I had the best weekend ever at the Beyond Reality Event at the Mt. Washington Hotel in NH. Getting to spend time with all of my new friends was an amazing experience! I’ve never laughed or smiled so much before. My art for the charity auction Saturday night raised $350 for the causes and I’m so grateful to the bidder. It feels great to help out a good cause (for this benefit it was two really great causes) and I’m happy I was able to do something to help. In total I believe the auction raised over $7,000 and it was a really great moment. I’ve tried to upload a ton of photos from the event so you can see some of thestuff that happened.
With several K-II meters on the ground and the group’s digital recorders going, Dianna began an EVP session to see if we could make contact with any spirits in the South Tower at Mt. Washington. To everyone’s surprise the KII’s started to answer to Dianna and Joe’s yes or noquestions. It was very exciting and interesting to see.
When the question ‘Are you a male?’ was asked, it lit the lights up on the KII to answer yes. When asked it’s age through a series of questions, it became clear it was 30 years old. It was also asked if there were more spirits in the room and most of the KII meters when off stronger than any other time during the session. I personally noted a cold spot around the KII’s in front of me during the session. Jay and Grant joined us during the session as the questions had begun. It was really cool to be in the same room as Grant asked questions and got some very strong responses from the K-II. I really learned a lot about the field by observing this investigation.
I can’t wait to apply what I learned from my time at Mt. Washington to Tara Normal.
I took a lot of notes from Kris, Kristyn, Steve, Dave, Joe, Dianna, Jay and Grant at the show and I have a better understanding of how theyeach go about investigating and their different perspectives.
I’m going to have some more in depth stuff this week as right now I really have to get some sleep finally!
Thanks again to everyone (especially Holly Griffith!!) with Beyond Reality Events and the TAPS crew for letting me be a part of the event. It was a dream come true for me. If you get a chance to go to one of these events, I really would recommend it if you are interested in the paranormal and Ghost Hunters.
Drawing at the Beyond Reality Event while Kris Williams watches.
Me, Holly Griffith and her caricature!
Grant Wilson signing my poster created for TAPS.
The TAPS poster auctioned off at the Mt. Washington Beyond Reality event!
The ‘ghost’ seen on Larry King is nothing more than someone’s shadow from behind the camera being cast across the hall. While many hope the King of Pop returns, I’m sure it would be on a larger scale and would involve an awesome dance routine and a certain red leather jacket. RIP MJ.
We here at Tara Normal have great respect for real-life investigators of the paranormal and TAPS Family members who want to help people claiming to be experiencing paranormal activity. Haley Wright, the founder of Queen City Paranormal, based out of Manchester NH, was kind enough to feature Tara Normal on her paranormal blog and we’re honored! Please check out her blog and you can find out all about her investigations of the paranormal. Plus I like the name of her blog because it’s my name too!
Her paranormal group’s website also features EVP’s from their investigations! Very cool stuff!
We here at TaraNormal.com are lucky enough to have our first paranormal investigator interview with Kristyn Gartland, Ghost Hunters cast member and TAPS Case Manager. Kristyn is extremely well respected in the field of paranormal investigation and she teaches the highly regarded Paranormal 101 classes. She also has a hell of a throwing arm as I have seen her pelt a moving target with a cookie from several yards away. Kristyn and TAPS member Brian Stephenson created Anomalie to help investigators make carrying their equipment easier and far more effectively. Their first Anomalie event takes place on August 1st at the U.S. Hotel in Hollidaysburg, PA and I spoke to Kristyn about this event and more!
Q: As every reader of Tara Normal knows, I’m a big fan of the Anomalie brand. In each investigation, Tara wears and uses Anomalie gear. I know you and Brian have been working hard for the release of the first line of bags. When do you expect them to be on sale?
Kristyn: Hopefully we will put them on sale this week or next. We are taking pre-orders and shipping them right to you.
Q: How did you guys come up with the idea for creating Anomalie?
Kristyn: We were fed up with carrying all the equipment and shoving stuff in our socks!
Q: Your 1st Anomalie event is this weekend at the US Hotel in Pennsylvania. What inspired you to choose the location?
Kristyn: We had heard a ton of stories, we visited it and voila, our first Anomalie event.
Q: It sounds like a really creepy location to investigate but you guys are also holding several informative lectures as well. I know that you teach the Paranormal 101 class for TAPS. What do you think is an important tip for any new investigators starting out in the field?
Kristyn: Don’t do it because it’s on TV, do it because you love it and honestly care about people and helping them. Read, read and read. Come to Paranormal 101 to learn more of course. There is only 1 original Paranormal 101 you know…
You can find out more about Paranormal 101 classes at Kristyn’s website http://www.blackcloudabove.com. It is amazing chance to learn so much about the field.
At the Beyond Reality Event I attended in April at the Mt. Washington Hotel I was lucky enough to be allowed to follow the various groups as they went ghost hunting. I was honestly doing research for my new comic Tara Normal but I did also want to investigate to see if I could find anything. I had a paranormal experience before when I was younger but learning from some of the best in the field that night really sparked a fire to search further for the truth behind the unexplained. Mulder!
Below is the EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena- or that thing they always talk about 100 times on Ghost Hunters!) Shelley and I caught in the first five minutes of investigating, in the first room on the first night. Steve from Ghost Huners was the lead investigator in the room on this night. Kristyn from TAPS was kind enough to listen to this EVP, run it through her audio programs and let me know I have an actual EVP. Have a listen and make sure to pay close attention to the recording after I ask if anybody would like to say ‘hello’. Click the link below to hear the EVP!
Mike Brody, Comedian, Paranormal Investigator, Inventor of the Monk Bumper Car Ride
One of the many highlights of my experience at the Beyond Reality Event at the Mt. Washington Hotel was getting to see comedian Mike Brody perform. I had seen him eat hot sauce with Jason, Grant and Britt on Ghost Hunters, and watched some of his stand-up online but seeing comedy in person is always the best time.
When Mike performs he mixes his love for the paranormal into his comedy routine and it’s a completely unique form of entertainment. His wit is razor sharp and he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll meet.
Mike was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to answer a couple of questions for us at Tara Normal.com!
Q: When did you start doing stand-up comedy?
Mike Brody: I started in September of 2000 in Iowa. Although I don’t feel like I really started going after it until February of 2002 when I moved to Minneapolis and started performing 6-7 times a week at open mics. In Iowa, there was one open mic a month in my town. Minneapolis is graet. There is and always has been a great comedy scene there. Some of the best, most clever comics in the country are from there or have started there. So it was great to learn from them.
Q: Who are your biggest comedic influences?
Mike: My two biggest influences are Mitch Hedberg and Bill Hicks. It’s weird, but I don’t think my style actually resembles either of theirs. But both of them made me realize that comedy could be whatever you wanted it to be. You could be original and still make “mainstream” audiences laugh. Also, I grew up devouring all those 80′s comedy shows like MTV’s Half-Hour Comedy Hour, A&E’s Evening at the Improv, etc. And my group of friends from high-school/college influenced my humor a bunch too. They were some of the funniest guys I ever met, but they just couldn’t do it on stage I guess. Hard to be a comedian when you’re plumber from Mason City, IA, I guess. (True story: He is bald and works for Roto-Rooter. Go figure.)
Q: I was lucky enough to see you perform at Mt. Washington last April. I’ve never seen a comedian do ‘paranormal’ comedy. When did you decide to combine your interest in the paranormal with your stand-up?
Mike: Well, I’ve always been interested in the paranormal since I can remember. So when you do comedy, you write about what you are interested in and what you know. So it just kind of came about naturally. Next thing I knew I had a good chunk of paranormal material and I was getting offered to do shows for Beyond Reality Events. It’s a dream gig. What other gig can I talk about the Mothman and not even have to set up who he is? They already know! It rules. And generally paranormal people have a good sense of humor so it’s always a blast. One lady got touchy about Succubuses, but I’m not going to argue with that.
Q: Do you find your sense of humor helps while investigating? At least to keep the edge off? I think if more people had a sense of humor with Freddy Krueger he might’ve let them live, you know?
Mike: It just depends. I love comedy and I love the paranormal. People know I’m a comedian during investigations, but I don’t want them to think I don’t take it seriously. Because I do. It depends on who I’m with. I kind of free-lance around with different groups and sometimes I’m all business. But if you get me together with the Wolfe Manor boys then look out. Those guys are hilarious. Seriously, they crack me up. But I guess comedians look at things differently then some people? Sometimes I’m not even trying to be funny and people laugh. We were doing a K-2 session at Mt. Washington down in the basement and I asked “Do you watch us in the shower?” and people laughed. I think it’s a very valid question! I pity the ghost that watches ME in the shower, though. Must be slim pickins. Oh, and Freddy Krueger just wants to be loved. Dude’s like Bugs Bunny sometimes. All he needs is some Acme bombs or anvils. Tears of the clown. Or in this case, the psychopathic undead burn-victim janitor.
Mike: I already wear it. I sewed it to the front of my shirt and I wear that shirt everyday. Then I go to Boy Scout meetings and point to my shirt and say “You’re not that special!”
Q: Glorious. Would you ever want to help Tara Normal on a cartoon mystery? We could probably arrange so you could drive the Mystery Machine or at least punch Fred.
Mike: Uh, YESSS! Wait, which one was the hot one? Velma? No, I think that was the one that looked like Peppermint Patty. Just hook me up with the hot one. And if you can make it look like I don’t run like a duck (like I do in real life) I would appreciate it.
Awesome! We will make sure when you run in the comic you run like a champion and hook up with Daphne (that’s the hot one) all at the same time because that’s how we roll. That’s the beauty of comics- you can be anything you want to be. We actually want to be at one of Mike’s comedy shows right now and you should too! Check out his website for all his tour information and watch videos of his stand-up! http://www.mikebrody.com/Mike_Brody/COMEDIAN_MIKE_BRODY.html
Getting to create illustrations of the Ghost Hunters team to be used in their events’ charity auctions has been a dream come true for me. I’m lucky to get the chance again as I get to create another piece to help benefit the Beyond Reality charity auction next weekend at the Stanley Hotel. I wasn’t able to be there in person this year, but I really want to visit the Stanley because it’s the hotel that The Shining was based on. And as you may know, The Shining is my favorite film.
For the first time anywhere, below is your first chance to look at my newest Ghost Hunters/TAPS caricature portrait and everybody in it is doing their best Shining imitation. It will be on auction next week- good luck to all the bidders!
Happy Halloween everybody!
UPDATE: My Ghost Hunters Shining poster sold for a great amount for charity to a very lucky bidder at the Stanley. Congratulations! Thank you again to Holly, Britt, Amy, Kris, Jason & Grant and Beyond Reality Events for letting me draw them! This poster’s charity amount doubled my first poster for the group. I can’t wait to create the next one!
Ghost Hunters Shining Stanley Hotel Illustration for Beyond Reality Events
As you might have read in last week’s comic update, Tara Normal is now appearing in TAPS Paramagazine! The first issue to feature my comic is the January/February issue. It’s a dream-come-true scenario for me and I can’t wait for you to see the first comic. Below is a preview of the first adventure and it guest stars Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, founders of TAPS and stars of SyFy’s hit show, Ghost Hunters. It takes place at TAPS Headquarters in Rhode Island and it was a blast to draw. Order/subscribe online today!
Tara Normal with Jason Hawes & Grant Wilson in TAPS Paramagazine