Meet Our Speakers. Hosts, Moderators & Workshop Teachers!

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HOSTS AND MODERATORS


Ursula Bielski (Conference Organizer and Host)​

Ursula Bielski is the founder of Chicago Hauntings, Inc. and the host of PBS' "The Hauntings of Chicago" (WYCC). 
An historian, author, and parapsychologist, she has been writing and lecturing about Chicago's supernatural folklore and the paranormal for over twenty  years  and is recognized as a leading authority on the Chicago region's ghostlore and cemetery history. Ursula  is the author of ten popular and critically acclaimed books on the same subjects including the Chicago Haunts series, Graveyards of Chicago and her latest, Haunted Bachelors Grove.  Aside from her writing, Ursula is a thirty-year veteran paranormal investigator and has been featured on numerous television documentaries, including productions by the A&E Network, The History Channel, The Learning Channel, SyFy, The Travel Channel, and PBS. She's been a judge on "Paranormal Challenge" and a guest on "Ghost Adventures" and the "Maury Show."   In addition to her books, Ursula is the author of numerous scholarly articles exploring the links between history and the paranormal, including articles published in The International Journal of Parapsychology. Ursula is a past editor of PA News, the quarterly newsletter of the Parapsychological Association. She also edits children's books on the paranormal for Bearport Publishing in New York City.  A graduate of St. Benedict High School in Chicago, Ursula holds a B.A. degree in history from Benedictine University and an M.A. in American cultural and intellectual history from Northeastern Illinois University. Her academic explorations include the Spiritualist movement of the 19th century and its transformation into psychical research and parapsychology, and the relationships among belief, experience, science, and religion.


Scott Gruenwald (Master of Ceremonies)

Meet Scott, who we let speak for himself...

I have been investigating the paranormal for decades. I have been to many haunts and seen many things. From the halls of Linda Vista Hospital to the crawlspaces of Wolfe Manor, my "hobby" has freaked me out at times. I’ve been grabbed, pushed, kissed, whispered to and, of course, been touched in my bathing suit area. (Not as pleasing as it sounds.)  Facing my fear of the dark, I spent the night in an asylum with only a candle, recorder and some snacks. That was the night that changed my life in the paranormal. To this day I have never recorded screams so loud that I actually had to cover my ears. I believe that, as humans, we control the path of communication. It is really up to us to figure it out.  Paranormal stimulus seems to be a working method for myself. Trigger objects ... cool; period clothing ... OK; nudity ... um sure. But the fact that we may be scary with our $10,000 blinky light thingies, swinging about? Not so much. I use things that everyone is familiar with: bell, compass, reading material (Note: all under $5) work perfect for my group. Try it; you will be surprised.  Some time back, I met Zak Bagans on the set of Ghost Adventures. He threw me a hug and said, "Doctor"? We became fast friends. He's a truly awesome dude that cares for everyone, and years later I was chosen to be on his Paranormal Challenge. Using dirty pantyhose I was able to contact something - not a ghost but a strange rash on my face. True story. I still cant believe they cut out the pooping scene.  Part of our investigation wound up on a show called “The Soup” Finally the STU: a family-run horrible webshow we encourage people not to watch. They still do. This little train wreck of a show has become a staple for some loyal viewers we call ParaWhores. As you might see me say in a teevee episode very soon... "That's Me." And remember, I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it.


David Schrader (Moderator)
Since 2006, Dave has been the Executive Producer & Host of the wildly popular Paranormal Talk Radio Show; Darkness on the Edge of Town or Darkness Radio. He is now the co-host of the blockbuster, Beyond the Darkness podcast.  His "Army of Darkness" spans the globe, led not only by Dave's top notch interviews of paranormal researchers and celebrities, but by his tireless fundraising and advocacy of myriad causes which has raised countless dollars for charity. Dave interviews intriguing guests revolving around the Paranormal and the Unknown. Dave is the coauthor of the book, The Other Side (2009, Houghton Mifflin), and has contributed to TAPS ParaMagazine (The Official Magazine of SyFy's Ghost Hunters Show).  He is frequently a guest speaker at related conferences worldwide, and has been featured on Paranormal Programs on A&E (Paranormal State) and Travel Channel (Ghost Adventuress and Co-Host on Paranormal Challenge), plus affiliates of ABC and NBC. Dave has been an active participant in hundreds of investigations worldwide and has connections to top personalities and inventors specializing in paranormal activities and equipment. Dave is a recurring fill in Host on Coast to Coast AM. 



SPEAKERS


​Jen Weigel:  Psychics, Healers and Mediums. A Journalist, A Road Trip and Voices from the Other Side

Jenniffer is an award winning broadcast journalist based in Chicago. She won an Emmy for her on-camera reporting for CBS and has also worked for ABC, NBC, WGN (TV and radio) and WLS (radio.) After her father died of a brain tumor, she decided life was too short to shiver on an overpass reporting, “It’s cold outside. Back to you.” She started her own production company and hosted the Emmy nominated food and wine show called “Taste” for NBC in Chicago.  She worked as a reporter and columnist (“Lessons for Life”) for the Chicago Tribune from 2010 to 2015, where she covered business innovation, the “Remarkable Woman” beat, lifestyles, travel, and food. She also helped launch the Tribune’s video department. Jen’s real love is adding humor to life’s tragedies through her writing. She’s written four books: “Stay Tuned”,“I’m Spiritual, Dammit!” “This Isn’t the Life I Ordered” and “Psychics, Healers and Mediums. A Journalist, a Road Trip and Voice from the Other Side.” They are all listed under the books tab on this website. Her audio books can be found on the audio books link of this website.  Jen hosts the “Friday Funnies” comedy showcase once a month at the Wilmette Theatre, as well as “Conversations with Weigel: A Live Series Exploring Spiritual Enlightenment,” where she interviews authors and gurus from across the country. Her podcast “I’m Spiritual, Dammit!” is on WGN-Plus.


Loyd Auerbach: Parapsychology for Ghost Hunters

Loyd Auerbach is well-known as a leading expert on ghosts and psychic experience. With a Master's degree in parapsychology, he is Director of the Office of Paranormal Investigations, a Professor at Atlantic University (Virginia Beach, VA) and at JFK University (Pleasant Hill, CA), and creator and instructor of the Certificate Program in Parapsychological Studies at HCH Institute, available both in California and for distance learning. He was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Rhine Research Center, and was previously a member of their Advisory Boards. He is the co-author, with the late psychic Annette Martin, of the new book The Ghost Detectives’ Guide to Haunted San Francisco, as well as seven other books on the paranormal, and was a consulting editor and columnist for FATE magazine from 1991-2004.  He is the author of numerous books, including the classic, ESP, Hauntings and Poltergeists: A Parapsychologist's Handbook; Mind Over Matter, ESP Wars; and Psychic Dreaming: A Paraspychologist's Handbook.


Reverend Tim Shaw: What’s Really on the Other Side of the Door? 

Tim Shaw is a Psychic Medium, Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritualist Healer, Ordained Minister, Urban Shaman, Backwoods Primitive Trekker, Flintknapper, Urban Explorer, Traditional Leatherworker, Historical Re-Enactor, Radio Show Host, Author, and Speaker. He is the host of the Internationally Acclaimed Black Cat Lounge heard each Thursday at 8PM EST on the Para-X Radio Network.  Rev Shaw has co-authored Haunted Rochester  and  authored his own The Ghosts of Buffalo: Spirits, Murder And Mayhem In The Nickel City” Tim Shaw’s writings have appeared in such magazines as “TAPS Para Magazine”, “Haunted Times”, The Fort Niagara Journal”, “Light Bridges”, “The Courier”, “Civil War Gazette”, “Wilderness Way”, “The Camp Chase Gazette”, “Military Images”,” On The Trail” as well as many others.  Rev Tim has also been featured on The SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters (The Well of Horror),The Discovery Channel’s show  Ghost Lab), “CBS Radio”(The Wake Up Call, By The Soul, For The Soul, and The Psychics Next Door), “Paranormal NY”, Half Yard Productions “Ghost Ops” (Fort Mifflin/William Howe), and Core Productions Doctumentery “John Zaffis, The World Within“.  Producing LIVE Internet Radio and Podcasts is something that Rev Tim really enjoys.  Along with his own show he also produces “Stirring The Cauldron With Marla Brooks” on the Para-X Radio Network, “Everyday Adventures” seen on several Internet Networks as well as independent productions.



Jim O’Rear : Working in the Paranormal and Entertainment Industries

Trained in New York at The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts, Jim has worked steadily as an actor, stuntman, and special make-up effects artist on such projects as Star Trek 4, Stephen King's The Boogeyman, ABC's Nashville, Lethal Weapon 3, NBC's Fatal Encounters, The Dead Matter, Fall Of The House Of Usher, A Christmas Carol, Mortal Kombat: Conquest, and many more. Wanting to get some of his own ideas onto the screen, Jim successfully moved into the area of screenwriting, selling a number of horror-related screenplays, including The House Of Pain, Hayride Slaughter, Vampyre Tales, Wolfsbayne, The Deepening, and Scream Farm. Jim’s writing also includes several novels and paranormal books including “Tennessee Ghosts,” “Mortuary Of Madness,” “Hollywood Paranormal Films,” “Traveling In Tennessee,” and the how-to autobiography “Magic, Monsters, And Me.” As an independent filmmaker, Jim's work as a director/producer has been seen all over the world in the international award-winning hits The Hospital, Camp Massacre, The Hospital 2, and Ghosts Of Tennessee, just to name a few. Jim continues to work on several films per year, recently completing work on Don’t Look In The Basement 2 (the sequel to the 1973 horror classic) and Race With The Devil. As if that isn’t enough, Jim continues to write for horror publications all over the world, consult for film projects internationally, and is the founder of Celebrity Ghost Hunters.



Scott Tepperman: Paranormal Spotlight panel & speaking with Jim O'Rear

Scott Tepperman is formerly one of the stars of Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters International (2008-2012), the popular spinoff to the most successful paranormal reality show of all time. In recent years, he has made the jump from TV to movies, and is quickly becoming a familiar name in the independent horror film scene, having appeared in such notable horror films as Night of the Living Dead: Genesis, Don't Look in the Basement 2, The Hospital, The Hospital 2, Camp Massacre, Hybrid, and many others. He has recently wrapped I Dared You! Truth or Dare 5, which he is both starring in and co-directing with legendary cult filmmaker Tim Ritter (Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness).  Scott is also the co-owner and co-founder of Los Bastardz Productions, an independent film production company which he runs with his close friend and frequent collaborator, Jim O’Rear (ABC's Nashville, Don't Look in the Basement 2). Their first official joint project is the recently-completed 1980's-style cop thriller Nightblade, which stars Jim and Scott, along with fan favorites Robert LaSardo (Nip/Tuck), Betsy Rue (My Bloody Valentine 3D) and Todd Bridges (Diff’rent Strokes).
Scott is also the author of two successful books, Paradise Found: My Complete Paranormal Journey and Overlooked & Underrated: 100 Fantastic Forgotten Films of Horror. Additionally, he is working on an “unofficial companion” book to his favorite movie of all-time, Near DarkAside from his various film projects, Scott is an avid collector of old horror VHS and Beta movies and currently has a few thousand tapes in his collection. He has also hosted and/or judged various film festivals, including the legendary Freak Show Film Fest and Atlanta's long-running movie showcase, Buried Alive




Tim Ellis and Brad Blair: ​Journey through the Supernatural​

Tim Ellis and Brad Blair have been reading, researching and educating themselves on ghosts, UFO’s, cryptids, and everything strange, for over 30 years. Their love of the strange has been a lifelong pursuit that these two best-friends have been chasing since meeting in elementary school. Tim and Brad first met in the 3 rd grade and it was an instant match of weirdness! They quickly learned that while other children their age were afraid of ghost stories, THEY LOVED THEM! They spent their childhood riding their bikes to the local library and checking out every book they could get their hands on, that dealt with haunting’s and ghosts, UFO’s, Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and anything else that mainstream media shied away from, they wanted and needed to know more. Their love for the field never changed as they grew up, and even though they would take different paths for college, those paths would meet up again after graduation, and so began the second chapter of their lives, and the need to learn and grow, in the paranormal. In 1999 Tim and Brad, along with another childhood best-friend, Steve LaPlaunt, started discussing the adventures of putting together a “research team” that would take their interest in the field to an entirely different level. In 2000 their dream became a reality when the three lifelong friends started the Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society. The UPPRS was started in a day and age before the explosion of popularity of “ghost-hunting” tv shows. They were researching the field, helping families and homeowners, before it was the “cool” thing to do. In 2008, in their constant efforts to legitimize their work and the reputation of the field they were studying, they incorporated The Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society, and became a Non-Profit 501 (c) (3). In 2010 Tim and Brad decided it was time to shine the paranormal light on the state of Michigan and created The Michigan Paranormal Convention, and to date is one of the largest paranormal gatherings of TV Stars, radio stars, authors and lecturers, in the MidWest. It was this same year that Tim and Brad decided to also hit the road on the lecture circuit, bringing their research and findings to those who wanted to learn more about the field. In 2014 they added another notch to their paranormal belt with the creation of the widely popular pod-cast, Creaking Door Paranormal Radio. Their pod-cast is backed by a group out of Detroit Michigan and can be found at www.slackjawpunks.com . This is just another platform for the two childhood friends to continue their journey, as they never stop growing and learning in this amazing field of the strange and paranormal!


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Brian Cano: Paralosophy & Paranormal Spotlight panel

Brian is best known for his work on The Haunted Collector as the  progam's Tech Specialist, responsible for the implementation and use of all the gadgets and gear. Best known for mixing old and new techniques of investigating, he often finds himself doing the physical tasks, such as crawling under houses and up into attics. He also served as second in command of the team and helped manage the deployment of the crew itself. Ultimately, his goal as an investigator is to measure, quantify and get empirical evidence to support the claims of paranormal activity reported while maintaining his skeptical edge.He first recognized his desire to explore the unknown at a young age. Growing up in Staten Island, New York, Brian often took note of abandoned buildings recessed within the woods near his home during Sunday drives with his parents. They called to him, sparking his imagination and his curiosity. Alone or with friends, Brian began exploring the old and abandoned buildings, despite the countless rumors of what may have happened within their walls. Tall tales of Satanic activity, missing children or ghostly sightings were often told, but instead of deterring Brian from his new found hobby, this element of fear and danger only served to add to the allure for him. Since then, he's been looking into the darkness and exploring the dangers that come with the decay of civilization's footprint. Expanding his experiences in urban exploration to include paranormal investigation, there are few places he will not go.  When not crawling in the dark, Brian is a video editor and produces an independent series of paranormal documentaries, entitled, SCARED!. Brian's work has been praised in several publications, including TAPS Paramagazine and Haunted Times Magazine. Various episodes of SCARED! have won awards at several film festivals."

 


Tim Dennis: Conspiracy Theories

Tim is a life time resident of Minnesota, he grew up in Blaine and attended Winona State University where he studied Mass Communication and Radio Broadcasting. He later graduated from Brown College in 1993. Tim has continued working in radio behind the scenes.Tim's interest in the paranormal also stems from his youth with dream visitations from deceased relatives. Although the more skeptical of the two, Tim remains open minded and willing to explore the many possibilities of the paranormal. His grounded nature helps keep Dave in check. Tune in weekly to share his experiences on the Beyond the Darkness ​ podcast.



Scott and Terri Rorek

The Roreks are both psychic mediums who have also hosted the popular Z Talk Radio and have been involved with paranormal investigation and with helping other develop their psychic abilities.  

 

Christopher Quaratino (The 'Amityville Horror' haunting): Paranormal Survivors panel

On November 13, 1974, Ronald Butch DeFeo Jr. walked into his house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, and shot his two parents, his two brothers, and two sisters dead. He was convicted of the crime and still sits in jail today. The house sat empty for over a year and the price plummeted. In December of 1975, the Lutz Family: George, Kathy, and Kathy's children Daniel, Melissa, and Christopher, all from a previous marriage, moved in. For the next 28 days the family experienced haunting events that would eventually make this home one of the most famous haunted houses in the world today. The Amityville Horror, as it was known has been the subject of a lot of controversy over the years. There have been books written about it, movies made, and the debate continues to rage on.  Kathy's son, Christopher Quaratino (who has changed his name back to his birth name because of relentless harrassment), was seven years old when his family lived in the infamous house.  Amityville has followed Christopher--both figuratively and literally--since that fateful night in 1976 when his family fled. Christopher will tell his tragic and shocking story.



Carin Smurl (The Smurl Haunting): Paranormal Survivors panel

The Smurl Haunting remains one of the most compelling and controversial in the annals of parnaormal research and one of the most publicized cases of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.  The family claimed that a TV burst into flames, scratches appeared on walls, and toilets flushed by themselves. They also heard footsteps and music from unplugged radios while empty rocking chairs swayed, experienced foul odors permeating the place, and drawers opening and closing by themselves. Their daughter, Carin Smurl, is speaking out on how the family tried to get help from the Scranton Roman Catholic Diocese.

Andrea Perron  ('The Conjuring' Haunting): Paranormal Survivors panel

Andrea Perron is the oldest child of the Perron family that was featured in the film, The Conjuring, based on one of the most difficult cases of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.  Ms. Perron has written two books detailing her bizarre encounters and is completing her 3rd installment in the House of Darkness , House of Light series that documents the real life experiences she and her family encountered in a disturbingly haunted house.



Daniel  Mewhinney ( Intervention television show case): ​Paranormal Survivors panel

Daniel Mewhinney has been involved with the paranormal and spiritual community for over a decade. He has represented respect for the spirit world on TV programs, documentaries, podcast appearances and as a conference speaker Nationwide. Best known for his Dangers of the Paranormal campaign, his background in assisting high level clients over the years targeted and destroyed his life. In the midst of a demonic haunting, he spiraled out of control loosing everything. He had to face his darkness in order to get it all back. Dan will be discussing being a haunted survivor in the midst of addiction, the duality in the battle between darkness and light, and his miraculous return to life, health, happiness and sobriety.



​Dana Matthews & Greg Newkirk:  The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and Occult

The world’s first mobile museum of the unexplained, the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult is the only place where curious guests can hold real haunted objects, meet the occult experts who’ve spent their lives collecting supernaturally-influenced artifacts and researching the unexplained, and even help further the field of paranormal research by investigating the mysterious pieces themselves. Our mission is to bring allegedly haunted, cursed, and otherwise supernaturally-influenced objects to the public in an effort to promote further study into the timeless mysteries of the unexplained. Rather than hoard their incredible collection of haunted items behind a dusty glass case at Weird HQ, paranormal investigators Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews established The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult, a roving display of the most fascinating artifacts collected during their supernatural adventures. Since 2014, Greg and Dana’s traveling museum of the weird has been fascinating, educating, and terrifying guests at some of the country’s most popular conventions and private events like Strange Escapes, ScareFest, and Ghost Adventures‘ Nick Groff’s cross-country tour. By freely sharing the only collection of independently-studied haunted objects in the world, the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult provides unprecedented access to evidence of the supernatural, removing items of paranormal notoriety from private collectors and placing them directly into the hands of those curious about the wide world of the strange and the unexplained. With a few extreme exceptions, all artifacts in the museum are available to view, hold, photograph, and even test by the general public and paranormal investigators alike.



Chris Halton : ​Haunted Earth

Chris is the Producer and Director of Haunted Earth, one of the UK's most popular paranormal online shows.
His background as a police officer found him working in varied roles and including that as a commended Detective and Field Intelligence Officer. This work has given Chris a clinically proven ability to assess data, and combine that with his psychic gifts to provide informed and intelligent observations of paranormality which is quite often captured to camera as he detects it. In 2015 Chris created Haunted Earth as a means of capturing and sharing paranormal activity through the internet. Over the years, Haunted Earth moved from just directly being a paranormal group into an organisation that provides high quality shows and documentaries covering many different aspects of paranormal research, filmed in Europe as well as North America.  The show is notable for its attention to historic detail, lush scenery and classic appearance.  Haunted Earth's episodes have been viewed more than 27,000,000 times and featured on CNN.


James Annitto of Dominion Ministry: Demonology: Occurrences of the Beyond​

James Annitto is a Demonologist and ordained minister,who has worked alongside many other specialists in this field. James is also a paranormal investigator/researcher/Co-Leader of Paranormal Speciality Crew (PSC), member of Sanctuary Paranormal and the founder of The Dominion Ministry . He has been in the paranormal field since the early age of 15, investigating graveyards and legendary surrounding in the New England area such as Mercy Brown, Ladd School, USS Salem, and Slater Mill His knowledge of the paranormal came from reading many books by in his early years. Watching Unsolved Mysteries, Scariest Places on Earth and then, eventually, Ghost Hunters increased his interest and knowledge of the field. His first ever experience came when his aunt showing him a ghostly figure peeking out of a window during one of their vacations. With this experience James came to love the paranormal and knew that he wanted to be a part of this field when he got older. Being a teenager of 15, it was difficult for him to become part of a research group let alone start his own, so he travelled to graveyards with his digital camera and a flashlight until he was able to form his own group’s years later called Ghost Hunters of Supernatural Truth (G.H.O.S.T.). G.H.O.S.T. consisted of Andre Correia formerly of R.I.P.S who appeared on “The Haunted” episode “Demon Attack,” and other members from different areas of the paranormal field with experience levels of none to a few years. James gained a lot of experience running the team and calling clients/business/homeowners. After being in the field for the last 11 years, James has gained a great deal of experience from working with many well respected members of the paranormal field. He has appeared on many radio and local television shows. James has also given scores of lectures at libraries and expos. James began a new level of his paranormal life when he began his studies in demonology and the ministry. Dedicating himself to helping others in the field and those who are in need of a cleansing or blessing, he travels anywhere he is needed free of charge. Even though he has close to 400 cases under his belt, he never makes himself to appear as if he is better than his peers in the field or unavailable to someone who requires his assistance. If for some reason he is unable to help, he always passes the case along to another in the field with equal or more experience than himself. James in March 2015 created The Dominiom Ministry to change the landscape of the spiritual warfare field, bringing many spiritual warriors together. With the ministry, James hopes that any client from any walk of life will be helped through out the entire country. 



Christopher Saint  & Rachel Marie Booth: Ghost Orphans: Children of the Grave​

Rachel Marie Booth is a wife, mother, artist, associate producer, illustrator, model, writer, Avenged Sevenfold enthusiast, teacher, business degree holder, life student and business owner. Christopher Saint Booth born in Yorkshire, England started his career at an early age. Influenced by The Beatles, singing and strumming at the age of four. Atlantic crossing brought them to Canada where at the age of thirteen he was writing and performing at the local establishments. In 1978 he was invited to combine forces with Juno award winner, Sweeney Todd. (London Records) Worldwide touring commenced immediately as their new gold album paved his way to sunny California. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, greeted with a publishing deal (RCA Music) he began writing vocalisations and musical scores for film, cable and television. Desires of new creative outlets began development, now reaching out to the visual side of entertainment. Audio with Video studios were soon built to quench this creative thirst. Christopher, a successful film and music Director, Producer, Production Designer and Composer has written, edited, animated, directed and scored some of Billboard's Top Ten releases including, Film Features, Erotic Thrillers, Music Videos and worldwide releases. Christopher is married to Rachel Marie and the father to Gabriel & Alyss B. Christopher is an Author, Producer and Director of films and documentaries for Discovery , Destination America, Syfy, Chiller, NBC Universal, Spooked TV Productions, At&t, Vimeo, Apple iTunes, Netflix, Roku and more worldwide. CEO of Spooked Television Releasing. Films include Dead Still (Syfy), Death Tunnel (Sony Pictures), The Possessed, Spooked, Children Of The Grave (Syfy Channel/NBC Universal), The Exorcist File-Haunted Boy (Redbox), Children Of The Grave 2, Soul Catcher and DarkPlace.



Joe Chin: Life in the Paranormal Spotlight panel

Aa self-described "happy go lucky guy," Joe grew up in a close-knit family of 11 and worked primarily with the family's businesses. His interests in the paranormal dates back to his teenage years. Growing up, Joe remembers that the third floor of his tenement house was always lively with instances of unexplained paranormal activity.  And although he experienced the supernatural as a youngster, he had no idea that people looked for the paranormal until he met Jason Hawes. Months after meeting Jason, he was asked to join TAPS and several cases later he is still a part of the thriving team.  "Joining Ghost Hunters International has given me the opportunity to travel the world and push my passion for the paranormal to new levels," says Joe. Since joining TAPS, Joe has cultivated what he refers to as a "skeptical curious side," that spurs him to want to get to the bottom of things. He also relates this innate curiosity to being a computer technician, a trade he delves into in his spare time. When working with computers he always has to figure out what the problem is and how to resolve it as quickly as possible - similar to the work that he and the TAPS team do.When he isn't investigating cases, Joe enjoys computer gaming, movies, outdoor activities, learning about cryptozoology and spending time with his family.



Jeff Belanger​: My Own Ghost Adventures

Jeff is  the writer and location scout for the wildly popular Travel Channel series, Ghost Adventures.  One of the most visible and prolific paranormal researchers today, Jeff is also the founder of the legend tripping movement and is the Emmy-nominated host and producer of the New England Legends series which debuted on PBS in October of 2013. Since 1997, the journalist has interviewed thousands of eyewitnesses to paranormal occurrences. He's the ultimate insider and knows how to connect with people from all walks of life when it comes to the unexplained. He is the author of over a dozen books on the paranormal (published in six languages) including the best sellers: The World's Most Haunted Places, Weird Massachusetts, Our Haunted Lives, and Who's Haunting the White House? (for children). He's the founder of Ghostvillage.com, the Web's most popular paranormal destination according to Google, and a noted speaker and media personality. In January of 2014 he was asked to give a prestigious TEDx talk in New York City and he's lectured at MENSA's national conference. Belanger created the cable/Web talk show, 30 Odd Minutes which was available in over 9 million homes in the United States and Europe on Sky TV. Belanger has written for newspapers like The Boston Globe and USA Today, and has served as the writer and researcher on numerous television series including Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Challenge, and Aftershocks on the Travel Channel. He's been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs including: The History Channel, The Travel Channel, Biography Channel, PBS, NECN, Living TV (UK), Sunrise 7 (Australia), The Maury Show, The CBS News Early Show, CBS Sunday Morning, FOX, NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates, National Public Radio, The BBC, Darkness Radio, Australian Radio Network, and Coast to Coast AM.



Jack Brinatte

Jack Brinatte has had numerous experiences with the parnaormal throughout his life, leading up to his interest in forming a paranormal research team  He's one of the most unusual investigators you find; he and his teammates are all "Real Life Superheroes."  ​Vigilant and sharp, focused and cutting edge,  Jack Brinatte (also known as Razorhawk) is one of the Real Life Superheroes who patrol their local streets around the nation to bring down crime.  Outside of his superhero work, Jack is also a talented costume designer and a voracious advocate of the poor.  Jack has founded  "HOPE"--which stages fundraising for and distribution of necessities to the homeless.  He is also a founder of  the Great Lakes Alliance, which brings together costumed activists from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Florida and has successfully launched toy drives for Toys For Tots, as well as People Serving People, an organization dedicated to providing transitional housing for families, “to get them back into the working world, in their own homes and their own lives.” We'll find out how Jack's myriad interests harmonize in an interview at Chicago Ghost Con.



Bryan Dorn

In addition to his adventures in paranormal investigation, which led Bryan to write his book, Paranormal Pursuits, Dorn is also an active and successful pro-wrestler known as "Ian Xavier."  We'll find out about his alter ego and how Bryan's  two passions overlap in an interview at Chicago Ghost Con!




WORKSHOP HOSTS


Jay Bachochin: Getting Started in Bigfoot Research​
Jay Bachochin will go through all the proper procedures to have a safe & successful hike. He'll describe all the different equipment and techniques you will need to search for Bigfoot. Jay will also talk about and show some of the strangest encounters he had in the woods.  Jay Bachochin is the founder/researcher of WPI Hunts the Truth, an organization that seeks answers to the strange and bizzare. Since 2007, Jay has investigated the Ghost Phenomenon, UFOs, The Beast of Bray Road, Mysteries Drownings in LaCrosse and is currently tracking the Wisconsin Sasquatch.


Ben and Pamela Pavalon: The Modern Victorian Séance

Ben and Pam are the founders of the Chicago Ghost Hunter's Meetup, one of Chicago' most active paranormal investigation interest groups.  They meet monthly at the Red Lion Lincoln Square and host a variety of speakers and investigations. Each October, Ben and Pam host a seance at the pub, focusing on the history of seances and their modern counterpart. The Pavalons will host a "modern" Victorian seance incorporating an historic setting and modern communication tools.


Vince Pitisci: Introduction to the Genius of the Tarot

Vince PItisci is the author of the critically-acclaimed, Genius of the Tarot, and one of the most popular Tarot Readers in the Chicago area. Vince will share the basics of Tarot functioning and reading in this one-hour workshop.


Open Ghost Box session with the Rezmans

The Rezmans have been researching the paranormal for many years and are the hosts of the popular One Foot Out of the Grave podcast.  The Rezmans will share tips for ghost box research and conduct an open session using some of their favorite devices.


​Marcia Mack: Tools & Tips for EVP Research and Analysis

Marcia Mack is one of the most respected EVP researchers today. In this one-hour workshop Marcia will share her tips and tricks for EVP collection and processing and help you get better samples in your next investigation or even in your own home.


Sam Maranto: Getting Started in UFO Research

Sam Maranto is the State Director for Illinois MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and a certified Field Investigator. He's also the State Representative for the Disclosure Project. Sam has been involved in two major mass sighting investigations (Tinley Park and Rockford, Illinois) as well as numerous other investigations. His research into the UFO phenomenon started in 1964. He is also a UFO witness and had his first sighting in 1959. The latest sighting was in May, 2003 in Orland Park.  Sam's workshop will help others who are interested in becoming involved in UFO research and investigation. 


Wendy Moxley Roe: Researching Family & Place Histories

Together with Karl K, Wendy has been a tireless advocate of Bachelors Grove Cemetery, one of the "world's most haunted place," for over six years.  Through tedious research she has pieced together much forgotten history of the settlers of the Grove, which you can see as a work in progress on their website, The Path to Bachelors Grove.   Wendy also pooled her research with Ursula Bielski, author of Haunted Bachelors Grove to produce the most complete list of Bachelors Grove burials that exists today.  Wendy will share her tips and tricks for researching family and place histories as part of your investigations in this one-hour workshop.


Tinamarie Ronan: Introduction to Crystals

Tinamarie Ronan, an intiution expert, will help attendees understand the myriad powers and uses of crystals in investigations, healing and protection.


Open Ghost Box Session with Daniel Reiter

Daniel Reiter has spent numerous years engrossed in  "ghost box" research and is both knowledgeable and skilled in their operation and use.  From "Frank's Box" to the latest apps, Daniel will talk about pros and cons of each and share tips for both beginners and veterans in this branch of EVP research while conducting an open session using some of his favorite ghost boxes.


Daniel  Mewhinney: Investigation Protection

Daniel Mewhinney is well respected in the paranormal and spirtual field. As Founder of the Dangers of the Paranormal and a sensitive investigator who specifically worked high level hauntings, he regularly consulted with clients and outside investigators on the necessity of utilizing spiritual protection inside and outside haunted investigations. He will be giving a workshop on this highly important topic addressing religious belief systems, protective energy & spiritual protection supplies to brighten your protective light that always exists in any darkness.