Ghosts of Ohio

Ghosts of Ohio Newsletter - April 2007

Volume 4 / Issue 3

Spring is in the air (or so they keep trying to tell me) and there are some great things popping up at The Ghosts of Ohio. We have exciting news about our newsletter and our “ghostly science projects” (details below). We also took a look at our organization at the end of 2006 and made some decisions regarding how we can continue to not only improve our group as a whole, but also how to continuing striving to learn all we can about the field of paranormal research. As a result, we made several changes to how we operate. To begin with, we started booking guest speakers for our monthly meetings to discuss all sorts of topics related to ghosts and paranormal research. Past topics have included analyzing photographs and a brief overview of the different ways to review audio samples said to contain EVPs. As always, we will keep you informed of our findings. Needless to say, with all this great stuff going on at The Ghosts of Ohio, if you've been waiting for a good time to join our group, this would be it!


James A. Willis

For the past several years, The Ghosts of Ohio newsletter has continued to grow at a steady pace. Along the way, we've been listening to what you, our readers, want to see more of. Turns out that the number one thing you want to see more of is…well, us. It seems you really enjoy seeing our newsletter showing up in your inbox and you want to see it more often. So we've made some changes accordingly. The bad news is that this issue will be the last quarterly newsletter you will get from us. The good news is that starting in June, a mere two months away, we will be sending you your first bi-monthly issue of The Ghosts of Ohio Newsletter! That's right; we've just doubled the number of issues you'll be getting in a given year.

And don't worry; none of the sections like Tools of the Trade or our movie and book reviews are going anywhere, even though they won't be in every issue. We even have a bunch of new sections to share with you.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

This past month, The Ghosts of Ohio did their quarterly cleanup of Resor Road, which we adopted in 2006 as part of Fairfield, Ohio's Adopt-a-Road program. Aside from the usual fast-food cups and wrappers and the occasional beer can, the only really odd thing we came across was a cordless power tool, minus the battery pack. We did manage to find the battery pack about a mile away and wouldn't you know it, the power tool still worked!

Which brings me to an interesting question we get asked a lot: what's the weirdest thing you've come across while cleaning the road? Well, while finding a whole slew of computer parts was a little odd, nothing holds a candle to when we had to flag down the local police because we found a Molotov Cocktail laying alongside the road. If you don't think that's weird, just imagine the scenario: a ghost group who adopted a section of road to clean up calling the police to report finding a homemade explosive device.

Let's be honest. If you want to call ghost research science, it's an inexact science at best. Case in point, despite what some online stores will tell you, there is no device that can detect ghosts. And of course, there's also the fact that procedures for conducting investigations are so varied that it is hard to find any sense of consistency. Put that all together and you're left asking yourself "what equipment should I use and what's the best way to use it"? That's where The Ghosts of Ohio's Science Projects come in. In the future, we will be taking a long, hard look at the current way we (and other ghost research groups) use equipment and seeing not only if we are using the right tools, but also how we can improve what we are using. Currently, we are looking into exactly what people are seeing when they film in infrared and are conducting experiments as to the best ways to record in infrared. We're looking at everything from using different lenses to even trying out ways of extending out the infrared. We'll keep you posted! In the meantime, if you have an idea for a science experiment, let us know!

No one can have too many ghostly friends. So if you have a MySpace account, swing by and add us to your friends' list:

The Ghosts of Ohio is actively seeking investigations for 2007. If you or someone you know is experiencing something unexplained in their home or place of business, contact us at or visit our web site to fill out an investigation request. All investigations are offered free of charge and confidentiality and discretion are assured.

>From baseball caps to baby clothes, we have everything you and your family need to be well dressed, well supplied, and well GOO-ed. Join the dozens who have purchased our best-selling thong or our exclusive "Investigate This!" T-shirt. All proceeds help support The Ghosts of Ohio organization.

In this issue we will be discussing the use of video cameras in an investigation. During investigations we videotape rooms where activity is expected to happen in order to record any paranormal events that may occur. We use Sony camcorders that have night shot capabilities; this means that we have the ability to record things clearly up to a distance of about 10 feet in complete darkness. To help get an even better picture we use an IR extender which helps to illuminate an even greater area.

Why do we film in the first place? One reason is to see what normally occurs in an area. If someone were to tell us that whenever they go to bed at night they see a shadow move across the room, filming the room would give us some insight as to what normally happens during that time frame. Perhaps, after viewing the tape, we realize that a passing car has caused a shadow to move across the room. If the house is on a noisy street, the person may have grown accustomed to the sound of the traffic and not realize that headlights are causing the shadow. We can also set up a camera in a closed room so that we are certain that no one is doing anything that might be causing an alleged paranormal event to occur.

The primary reason that we use the video camera is to try and actually capture a paranormal event on film. Hopefully, we will record an event that we can clearly determine was not being manipulated by anyone in the area. We also try and record video evidence that cannot be seen by the human eye – this is why we use IR video cameras. Our Sony camcorders have night shot capabilities – we can disengage the infrared filter that is in all cameras so that we are able to film infrared light. Using the cameras in night-shot mode gives us the ability to see clearly in complete darkness, or 0 lux. Most people have seen this type of filming, where everything has a green tint to it, on television. However, unlike what is seen on TV, our cameras are mounted on a tripod. Mounting the camera ensures that we always get the same shot, even as the film is changed throughout the night.

When filming in infrared, small IR lights illuminate the area and make visible things that wouldn’t normally show up on video, including bugs, dust and sometimes unexplainable items. This can make it challenging to review the tape, because we have to be able to accurately identify each of these items. Did we see an object that just floated across the screen? Was it moving quickly and in random directions, or did it just zip across the screen? It takes some practice and a little group discussion, but we can usually determine what it was.

If we come to the conclusion that it wasn’t something normal, we have to start thinking about what else it could have been. This is when the time and date stamps are useful, because we can cross-reference the video with what was going on in other areas of the house from investigation notes, audio files and photographs. The combination of all the evidence can help further explain if something was truly a paranormal anomaly or some other naturally occurring event.

Once again, you can see that it’s never just one thing that we look at to identify a paranormal occurrence. We always come back to looking at each event thoroughly, taking into account all of the evidence we have collected from various sources and using logic to determine what the data tells us.

Do you have an interest in ghosts and the paranormal? Would you like to join The Ghosts of Ohio on an investigation? Here's your chance! Simply follow the link below, complete the online application, print it out, and mail it to us. It's that simple!

MOVIE REVIEW True Ghost Stories from Ohio with Richard Crawford.
A Dark Figure Production. 2006. A Documentary by Andy Crosier and Richard Shane Reinert. Hosted by Richard Crawford. Music by Andy Crosier.

Richard Crawford and his filmmakers, Andy Crosier and Richard Shane Reinert, don’t break any new ground with their one-hour DVD, True Ghost Stories from Ohio with Richard Crawford. What they do offer is a fairly standard collection of paranormal stories and local history all set in Clermont County, Ohio. True Ghost Stories has five sections or stories, all related by Crawford, who tells the stories on camera either in a gather-round-the-campfire tableau or on location at the various haunted sites. These five tales are Dead Man’s Curve, including accounts of the Faceless Hitchhiker; the Promont House in Milford, Ohio; the remains of Utopia, Ohio, a spiritualist commune on the banks of the Ohio River, and the stories of the ghosts of those who supposedly lost their lives in the flash flood that killed most of the village’s inhabitants in 1847; the Smyrna Cemetery, where the Shawnee sachem “Sweetlips,” executed by her tribe because of her love for a white man, is buried beneath a tombstone that glows more brightly than all the other headstones; and Pond Run Road, which Crawford claims as the origin of the classic Hook-handed Man urban legend. It is by no means a shabby line-up of spooky tales, and I especially liked how the filmmakers bookend the DVD with tales of haunted roads and the eerie figures that populate them.

Where True Ghost Stories falls short is the very fact that it is a video. In each installment, Crawford presents the broad outlines and such details as are available for each story as an oral history. More and more I tend to believe that oral storytelling is the native medium for the supernatural tale, but simply filming oral storytelling tends to destroy the effect. This is not to say that there are no good ghost stories on film or television or in print; there are many. It’s just that, all things being equal, ghost stories that purport to be real pack more punch when told in person, human to human. If you want to tell a ghost story on film, real or fictitious, you have to dramatize it, because (let’s face it) you probably don’t have convincing video footage of the ghost. “Real” documentaries about ghosts are rarely scary for this reason; the so-called evidence presented is simply not compelling. It may be intriguing, an intellectual curiosity, but it probably isn’t scary or even entertaining. True Ghost Stories bills itself as a documentary, and the genre is so loose that I will not argue with the term. It is a documentary to the extent that it documents Richard Crawford telling stories about several allegedly haunted sites in Clermont County, Ohio. Though evidence is occasionally discussed, none is ever presented.

What True Ghost Stories does most effectively is present Richard Crawford as a storyteller. Watching it makes me feel as though I would rather read his book, if only because I sense that he’s not really getting a fair shake as the host of a video documentary. I am encouraged to think this by his frequent references to the ghost walks and tours he has conducted throughout Clermont County and by the none-too-subtle product placement of his book, A Haunted History of Clermont Ohio, which he holds in front of him during all of the seated tableau scenes, and for which there is also ad space given at the end of the credits.

Skulls Rating: 1 skull

Thinking about visiting someplace spooky? Take The Ghosts of Ohio along with you. Here's how:
*Purchase a GOO-exclusive "Investigate This!" T-shirt from our online store (
*Have your picture taken (while wearing the shirt) in front of a haunted landmark**-it can be around the corner or around the globe!
*Send it to with the names of everyone in the picture and location information.
*We'll add it to the rogues' gallery on our Fan Page, complete with credits.

**The Ghosts of Ohio organization does not condone or encourage trespassing or the breaking of any laws in order to obtain photographs. We will not post any photographs on our site that appear to have been obtained by such means. In addition, we will not post any photographs of private residences unless you are either the current owner or have obtained written permission from the owner(s).

The Ghosts of Ohio is currently researching these stories for inclusion on our web site or future editions of our newsletter. So if you have any information on these allegedly haunted locations, let us know. And if you give us a tip, we'll post a special "thank you" to you when we complete the story and post it. We'll also let you know where and when the story is going to run so you can be the envy of all your friends!

Dead Man's Curve/Spook Hollow (Oregonia/Warren County)
Five Points (Hartford/Trumbull County)
Gibbs Bridge (Sylvania/Lucas County)
Harrison Road (Wakeman/Huron County)
Lockbourne Hell House (Lockbourne/Franklin County)
SR 75 Tunnel (Ironton/Lawrence County)

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