

Then Josh kind of remembered there was a line, proclaimed “I need this journal” and went back to signing it and taking a photo with me. (I made a mental note, and now have another copy of this journal to give to him next year – yes they are doing it again, and Josh will be there!)

So I go through the rest of the Meet and Greet, FINALLY get to meet Grant Wilson and have him sign “Seeking Spirits” which he co-wrote with Jay. (Jason, you’re next.) To be honest, I was kind of jealous that Dan got all the attention because he wore his “May the Schwartz be with you” t-shirt and Grant and Dustin especially geeked over it.

Here’s the photo-ops of Dan and I with Dustin, Grant, and Josh!

I’ll let you look those over a bit…

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Dustin Pari and Me
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Dan, Grant Wilson and I
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Dan, Josh Gates and I

… Sweet, huh?

Okay. Onwards!

2. Q + A with Josh Gates (and others) 

So after the Meet and Greet was over, everyone grabbed a seat for the lectures.

First, Josh HAD to take a group selfie (a la Ellen Degeneres’s Oscars). Hah!

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Which then resulted in this tweet:

First celebrity at the mic was John Zaffis.

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John Zaffis

My Q: Have you had any experiences with angels in your investigations?

I was overjoyed that John said “YES”. (Because while the Ghost Hunters believe in the angelic, they haven’t found absolute evidence of them — as far as I know. Which is expected cause ANGELS WILL BE FREAKING ANGELS. And belief is their thing, not proof.)

He went into detail saying that he’s been in situations. Specifically situations where he knew the “Angelic” had come in and “kicked butt” and left. Also he pointed out that angels tended to sound like shrill screeching in his ears. Which… yeah… that’s a thing that’s commonly reported. I mean the angels don’t sound like that to me, though, at all. They’re just like humans talking in my head.

(Zadkiel actually sounds a little like Jared Padalecki to me)

Next up JOSH GATES HIMSELF!! Hehehe. Okay. So THIS experience was THE HIGHLIGHT that kept me going the rest of the night.

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Josh Gates

Legit, I was SHAKING after this Q.

Q: What advice would you give to someone with low funds who wanted to travel more? (I guarantee to you it didn’t come out that smooth…)

Josh, I swear, LIT UP at my question. His advice came two-fold. “I could rap about this, you and me, for two hours!” He said. (*insert internal fangirl squeeing*)

#1: Take travel out of the “bucket” it tends to get put in to. “Just do it.” Set a goal, go forth!

#2: Get an airlines credit card. Josh confessed he used United because he likes what they did with the merging that happened a few years back.

He even offered to talk to me more about travel — to meet up later and give me more advice. I’m sorry to say that never happened. In hindsight, half of me expected it. I mean, Ideal being the kind of event it is (200+ people vying for Josh’s attention), I probably wouldn’t have gotten more than five minutes with the guy. PAH. Nope. Not even that.

Eh. C’est la vie.

Moving on.

Finally, Grant Wilson, Kris Williams, and Dustin Pari all took the stage together. Man, I have to say: Dustin was a COMPLETE riot! He was so hopped-up on sugar, he kept talking about restaurants and his favorite foods… making even Kris and Grant laugh.

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Grant Wilson, Kris Williams, Dustin Pari

(Sorry Kris about only getting half of you. BLASTED PILLAR!)

Q: What is your favorite story, whether you proved it true or not? 

So this question randomly popped into my head. Originally I hadn’t planned on asking any questions at the Q + A. Not even with Josh. But away my brain went! And what else can I do but sate it?

Dustin’s answer consisted of a hilarious tour guide that told the gruesome tale about a father who had strung up his daughter in the dungeon and left her to die. “He was so excited about something so horrible!” Dustin exclaimed.

I liked Kris’s answer. I would’ve felt the same in her shoes. She talked about being in Berlin trenches and how they hadn’t caught a single bit of evidence of a spirit being there. “It was the only time I was relieved at finding nothing.” She said, “because it was a horrible way to die.”

And then there was Grant’s answer. Which amazed the whole crowd. Long story short (and without telling too many details — because this is his story to tell), he had helped solve a missing person’s case in New York City, using an EVP of a woman’s name.

Man.

I have to say: I was proud I asked these three that question. Especially with Grant’s. Because there were a couple of follow-up questions to what happened with the investigation. It showed why I like stories, urban legends, and storytelling in general. Tell the right story and it inspires people.

3. Evidence (including The Little Boy Shadow)

Things were quiet for me as we explored the Reformatory that night. I realized I had changed in the past year. As I’ve become more confident, and more spiritually developed, I was less concerned about documenting any paranormal phenomenon. In fact, I just wanted to be there. To be in a haunted location. To exist within the legends that surrounded Ohio State Reformatory. To exist within the story.

Which is why I admire Josh Gates. I think he does that too. Like, yes, everyone wants proof. But it’s less of a mandatory thing.

Still, some things did happen, a little bit in every location:

Here is my evidence video again, so you guys can follow along as you read:

Solitary with Kris Williams. Allison, Dan, and I started in this area. As the group broke off to investigate, I smelled a cigar scent wafting through the hallway.

East Cell Block with Grant Wilson.

  1. On the second floor, Dan and I got an EVP of a prisoner saying “No” when Dan was musing about prison life “Not being so bad.” (Either this was in agreement or opposed to Dan’s comment. Personally I think the spirit was opposed) See my evidence video to hear this EVP. 
  2. Meanwhile, Allison was being groped on the first floor. Again. *snickers* Also see my video for an EVP correlating to that.

Administrative Wing with Dustin Pari. OKAY. NOW THIS WAS INCREDIBLE.

So Dan, Allison, and I make our way to this circular room. There’s one door, no windows, and a chair sitting in the center. This has been reported as the “most active room” in the Administrative wing. Allison immediately sits in the chair. I don’t really think anything of it; after all, we’ve been walking for the past couple hours with only brief respites.

What I don’t know is that someone has been singing in the background… and will continue to sing for a good two minutes. (See video) What you’ll hear on said video is me talking about a circular shadow moving across the wall. Nothing had flown in front of my flashlight, which was the only source of light in the room. Weird.

Eventually the singing fades away on my recorder.

But then Allison begins to talk about an “old injury” hurting — her foot. (This is also on the video) Again, later, when I’m at home, I hear the unmistakable sound of a child giggling. Which is absolutely creepy.

Now what isn’t on the video is what I experienced. I had no camera with me and for some reason my recorder stopped before this happened.

Dustin came into the room with a couple. He stood there for a few minutes, conversed with us, and then left. The couple stayed behind. Allison got up from the chair and the female of the couple sat there. The man flicked his flashlight around the room.

And then, silently, all of us turned off our flashlights at the same time and sat in the dark. Silence crept around us.

We sat there for a good minute or so. Our eyes adjusted. Any “imprints” we had on our minds cleared.

Then the man flicked his flashlight on.

And this is what I saw:

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I swear. I swear to you. There was absolutely nothing at all to explain this shadow! I was the only one to see it. But I absolutely know what I saw: a small shadow figure, standing two feet away from the wall, in front of this man.

My theory is that this is the same little boy that I caught on my recorder. That he giggled at causing Allison’s injury to act up, and that he was about to prank this man, but I had seen him and brought attention to him, causing the prank to be spoiled.

In any case, Ohio State Reformatory is an awesome place. It is full of rich history, most of it violent and unfortunate, but still rich indeed.

Also if you guys are interested in this event, Ideal Event Management is DOING IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR! (Like I said before!) YEEHAW! I promise you: this event is totally worth the ticket price. Not only do you get to meet Josh Gates and the Ghost Hunters, PERSONALLY shake their hands, but you all get to INVESTIGATE with them!

Get your tickets, before they run out! See you next year, OSR!! Click the image below to go to the event page:

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What did you guys think of my experiences? Have you been to OSR before? Do you believe in the paranormal?

Comment below!

Fangirlish Favorites Master Post 2014

Over on Fangirlish, they’ve been publishing something called “Fangirlish Favorites”. Which is a way they’ve been ushering in the new year. Below, you’ll find a master post of all my Favorites listed here — and links to Fangirlish’s lists, where you can see the rest of the team’s favorite media of 2014. Happy New Year, everyone!

  • Top Books of 2014 
    Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

    This was a book that has been on my shelf for a long time. Published in 2008, it’s a book with a simple premise: Jane Margaux’s imaginary friend, Michael, comes back into her life and they both fall in love. Hallmark Channel made a movie starring Alyssa Milano as Jane last year, if it sounds familiar. I read this book and MY GOD did I fall in love with it! The book goes deeper than the Hallmark movie ever did, and has such fantastic detail. Michael and Jane’s relationship is so beautifully casual and sweet! I strongly recommend reading it!

  • Top Movies of 2014
    Winter’s Tale

    Winter’s Tale with Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, and Jennifer Connelly. It was written and directed by Akiva Goldsman, who wrote for movies such asThe Da Vinci Code, Practical Magic, and Insurgent. It’s a romantic fantasy set in an AU New York where Farrell’s character, Peter Lake, falls in love with Findlay’s character, Beverly Penn, who is dying from consumption. Crowe’s Pearly Soames tries to stop it. It’s a classic story about Angels vs Demons, good vs evil, the power of love, and what happens to us after we die. At first, watching this movie, I was kind of “eh” about it. But I watched it again recently, and it is actually a captivating tale. It makes you think and your heart swoon.

  • Top TV Episodes of 2014
    Supernatural 10×05, “Fan Fiction”

    Supernatural‘s 200th episode. OF COURSE. Supernatural is my most favorite TV show on air. Ever since they announced the 200th episode, entitled “Fan Fiction” being a shout out to fans, I was thrilled. The fourth wall was broken yet again as the show brought back Carver Edlund’s Supernatural books about the brothers. A group of theater girls, led by Marie, put on a musical illustrating the adventures that Sam and Dean had from seasons 1 to 5. Sam and Dean comically encounter this. Dean especially criticizes the play, but then warms up to it. The brothers help the girls fight off the goddess Calliope and watch as they perform a gorgeous rendition of “Carry On My Wayward Son.” The last conversation, between Marie and a character we haven’t seen since season 5, sums up how I feel about it: “What did you think?” “Not bad.”

  • Winter Break Binge-Watch
    Doctor Who

    During every December, I start watching the new series of Doctor Who back-to-back. I think, mainly, because I know that there’s going to be a new episode on Christmas every year. But I also think it’s because Doctor Who tends to embody a quality in humanity I cherish: imagination. There’s always a new twist, a new color, to the TV show. Some people like it, some people hate it. I just enjoy it. Even if it isn’t the best episode. I love the sense of creativity and adventure each new episode with The Doctor brings (especially with 11). Plus, it will probably last you a good majority of the month. Especially if you add the 1963 Classic Series, too.

  • Fandom Gifts We’re Gifting (Or Hoping To Receive)
    Dobby the House Elf

    Last year, while my mom was recuperating from both a concussion and an illness, I brought down the Harry Potter movies to watch with her. Now, she knew about Harry Potter and my intense love for the books and movies. But she never experienced them for herself. Fast forward a few days, and my mom was watching the movies on repeat. Especially the scenes containing a certain house elf. Spoiler alert: Mom, expect to get A LOT of Dobby themed presents this year! Not telling you what they are!

  • ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ — A Special Holiday #MCM
    Tom Hiddleston

    I just can’t seem to get past the actor who brilliantly played Loki in Thor, The Avengers, andThor 2. I first fell in love with his acting when I watched The Avengers. It had been a long time since someone had played a villain that made me question my very loyalty to superheroes. And it was Loki that got me into the Marvel fandom, back into Tumblr, and even helped me with some personal things in my life. So, thanks, Tom Hiddleston. You really did change my life.

  • Guilty Pleasures
    Twilight & Barbie in the Nutcracker

    Ohhhhh…. Well, I think the greatest guilty pleasure is a tie between Twilight and Barbie in the Nutcracker. Being an English major, I have many friends who despise these series for not being well written. But I find them enjoyable. Barbie in the Nutcracker has an excellent, romantic, twist on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story. And Twilight, yes, you either love or hate it. Some things might bug me with some of the series, but I do find the romance between Edward and Bella compelling. It brings me back to high school. And a time where life was simpler.

  • Christmas & Holiday Media
    Hallmark Movies

    https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/feczrXm5-_Q&source=uds

    I’m a sucker for Hallmark movies. Really. During December, just pop on the Hallmark Channel and relax. They play movies all afternoon and evening. And they’re not so bad. My favorites are Sundays at Tiffany’s (with Alyssa Milano), The Christmas Shepherd (Teri Polo), November Christmas (Sam Elliott), and Help for the Holidays (Summer Glau).

  • Winter Break Reads
    Neil Gaiman

    Whenever someone asks me a book recommendation, I always point them in Neil Gaiman’s direction. His works include Stardust, Sandman, The Graveyard Book, and, most recently, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Which is one of my favorites. Gaiman’s works center on fairy tales, but they always have some kind of new twist to them. The Ocean at the End of the Lane follows the memories of a man, who visits a home he used to hang out at when he was a child. There live the Hempstocks: a girl, a woman, and a grandmother. They help the boy overcome a terrifying monster. The novel is directed at adults. It centers on themes such as the search for self-identity and growing from a child to an adult.

  • YouTube Cheat Sheet
    Markiplier

    https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/Zz8MCVJb0_k&source=uds

    If there’s anything you should watch over on YouTube, it should be Markiplier’s channel. I first came across him when I was looking up the Oculus Rift. Eventually I came across his live play of Five Nights at Freddy’s, an indie horror game where you escape animatronics trying to stuff you in a decommissioned Freddy suit. And, boy, did I laugh HARD at his antics. Markiplier, really Mark Fischbach, is so expressive when playing videogames. Especially with horror games. And, most especially, with Five Nights At Freddy’s. But, I warn you, this game has A LOT of jumpscares!

  • Charitable Campaigns
    Tom Hiddleston’s Ice Bucket Challenge

    https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/zzmNI1JFOnM&source=uds

    I had seen posts about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge when it first started, with some of my local friends doing it, but I never really considered doing it myself. At least, not until Tom Hiddleston (#2 on my “Celebrities I Want To Meet” list) partook in the challenge. Thank you, Nathan Fillion, for challenging him. Good lord. I fell in love with him all over again. Not only because of the soaked white shirt (that I’m convinced he chose to wear to make ladies drool), but also because he brought attention to the cause: curing Lou Gehrig’s disease. Oh, and, also, nominating Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, and Helena Bonham Carter. *cackles*

  • Favorite Fandom Moments of 2014 (Part 1)
    Meeting Destination Truth‘s Josh Gates

    Meeting Destination Truth’s Josh Gates at The Ohio State Reformatory in May. I first came to know Josh Gates through Ghost Hunters. His show (that has now been cancelled),Destination Truth, came on after Ghost Hunters. And I was hooked. The aim of his travels is not to prove whether a monster (such as the Yeti) or ghost may exist but to tell the stories that people have about the Unknown – from all over the world. In May, I got to meet Josh Gates himself – shake his hand, get his book autographed (FINALLY), get a picture with him, and investigate the Ohio State Reformatory. I think I composed myself pretty well, considering I was meeting the #1 spot on my “Celebrities I Want To Meet” list. (Even though my friend will tell you I was “dewy-eyed”). But I hope that May 2015 goes better. That I get to talk to him for more than five minutes, and investigate with him. *nervous laugh*

  • Favorite Fandom Moments of 2014 (Part 2)
    The Fandom War – Supernatural‘s “Hunters” vs. Beliebers

    Way back in January 2014, Lil Za was arrested at Justin Bieber’s house for possession of drugs. Jared Padalecki tagged Bieber on Twitter, asking him if he was paying Za to take the fall for the rockstar’s drugs. To make the recap short, Beliebers started threatening Jared, then the show. And, oh, they didn’t know what kind of war they were getting in to, did they? Not only did the Supernatural fandom unite to watch the next episode that was on, but so did the other fandoms. Together Hunters, Whovians, Potterheads, and so many other fandoms joined together to beat down the Beliebers, who had been threatening not to watch the show because of Jared’s remark. Thus the event was dubbed the “Fandom Wars” on Tumblr. The Beliebers didn’t know what hit them.

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!

Hellllloooooo May!

So far May has been an amazing, truly wonderful, month. I took part in a voice recital yesterday, successfully singing “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” and making A LOT of people cry. MWHAHAHA!! Though… I almost broke character because of this. Apparently my subconscious wanted me to triumphantly laugh in the middle of the song. Twice. I got a huge compliment yesterday too, something I’m still reeling from!

Really the only SMALL annoying thing about May is that I still have this wart on my foot. Aaaand I broke down and bought some Compound W today. The clear nail polish wasn’t doing it fast enough. Man, I hate this stuff. HAAATE. But it works. By eating a hole in your foot. Which I can feel now. TMI. Ew.
And I’ve decided to attend the Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie, IN in July. I CAN’T WAIT. I just hope I get my manuscript done before then. Hello nerves. I missed you. (Not really)
Though did they really leave? Because I’m meeting Josh Gates in less than two weeks. And THAT is freaking me out.
Seriously. I am finding the inability to breathe.
Seriously. Life is too amazing right now, with it’s wonderful possibilities. I just… hope… it all works out. Please, God. Please.