A Haunting Investigation of University of Oklahoma’s Ellison Hall

In the spirit of the season I am republishing a number of my paranormal articles from my old column. Enjoy! 

Originally published April 21, 2011

University of Oklahoma's Ellison Hall

University of Oklahoma’s Ellison Hall

While ghost stories circulate around the University of Oklahoma’s campus, it is rather uncommon for a paranormal team to be offered an opportunity to investigate there, and by all accounts no one had ever investigated Ellison Hall. So when the Society of the Haunted was offered the chance to investigate there, the group’s theologian and occult specialist, Chris Borthick, remarked, “This is a very rare and unique opportunity.”

For decades, the rumored spirit of a boy who had been mortally wounded rollerskating down Elm Avenue during the Great Depression and now skated the halls of Ellison had made the ghost story rounds about the campus. Other sounds, such as people moving down the hallways, have been heard as well but are not as legendary, and staff have witnessed motion activated lights being turned on in hallways and bathrooms when no one else is around. Would Society of the Haunted be able to prove or disprove any of these claims?

Originally named Hygeia Hall after the Greek goddess of health and well-being, Ellison Hall opened in 1928 as OU’s infirmary. In the early 1930s it was renamed to honor Dr. Gayfree Ellison, the Director of Student Health from 1920 until his death in 1932. It was during this time that the fatal roller skating accident occurred, and the boy was brought into the infirmary in an attempt to be revived. He died on the operating table. In 1971 the building transitioned to the home of the University of Oklahoma Student Association, and now it serves in a variety of capacities including the Student Services Center, Native American Studies, African and African-American Studies, and the dean’s office and administrative staff.

Society of the Haunted had access to all hallways and conference rooms, the administrative office on the third floor, and the basement. Beginning with the basement and working their way up, they swept each level before deciding to concentrate their efforts on the third floor, which had held the operating rooms during the building’s infirmary days.

During the sweep, the team’s psychic, Vanessa Hogle, who enters a location not knowing a thing about it’s history and rumored hauntings, felt, “like I was in a crowded auditorium with multiple people yelling, ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ It all made sense when I was told after the fact that the place we were investigating was once an infirmary.”

When it was revealed to Vanessa that the building had once served in this medical capacity, one of the audio recorders the team carried picked up an electronic voice phenomenon of a woman’s voice stating, “Sorry.” Electronic voice phenomena are believed to be the voices of spirits captured with electronic audio recording equipment.

Society of the Haunted at Ellison Hall in 2011

Society of the Haunted at Ellison Hall in 2011

Activity on the third floor picked up as the night went on. Case manger Cathy Nance reported, “Standing by room 305 I kept hearing knocking on the wall. We could not figure out where the knocking was coming from but it was between another investigator and I. The photographer also verified that he heard the noises as well. I also heard shuffling and something ran past me and bumped into the door. I felt cold air rush past me as I heard noises along the wall. I stayed as [parapsychologist Logan Corelli] went to see where it went. After he went through the door the knocking continued in the same location. I also heard shuffling of papers and chairs moving, and a light which had been off earlier came on at the other end of the hall on the third floor.”

Another light that mysterious turned on was in one of the second floor restrooms, possibly confirming one of the reported occurrences. While this was being investigated, the sounds of someone walking around the first floor and doors opening and closing filtered up to the open second floor lounge, but upon inspection by some of the university’s yearbook staff on hand to document the investigation and Andrew Shanor, Society of the Haunted’s videographer, not a soul was found.

Was the ghost of the rollerskating boy found that night? Thus far, the evidence gathered does not prove nor disprove the presence of the legendary skater. Spirits don’t act on cue, but an alternative suggestion about the skating sounds was offered by Vanessa: they could be the sounds of hospital bed wheels. Further investigation of the building may reveal more truth.

Society of the Haunted is hosting their complete findings at Ellison Hall on their websitewww.societyofthehaunted.com.

Oklahoma’s History Loaded With Ghostly Tales

In the spirit of the season I am republishing a number of my paranormal articles from my old column. Enjoy! 

Originally published February 17, 2011

Most people enjoy a good ghost story. Whether it be a creepy tale told around the campfire, an old yarn spun by grandma, or a collection of stories in a book, people are fascinated by the paranormal. The recent rejuvenation in paranormal interest through a number of popular reality TV shows has allowed people to open up about their experiences and more stories are being brought to light, including many in Oklahoma. With its colorful past, both wonderful and tragic, this surge in paranormal interest has caused Oklahoma to be seen in a new perspective.

The haunted Santa Fe Depot in Guthrie, Oklahoma

The haunted Santa Fe Depot in Guthrie, Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a history that many outside the Sooner State don’t realize. It’s a cross-section of Americana from Native Americans, to the Civil War, to gun-slinging outlaws, to land rushes, to railroads, to cowboys, cowgirls, and Wild West shows, to tornadoes, to historic Route 66. The rough frontier life mixed with pioneers from a variety of different backgrounds, including displaced Native Americans, gives the state a unique blend of adventure and misfortune. The following is a brief glimpse at what this Oklahoma history offers its paranormal community.

 

While most people remember the famous battles of the east, the war between the states reached out to Oklahoma as well back when it was known as Indian Territory. Ft. Washita, established in 1842, was used as a regional headquarters by the Confederacy after the Union had abandoned it. General Douglas Cooper who commanded the Confederate troops at Honey Springs is buried at Ft. Washita in an unmarked grave. A number of dark masses and shadows have been seen moving all about the area while mists have risen up near the old Confederate cemetery. Apparitions of Civil War soldiers fade in and out, sometimes as a single entity and other times as a group. There’s also the grave of “Aunt Jane” whose mysterious tale has a number of variations.

The city of Guthrie, the original state capital, is likely the most haunted city in the state, containing enough ghost stories to fill volumes. Once just a stop along the Santa Fe Railway, it burst into a city of 10,000 overnight with the 1889 land run. With the massive influx of new people, so also came saloons, bordellos, and crime. To this day, the Blue Belle Saloon still exists with Miss Lizzie’s Bordello (now a collection of shops) above it, but patrons and workers of the past still linger including the apparition of a man throughout the saloon, the image of a dark-haired woman who is believed to be Miss Lizzie, and the sound of a girl crying, possibly one of Miss Lizzie’s girls who served there as a business arrangement with her family. Other Guthrie haunts include the first territorial jail, the Santa Fe Depot, the Logan County Memorial Hospital, the Stone Lion Inn, as well as a number of other local establishments.

The Skirvin Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City had some of it’s haunts make national headlines in 2010 after visiting NBA basketball teams were spooked in their rooms before facing the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Skirvin’s legend of Effie is well known – an attractive chambermaid was said to have had a child with William B. Skirvin, but she was secretly stashed away on the top floor of the hotel until her depression overwhelmed her and she threw herself with baby in hand from the window. There is much debate as to whether Effie truly existed, but players from both New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls claimed to have experienced paranormal activity at the luxury hotel.

These brief paragraphs are just a smattering of all the tales that abound in Oklahoma. New ones keep being unearthed all on a recurring basis as people become more comfortable sharing their experiences and letting the paranormal community investigate their claims. As these stories come to light, Oklahoma’s colorful past may just become it’s ghostly future.

New GHOSTORIAN CASE FILES Book!

Ghostorian Case Files: Volume 1
Ghostorian Case Files: Volume 1

Released this week is my latest book, GHOSTORIAN CASE FILES: VOLUME 1. This work has been in the making for a couple years and I’m happy to finally have put this collection together and have it out in time for Halloween 2015. Here’s a quick glimpse of what’s inside:

Crack open the case files of a Ghostorian and venture into the depths of mysterious historic paranormal investigations!

• “The Inscription Of Evil Times” – An ancient stone tablet with a mysterious inscription and paranormal secrets is unearthed in mid-1800s America.
• “Mysteries Of The Church Of Darkness” – Mysterious crawling shadows, graves of unknown cowboys and the plight of a young murdered girl are unearthed at a rural church.
• “Horrors From An Empty Chair” – Long after she died in a lunatic asylum, a letter written by a young woman surfaces revealing a secret birth and family atrocities.

Plus more, including “The Dream Journal” and an new addition to the chronicled Chase Michael DeBarlo mystery for “Friends of the Fedora”! Unlock hidden secrets through exhibits of collected supernatural evidence and carefully researched data, connecting dots that have been centuries in the making.

Just in time for Halloween, the book is available in both paperback and Kindle.

What the Ghostorian Case Files aims to do is to give you a taste of what it would be like to crack open my file cabinet, pull out a folder on any particular case, and start reading through the notes I’ve taken. In order to protect the innocent (and, sometimes, guilty), the cases in these stories are fictional, but they are based on real history and legends from throughout the world.

For instance, the inscription of King Naram Sin of Chaldea is real, the histories behind the Black Bear Church and Blue Belle Saloon locations are true, and Dr. Walter Freeman did commit his terrible acts.

Giving the mixture of truth and fiction and the style in which I’ve written these tales, I’ve been calling the Ghostorian Case Files hybrid paranormal research written works, and it’s fitting enough. One may even call this type of work experimental, and I’ve received a mix of criticism, both good and bad, on the way it’s written.

My dear reader, that just happens to be the style of the work. It’s written as if you are holding open a folder of case notes from one of my investigations and not a book. It may look and feel like a book, but that is not how it reads.

The first three case files in this volume were previously published on Kindle as standalones, and “The Inscription Of Evil Times” also made an appearance in Campfire Tales:Midwest. “The Dream Journal” is new and is something I truly keep because of the number of dreams I’ve really had that have come to pass. Therefore, the Exhibits in “The Dream Journal” are actually true.

This is yet another step down the road with me into the realm of the supernatural. It’s always my hope that my readers glean something from the works I’ve written, whether it’s something that’s plainly on the page or something deeper within. I try to provide for both, things both obscure an in plain sight. Let’s continue the journey together…

Ghostorian Case Files: Volume 1 is available in both paperback and Kindle.

Ancient and Historic Supernatural Secrets

What is lost knowledge? Presumably, that is knowledge that our ancient ancestors once possessed that we have been unable to retain over the years. One could even say that some lost knowledge is that of truth that was purposely hidden and a false truth portrayed to the masses. And then there is that mystical type of lost knowledge that surrounds spirituality, the supernatural, and the paranormal. All of these roads are overgrown and pitted with potholes, but that is where I’m traveling.

I’ve recently announced over social media that I’m producing a new YouTube show through Haunted Road Media titled “Ancient and Historic Supernatural Secrets”. I even held a poll to try and name the show, which turned out to be so even matched that I decided to use both “ancient” and “historic” terms in the title. View the trailer below:


The aim of this show is to interactively research and uncover supernatural secrets and lost knowledge from throughout the ages, covering a wide range of locations and topics, all supernatural, paranormal, and historic in nature. As I dive into archives, old texts, and artifacts I will be presenting my findings through the show on YouTube and will encourage the audience to interact and participate along the way, if one so desires. Together, I hope to uncover answers to questions we’ve all had for centuries, although I do expect to create more questions as I go along as well.

Along with the trailer, I’ve also released a preview video in which i discuss the direction I’m taking this show and the type of topics I’m going to cover:


This show will not supersede the other shows I produce on YouTube such as “Ghosts and Legends”, “Paranormal Roads”, and “Paranormal Vines”. Those have specific themes and formats that I wish to keep — paranormal documentary, road trip video, and paranormal-themed wine, respectively. Ancient and Historic Supernatural Secrets is an entirely different ball of wax, a new adventure that complements my currents ones rather well, and dives into the origins upon which all of the rest springs forth.

There was also a separate announcement I had made of a show that I will be filming with Robbie Thomas. I can’t say much about that yet other than it has been picked up by a production company and I’ll have more information about it once the project gets rolling.

Stay tuned! I will update this space more often as all of these projects begin to take off.

Haunted Road Media Taking Off!

It’s been a while since I posted a blog, but with good reason. Haunted Road Media has been extremely active with three new books to start off the year and the plethora of videos that have been produced. It’s been my pleasure to work with the writing and/or artistic talents of Amelia Cotter, Adam D. Tillery, Cathy E. Gasch, Vanessa Hogle, and all of those that contributed to the anthology last fall. There is more on the way from the Haunted Road Media family, some works from new writers, and even I, of course, am working on a few writing projects.

I was pleasantly surprised to have Dave Spinks involved in the most recent Ghost and Legends episode, which was a spur of the moment investigation with Inspired Ghost Tracking down at the Old Salt Sulphur Spring Resort in West Virginia. It was a great investigation with some interesting activity that was captured, and Haunted Road Media produced a total of three videos out of that, including new Paranormal Vines and Paranormal Roads episodes.



It’s also been my pleasure to interview some of those from the Independent Film industry, including Kyle Mecca who wrote and directed the upcoming paranormal thriller, Dwelling, and actress Erin Marie Hogan who has performed in a number of films, but who interviewed with me about Dwelling and House of Manson, a highly acclaimed Charles Manson biopic. Haunted Road Media supports independent films and we’re lining up more interviews for later this year!

The creative arts is a challenging industry to break into, whether that be writing, film, music, photography, art, or some combination of them all. Haunted Road Media believes — I believe — in empowering people to have their voice and their vision experienced. There are many people out there still looking for that platform from which to be heard and if Haunted Road Media can help then I intend to help.

Ghosts and Legends Meets My Ghost Story

Call this the blog entry that should have been. More than two and a half years ago we filmed for My Ghost Story, covering our haunted experiences at Black Bear church and cemetery in Oklahoma. This came on the heels of our episode on The Haunted, so there was a lot to talk about and I had promised to blog about it. Well, life kind of blew up at the same time and the blog was never written. Now that the Ghosts and Legends episodes are being released under Haunted Road Media, it’s giving me a chance to explore this experience one last time.

The church and cemetery at Black Bear has given us a plethora of paranormal evidence to sift through. Thank you to Logan Corelli for introducing us to the location. We’ve captured some fantastic EVPs, brilliant self-illuminated balls of light on camera, and we’ve had personal paranormal experiences we’ll be telling people about for years to come. The Ghosts and Legends episode below, “Black Bear Church and Cemetery”, is a culmination of those experiences, along with a little history, that has given others a glimpse of what we’ve experienced there. And it gave the producers of My Ghost Story a glimpse of a TV episode they would later title “Church of Darkness”.


Cheesin' in the green room.

Cheesin’ in the green room.

Cathy Nance and I arrived in Los Angeles on April 19, 2012 with shooting for the studio footage to take place the following day. This was a bit different than The Haunted which had filmed all the “studio” footage in a hotel in Oklahoma. Both were just as effective for the presentation, but it was quite a deal to get inside of a studio, be on a sound stage, and even get a bit of a make-up treatment. Wine and refreshments were available — and everyone knows how I love my wine! There were a couple others there from Ohio filming before us, so we hung out and chatted with them for a while in the green room while the crew was in and out.

What was filmed was really just a conversation. I got to sit in the big archaic chair that those who followed the show would easily recognize and answered question after question from one of the associate producers. Looking back at the footage, I wish I would have gotten a little more sleep. I think I look a little bleary-eyed, but I’m told I was fine and my approach to the paranormal activity at Black Bear was professional. Soon, we were headed back to the hotel — but we weren’t done.

B-Roll shooting for the episode took place about two months later. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to secure the Black Bear church location for shooting since the owners stumbled across the Ghosts and Legends episode and didn’t like the mention of possible cult rituals being performed there. Just to clarify, I never suggested that occult acts were performed there while it was an active church. The evidence we found at the site, however, suggested that there was that sort of activity going on within the church structure long after it had been abandoned. For an alternate location we used the 101 Ranch (which is G&L Episode 6), and it worked well for the basement footage. The “Inside Paranormal Shows” vlog below shows how they look rather similar. It didn’t work out as well, however, for the cemetery footage, and My Ghost Story asked to use some stills from the Black Bear Church and Cemetery documentary for the show. Not a problem!


I received a lot of positive feedback when the show aired in October 2012, and I was pleasantly surprised when the concluding statement for our spot directly mentioned the Ghosts and Legends documentary, giving it a nice shout-out. Hopefully, with Ghosts and Legends being moved to Haunted Road Media people will be able to find it just as easily. It was hard to see all those views go away, but such is the way of things. Going back and re-mastering the documentaries with Haunted Road Media has allowed for some much needed cleanup and some occasional inclusion of additional footage, as is the case here.

Moving ball of light in the basement of Black Bear Church.

Moving ball of light in the basement of Black Bear Church.

After filming for the 101 Ranch episode of Ghosts and Legends, we made a little side trip to Black Bear since it was on the way back. For those wondering about the odd middle of the night cows on the road footage from the Haunted Roads of the Paranormal video, this is where it came from. We didn’t spend a lot of time there that night, and it didn’t seem very active at the time, but review of the footage from the basement afterward revealed an anomaly that reinforces the presence of paranormal activity down there. As we came around one of the poles, this ball of light made a bee line for the stairs.

There really isn’t enough I can say about this location and the unusual things that happen there. It has found its way into my other works such as Mysteries of the Church of Darkness and the forthcoming Campfire Tales: Midwest, and it has been a treat to revisit it with the re-release of the Ghosts and Legends documentary by Haunted Road Media. Hopefully, the next such opportunity won’t take me two and a half years to blog about it!

Encounters With The Paranormal

Encounters With The Paranormal

Encounters With The Paranormal

It’s finally here! Haunted Road Media has been live for a couple months now re-releasing my older video blogs and YouTube shows, but it hadn’t been until this past week that the newly founded publisher and video production company released its first print publication, Encounters With the Paranormal: Personal Tales of the Supernatural!

This collection of 19 true ghost tales was a collaborative effort from people of all walks of life, including Amelia Cotter, Rob Gutro, Cathy Gasch, Kathy Chruszcz, Heather Bise, Kyle Mecca, All Willen, Vanessa Hogle, Deb Lerew, Dennis Lewis, Tammy Merritt-Beaghan, Ne’Cole Nohealani Vidro, Nadine Leder, AnnMarie Barrett, Anney Horn, and Ross Lightfoot. I contributed a couple stories as well and provided the foreword, and Adam D. Tillery supplied some fantastic illustrations that were included throughout the book. A whole-hearted thanks to everyone that was involved!

Here’s the blurb: “Almost everyone has a ghost story. Real people. Real stories. Read about haunted houses and vehicles, experiences during paranormal investigations, visits from relatives that have passed on, pets reacting to the paranormal, psychic experiences, and conversations with full-bodied apparitions. ENCOUNTERS WITH THE PARANORMAL reveals personal stories of the supernatural, exploring the realm beyond the veil through the eyes of a colorful cast of contributors.”

It’s true. Almost everyone does have a ghost story, including those that don’t necessarily believe in ghosts. (I explain this in the foreword.) It was fantastic to work with so man people that had all kind of interesting tales to tell and get this work pushed out there in such a short period of time.

In the midst of all the flurry to produce this book before Halloween, my grandmother passed away. She lived a nice, long life and she went peacefully, but the moment also offered quite a bit of perspective. There are greater things in life than just writing and my dreams. My family has been a huge part of that since the moment I was born even though I’ve been away from the significant group of them in Ohio for a long time and my children continue to reside out in Oklahoma. They all mean the world to me.

More specifically, with my grandmother, she was a kind and caring woman, always rubbing my belly and telling me she needed to fatten me up when I was a beanpole adolescent. There are too many fond memories to convey here, but in relation to Encounters With The Paranormal I will offer this: it was at the house she shared with my grandfather in which I really got my start in telling ghost stories. While I had already be writing small mystery books as a kid, it was at her house in which I created a ghostly legend from the memory of Shawnee prophet Tenskwatawa in order to scare my sister, cousin, and the neighbor boy. In the end, we all tried scaring each other with so many of my aunts and uncles, and even my grandmother, getting in on the fun. More on this when Campfire Tales: Midwest comes out.

Encounters With The Paranormal is a wonderful start to a new venture with Haunted Road Media. It has a lot to offer with a variety real down-to-earth experiences from people from all over — shadow people, apparitions, and even the original account of the Haunted Harold Doll that was featured on Ghost Adventures. Some are experienced writers, some are not, but they’re all story tellers of the paranormal in their own right.

New Venture With Haunted Road Media: Does It Matter?

It’s a new venture for me, and it’s a new venture for Haunted Road Media. From the placeholder they have on their site until they officially launch, “Haunted Road Media is a multimedia publishing and production company that specializes in the paranormal, mysterious events, and historic curiosities.” They are reaching out and forming partnerships, and I am really looking forward to being a part of this. For me, it means new revamped releases of all my videos, this first being “Paranormal Roads: Belvoir Winery”.


While Haunted Road Media ramps up to becoming fully operational, they will continue to release edited and remastered versions of “Paranormal Roads” and, eventually, what I consider to be my flagship show, “Ghosts and Legends”. I’m not really sure yet what we may do with my video blogs since I had a considerable number of them with content that people had an interest in like shadow people, cemeteries, and my behind the scenes look at paranormal shows.

Haunted Road Media also produces its own original content like “Haunted Roads of the Paranormal” and is working with others to bring their original content to life. New original content will be forthcoming from me as well as a Haunted Road Media production.


In the midst of all of this, I’ve been prompted with the notion that all of these videos I’ve produced over the years and the books I’ve written don’t really matter. They’re not important. I ask, “Not important to whom?”

Do I believe writing about or making videos about ghosts and mysteries is going to save lives? Not directly, no. Certainly, the writing I’ve done for Lynette’s Law has been far more important on an entirely different topic. However, I’ve also made it a goal to include some talking points and food for thought in my other writing, and I think the families I’ve helped along the way through investigations I’ve been on would argue that my involvement in their lives certainly had some degree of importance.

My ghost books have been more than just a collection of stories about things that go bump in the night. There is a great deal of rich history behind those stories, and I dive far into the history within those books that Louisiana State University included Ghosts of Maryland as part of their Civil War Review. We’re also talking about history that is more than just dates and names. There are deeply personal stories within, accounts that have been lost to time of people who lived and breathed on this earth and experienced great tragedy.

My mystery novels, although much more entertaining in nature, pose some questions of modern morality and social responsibility. The Ghostorian Case Files, a hybrid of mixing real history with fiction has already addressed sex trafficking of young girls on the western frontier in Mysteries of the Church of Darkness. And my upcoming Campfire Tales: Midwest includes a short story called “Feeling the Afterlife” which cascades through a series of human emotions, even after death.

While my writing at this stage may not be earth-shattering to the point where it’s saving this nation from self-destruction, there is still a relevant voice to be heard. This voice can also be heard — and seen — in the videos I’ve produced.

There is definitely a method to my madness, folks. Some are around for the entertainment value and some are around for the nuggets of information within. Some are around for both. Whatever the reason is that you’re still sitting there reading this right now, I appreciate that. I’m going to be here for a while, too.

 

 

Beyond The First 40 Years

About a month and a half before I began the final year of my 30's.

About a month and a half before I began the final year of my 30’s.

It was my 40th birthday this past Monday on July 21. It went by quietly. Not exactly my intention, but it is what it is. On YouTube I posted an hour long video reflection on the first 40 years of my life with a specific focus on the odd decisions I’ve made over that time. The way I’ve done things over the years has been rather unconventional, and while, admittedly, the video kind of drags on, there are plenty of life details about decisions I made that would make you shake your head. So now, I write.

If I were to live as long as most of my grandparents I am not quite half way through this thing called life. I’m trying to get to age 126 so I can see the year 2100, but living into my 90s isn’t unreasonable. Realistically, however, I have about 30 years I can really play around with, so that means I’m more than halfway through my window of opportunity in life to significantly explore this world. I’m going to try to make the best of that window.

About 20 years ago I used to say that I’m not going to die until I’ve accomplished all the things in life that I want to do. They now call that a “bucket list” and there are some that I’ve already been able to check off, even if they didn’t exactly happen the way I originally planned. But they happened. So that means I can accomplish what it is I want to accomplish. That also means, however, I’m going to have to change some things within my life.


For far too long I have remained hyper-focused on the wrong things and have neglected so many things that would make me happier. I’ve even neglected my writing, if you can believe that (for instance, it should never have taken me seven months to write the second Ghostorian Case file when it took me two weeks to write the first), but I’ve never quite operated the way I’ve wanted to. So many times I have felt like I’m ready to burst with all kinds of creative energy only to find myself suppressing all of it for one ridiculous reason or another.  So long ago I used to not do that.

When I was a kid I would just sit and block out the world around me, writing to my heart’s content. Most of my first little stories were done at the dining room table when I was seven years old in Westfield, Massachusetts. The penmanship was rough and I included some simple drawings, but they were fun. A few years later I moved up to my mother’s Smith-Corona typewriter and banged out a few little Choose-Your-Own-Adventures, even cutting the pages to match the size of the real books. In highschool, I used study hall not only for homework but to get lost in a poetic world of song lyrics, with music never composed dancing through my head. Small books were started in a series of one subject notebooks, including a series of journals. Chase Michael DeBarlo was born my senior year of high school, and I knocked out a bunch of mini-mysteries featuring him.

Signing at the Inspired Ghost Tracking meet and greet.

Finding some time for a book signing at an Inspired Ghost Tracking meet and greet in October 2011.

Throughout my adult life, my writing has been relegated to “whenever I can find the time.” Whenever I’m asked when it is I do find the time because of how much I have going on throughout my life, my answer is always, “I don’t sleep much.” And that is true. I don’t sleep a whole lot. It’s kind of a big time waster. I’ve always wondered what it would be like if I could just dedicate my working time during the day to my writing – how much I could get done! And the quality would be so much better by now. I also mean just writing. The marketing of it is a whole other job entirely, and it does wear on me that I feel like I’m spamming the world half the time when I’d prefer my “brand” would just build itself rather than having to do all that I do to build that brand.

I want to branch out and do more with the videos, too. I’ve found that I actually really enjoy video production, even if I fight with the software half the time. I often find myself thinking I should have been in drama club back when I was in school – if I understood what drama club was at the time. (Seriously, I didn’t know that drama club was actually acting and performing in plays, so I jumped on the only opportunities I could like for foreign language festivals or the church youth group occasional skits.) I think it’s come a long way since the first Ghosts and Legends episode, and I’ve been looking into other opportunities like maybe getting into some independent films. Who knows… the world is open.

Finally, there’s traveling. I come from a family of travelers and I have been to all but five of the United States (Alabama, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Hawaii). I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many wonderful locations around this country, but most of that was when I was much younger even with investigating the paranormal opening a few doors. As far as any world traveling, it just hasn’t happened. I’ve always wanted to see the old world and walk through the history of the ancients. I want to see it with my own eyes, not just in pictures. I want to experience it, and I have yet to do so. Now is the time to remedy that.

Author Interview: Rob Gutro

Author and medium Rob Gutro.

Author and medium Rob Gutro.

Continuing with my author interview series, here is psychic medium Rob Gutro. Rob is a scientist who happens to hear, feel, sense and communicate with Earth-bound ghosts and spirits who have passed on. Rob worked as a radio broadcast meteorologist at the Weather Channel and worked for various other science and related organizations and has almost 20 years of on-air radio broadcasting experience. He’s a member of Inspired Ghost Tracking and helps cross ghosts over. He works for 2 dog rescues and visiting historic houses and sites.

His books include Lessons Learned from Talking to the Dead, Ghosts and Spirits – Insights From a Medium, and the recently released Pets and the Afterlife.

Q. In your own words, who is Rob Gutro?

I’m an average middle-aged guy who happens to be a scientist, dog dad, dog rescue volunteer, an investigator with Inspired Ghost Tracking and a developing medium. Since I was a child I could receive messages from ghosts or spirits (who have crossed over). I wrote Pets and the Afterlife, Ghosts and Spirits, and Lessons Learned from Talking to the Dead to teach others how ghosts and spirits communicate and to give hope about the afterlife. I also provide some scientific explanations about how they do it. I’m not a medium who makes appointments – I’m not as well-developed in my abilities as learned mediums. I consider myself more of a “medium rare.”

Q. When in your life did you start recognizing the abilities that you possess?

When I saw my grandfather materialize in full color before me, 6 months after he died. I was 13 years old. Now that I think about it- he appeared in July, which was the month of his birthday. That makes perfect sense because spirits come back with messages especially around birthdays and anniversaries.

Q. What inspired you to start writing about your experiences as a medium?

I’ve had encounters with Earth bound ghosts and spirits on-and-off until 2005. That’s when my puppy Buzz was killed by a car when his leash opened. Buzz immediately crossed and provided signs that he was with me – ranging from moving things to musical and audible signs to actually seeing him. He inspired me to write my first book and give others hope that pets and people communicate from the other side. My dad passed while I was writing the book and he also provided many amazing signs that even helped me convince my own family dad’s spirit was present during his wake and funeral.

Q. You have a passion for caring for and rescuing dogs which has led to your latest book, ‘Pets and the Afterlife’. Tell us about that.

Pets and the Afterlife

Pets and the Afterlife

My first dog, Buzz taught me what unconditional love means. Sure, we learn it from our parents, but it’s different with a dog or cat. They love you 100% all the time and are never disappointed in you. My partner and I came together with one dog each and since we couldn’t have children we wanted to help return the love to needy dogs who didn’t have homes, so we began fostering dogs (adopted 2 of them), transporting dogs for several rescues and donating time and money to help dogs. Our dogs are our children as they are with many pet owners.

When Buzz passed I was devastated. He provided proof he was still around from the other side. When we lost our dog Sprite in the summer of 2013, he also provided signs that were verified by us, three mediums we we know who don’t even know each other, and friends in Maryland and New Mexico. It’s an awesome story in the Pets and the Afterlife book and serves to give proof and hope to people who lost pets.

Q. How did your personal experiences come to mold and shape your other books, ‘Ghosts and Spirits – Insights from a Medium’ and ‘Lessons Learned from Talking to the Dead’?

As with the Pets book, I wrote all of my books for a couple of reasons: 1) to prove that people and animals who pass are still with us 2) to show people how to look for signs and understand them. 3) To give people hope and comfort knowing that spirits are still with them from time to time, helping and guiding them 4) To understand that physical death is just one part of our lives 5) to understand that our relatives and pets are waiting for us on the other side 6) I use science and science of behavior to provide proof of how ghosts and spirits are able to convey messages.

Q. What’s next on the horizon for Rob Gutro?

RobBowieLifeIt’s a busy year since releasing Pets and the Afterlife on March 27. I’ve connected with many fellow pet parents looking for signs and comfort (and some pets have already given me messages for their parents!). During the rest of the year I’ve got appearances and interviews every other weekend through October. I’ll be speaking at The Frederick Book Festival on June 28th, On August 1 at Inspired Ghost Tracking, Paracon in Pensacola, FL Aug 9-10, a rescue in NY in August followed by appearances at the New England Pet Expo in Boston in Sept., the Capital Pet Expo in Washington, DC in October and several others in between.

I’ve already written my fourth book for next year, but just have to edit it. It’s called Energy, Entities and England: Ghosts in the U.K. In addition, the response from the Pets book has been so great, I’m writing a second volume with stories from others. So, there’s a lot happening and the best part is helping comfort and educate people to know how to recognize signs from their loved ones, while sometimes passing messages on from the other side.