Ashley (aka Asherz) brings a fresh perspective on the world of Forteana, which she began to explore fully after attending the Mothman Festival several years ago. She came to realize that she experienced a Mothman encounter. She and several podcast partners host weekly episodes of "On Wednesdays, We Talk Weird." But she wears many hats, including cryptozoologist, ufologist, author and lecturer. Asherz will be our host throughout the day and a featured speaker.
Cameron Jones is a Ufologist and paranormal researcher. He is chairman of the ‘Roundtown UFO Society’ in Circleville, Ohio, where he is from. Cameron researches a plethora of phenomena, including UFOS, Ghosts, Mothman, and other Cryptids. He has lectured throughout the Midwest. His writings on paranormal topics have been featured in the online news publication ‘The Scioto Post’ and in multiple books and magazines.
Courtney M. Block is the Instruction, Reference, and User Engagement Librarian at Indiana University Southeast. She is the author of The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022) and Researching the Paranormal: How to Find Reliable Information about Parapsychology, Ghosts, Astrology, Cryptozoology, Near-Death Experiences, and More (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Her work is also featured in volume 3 of The Feminine Macabre and you can find an upcoming article of hers in volume 35 of Haunted magazine. One of the things Courtney enjoys most is combining her librarian and paranormal interests and teaching people how to locate free, credible resources on a wide range of paranormal topics. To see what Courtney does when she’s not staying up all night to meet writing deadlines, follow her on Instagram @liminal.librarian.
Jim has spent the last 35 years chasing after ghosts, monsters, and all things strange and spooky. He still feels lucky to have been given the opportunity to write about his travels and exploits in over a dozen books because he’s convinced the whole “published author” thing just fell into his lap. Truth be told, he was always obsessed with visiting weird places and digging into the history behind those places. It never dawned on him that there were others out there who shared his obsession and wanted to hear about his experiences. Then came that fateful day in 2003 when Weird NJ’s own Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman came calling, and the rest, as they say, is weird history. Jim resides in Ohio and runs the “Strange and Spooky World” and “Ghosts of Ohio” websites while not writing more books! This is his second appearance at the festival, one of two returning presenters as he filled the room last year
beyond capacity. Get your seat early and hold on because he will take you on a wonderful journey.
Jeffrey Wilson graduated from Eastern Michigan University, where he studied English Language, Political Science, History, and Earth Science as an undergraduate, earning an MSc. in General Science, and where he helped to operate and maintain Sherzer Observatory. He taught both Physics and Astronomy courses at different institutions before moving to the private sector for a career in business and retail analytics. Wilson has volunteered and served as the President of the Friends of Serpent Mound, a registered 501c3 non-profit, for the past 20 years. Wilson has worked collaboratively on several successful efforts to preserve prehistoric indigenous archaeological sites in Ohio, including Spruce Hill, the Junction Group in Ross County, and the Fortified Hill in Butler County. Wilson is the chief editor and publisher of Serpent Mound Books & Press, a small publisher specializing in deep research into the prehistory of the Ohio River Valley. Be sure to pick up his newest publication at the festival and get it signed.
Kevin began writing on his mom’s typewriter. He enjoys reading and writing fiction. Kevin started his professional history career about ten years ago and hasn’t looked back. He now gets to research, preserve, and share history as the curator of artifacts at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums in Fremont, Ohio. He also hosts Can’t Make This Up: A History Podcast, where he has the privilege of interviewing historians and authors. Kevin lives in Toledo with his family.
M. Kristina Smith has a lifelong interest in unexplained phenomena. As a former investigative reporter and editor, she spent years asking questions, digging through public records, and researching materials to find the facts behind stories. Today, she shares the history and stories of the collections, people, and events at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, where she has been marketing/communications manager since 2015. She also works as a freelance writer and photographer. The History Press published her first book, Lost Sandusky, in 2015.
Sherri Brake is a paranormal researcher, author, Dowser, and Paranormal class instructor with over 30 years of experience in the field of the Paranormal. She has been featured on Destination Fear, Ghost Lab, ABC’s Scariest Places on Earth, and other documentaries. Her adventures feature international ghost tours to Ireland and Scotland, and she has published over 20 books and journals on haunted locations, dreams, and folklore. Sherri has also had featured columns in several magazines. While the paranormal is her passion, her love of history, photography, science, cryptids, cemetery symbolism, and folklore add to the enlightening mix of her presentations and tours. In early 2000, Sherri began the award-winning Haunted Heartland Tours, one of the nation's few female-run ghost tour companies, and received the ranking of #5 Best Ghost Tour by USA TODAY in 2015. She lives in the mountains of West Virginia, surrounded by Mothman, the Flatwoods Green Monster, the Greenbrier Ghost, Bigfoot, and other oddities hidden in the dark hills and valleys. Her website is www.HauntedHistory.net
Located on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Surrey brings a perspective to the event that can guide us to a better place. As our first speaker of the day, it will give everyone a thought-provoking peroration. From her online credenda, she wrote, “You can change your personal boundaries into infinity, and it will give you an illusion of safety and an appearance of change... but it won’t change the inner experience of your life. Unless you change your unconscious identity... reality will only continue to serve up more experiences to prove that expressed boundary is necessary. The unconscious shift of an energetic boundary comes first (The I AM state.) The declaration of it comes second. (The I AM expression.) Beyond that – it’s up to you to remain in your desired state of being and build an inner landscape that matches your desired experiences. Validate it with imagination – the true reality. Arguing, demanding, avoiding, insisting, begging, etc., only reinforces your old story. Live in your new story despite what’s happening around you. If the hologram shakes you, shake it off. Return to your new story until your nervous system agrees with conformity. “but if the hologram shakes me, doesn’t that mean it’s not working?” This isn’t a magic pill. Your character is your life’s work. Reality doesn’t give you what you want. It gives you who you’re being. Persist until your inner world stabilizes. The hologram will conform. It has no choice. God always says yes.
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