Category Archives: TAPS

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*

A Thank You to TAPS

Good grief! In my flurry of adulting, I failed to remember that tonight is the FINAL episode of Ghost Hunters on SyFy! I have to make this brief, but I cannot let Ghost Hunters end without formally thanking the TAPS team! (Whether they see this post or not.)

I truly cannot express how much TAPS means to me and how much I’ve enjoyed Ghost Hunters over the years. Putting it plainly, this is the end of an era, for me and other fans that TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) have helped through their ten year run.

Truthfully, I was late to the viewing party; Ghost Hunters was already in their sixth season when I caught wind of the show. It was then that my life changed. I was a bored college student–who was frequently spooked by the notion of ghosts–with nowhere to go and nothing to do on Halloween night, 2010. I aimlessly flipped channels on my mini-TV, trying to find a good way to celebrate the holiday, perhaps by watching a horror movie. (I may have been easily spooked back then, but I still wanted a thrill; after all, it was Halloween.) Lo and behold, I found myself on SyFy, watching people I knew nothing about freeze their asses off in Buffalo Central Terminal.

Those people are some of my favorites, some of the kindest hearts in the media’s spotlight today: Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Steve Gonsalves, Dave Tango, and Josh Gates, as well as others. (I don’t believe that Dustin Pari was a part of the BCT hunt, but he also needs a shout out! Sorry if I’m mistaken about that!)

In present day, these people are my role models, even if I am more of a “paranormal enthusiast” rather than an active investigator. They are professional, respectful, in their field and work hard to bring awareness and comfort to something that people are so easily afraid of.  They not only inspire me to be the best in my own paranormal pursuits–a field that was once my own fear, but now remains a fascination–they also encourage me to be the best person I possibly can be.

I know I’ve said it a million times, but these people are mindblowing in how they treat their fans! I am truly grateful that I have gotten to know them while Ghost Hunters was still on the air.

I hope that Ghost Hunters will find a home on another network; that this isn’t the end but a change for TAPS. Whether they remain on air or not, I’m sure they’ll still be pursuing the paranormal off screen and helping others who need them.

Thank you, TAPS, for, plainly, being amazing. For helping us all, whether it was through a television screen or in person. For encouraging us to research, in respect, the paranormal and to broaden society’s acceptance of those who have encountered The Unknown. I’ve learned so much from you and truly wish that this wasn’t your final episode, but I will be rushing to the television to bid you adieu on SyFy.

Love, love, love to you, TAPS, and I wish you many blessings in your future! Whether you are on the air or not, I will always, always remain your loyal little fangirl!

giphy-1.gif.gif

 

 

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!

giphy.gif

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!

200

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! 

giphy.gif

 

I’m Calling It

Welp. It’s been five days past the personal deadline I set for myself. Not for anything to get done… but, and, ok, I’m not aiming to sound egotistical or anything, BUT it was the deadline for Ghost Hunters to contact me.

Not that they did or anything. It was one of those personal deadlines that everyone sets for themselves, most commonly found in job hunting. The “if they don’t contact me by this date it’s time to move on” deadline.

Honestly I have a set of mixed up emotions (which you could probably guess from the previous posts Ghost Hunters Casting and As a side note (to Ghost Hunters Casting) ) I’m kind of glad they didn’t contact me. Especially because it would seriously screw with my plans to attend Midwest Writers. It says in the casting info that the person must be able to travel by the end of June, and will be travelling for three weeks out of every month. The chance that these weeks would coincide with Midwest Writers would be high. So A) I’d have to ask permission to still go, and B) if I did get to go, there would be NO WAY that my novel would be done by that time.

Well there’s still a high chance that I won’t be done in any case… but it would be a near impossibility.

And then there’s my brother’s wedding in September, which is the most important conflict on my list.

That sigh of relief after the dog makes it.

So… life can now resume. And it’s a mad dash to write… about 30,000 words in 30 days. That’s not extreme, right?

As a side note (to Ghost Hunters Casting)

CONFESSION TIME. 


It’s not that I don’t want to be a part of this new Ghost Hunters venture… I think it’s more a fear of change and a fear of things-not-fitting-together. Especially being the uber-planner I am. I would love to do this. It would be a fantastic thing to be paid to travel and go to haunted locations to poke around in the middle of the night.

Oh yes. I would love that.

(But no one’s going to know until after June 13th)

But my true passion lies with my writing. With my book. With Angel. And my family. Definitely my family and my hometown, here in Wooster, too. I would hate to leave those behind, or have to re-adapt them somehow to my new lifestyle. But if I had to, I would.

(Really I’m just worried about working around Midwest Writers and my brother’s wedding)

And I’m also kind of scared of my book not working out. That it would get published and *poof* not many people would love it.

… and then I’d have to get a real job that I’d just be like

for the rest of my life…

If anyone says being an artist is easy, they’re lying. Thank God for Faith.

Ah… this is just a 1:45AM ramble… when I could just be sleeping or writing.

Carry on.

Ghost Hunters Casting

So speaking of Ghost Hunters, on Friday, May 30th, there was some big news hitting Twitter. Amy Bruni and Adam Berry are leaving the show (Announced on this Deadline.com article: “‘Ghost Hunters’ Co-Stars Amy Bruni & Adam Berry To Depart, Develop Paranormal Series”)

At first I was really upset hearing this, and especially really upset at all the speculation that was going around about Jason feuding with them (mainly, I think, because of Jason’s tweet here: “Big difference between ‘Bowing Out’ and ‘Impossible Demands’…”)

Now I have absolutely no idea what this means on a personal level. Like all things in the world of television, a certain amount of privacy is to be expected. It’s their personal business what goes on behind the scenes. But I think this was more a shot at the studio and producers than at Adam and Amy. Especially after looking at their explanations for leaving.

See Adam’s here: “In light of an article that came out yesterday…”

And Amy’s here: “In light of some information that came out yesterday…”

I think it was just time for them to move on. That they were wanting to pursue other things and the filming schedule was just too demanding for them to continue. Amy has a little one that she would like to spend more time with, Adam has his theater company and other interests beyond the paranormal.

And Britt Griffith announced that he was also leaving the show on Saturday, May 31st to pursue his interests in filmmaking and acting.

See Britt’s explanation here: “A bunch of you are asking me if I to am leaving…”

I don’t see anything hostile or any fighting going on between these three and the show or Jason. I think that Adam, Amy, and Britt are all just choosing to go separate ways. Adam and Amy said that they were still going to be involved in the paranormal, going off to film for a show with Chip Coffey. And Britt, I’m sure, will still keep up with the tech side of the field too. I always enjoy seeing his new gadgets (the rem-pod, shadow detectors, etc). I wish them the best futures imaginable, and the same for TAPS.

(BONUS: Dustin’s coming back for a couple episodes!!! YEEEESSSS!!!)

Right around the time that these three were announcing their departures, Pilgrim Studios released a casting call for Ghost Hunters, looking for a new paranormal investigator. Let me tell you: I put my application in without a second thought!! (Put yours in here: Producers of the Ghost Hunters Franchise Looking For a New Paranormal Investigator)

Buuuut in light of reading Adam and Amy’s posts about demanding schedules, I’m not sure that I want to join the group. I mean, I would give ANYTHING to be best friends with TAPS and Josh Gates, getting to know them and investigate with them from time-to-time, but I have my writing to worry about. Midwest Writers is coming up on July 23rd and my brother’s wedding is on September 6th. It sounds like Pilgrim Studios wants someone to dive straight in to the filming schedules. I might be willing to do that if I could negotiate these two commitments…

A part of me is hoping I never get an email. Not that I’m expecting it because, let’s face it, probably 5,000 people have applied by now. I hope that someone who wants to dedicate all their time to the paranormal will get contacted. I love the paranormal, learning new things about it, and investigating, but it seems more like a hobby to me than a yearning desire to do it professionally. My true desire is in my writing and especially Angel.

My plan right now is to finish up my submissions to Midwest Writers and to continue pounding out chapters until July 23rd comes around. The only time I would stop would be if I got contacted by Pilgrim Studios. But I’m not anticipating it. Life goes on and I wish whoever gets to be cast with the Ghost Hunters THE BEST ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EXPERIENCE EVER.

As for me? I think mine’s waiting at Midwest Writers and with Angel.

What about you guys? Are you going to enter? Leaving questions and comments below!!

*runs off to write*

UPDATE — Also please check out As A Side Note (to Ghost Hunters Casting) for more ranting on the subject of writing and worrying. Really I just hate waiting for news sometimes.

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?