A review of the new German mind-bending Netflix series, Dark. If you like thought-provoking, edgy, and mysterious thrillers, then Dark is a show that is definitely for you.
Take a deep look inside shadow people and the various kind of shadow entities that roam our plane of existence. Includes a special call in segment with Shawn Gilmore from EctoVision Paranormal.
Inside The Upside Down with Mike Ricksecker is our new The Edge of the Rabbit Hole after hours show taking place directly after the journey down the Rabbit Hole ends. From the Rabbit Hole to the Upside Down, we’ll dive headlong into deep paranormal and supernatural topics. For our first topic… Haunted Cemeteries! Yes… cemeteries can really be haunted! How and why? Plus, real paranormal encounters at cemeteries!
There has already been a lot going on this year between traveling, investigations, and videos, but even though there is some traveling downtime at the moment it doesn’t mean I’m not stoking the winter fires. There’s a lot going on, so let’s get to it!
If you also follow along at HauntedRoadMedia.com you may have noticed that we started releasing podcasts of our Edge of the Rabbit Hole episodes. Yes, now you have the option of listening to the show after the initial YouTube livestream broadcast! Available now on iTunes, we’ve started with uploading our earlier episodes, and will be doing this a few times each week until we’re caught up. You may have also noticed that the haunted Road Media site states that episodes of Inside The Upside Down will be found here. This is true! Very shortly, you’ll find podcasts of our new Tuesday Night after hours show here on MikeRicksecker.com. There will also be additional podcasts added to the mix as well — thoughts, research, updates, investigation clips, and more.
Coming soon this month will be an updated Second Edition of Encounters With The Paranormal: Volume 2, the Goldenrod Showboat Edition. While this volume already featured the Goldenrod Showboat, given the recent tragic events we thought we would add a little more content to the book including stories, memories, perspective, and photographs. Of course, part of the proceeds of this book will still go toward the Goldenrod, but now it will be in whatever capacity the Historic Riverboat Association will take to ensure the historic showboat’s legacy lives on. There are many artifacts that still remain from the Goldenrod, and Haunted Road Media will continue to take steps to help ensure these artifacts can be enjoyed by all.
On social media, you may have noticed an uptick in activity, primarily on the Haunted Road Media Facebook page and on the Mike Ricksecker Instagram. On the Facebook HRM page, we’ve started featuring a series on saving endangered historic haunted locations. Even though we were already working with haunted locations to help raise funds, the loss of the Goldenrod Showboat has fueled the fire and we’re making greater strides in spreading awareness and raising funding that these locations desperately need to stave off the wrecking ball. While the goal is to make this an almost daily vlog, we’ve been updating a couple times each week that have included vignettes of the Swift Mansion/Gore Orphanage and the 101 Ranch. As for Instagram (@mikericksecker), I’ve been utilizing the Story feature more often to give a quick glimpse of what’s going on during all that craziness that keeps me busy each day. It’s almost like another version of the “Behind the Scenes” feature we have out on Patreon. Which reminds me… if you haven’t checked out what we’re doing on Patreon, you should!
Finally, only until December 10… you can get the Encounters With The Paranormal at 15% off… meaning you get all three books for a little less that $10 per book! If you’ve always been looking for the collection, now is your time to get it! Check out the deal at: https://www.hauntedroadmedia.com/2017/11/27/encounters-with-the-paranormal-december-offer-bundle/
Stay tuned… because we have a number of other things up our sleeves that are hush-hush until release date!
Oh… and you can now follow me on SnapChat @ mikericksecker
This past weekend, Shana and I of Society of the Haunted conducted a live paranormal investigation of Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois. The building is quite large, and with only a limited amount of time our investigation was limited to three areas: the top floor near Pearl’s room, the fountain on the Grand Ball Room level, and the swimming pool. The swimming pool encompassed only the last few minutes of our investigation and we were unable to capture it live due to interference from the building’s structure. Twice we went live on the Haunted Road Media YouTube channel, and we also recorded a session on Periscope.
For those that have been following along for a while, yes, this is the same Mineral Springs Hotel which was featured in the latest Encounters With The Paranormal book. The building was on the verge of meeting the wrecking ball last year, so in keeping with the spirit of how we honored the Goldenrod Showboat with Volume 2, we decided that part of the proceeds of Volume 3 would be donated to Mineral Springs.
This investigation had a lot going in upstairs. Previously, in our Raw Footage video of Mineral Springs, someone directly called out Shana’s name. Again, that room seemed to be a hot spot for us, but so was Pearl’s room in the corner. Multiple times we heard voices and unexplained loud bangs, Shana saw a woman’s face, and then near the end Shana’s arm also got grabbed. She continued to feel the grab the entire rest of the weekend. When we came back downstairs, Donna from It’s Raining Zen could feel the energy emanating off of us, which we were still feeling at the bottom of the stairs.
The fountain investigation didn’t nearly work as well this time around as it had when we made the Voices of Mineral Springs video. While we did hear a number of voices, they weren’t quite as clear as they had been that particular night six months ago. Still, there was certainly someone down there with us.
Thanks to all of those that were able to join us during the livestreams. It’s always great to have you there as another set of eyes and ears throughout the investigation. And many thanks to Dave and Donna Nunnally of It’s Raining Zen for affording us the opportunity to investigate! Continue to #ExploreWithUs!
Ok, so the new show on the Haunted Road Media YouTube channel is a blatant play on Stranger Things. I can’t help it. I’m hooked on the nostalgia and the fact that “Mike” in the show is just like me, right down to the moppy black hair and being the Dungeon Master while playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends. That these kids are essentially the same age I was at exactly that time in the 1980s makes watching the show like watching an alternate reality of my childhood. That they’re dealing with a supernatural world is icing on the cake, but it also is another play on the rabbit hole… or even through the looking glass.
The Upside Down in Stranger Things is, essentially, in alternate universe, a nether world that is a mirror of the current world… in which lie many unknown secrets (and where something dark lurks). It’s a world that exists but cannot normally be seen.
So, in “Inside The Upside Down” we’ll be exploring deep supernatural topics and the unknown secrets of the world, almost like an extension of “Edge of the Rabbit Hole.” Our Mad Hatters have repeatedly asked for a second hour of content, and when we had a Double Feature night in the wake of the Goldenrod Showboat tragedy everyone stuck around for the second show. You’ll now be a getting a second show every night.
First up for “Inside The Upside Down”… Haunted Cemeteries! Yes… cemeteries can really be haunted! How and why? Plus, real paranormal encounters at cemeteries! And, yes, Shana will be “shananigating” the chat as our “Chat Shananigator” with this one, too!
Tune in November 7, 2017 @ 10:30 PM Eastern at http://www.youtube.com/hauntedroadmedia
It was murder. Premeditated and with malice aforethought, the 108-year old, historic Goldenrod Showboat was murdered by fire in the early morning hours of October 21, 2017. It was the last showboat of its kind anywhere in the world, the last true vestige of early Twentieth Century American life along the Mississippi River, and now this window into the past is gone forever. No further generations will be able to experience authentic showboat life and soak in true living history as only the Goldenrod Showboat could have provided.
We call wonderfully old historic vessels like this “Great Dames,” and here is what you just did to this great dame, arsonists. Imagine an elderly woman sitting in a wheelchair, worn, but still filled with life and vigor, recanting stories from long ago that only she can tell because no one else is left to tell the tales. Even though her voice may be a little raspy and her eyesight not as crisp as it once had been, she’s still the last remnant of a bygone era, an absolute jewel, irreplaceable beyond measure. You just doused that elderly woman in gasoline and roasted her alive. May her screams haunt you and the smell of her scorched flesh permeate your nostrils for eternity, you murderers.
More than 48 hours later, there still has been no real investigation of the fire that began around 2:00 AM on October 21, aside from the locals pointing out the obvious, and the rains are washing away what little evidence there may have been. Small town politics? Of course. A couple weeks ago, the land owners cleared the site of debris and cut back the brush — can’t have the surrounding area catch on fire, after all — and holes were punched into the side of the iron hull to allow ample ventilation to stoke the flames. The delivery method chosen were Roman candles, their casings conveniently left scattered about to make it look as if a group of kids were up to mischief. Outside parties experienced with hundreds of arson cases that have no knowledge of the political wranglings behind the boat have looked at the photographs and have deemed it suspicious.
It’s no secret that the landowners have long-sought to rid the property of the Goldenrod, citing a desire to destroy it on more than one occasion, but the Historic Riverboat Preservation Association who controlled the showboat had worked hard to try to maintain and preserve it. Following hull damage that incurred in 2015, the landowners were going to burn the former National Historic Landmark in early 2016 before a legal tussle with the Riverboat Association held it up, and an agreement was finally made that the showboat would return to the St. Louis area, where it had operated prominently in front of the Gateway Arch for decades, to be restored. A flood earlier this year that saw the Goldenrod take on seven to eight feet of water reinvigorated the legal tussle, and the landowners reclaimed the vessel and their desire the rid themselves of it on their acreage of land north of Kampsville, Illinois, in the middle of nowhere where it bothered no one.
A year and a half ago on this blog I lamented the demise of the Goldenrod Showboat and waxed poetic over the disrespect that is given to so many of our national treasures. But then it seemed as if the landmark had averted that trouble and a bright future for it was ahead. The Riverboat Association continued it’s work on the vessel, paranormal investigations resumed, and Shana and I were handfasted on the Goldenrod’s deck on October 29, 2016. This spirits of the Goldenrod still had their voices. Then suddenly, in the flick of a lighter, it’s gone. The time for lamenting is over. Now, I’m just angry.
Enough of this senseless destruction. Enough of selfishness and self-interests determining that the last relic of a bygone era can be purposefully destroyed without any repercussions. This isn’t even a debate of progress versus history since there is nothing going in the Goldenrod’s place except for clear land. No strip malls are going in, no high-rise buildings, no fancy marinas. This was the purposeful obliteration of American history that can never be recaptured. It was murder. May the arsonists roast in hell.
The new Encounters With The Paranormal book, the haunted Mineral Springs Hotel Edition, is finally here! Actually, it was here last week, but this October has been so busy so far that I’ve barely had time to say much about it. Fortunately, we just recently had an entire Edge of the Rabbit Hole episode about it so we could at least give it some coverage. Later on this month, October 28th, we’ll have an official book release event.
So what’s new in this volume? Well, of course you’ll read about more haunted houses, supernatural creatures, messages from pets from the other side, haunted history, experiences during paranormal investigations, psychic experiences, and more, but there is also a 50+ page section dedicated to the old Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois. This wonderful, historic building almost met the wrecking ball last year, so keeping true to the tradition we started with Volume 2, we gave this location a major feature in the book and part of the proceeds from sales will be donated to preserving the building.
Shana and I both recount experiences we’ve had investigating the paranormal in the century-old hotel (now Mineral Springs Mall), but also featured are experiences recounted by renowned shaman Coyote Chris Sutton, proprietors of the fantastic It’s Raining Zen shop within Mineral Springs, Dave and Donna Nunnally, and scores of historic photographs and captures taken while investigating. This is on top of the contributions we received from many others recounting their own personal paranormal encounters elsewhere, including Vanessa Hogle, Rob Gutro, Michelle Hamilton, Brooke Haramija, Stephanie Bingham, Greg Feketik, Sabrina Meyers, Donna Gorton, Dawn Bradley-Francisco, Katie Hopkins, Darrell Russ, and Penny Scott. Also returning, is Adam D. Tillery with more fantastic illustrations to complement a few of the stories within.
There’s a little something for everyone in this latest offering from Haunted Road Media. Encounters With The Paranormal: Volume 3 reveals more personal stories of the supernatural and paranormal, continuing to explore the realm beyond the veil through its contributors.
Get Encounters With the Paranormal 3 here: http://amzn.to/2yGmsrZ
The book release event, hosted by It’s Raining Zen, will be October 28th 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM at Mineral Springs Mall, 301 East Broadway, Alton, Illinois.
It’s called “taphophilia” (“taph” from the Greek for tomb and “philia” meaning an inordinate fondness), but we’ve been referring to what we do as a cemetery crawl. Basically, Shana and I enjoy going to cemeteries, observing the intricate masonry work on many of the stones, sometimes picking up decorative objects that have fallen to neglect, and paying our respects to those who have long been forgotten. Those that follow us on Facebook are probably very familiar with the many photos we’ve posted over the years of the numerous cemeteries we’ve visited.
There are times that those buried there reach out to us, perhaps offering one last message from the past to today’s society. Sometimes a connection is established with an entire family, and we feel compelled to research who they are. Shana frequently connects with the children and the sad fate they faced at such a young age. Yes, paranormal activity and spiritual connections can happen at a cemetery — I’ve witnessed it too many times to even consider this a debatable issue. And then there are times that we venture off to a cemetery looking for answers to mysteries from long ago that have never been answered.
Twice recently, we’ve gone searching for the graves of lynch mob victims, both murderers, but had justice carried out upon them by local rabble stringing them up from trees. One we found. The other we did not. As paranormal investigators who focus heavily on research and history, it’s a loose end we like to tie up. Unfortunately, sometimes that loose end will remain hanging, but more often than not that end is at a cemetery. Mortality is the one thing in common we all share, after all.
Sometimes the process happens in reverse. Occasionally, we’ll visit a cemetery and the story there will lead us to investigate the people and/or the area further. The sheer number of child graves at the St. Omer Cemetery in Illinois weighed heavily upon Shana the first time we visited, and in a return visit she discovered a back entrance to the cemetery that may have once been used by the townsfolk before they abandoned the town. What had once been an aside to the “Witch’s Grave” that is there suddenly became a prominent focus. Similarly, just down the road in Ashmore is what we call the “Crazy Portal Trees,” an area of the cemetery in which trees have been strategically placed to box in a set a graves and the effect on the senses is dramatically felt. The first time I ventured in I called out to Shana, “Oh, this is creepy,” and later on I saw a figure that wasn’t either us us walking just beyond. Of course, we followed up with a return visit and continue to research.
Need a good horror movie for Halloween season and you’re tired of all the same cookie-cutter movies of the genre? If so, then try Dwelling, a paranormal thriller written and directed by Kyle Mecca.
Haunted house movies are usually pretty formulaic: Unsuspecting family moves into a haunted house, haunting ensues, family either flees for their lives or banishes the spirits from the house. Not so in Dwelling. In Dwelling, Ellie (Erin Marie Hogan) purposely moves her family into a haunted house because she wishes to reconnect with the spirit of her deceased mother. Just this premise alone, the fact she purposely moves into a haunted house, makes this film quite different than most others of its genre, and compelled me to start following the film’s production progress a few years ago.
Filmed on location in Buffalo, New York, Dwelling is a classic slow-burn and not littered with gimicky jump-scares. Mecca’s story is a suspenseful build in a supernatural setting, harkening back to the days of Hitchcock when it was the tension of the moment, the possibility of what may happen, that scared you.
The actors portray this tension well as the situation inside the house devolves, setting up a mesmerizing conclusion. After a traumatic childhood that found her sister, River (seasoned scream queen, Devanny Pinn) in a psychiatric facility, Hogan’s Ellie is hell-bent on utilizing the house and the budding psychic abilities of her young niece, Izzy (Abigail Mary), to find the closure she seeks with only the lone voice of reason, her partner, Gavin (Mu-Shaka Benson), standing in the way. What happens when the paranormal and the desire to harness paranormal power collide?
Haunted Road Media was fortunate enough to recently interview both Kyle Mecca and Erin Marie Hogan about Dwelling and their own paranormal experiences on The Edge of the Rabbit Hole Livestream Show. (Watch the videos posted below.)