Ghosts of Ohio

Ghosts of Ohio Newsletter - April 2008

Volume 5 / Issue 4

All it takes is one look outside to see that spring is popping up all over Ohio. There are some pretty cool things popping up at The Ghosts of Ohio, too. First and foremost, we kicked off our Spend the Night with The Ghosts of Ohio program and even have the names of the first group of winners lurking somewhere within this newsletter. We also have the names of the 10 lucky winners of our Ghost Hunters t-shirt giveaway.

Since the last newsletter, we were able to take our Vernier LabPro out on several investigations and we were quite impressed with the results. Later in this issue, we'll dive into a deeper discussion on the specifics about the LabPro.

Finally, don't panic if you don't see your favorite section in this newsletter. To be honest, we've got so much going on and so many cool things to share that it won't all fit in one newsletter! We decided the best way to handle that was to continue giving you the most up-to-date information in every issue and then alternating the remaining sections and putting them in every other issue. So, no worries, because if you don't see something in this issue, rest assured it will be back in the next one.

Now get outside and enjoy the sun!

James A. Willis

As I mentioned above, our Vernier LabPro continues to impress us. We recently added a second ambient temperature device, which gives us even a wider range of coverage. On a recent investigation, we were inside a business with a rather large main staircase and were able to monitor the entire second and third floor landings with the external probes.

We have also recently converted all our infrared camcorders to DVD recorders. We did find that when we ran the signal from the camera all the way up to our Command Center, we would pick up interference from all the monitors and other equipment set up on the tables. We rectified this by employing a few old-fashioned TV trays. We run the signal from the camera directly into the DVD recorder, which we set up right next to the camera on a TV tray, and then we run the signal out of the recorder and into a monitor at our Command Center. We still occasionally pick up a tiny bit of interference, but only on the line between the recorder and the monitor, so the signal burned onto the DVD is crisp and clear.

Speaking of cameras and monitors, we have once again upgraded and now have a grand total of seven infrared video cameras, including three handhelds. When not using them as handhelds, they can be fed into one of our four monitors, including one with a splitter to enable us to watch up to eight cameras at once (although watching more than four at once tends to make our heads spin). We also invested in several Sony wide-angle conversion lenses for the cameras, so we can now monitor an entire room.

Perhaps some of the best news at The Ghosts of Ohio has been the recent rise in investigation requests, with properties that include both homes and businesses. We couldn't be happier that so many people are turning to The Ghosts of Ohio for help.

Recently, we’ve had several e-mails from our fans get lost in cyberspace. This is due to the fact that they replied to the address that sent them the newsletter. We want to get each and every note you send us, so please don’t reply to the newsletter; it’s nothing more than an automated system that will banish your e-mail to the depths of the Web, perhaps never to be seen again.

On Saturday, April 19th, The Ghosts of Ohio descended on Section 50, our adopted lot in Greenlawn Cemetery. Nine yard waste bags (and a lot of sweat) later, Section 50 was nice and tidy. We have now begun making plans for a summer cleanup.

We are also in the process of finalizing a date for the spring cleanup of Resor Road, our adopted section of roadway in Fairfield, Ohio. If you are interested in helping The Ghosts of Ohio with this, or any other community program in which The Ghosts of Ohio participates, please contact us at

In this issue, we'll be discussing The Ghosts of Ohio’s newest piece of equipment: the Vernier LabPro and its accessories. The LabPro is a data-collection system that can have various sensors hooked up to it. It gives us the ability to monitor an area remotely with input from multiple sensors. It records the incoming data while also allowing us to see it in real time. This means we can monitor an area while sealing it off from human activity. With our cables, we are able to set up the sensor array more than fifty feet away from our laptop.

The LabPro collects and records data from analog and digital sensors. With the Logger Pro 3 software that comes with the system, the data is plotted on a graph for easy viewing. The LabPro can be hooked directly to a computer so that the data can be viewed as it’s collected and saved on the computer’s hard drive, or the data can be stored in the unit’s built-in memory to be downloaded onto a computer for review later. For remote use, the system can record up to 12,000 data points. If it is directly hooked up to a laptop, it can record data until the computer runs out of hard drive space. You can change how many data points are collected per second, which will affect how much memory is used on the hard drive. You have to be careful with this setting, as too much time between samples might cause you to miss something, but collecting several data points per second wastes hard drive space. We set our system up to take two readings per second. This gives us a rapid response to any changes that may occur, but does not use too much hard drive space. With this setting we can easily store data from an entire investigation.

The LabPro has six channels to which sensors can be attached. Currently, we have a non-contact IR thermometer, two ambient temperature thermocouples, a charge sensor, and a magnetic field sensor. Our basic set-up of equipment allows us to cover an area remotely with the same types of equipment that we would use in person. We can set up the IR thermometer to take constant readings at a specific location while the two ambient thermometers take room temperature readings. The charge sensor and the magnetic field sensor basically make a tri-field nature meter so we can detect the electromagnetic field fluctuations in the general area. These sensors are sensitive enough to detect the various field changes in the area when a person walks by.

There are more than fifty different types of sensors that can be used with the LabPro system. Some of ones that might be used by our group at a later time include the barometer, light sensor, microphone, motion sensor, and radiation monitor. These are all pieces of equipment that a paranormal group might normally use during an investigation, and by connecting them to the LabPro, we can record the collected data. This will allow us to review other evidence, such as video, against this data to see if any recorded anomalies correspond to strange readings we might have gotten from these sensors. The LabPro gives us a way of recording data from a variety of instruments that previously have only been recorded by hand. This will help eliminate the possibility of human error, and the ultimate goal of data collection is to ensure an unbiased and error-free format.

We recently ran a contest where we randomly plucked 10 people from our newsletter subscriber list and awarded them with free, official TAPS/Ghost Hunters t-shirts. The lucky winners were:

Jerry Austin
Debbie Burns
Tim Conley
Nick Danford
Stephanie Jester
Christy Long
Becky Miller
Rick Tarantelli
Michelle Vavrek
Monica Zoerner

Congrats to all the winners! Your shirts are on their way to you. For the rest of you, keep an eye on our website for pictures of our lucky winners sporting their cool, new Ghost Hunters shirts.

If you want to get in on all this prize action, all you need to do is subscribe to The Ghosts of Ohio newsletter, which is free. So if you're already a subscriber, you just need to sit back and cross your fingers. If you haven't subscribed yet, what are you waiting for?

The Ghosts of Ohio is proud to announce an amazing opportunity for some lucky fans to take part in an overnight investigation with us! As part of the Spend the Night with The Ghosts of Ohio program, we will be renting out some of the most haunted buildings in Ohio for an entire night. Unlike traditional "ghost hunts," where you are often forced to share the location with total strangers, every building we rent out will be totally ours.

Now comes the best part—we want you to come along with us! We'll bring all the equipment, so all you need to bring is your courage.

So how do you get in on all this spooky fun? It's simple, really. All you need to do is sign up for The Ghosts of Ohio newsletter, which is free!

For each investigation, we'll be picking several names from our list of newsletter subscribers and giving them the first shot at spending the night with us. All they need to do is pay the same registration fee that the members of The Ghosts of Ohio have to pay in order to rent out the building (dollar amount subject to change based on individual venue).  

In addition, we'll be drawing at least one lucky Grand Prize winner who will get to come along for FREE!

That's all there is to it! Of course, we might want to take a few pictures of you on the investigation and post them on our site so you'll be the envy of all your friends. But hey, that's a small price to pay for the chance to spend the night with The Ghosts!

If for some reason you don't have your own subscription, what are you waiting for?

June 21, 2008                        Mansfield Reformatory
Winners announced below!

August 22, 2008                        Prospect Place
Winners to be announced in our June 30, 2008 newsletter

September 2008                        Date and Location TBD
Winners to be announced in our August 31, 2008 newsletter

Frank Michaels, Connie Gaston, Jaclyn Hamilton, Heather Kulish, and Dave Craig—that's who!They are the lucky people we pulled from our newsletter subscriber list. As such, they will have the chance to spend the night with The Ghosts of Ohio locked inside Mansfield Reformatory on an overnight investigation…provided, of course, they pay the entrance fee like the rest of us have to. You should be receiving all the pertinent information via email shortly. But for now, congratulations!

Also, congratulations go out to Brandi Hymer, who was our Grand Prize winner and will be spending the night with us for FREE!

See you all on June 21st. We'll be sure to post pictures of the investigation on our website so you can be the envy of all your friends!

Ghosts of California & The Ghosts of The Elitch Theatre

Ghosts of California. Kinetic Pictures. 2003. Produced by Lynn Stevenson. Directed by Lynn Stevenson. Written by Lynn Stevenson. Cinematography by Aaron Cunningham. Edited by Lynn Stevenson. Music by Ross Danielson.

The Ghosts of Elitch Theatre. Tiny Fist Films. 2008. Produced by Katherine Maes, Anna Hadzi, and David Liban. Directed by David Liban. Written by David Liban. Cinematography by David Liban. Edited by David Liban. Music by Robert Eldridge.

Many of us do some research into famous haunted locations before we go on vacation, just in case we get the chance to visit them. Of course, some of us plan whole vacations around the haunted sites we fully intend to visit. Both types of people will find Ghosts of California to their taste. This slickly produced DVD covers five different tourist destinations in California, all alleged to be haunted: Alcatraz (San Francisco), the Winchester Mystery House (Fresno), the Bodie Ghost Town (east-central California near the border with Nevada), the Whaley House (San Diego), and the Hotel Del Coronado (San Diego). All five sections present the locations through a series of on-site footage, talking head interviews with site employees or patrons, and archival photography. There is even a re-enactment or two, as the producers of the documentary get into the spirit of telling the ghost stories from these famous locales. While the DVD seems to be a travel video for California haunted tourism (and a pretty good one), at points it seems equally to be an advertisement for the services of Dr. Larry Montz, the founder of the International Society for Paranormal Research (ISPR). Montz lends his expertise to the description of several of the sites, confidently declaring this or that place to be haunted by one or more entities. Though each of these places receives more thorough treatment in other books and DVDs, you could certainly do worse prior to a trip to California than to pick up a copy of Ghosts of California to see whether or not you want to spend your time and money at all five of these places.

I selected Ghosts of California because I was on my way to San Francisco for the annual conference of the Popular Culture/American Culture Association. As a film scholar, I am privileged to call it my job to travel to interesting places and deliver papers on everything from The Blair Witch Project to Twin Peaks, but this trip also presented the possibility of seeing some famous haunted sites like the Winchester Mystery House and Alcatraz. Though I was able to explore some of downtown San Fran, I was unable to get to The Rock or to Fresno to the Winchester House. However, lurking around a pop culture conference does have its rewards.

On one evening, I was able to go to a presentation by David Liban, who teaches film post-production at the University of Colorado at Denver. Liban was screening two of his short documentaries, and one of them had the catchy title of The Ghosts of Elitch Theatre. This doc is primarily about the history and ongoing restoration of the Elitch Theater in Denver, Colorado. John and Mary Elitch built the theater in 1891 as a means of bringing nationally recognized performers to the frontier town of Denver. Shortly thereafter, John died, and Mary (in an unusual move for the time) took over the business operations of the theater and the surrounding gardens. The all-wood structure should have been consumed in some accidental fire decades ago, and many of those who still love the theater believe that Mary Elitch’s ghost has remained as a protective presence since her death in 1936. Liban’s film is focused on the history and resurrection of the theater, but a significant portion of the documentary is taken up with the investigation of the theater by the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society. The documentary is well constructed and has little time to devote to the extended investigation scenes that so often saturate these types of films. There is a whimsical (if unfortunate) visual reference to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (a la “That’s funny, usually the blood gets off on the second floor.”), but other than that, Liban sticks to his documentary guns and avoids the cheap theatricality of the horror documentary. Though pricey for a 30-minute doc ($19.95), die-hard fans of old theaters or documentaries about haunted places would do well to include this one in their collection (

Skulls Rating (as documentaries):
Ghosts of California, 3 skulls
The Ghosts of The Elitch Theater, 3 skulls

Need a spooky friend? If you have a MySpace account, swing by and add The Ghosts of Ohio to your friends list:

The Ghosts of Ohio is continuing to schedule investigations for 2008. If you or someone you know is experiencing something unexplained in a home or place of business, contact us at or visit our website to fill out an investigation request. All investigations are offered free of charge, and confidentiality and discretion are assured.

Not sure if you want or need an investigation? The Ghosts of Ohio now offers consultations. Let us sit down with you to discuss your current situation and what help we may be able to offer. For more information, please visit

In addition to regular features, like Ohio Ghost Stories and the Ghost Tour Review, our June issue will also have a full recap of our overnight investigation at Mansfield Reformatory. Stay tuned!

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© 2008 The Ghosts of Ohio