It all started when I was a little kid about 5 years old. While looking through the records I found this scary album titled The Chilling Sounds of the Haunted House by Disney. The picture on the cover scared the crap out me but I had to have it. So where does a kid go when he really wants something? You guessed it, right to grandma; she hardly ever said no to me. Well I played this record so much I wore the grooves out. Today I own about 5 copies of it. Whenever I am at flea market or an estate sale and I run across one in good condition, I can’t resist paying fifty cents for another copy.
I remembered staring at this cover listening to the scary sounds thinking about how I wished I lived in that house. I always wanted to explore the attic and find out who left that light on. It would be a stormy night and I would cross the graveyard in front of the house while the thunder roared and the lightning danced upon the horizon. The wind would howl with the waist high grass bowing in unison to the unseen horror that waited for me within the house. Incidentally, the house on this album cover resembles the McPike mansion except for the attic room.
The album peaked my interested in all things scary but it was the Chiller Theatre where, as a kid, I honed my paranormal skills. Every Saturday night my little brother and my mom and I would gather under a blanket, pop some popcorn, and watch the Chiller Theatre spooky movie of the week. I was scared to death but I couldn’t look away. When my mom and brother would hide under the covers I would stare at the TV with my heart getting ready to pound out of my chest.
The movie that used to do the most damage was “Die! Monster, Die!” starring Boris Karloff. After watching that one I had to change my routine for getting into bed. I would stop at the edge of the doorway and run towards the bed jumping to avoid any monster hands which attempted to grab me from under the bed.
My mom was awesome and always catered to my fascination with new age stuff. I still enjoy watching a scary movie with her.
Halloween was always a big event when we were kids. Every year my brother and I would attend all of the haunted houses in the neighborhood Churches, schools and where ever. Those used to scare the crap out of me but I would go to them every year. I remember one time I was about nine years old I got so scared I just started running through the house screaming, “I gotta throw up! I gotta throw up!” Needless to say all of the ghouls cleared a path for me to exit quickly.
In second grade I was accused of being possessed by the devil by one of the nuns. It all started during my First Communion when I received the Host for the first time. As soon as it touched my tongue I vomited it back all over the priest along with the Fruit Loops I ate earlier. The nun, which was the principal of the school, called my parents and insisted I was a demon child. It was a good thing the parish priest did not agree with her about me needing an exorcism; that might have gotten ugly.
In high school I read JRR Tolkien, HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King books regularly. I listened to bands like Ozzy Osbourne, who was my favorite rock star, also Rush, Triumph, Motley Crew and Black Sabbath.
When I was a freshman in high school, one of the nuns who taught science liked me because I was good with the experiments and got good grades. She asked me what I was going to do when I grew up. My response to her without missing a beat, “I want to solve all the mysteries of the world. I want to find a Bigfoot, live in a haunted house and talk with a ghost. Maybe even take pictures of a UFO too, but I gotta buy a camera first.” She smiled awkwardly at me and only managed to get out an “OOOOHHH!” She didn’t talk to me much after that.
Then in 1999 came my big break. A friend of mine, who was assisting with her sister’s book about the paranormal, invited me to attend an overnight at the Cheney Mansion, one of the local notorious haunted houses. At the time I knew nothing about orbs, EVPs, or any of the actual science. But in the following years I immersed myself in research and investigations. I wanted to find out everything I could from everybody who had ever visited or lived in a haunted house. I showed up with a video camera and filmed as much as I could. Right away I knew this was where I was supposed to be. I had no troubles walking into the dark basement or climbing into the crawl spaces.
This was also when I had my first psychic experience. There was one particular bedroom I refused to enter. When the group asked me why I stayed at the door I confessed to having a feeling like if I entered the door would slam and I would be trapped. The next morning when we met the curator she asked us if we felt anything strange. I told her about that one bedroom. She smiled and said that was the room they would lock PD Cheney into when he came home drunk. He was a mean drunk and would often break things so they choose that bedroom because there was nothing valuable in it. He would pound on the door for hours before passing out.
My second psychic experience came when I took a trip to Bowling Green to do some antiquing. I remember feeling the presence of a very unhappy old lady standing right next to me. She was unhappy because I was in her home. I could actually smell her!! As we were leaving I asked the owner of the store if they had a ghost. They sure did and when I found out it was an old lady, I knew something was going on with me.
We eventually went back to the Cheney Mansion a second time and then other places. I carried my video camera and filmed everything. I was Ghost Hunters before Ghost hunters existed. I wanted us to do a show on the local access cable channel in which we would play back our footage of the investigations. But the team at the time was not as committed to the research as me.
One of the best investigations involved the old funeral parlor at the top of the street where I grew up as a kid. I remembered the place was a big scary mansion and I always seemed to be in the alley when they would bring in the bodies. The old dark garage door screeched opened and the hearse slowly drove through, I knew what was happening and it scared me. It was like having Phantasm at the top of the street. When it was sold by the original family, they allowed us to spend a night investigating it. This house, which terrified me during my entire childhood and now I was going to spend the night there. I’ll post pictures of it later and show you what it looks like today.
In 2004 I started running ads in the local newspapers querying for stories about hauntings. I interviewed people, developed theories and now I ‘m ready to test some of them. I want to take paranormal investigations to the fringe and go places very few investigators want to go. I want to dissect a haunted location and make contact with spirits on a whole new level.
I believe I was “called” to do this work. There are people that need help and protection from bad spirits. I believe I can help them. It could be the “knight in shining armor” complex I have had my entire life or maybe it’s something else. Whatever it is, I know I’m good at this because I feel comfortable in these environments. Just like Steve Irwin was comfortable jumping on a crocodile, I feel quite the same when confronting a spirit. I live for this!!