2016 Year In Review

HAUNTED TOLEDO’S YEAR IN REVIEW

How was your 2016? Here, at Haunted Toledo, ours was pretty good.

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Alright, that’s a fib. It was better than good. It was great!

I knew back in April it would be a busy one. I just wasn’t prepared for it to have been so dadgum fun! And fascinating. And enlightening. But, as the seasons change and winter begins to rear its fugly head, it’s time to hunker down, reflect on the past year, and prepare for the next.

Most ghosthunters operate 24/7/365. Haunted Toledo doesn’t have the support team that would allow us to do this, so I take a more “seasonal” approach… May 1 thru October 31. When the skies turn cold, it takes a lot to motivate my butt to venture out of the house in search of the supernatural. Besides, y’know… football.

Anyway, this is the time of year when I think back on everything I’ve somehow managed to accomplish; the goals achieved and the ones which kinda got pushed to the backburner for one reason or another.

First of all, I’m grateful for all of you. (Yes, even you.) I’m truly thankful for all the new page followers this year and grateful for all the ones who’ve stuck with me since this page began a few years ago. Y’all are one of the reasons I do what I do.

The main goal of Haunted Toledo’s Facebook page is to promote northwest Ohio’s paranormal community – the people, places, and events – while at the same time sharing tales of Ohio legend and folklore. I’d have a hard time doing that if it wasn’t for all of you. So, thank you for all the page visits, follows, likes, comments, and shares! It means a lot to me every time you hit that “like” button because it means I’m succeeding in my mission. Thank you!

Researching, documenting, and preserving Ohio legend is one of my passions. Over the course of this past year, this passion has opened a lot of new doors and created a lot of new opportunities. For the first time since its inception, Haunted Toledo now has access to the kinds of places, people, and evidence that allow us to tell the kinds of chilling stories you’ve come to expect!

And it wouldn’t have been possible without all of you… and some helping hands from many friends, both old and new.

I’m grateful for the continued research partnerships I’ve developed with Mark Wright at Spectral Travels and Al Luna of Paranormal Spirit Encounter Investigations (PSEI). These are some of the most down to earth researchers I’ve ever met.

I’m also thrilled to have built bridges and friendships with people like Harold St John and his team, Toledo Ohio Ghost Hunters Society (TOGHS). He is Toledo’s undisputed paranormal powerhouse. King o’ the hill. The way they dig into an investigation and research every last detail is unprecedented. No one in this town does it better. No one.

I’m proud to have forged ties with Jennifer and Joe Shortridge of 222 Paranormal Podcast; Kim and Sean from the Toledo Paranormal Society; Ben Meeker of BOSS Paranormal; and, Jason Schneider of Lake Erie Paranormal. All of these people are more than just a website or a Facebook page. They actively seek out the answers within the mystery of the supernatural. Investigating the claims, telling the stories, and helping to provide some measure of understanding to the weirdness that touches so many lives. These are all great people following even greater passions and not only am I glad to have met them, I’m hoping to strengthen the bonds we share in the years to come.

2016 was also a year for some of the more memorable explorations Haunted Toledo has been involved in to date.

Earlier in the year, and with the help of local researcher Ben Meeker, we re-discovered a forgotten legend centered around the little-known, often overlooked “Whitehouse Smallpox Cemetery.”

Over the course of the summer, Haunted Toledo was also invited to shadow and document several high-profile investigations.

In July, we followed along with Al Luna and Paranormal Spirit Encounter Investigations (PSEI) as they conducted an investigation of Toledo’s iconic eatery, Mancy’s.

Then, throughout the summer, Haunted Toledo documented the efforts of Harold St John and the Toledo Ohio Ghost Hunters Society (TOGHS) as they brought their investigative talents to bear on a series of multiple, possibly interlinked, suburban paranormal events. This investigation is still on-going, but will most likely become one of northwest Ohio’s most talked about cases when the results are finally revealed some time next year. It is truly an honor to be able to capture this phenomenal casework on video!

And who can forget Collingwood?

Multiple investigations and untold hours of filming over the course of the summer at one of Toledo’s most famous haunted locations culminated in this area’s first paranormal convention, Paranormal Toledo.

In an unparalleled display of unity and partnership, several local groups came together to present a day full of fun and a night full of ghosthunting at the historic Collingwood Arts Center.

Haunted Toledo, along with Lake Erie Paranormal, Paranormal Spirit Encounter Investigations (PSEI), T.O.W.E.R., and Chris Bores met back in late April to begin the long, arduous process of transforming an interesting idea into a successful regional event. Very honored and proud to have been part of this inaugural event and I certainly hope it becomes an annual tradition.

Rounding out the year, Haunted Toledo has begun production on our newest venture – the web-based video series, “Legends of Lucas County.” And this is just the beginning.

As adventurous as 2016 was, 2017 is going to be even better and I couldn’t be more excited!

Since September, I’ve been putting the finishing touches on Haunted Toledo’s database of Ohio paranormal folklore – a digital archive of over 1500 ghostly legends found throughout the Buckeye state! Combining this information with some budding partnerships with this region’s historical societies and investigative teams, Haunted Toledo is ready to take its final step towards its ultimate vision!

Starting in 2017, Haunted Toledo will be bringing you more of what you love about local legends and supernatural folklore in the form of books, an on-going web-based series of videos, and feature-length DVDs!

In the meantime, I’ll continue posting on the Haunted Toledo Facebook page about various legends, promoting the events and efforts of other research teams, crack some wise, and keeping you updated about my attempts to bring you the best in ghostly legends and lore!

And, as always, if there’s anything I could do better, more of, less of, etc., let me know! Part of the fun of running this page is interacting with all of you!

Christopher Tillman, Haunted Toledo

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Christopher Tillman

Author | Filmmaker | Speaker Christopher Tillman has been actively exploring claims of the paranormal since 1993. He currently resides in Toledo, Ohio.

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