In September of 2016, I was invited by Author Jenn Carpenter and Michigan Area Paranormal Society Founder Gary Gierke to roll along on a small bus tour of Ingham County, MI to investigate the paranormal activity at historically notorious places. I was familiar with some of these places, like the Jewett House in Mason and the site of the Bath School disaster. Jenn was inspired with the idea to do a Haunted History tour of area while she was on vacation with her family. It was explained to me that this was all experimental and I was invited to give my input. It sounded like a fun Fall activity and I had been doing paranormal investigations with Gary for a few years so I happily agreed. We gave it a trial run and decided to continue every Saturday and see where it would lead us.
The first tour was so much fun! I picked up on lots of spirits and learned a lot about the background of the area I grew up in. In the beginning, for me it was mostly recreational. I met tons of interesting people. Even though we went to the same places every Saturday, the experiences were always different. I began to look forward to some of the places on the tours where I had grown familiar with the spirits. I inadvertently befriended the spirit of an insane murderess from the 1800s at a haunted lot in Williamston and I met the author Rod Sadler, who wrote a book about her called “To Hell I Must Go.” I was assaulted by an angry wife beating murder victim in Dansville. I connected with the fallen heroes in Bath. I saw a full bodied apparition before my eyes a couple of times in a haunted forest and I was welcomed with open arms by several of the Jewett ghosts in Mason. To this day, every time I drive by the Jewett House I can hear Art Jewett or a little boy named Michael calling at me to come in and visit with them again. Unsurprisingly, the the tours were selling out one by one!
Jenn expanded her touring business by purchasing a new bus and adding different tours to the schedule. Gary and I got busy with our respective businesses and for the second season, we only came on the tours as special guests. Jenn had expanded the business even further by including paranormal researchers and psychics from around the state. Just two short years later, this September 2018, she was able to publish a book called “Haunted Lansing” as part of the “Haunted America” series through Arcadia Publishing! I couldn’t be more proud of my friend and I’m happy to say that I am featured in a few of the chapters in her book, which was an instant best seller.
This past Saturday, September 8, 2018 I attended Jenn’s book launching party at the Turner-Dodge Mansion in Lansing and the place was more packed than it’s ever been in my lifetime. I met tons more interesting people and I even signed a few books, which was slightly awkward for me because my handwriting is no good and I wasn't expecting that! When I got home and started reading the book, I randomly found out that Jenn and I shared similar "first ghost stories" because I grew up across the street from the store she talks about in the preface of the book...it's DEFINITELY haunted!
Reading the book is a little like being on the tours all over again. But the good news is you can now do both! Haunted Lansing can be found at places like Barnes & Nobles and Schuler Books and it is also going to be available for purchase on this season’s Demented Mitten Tours. The next tour I will make an appearance on is what I call Freaky Friday (the Friday before Halloween), October 26, 2018.
If you would like a signed copy of Haunted Lansing, you can come on one of the Demented Mitten Tours or you can attend one of Jenn’s book signings. The next book signing event will be held at Barnes & Noble at the Lansing Mall on September 22nd from 2pm to 5pm. After that you can find her at Costco in East Lansing October 6th from 11am to 1pm or How-to-Halloween 333 E. Michigan Ave October 13th & 14th from 11am to 5pm.