Lights Out!

lightsoutA while ago, Larry Santoro, then the host of Tales to Terrify, invited me to join the TTT podcast. “I just want you to find cool ghost stories and people’s experiences, record them, and just do a little ghost story show of your own.” And so, Lights Out was born.

This is what I do, and it is a ghost story addict’s dream come true: I sit down with people and ask them to tell me stories. Then I polish them all up into an episode, and bring it to you.

The links below will take you to YouTube. These shows were designed as podcasts — radio shows, essentially speaking — so there is no actual video part to them. Just click on a show title, sit back, and let me bring you some awesomely awesome ghostly tales.

I have had so much fun seeking out people’s stories. I hope you enjoy listening to them. If you have a story you’d like to share with the world, please drop me a line, either here or on YouTube. And remember, if you’re not listening to Lights Out, your virtual campfire, it’s like not having chocolate cake for breakfast — the full richness of life will forever elude you.

Lights Out #57: Effland Woods. Is this little patch of wilderness in Fulton County as haunted as they say? Find out!

Lights Out #56: Stephen Lancaster. Stephen Lancaster is a paranormal investigator and the author of three books of nonfiction. His latest, Norman, The Doll Who Needed To Be Locked Away, is published by Llewellyn Press. In this episode, I chat with Stephen about his experiences with haunted objects, and we discuss what it means to be a magnet for spiritual activity.

Lights Out #55: The Boy In The Basement. In this episode, I share the story of my growing friendship with Chris, a spirit of the Pollak Hospital. Chris died in the early part of the twentieth century, but his spirit is still very much alive — and still very much that of a healthy, red-blooded young man. Join us for an evening of touching the Other Side. We may even get to dance! If you want to go back and find the EVPs, here’s what’s there: around 11:55, when I say I’m going to take my hand back, Chris says “back“. Around 25:40, Chris says “No — not yet“. Around 32:00, when Diane says “He’s about twenty-two”, Chris says “Guess what? Twenty-two” (that’s the super-cool one). Around 34:15, when I say “Chris! How are you?”, he replies with “Perfect“. And when we’re discussing dancing together, around 43:30, Chris says, “After you” — always the gentleman!

Lights Out #54: The Dark Mirror. Haunted objects hold a fascination for us. The idea that a common household item — say, a mirror — can be a conduit for supernatural energy is a concept both terrifying and intriguing. Join me as I examine the Dark Mirror, a tool used for divination that can have some disturbing attributes. What will we see when we look into the Dark Mirror? Find out in this episode.

Lights Out #53: Return to Dixwell. Return to the haunted house in Davenport Iowa, where the homeowner was locked in the basement bathroom by an unseen entity. I explore this house, along with members of the investigative team Ghost Crier.

Lights Out #52: The Roving Skeleton of Boston Bay. Join paranormal author Holly Nadler as she tells the story behind the inspiration for one of Poe’s best-loved stories.

Lights Out #51: Plymouth Courthouse. Enjoy this Christmas 2017 special episode of Lights Out! Return to Plymouth with us as we explore the haunted courthouse and hear the tragic story of the wreck of the General Arnold in 1778 in White Flats Harbor. This tale has led to the residual and intelligent haunting of the courthouse where the bodies of the sailors lost were stored.

Lights Out #50: Resurrection Mary. Wow, fifty episodes of Lights Out, how cool is that? Gather around your virtual campfire, pass the s’mores, and settle back for one of Chicago’s most enduring ghost stories.

Lights Out #49: Haunted Objects 3.  It’s time for another visit to the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and Occult. Come with me to Greg and Dana Newkirk’s lair, and meet Simon the haunted doll, give the Fetid Face the side-eye, and keep your hands off the voodoo drum.

Lights Out #48: Luke Naliborski. Enjoy a visit with Luke Naliborski, author of Spooky With a Chance of Ghosts, Ghosts Never Say Boo, and other collections of true ghost stories. Join him as he shares stories of his experiences as a tour guide for Alton Hauntings Tours.

Lights Out #47: Ron Hood. This is what it sounds like when two radio show hosts (okay, a radio show host and a podcaster) get together for a conversation. Ron Hood, host of Ron’s Amazing Stories, gets to sit in the guest’s chair for this episode.

Lights Out #46: Plymouth Ghost Tours. Join me on a walking tour of Plymouth’s Burial Hill and other historic places. Janice Williams, owner of Dead of Night Ghost Tours, is our guide to the spooky side of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Lights Out #45: Bhangarh Fort.  In this episode, we’ll travel to India — no passport needed. We’ll explore the incredibly haunted Bhanghar Fort.

Lights Out #44: Lizzie Borden House Part 2: Table Tipping. The Victorians were masters of the weird. Their shenanigans included table tipping, yet another way to communicate with the Other Side. (I regret to say this content is no longer available.)

Lights Out #43: Lizzie Borden House. Come along on an investigation of the Borden House, in Fall River, Massachusetts. On August 4, 1892, Abby and Andrew Borden were brutally murdered in their own home, by someone wielding a hatchet. That someone may have been Lizzie Borden, Andrew’s younger daughter. Let’s see what the spirits have to say about it!

Lights Out #42: Ghost Crier. Listen in on a conversation with Aaron G. Thompson and Nick Simons, members of the paranormal investigating team Ghost Crier.  Find out why Aaron likes the Spiritus app so much!

Lights Out #41: Native American Spirits. The peoples of the First Nations have a rich tradition of folklore and the supernatural. Come explore it in this episode, and find out what happens when you lock a display case that’s full of kachina dolls.

Lights Out #40: GHS Lab Investigation. Sit in on an investigation of the Ghost Head Soup lab.

Lights Out #39: GHS Tour. Take a tour of the Ghost Head Soup lab.

Lights Out #38: Ghost Head Soup Intro. Meet the paranormal group Ghost Head Soup at their lab, at an undisclosed location in northern Illinois.

Lights Out #37: Brian Sheppard. I sit down for a talk with Brian Sheppard, of The Brian and Sherri Show. He’ll tell us all about witches’ graveyards and disappearing road signs.

Lights Out #36 (Extra): April Fool’s 2017. This is what happens when you leave your recorder out for just anyone to find…

Lights Out #35: Nick Sarlo. I catch up with Nick Sarlo, lead investigator of Shadow Hunters. We chat about haunted places, returning spirits, and baseballs that fly out of nowhere!

Lights Out #34: Cleansing. Think your home might be in need of a little more “spring cleaning” than Mr. Clean can handle by himself? Listen to this episode of Lights Out for a few handy hints for ridding your home of unwanted entities.

Lights Out #33: Ophelia Julien. Join me for a conversation with YA fiction author Ophelia Julien. We’ll hear stories of growing up in a haunted house, and we’ll learn why you shouldn’t ask an architect to take too close a look at the floor plan of your home.

Lights Out #32: Christmas 2016. Gather ’round for a true tale of holiday horror.

Lights Out #31: Believers 2. I talk to more paranormal investigators, to see what made them believe in the supernatural.

Lights Out #30: Haunted Objects (Second Half). Let’s return for a second look at Planet Weird’s traveling museum of haunted oddities. Hear tales of haunted graveyard dust and a lonely doll.

Lights Out #29: Happy Halloween 2016 from Lights Out! Enjoy this tale of a haunted house in Davenport, Iowa.

Lights Out #28: Haunted Objects (First Half). Join me as I talk with Greg and Dana Newkirk, who have been collecting haunted objects for years.

Lights Out #27: Believers. Do you believe in ghosts? If so, what turned you into a believer in the paranormal? Hear several investigators tell of their experiences with the unknown — the experiences that made them say, “I believe.”

Lights Out #26: Alexandra Holzer. Listen in on my conversation with Alexandra Holzer, daughter of famed paranormal investigator Hans Holzer. We’ll tell you what it was like to grow up haunted, and how to enjoy conversations with loved ones who are no longer with you.

Lights Out #25: Demons (3). When is a demon not a demon? Listen to this terrifying tale of a Cambodian revenge spirit.

Lights Out #24: Demons (2). Ever met someone who’s been possessed by a demon? Perhaps you have. What is it like to be possessed? Find out in this episode of Lights Out.

Lights Out #23: Demons (1). Think demons don’t exist? Think again! A ghost hunter tells of his encounter with a dark entity — at the age of seven.

Lights Out #22: Monmouth College. Come along on a haunted campus tour of Monmouth College.

Lights Out #21: Sugar Tree Grove Cemetery. Take a tour of this haunted cemetery, tucked into the rolling farmland around Monmouth, Illinois.

Lights Out #20: Luke Naliborski. A conversation with the funny and talented Luke Naliborski, author, ghost hunter, and Haunted Alton tour guide.

Lights Out #19: Kathi Kresol. Join me as I chat with author Kathi Kresol about her newest book, Murder and Mayhem in Rockford, Illinois. She’ll share stories from her years as a tour guide for haunted Rockford.

Lights Out #18: A Very Spooky Christmas. Gather ’round the fire and listen to ghostly Christmas tales.

Lights Out #17: Thorne & Cross. A conversation with the horror writing team of Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross. We talk about their books Ghosts of Ravencrest and The Cliffhouse Haunting, and chat about what’s coming up next.

Lights Out #16: Hunting Demons. Linda was a seasoned paranormal investigator. Also a committed Christian, she prayed to be able to hear the lost souls with whom she was trying to communicate. In this special episode of Lights Out, you’ll hear Linda’s terrifying true story of demonic oppression. Based on the book Hunting Demons by Sylvia Shults, available from Whitechapel Press.

Lights Out #15: Tinker Swiss Cottage. Take a tour of the lovely — and haunted! — Tinker Swiss Cottage in Rockford, Illinois.

Lights Out #14: Haunted Prisons, Asylums, and Sanitoriums. Sit down for a visit with Jamie Davis, who writes about haunted places. And take a peek at Ashmore Estates.

Lights Out #13: Camping with Troy Taylor. Go ghost hunting with acclaimed paranormal author Troy Taylor. Explore the Great River Road Opry and a haunted pioneer cemetery. Then sit around a campfire and swap ghost stories with Troy and other ghost hunters.

Lights Out #12: Ancient Egypt. Explore the world of dusty tombs and shambling mummies.

Lights Out #11: Zombie Squad Camping. Ghost hunters take vacations too. Come and sit by the campfire at ZombieCon and listen to people share true ghost stories.

Lights Out #10: Haunted Houses. Ever wondered what it’s like to live in a haunted house? These people know — and they tell us their experiences of sharing their home with the spirits.
Lights Out #9: Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross. Horror writers Thorne & Cross share their stories of a five-night stay in a haunted cabin in the woods.

Lights Out #8: The Cantina. A look at the hauntings at The Cantina, a former bar in Pekin.

Lights Out #7: David Youngquist. Ghost hunter and sensitive David Youngquist shares some of his experiences with the paranormal.

Lights Out #6: The Lighter Side. A collection of funny experiences with the paranormal.

Lights Out #5: The House That Isn’t There. One of the strangest, creepiest stories I’ve ever heard.

Lights Out #4: Ghost Stories of the Quad Cities. An evening around the campfire with friends, sharing personal experiences of the ghostly and strange.

Lights Out #3: Galesburg. A look at a couple of haunted sites in Galesburg, including the Cherry Street Bar.

Lights Out #2: Pollak Hospital. A podcast tour of the Pollak Hospital, the TB ward of the Peoria State Hospital.

Lights Out #1: Bowen Building. A podcast tour of the Bowen Building at the Peoria State Hospital.