I am excited to say that our cover story is Kane Hodder, Co-Founder of the Hollywood Ghost Hunters, and a true horror film icon. He has played Jason Voorhees in four Friday the 13th movies, starting with part 7. He is also Victory Crowley in the four Hatchet films. Kane has the distinction of having killed more people physically that anyone in movie history, and in his interview he tells a story that he has never shared,, until now!
We also have the story of my visit to the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings Nevada. It turned out to be one of the most intense hunts I’ve ever been on. I also introduce you to PSI, the Pioneer Saloon Investigators, headed by Jill Padovese who is an absolutely hilarious person.
As a special Someone You Should Know I had the privilege of interviewing Tom Danheiser, the Senior Producer of Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, and he is definitely one of the good guys.
We have many other features and stories, so check them out! Enjoy!
To Hell and Back
Kane called me and asked if I would go to a screening about his life story, and he wanted me to be brutally honest in my assessment of the film, so I headed down to the theater to check it out. In full disclosure I am also in it so I wanted to see it for myself.
AT THE THEATER
I am sitting in the last row of a small theater in Los Angeles where I just finished watching To Hell and Back, the Kane Hodder Story, and it is hard to put into words what I’m feeling. I feel like I have just been in a fifteen round fight. I’ve known Kane since we both worked on Lone Wolf McQuade in 1982, and he has become one of my best and most trusted friends, and I can’t believe what I just saw. I had no idea some of the awful things he went through, and as I sat here watching there were times when I got very angry, and very sad listening to his firsthand accounts of the bullying he put up with as a kid, and then the detailed story of the accident that damn near killed him. I was mesmerized watching this documentary, the emotions that it puts you through are hard to describe, all I can say is if you only watch one documentary, make sure it is this one! And I can’t help but feel very proud for Kane, he not only overcame some very serious obstacles in his life, he actually knocked them down and went on to become not only a world renowned horror icon, but more importantly a well-respected man by those who know him, you could tell as celebrity after celebrity told their opinions of him and I don’t think you could ask for much more than that.
MY ANSWER TO KANE ABOUT THE FILM?
I watched with a very critical eye, because that is what Kane wanted, and honestly I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s that good. If it doesn’t win a few festivals, I’ll be very surprised.
Rick: Let start with something a little different. Is there a question that you’ve never been asked?
Kane: Yes there is… You’ll probably be surprised that I’m even bringing it up. It is a question that I’ve never been asked, and you’ll understand why they have never asked, and you’ll probably find it weird that I think it’s even a question that could be asked, but, the question is do I wish I had never gotten burned? Because you think that everything I went through the obvious answer is of course I wish I had never gotten burned.
Rick: The flip side of that is that everything that happened to you turned you into who you are.
Kane: Right. That’s why I think it’s not a ridiculous question because I know for a fact looking at myself I’m a far more empathetic person to other people’s issues than I ever would have been had I not gone through something like that.
Rick: I think you would almost have to be more empathetic after surviving that…
Kane: That is a tough one, because there are two ways you can go when you go through something like I went through, and that is either come out as a better person which hopefully I did, or go completely the other way and be nothing but fucking negative for the rest of your life because why the fuck did this have to happen to me at 22 years of age, why did I have to go through that and you can be fucking negative and end up killing yourself. Which many people who go through getting burned end up on the bad side of things, and that is people who had proper care.
Rick: That’s what people don’t realize, I think people are empathetic, but they just don’t realize that when something like that happens to you it is a 24 hour fight every single day.
Kane: Right, and even with proper care it’s that, so now you compound the whole thing with poor medical care it makes everything a hundred times worse. That’s what I will never, no matter what I do I will never in my life be able to clearly explain how bad it was. You know me, I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself, but there’s no way that even a person that has been burned could understand what I had to go through because they had the proper care.
Rick: I am putting something in the magazine; you said that you think it made you a better guy. Now I’ve known you for 37 years, ever since Lone Wolf McQuade, and it is going into the magazine whether you like it or not, and that is that I’ve never met a better guy.
David Carradine and Kane on Lone Wolf McQuade
Rick: You have gone through all this and now, I mean there are only a handful of people that are recognized by their characters name or being the character in the whole freaking world, are you ever driving along it and it suddenly dawns on you?
Kane and Kane as Victor Crowley from the Hatchet movies
Kane: Oh yeah, absolutely. As you well know, you go into the stunt business not trying to become famous, that is not one of the things that is on your mind, if I go into stunts I’m going to become famous and sign autographs, we both know it doesn’t work that way, and that is why nobody can accuse us of trying to become famous because that is not part of doing stunts. Most very well-known stunt people in the business, you say their names in the general public and nobody has heard of them. I am amazed that I’m in the position I’m in because I never sought that out. I certainly didn’t discount it when it started happening because I just appreciated it more and people always say you’re so nice and friendly to meet at conventions and stuff, and I’m like why shouldn’t I be? Why is that unusual? If you don’t like doing conventions and signing autographs and getting paid for it and meeting people then don’t fucking do it. Nobody is making you do the conventions so the least you can do is be approachable to the fans, that’s what you are what you’re there for.
Rick: I can say on a personal note, having been at a few conventions with you is that everybody says I didn’t know Kane would be so nice. You always make them feel like they really got to interact with you.
Kane: I think when you become well known for something, and I don’t even like to use the word famous, but if you become well known for something and you never expected it you always appreciate it more. If you go into the business to become famous and then it happens, and you’re like well that was the whole point, so you become a dick about it…
Rick: We’ve run across a few of those in our time too.
Kane: As Bruce Campbell said in my documentary most of the assholes you meet are comedians, and the nice people are the ones who play horrible characters.
Rick: What is something that people would be surprised at about you?
Kane: If you are really asking and if it doesn’t sound self-serving, I always worry about that, I just want people to know that all stunt people are not just crazy and have no intelligence. Because of what we do for a living a lot of people think these guys are just crazy and stupid, and crazy and stupid are not synonymous.
Rick: Neither one is the case with most stunt people… I bet most people would be surprised that Kane Hodder qualified for Mensa… And you dumb asses that don’t what Mensa is, Google it.
Rick: What do you want to do in the future? I’ve seen you knock it out of the park directing, would you like to be a director?
Kane: I don’t think so, I love performing, and in the future I would love to be challenged with roles that that people would never expect me to be doing. That would be my ideal rest of my career is to continue acting and to be doing roles that people say “Kane Hodder is playing that”? What?!
Rick: Would you like to tell everybody, because I’ve done some of this, not anywhere near what you have done, how really hard it is to act without being able to talk or use your face?
Kane: I have always said that, when you can act without your voice or your facial expressions because you have a mask or prosthetics or something, is much more challenging, so I’ve always kind of joked that once I started playing characters where I could talk and move my face I was like man this is easy, which of course it’s not. I love that challenge, it’s a whole different challenge and I’d like you to put in there that movie The Shape of Water. You and I both know the guy who played the creature in that movie. Rick: Oh yeah, Doug Jones…
Kane: Yes, Doug Jones, and you and I have both been in prosthetics like that in the water. It is difficult enough to work in full body prosthetics; it’s ten times worse when you are immersed in water. And for him to get as little recognition as he did infuriates me. They talk about all these other acting performances in the movie, where like the actress who didn’t even speak and she was wonderful… What about Doug man? She had maybe twenty minutes of beauty make up every day, he probably had about four hours every day, before he even started working and he’s barely mentioned at all… It just makes me so upset that he doesn’t get more recognition for that role. You and I both know and people that do know appreciate what he did in that movie, but people who are ignorant don’t even think about it. It’s just a guy in a suit, no big deal. Fuck you…
Rick: When you are underwater, first off you are in makeup, you can’t eat, can’t smile so you don’t crack the makeup, you are totally isolated from everybody else, and then they stick you underwater. It is a feeling that unless you’ve done it you have absolutely no clue, I mean we have seen someone who was doing a character just flat out say he couldn’t do this…
Kane: And you had to pick it up and do it for the rest of the movie, but he couldn’t handle it so you had to do it.
Rick: It is much harder than people think to be immersed underwater, isolated completely, I mean we tied a rope around my ankle and you would yank on it when they called action, and yank on it again when they yelled cut..
Kane: I just wish that creature actors would get more recognition. Doug not only had to be in the water, he had to dance.. Ballroom dance in that costume, if you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about. He had to ballroom dance because she has a fantasy that she is dancing with him. He had to ballroom dance as the creature, bad enough he had to be in the water and all that. We know how that is.
Rick: I know someone else who danced as a creature…
Kane: Not very well…
Rick: That was Adam Green’s Chillerama.. I really enjoyed that movie. Watching you dance was hilarious.. I think that surprised a lot of people…
Rick: Tell me about Friday the 13th video game.
Kane: Do you know how long that you and I worked on that video game off and on, because I was doing the motion capture and you were the stunt coordinator for the entire video game. I don’t know if you realize the time period from the first session to the last session we did? Do you know how long it was?
Rick: I could make a guess; it had to be pretty close to two years…
Kane: We started January 2016 at the other location if you remember, over by the marina and our last session was October 2017 so that is almost two full years of off and on motion capture. That’s a lot of work man…
Rick: The feedback I’m getting about the game is awesome, anybody who talks about, they’re like yeah man I played Kane one time and I killed one… They just turn on and all of a sudden they’re all excited..
Ryan Staats, Rick and Kane during motion capture on the Friday the 13th video game
Kane: I think, between you and me is one of the best projects we’ve ever been involved with. That and
the Hatchet movies..
Rick: Definitely the Hatchet movies… I will say one of the things that you and I have done I am most proud of is when we drove with the girl standing between the two cars, like they did in Footloose.
Kane: For sure, stunt wise..
Rick: I have to explain what happened a little. We were recreating the shot from Footloose where Lori Singer stands on top on the cars as they go down the street, one foot on each car. We had a stunt girl named Hannah Scott, who has was absolutely awesome, she was as cool as a cucumber up there, and we actually were going 42 miles an hour around curves.. She was harnessed, but it is still dangerous and had to be scary as hell but she performed spectacularly…
Rick in the black car Kane in the green car
After we had done that we had to do a scene where Kane and I drag race in the forest, where one would be winning, then the other would pass and cut them off… We were following the camera truck which is also moving, and has a camera and operator on a boom arm on the back.
We take off, following the truck, and race beside each other, with us taking turns cutting the other off and taking the lead. I look up and see we are coming up fast on the camera truck, Kane is on my left and all of a sudden he heads directly at my driver’s side wheel well, just flying… I react by yanking the steering wheel to the right and he barely misses me and with very little room to spare he heads right toward the camera, which is low enough for him to hit. He slams on the brakes and goes sliding right towards the camera, the cameraman booms it up quickly and Kane slides right under it to a stop… It was awesome!
Rick: When you went by me I never thought you were going to make it..
Kane: The camera was too low for me to fit under there so I had to assume that the boom operator would counter my move and he did. That’s probably the best driving stuff we’ve ever done. Old 37 was the movie…
Rick: The thing that got me is I had two actresses in the car, I was driving the convertible, and on the last one I’m looking at the camera truck ahead of us and I’m thinking, boy is this going to be close, and I was expecting you to cut in front of me and all of a sudden you went right at my wheel well and I jerked the car to the right and you went sliding right under the camera, but I remember the most is the two actresses in my car were just screaming bloody murder. I hope they got that on tape because they couldn’t get better screams. I was watching from behind and when you slid under that and I just went holy shit!
Kane: The best thing about it was none of us expected to do it
Rick: The director made up the shot on the fly because we had a little more time left with the camera truck, he told us what he wanted and off we went…
Kane: It wasn’t planned in any way but I had the faith in you to react to it, and the faith in the cameraman to react to it…
Rick: The best part is when we went back to the video village and the whole crew was clapping and cheering, that’s when you know it looked pretty good… I remember the director saying Kane I thought you were going to tear the front of Rick’s car off, and you said Rick won’t let me hit him, and I wouldn’t let him hit me. I remember walking away and whispering to you and said I wish you would have told me about that, and we both started laughing.
Rick: So how does it feel to not only have a book about your life, but now you have a documentary about your life, which by the way I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to see it and it was awesome, and I don’t say that because you are on the other end of the line. I was so shocked by how good it was, and not because it was your life story, but because it was like a first time thing and I didn’t know how good it would come out. I remember calling you and telling you how good it was, and you asked me what would you change, and I answered nothing, honestly nothing.
Kane: Yeah I’m very happy with it, and of course, and it’s going to sound fucking lame, but I feel kind of honored that people appreciate my story. A book and now a documentary, I mean there are a lot of people who have had tough situations in their lives so I don’t presume to be the only one to tell a tough story, but I know from the reactions of people that it means something to a lot of people that have been through a lot of shit, even if it’s something different, completely different, that someone can go through something like that and come on the positive side. I’m not going to say come out normal because I’m not, but to come out in a positive way, so I feel very happy.
The guests in To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story
Kane: Here is something I’ve never talked about, but since the documentary has started airing I have had so many people, I’ve had this in the past, but not as much as since the documentary started showing, I don’t know if you want to use this, if it seems too self-serving you don’t have to put it in, but I have had more autistic adolescents, young adults and adults come and talk to me about the documentary.
Rick: Well that’s good; I don’t think that is self-serving at all, I mean what a better crowd to hit?
Kane: Right, but how can you not become touched by something like that?
Rick: I don’t think you cannot get touched by something like that.
Kane: How many times has a parent said I’ve never seen my autistic son look another person straight in the eyes while he is talking.
Rick: I’ve seen the little kids with you at the conventions, there is a connection there somehow, you sit there, you look like a monster half the time, you’re built up, wear the tight shirts on and you are famous for killing people and little kids run up to you, start grabbing you and playing with you like a big dog…so it’s actually pretty cool..
Rick: This is one I want to know, for a long time a lot of things in the book and movie you kept to yourself.
Kane: Yeah, for most of my life, yeah.
Rick: Do you feel better for people knowing that?
Kane: Because of the reaction I’ve gotten, yes.
Rick: Everything I’ve heard was positive..
Rick: Ok, you promised me a story no one has ever heard.
Kane: I think you are going to be surprised. Because it fits perfectly in this article, a story and it really is, and I’m not trying to make it sound dramatic, it really is a story I never told anyone. It happened in the hospital never told any of the nursing staff, never told my parents, that were there every day, never told my sisters, my nephews, nobody, ever, to this day. You know what; it just seems like the right time to tell this story. As you know I got burned and I was in a shit hospital for 4 months. After getting progressively worse I finally got to a burn unit in San Francisco, as you know, and everything changed. I was given proper medication and I started healing, the skin grafts started working and everything. I was there for 6 weeks, 4 months in the shit hospital, and 6 weeks in the good one and they turned me around. About 2 weeks into the stay at the burn unit I got my first roommate because every patient has been severely burned, and he was burned much worse than me, and he fucking died. So, I never knew it because I was so out of it all the time because they gave me proper medication, I was getting skin grafts, and surgeries and everything and one day he was gone, I figured they moved him. I asked and they told me he died, which happens all the time with burns. What I’ve always said about my situation, if you survive getting burned and you survive the first couple weeks that are the most critical because if you die it’s usually early. So when then told me after 4 months that I might not make it and that’s why they were shipping me to the burn unit, I was like amazed. Wait a minute, 4 months I went through and now I’m going to die? Hell!
It wasn’t surprising that he died; I had talked to him a little bit because we were in the same room, 2 beds in one room. One week later, and you have remember when I say they were giving me ketamine.
Rick: I’m not sure what that is.
Kane: On the streets it’s called Special K.
Rick: Oh! I‘ve heard of that for sure.
Kane: It is an hallucinogenic drug that completely takes away all pain, but you are totally aware, so I would go in to surgeries having been given ketamine, feeling they were doing something to me and feeling absolutely no pain but being completely awake. It was bizarre because I never experienced anything like that. So the point of the story is one early evening in my room after a skin grafting procedure and this fucking guy was standing there next to my bed. He was standing there and this was when I was at my worst psychological state because once you start healing and start overcoming the physical injury is when you get depressed. People don’t understand that either, you’re not depressed when you’re going through all the pain because the pain takes priority and you think about nothing but the pain and surviving. So once you overcome that and you’re going to survive, and in my case I’m 22 years old and I’m going to have burn scars over a good portion of my body for the rest of my life and always be stared at and shit like that. That’s when you get depressed, so here I am getting better physically and then getting worse mentally by a long shot, so I was very depressed. He showed up at my bed and told me I could get through this.
Now the reason I’ve never talked about that because I’m not sure if it was a result of the ketamine or if it was something that really happened, I could never really decipher what it was but it didn’t really matter if it happened or I dreamed it happened, the fact that I felt a dead guy told me I could make it helped turned me around. I always credit the guy at the counter in the burn unit and I could see his burns and he looked happy as a big part of it, and he was, but I’m not so sure how much more this didn’t help me too. Whether it was something that was just in my mind my mind or what, but it seemed to help a lot. You can see why I never told the story because of being on ketamine it could have very well just been that, I don’t know. The only reason I thought more recently about telling you about it because of our interest in the paranormal so that could have been an experience, I just don’t know…
Rick: I can’t tell you how many people who have told me they had someone come to them in a dream. I must have heard it a hundred times. It could be the ketamine where your brain was trying to find a solution to what you were going through, but it could just as easily have been the guy really showed up and told you that you were going to make it.
Kane: Whatever it was it seemed help me, it doesn’t really matter what it was. If you knew my dad he was never a big believer in that kind of thing, so he would have shot it down and made me feel stupid.
Rick: That is what I try to tell people, just because you didn’t have the same thing happen to you at the same place when you both saw the same thing, doesn’t mean
it didn’t happen to the other person. People see things differently, they feel things differently, they process things differently, and you can’t discount what somebody tells you.
Kane: It feels good to tell that story…
Rick: That is the perfect ending to the interview, a little paranormal theme…
Here are some links for the book, game and documentary
The Pioneer Saloon
I was invited to join a ghost hunt at the famous Pioneer Saloon in Good Springs Nevada, by Jill Allen Padovese of Pioneer Saloon Investigators, and had been driving down from Las Vegas, listening to music and feeling excited about getting to explore such an iconic location. I turned off the highway onto a dark, lonely two way road, you know, the kind of road they use in horror movies and drove seven miles, all the time thinking that if the Pioneer Saloon is at the end of this road it must haunted. I had no idea how right I was.
As I drove over the top of the hill, I could see below me the Pioneer Saloon. It truly was a sight to see, it was almost like going back in time. As I pulled in front and parked, I was impressed by the authentic look of the building. I walked to the left side of the building into the Good Springs general store, where I met the Lead Investigator, Jill Allen Padovese. The best way to describe her is as a human tornado, with an infectious laugh that you can feel all the way down to your toes. I knew I would enjoy myself with her showing me around.
We sat down in a long bar waiting for the rest of the members to appear, and talked about some of the occurrences that happened there.. Before I get to our hunt, here are Noel Sheckells, Owner of the Pioneer Saloon, and Jill Allen Padovese of the Pioneer Saloon Investigators.
HISTORY OF THE SALOON
The Saloon is probably most famous due to a tragedy that occurred on a mountaintop nearby. The famous actress Carole Lombard was killed in a plane crash, and Clark Gable sat quietly at the bar as they tried to recover his wifes body. Some claim Carole still visits the bar.
The haunted lockdown events originally started late in 2013 after the airing of the Ghost Adventures episode featuring the 100+ year old saloon and town. The proprietor, Noel Sheckells saw an opportunity to allow the general public to experience the same paranormal event as Zak, Nick and Aaron did when they were ”locked” into the saloon for an overnight investigation. He also had the idea of all the proceeds to be donated back to the town of Good Springs as a charitable deed and to keep a small town up of a little over 200 residents alive. I was lucky enough to meet Noel and some of his family who work there, and every one of them is as nice as you could ask for, and they make you feel welcome from the minute you walk in the door.
All of what happened next was captured on video and audio
Jill then took us to the back room, where there were two round tables, and I sat in the very spot where the man had been shot to death cheating at cards. Even as I sat down I had a very funny feeling that there were spirits near me, and I was to find out very quickly that I was correct. As we sat down, the guests, the investigators and I all set out our equipment, there were several voice recorders, and I had in front of me a K2 meter, and the girl next to me also set one in front of me, because she was sitting in the curve of the table, and the only place she could set hers was directly next to mine. Jill had been telling us more of the history and after about 5 minutes both of the K 2 meters in front of me went off with all 10 lights flashing, and they continued to go full blast for about ten seconds, when they instantly stopped.
We were all are chatting, and after a short time once again all 10 lights started flashing in front of me. I have been ghost hunting for over thirty years and what happened next has never happened to me before. I instantly became incredibly sick to my stomach, so much so that I thought I was going to be sick right then and there. I felt my body begin to tense up, and an intensely cold feeling went through my entire body. Jill, looking at the K2 meter going off says I think the spirits really like you. I replied I’m not so sure they do. Right at this moment the video captures a voice, a woman’s voice saying “we do”. Immediately following that you can hear “Rick” being called out, which we heard with our own ears at the time. Jill takes a good look at me and says” what’s wrong”? I asked Jill to feel my forehead and as she does she says “oh my God you’re as cold as ice”. The girl sitting next to me then reaches over and touches my left forearm and she says the same thing.
I am feeling so sick I get up and go outside to try and catch some fresh air, and as I walk about a foot and a half behind another girl that is sitting there she says” I can feel how cold he is from here”. I make it outside as the group continues to investigate. In the past I have been touched by spirits and on occasion I have felt a cold spot develop where I felt a touch, this however is my entire body, so all I can surmise is that I’m being touched by multiple entities.
I lean against the rail trying to compose myself, I haven’t been this sick for a long time, and after about 10 minutes Jill comes out to check on me. We talk for a few minutes, I feel much better and decide to go back inside and resume the hunt. As soon as we walk in the door I feel like I’ve been hit by a tsunami of sickness, and the ice cold feeling instantly returns. There is no way that I can continue the investigation, as I fear that I will ruin it for everyone, and I decide that it is best that I leave.
The rest of the investigators were still at the tables and turned around, looking to see if I was all right, when I told them that I thought it was best that I left for the evening, and as I turned to leave there was a voice captured, an EVP, not an actual voice you can hear at the time which said” turn Rick back”. For some reason I stopped and turned back to them to say my goodbyes and once again turned to leave when another voice says this time a man’s voice” release him” as I was walking away.
The fresh air made me feel a little bit better, clearing my head, but I was still incredibly sick to my stomach and during the drive back to Las Vegas there were many times when I almost pulled off the road to get sick. I finally reached Las Vegas and saw a CVS store and ran inside and bought a bottle of Tums and power slammed about a handful. I finally reached my evil stepmothers house where I was staying, and the rest of the night wasn’t great, but when the morning rolled around I felt a lot better.
Jill called me later that week and asked how I was feeling, and then told me something that really caught my interest. It appears that two more times during their investigation that people heard my name called out. I was later to find out that it happened again the following day. It seems like something really wanted my attention, I just wish it could find a better way of showing it!
Pioneer Saloon Investigators
Ara Ochoa, Darrell Harris, Jill Allen-Padovese, Jennifer Fargnoli, Linda Masanimptewa
Jill Allen-Padovese, also known as Jellybeans, was the radio show host of “Psychic Smackdown” on 107.5 where she predicted future for the listeners. Nowadays we can find Jill out at the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, Nevada where she works during the day. Jill is the Pioneer Saloon’s Director of Haunted Lockdown and is the Lead Investigator of the Pioneer Saloon Investigators (PSI). Jill uses her psychic abilities to communicate with the spirits, which helps to provide a great experience for the lockdown guest.
Linda Masanimptewa is PSI’s team photographer. She has published books of her experiences as a paranormal investigator and hosted an online radio show “Got Ghost? Will Travel”. Linda works as a cook on an Air Force Base and is a paranormal sleuth at night. She is proud of her heritage of being half Japanese and Native Hopi Indian. Being a sensitive, the Pioneer Saloon lockdown events have made her more of aware of the spirits.
Jennifer Lynn Fargnoli is PSI’s Paranormal Investigator-Tech. Jennifer’s paranormal experiences started when she as a little girl. She could hear doors closing, strange footsteps, and water running…her house was haunted. Jennifer works as a manager of a large chain store. As a Sensitive, she feels presences of the spirits and is honored to be a part of the Historic Pioneer Saloon and the amazing people who frequent the bar, living and passed. Jennifer is proud to call the PSI team members family.
MaryLynn Bast is PSI’s Psychic Medium. MaryLynn has a lifetime experience with the paranormal world and shares her gifts by helping those in need of spiritual guidance and advice. As clairvoyant medium, MaryLynn communicates with the spirits and provides a connection to the living. She is proud to be a member of the Pioneer Saloon team and loves to work with guests during the lockdowns.
Ara Ochoa: I am a ticketing agent and makeup artist. I was introduced to the paranormal investigation a few years ago when I visited the Pioneer Saloon with my husband, I used to watch TV shows about it but it wasn’t until then that I could really experience it.
Since I joined PSI I’ve had many paranormal experiences, or maybe this has been around me the whole time but now I pay attention and learn from it. PSI rocks!
Darrell Harris had a long time interest in the paranormal and the spirit world starting as a young child in Orange County, California. Along with being a “ ghost hunter “ with the Pioneer Saloon Investigators, Darrell is known wordwide as both a touring musician and Pro Photographer with Getty Images. He uses his photographic and video skills during PSI Haunted Lockdowns!
Darrell is married to Ara, also of PSI.
Someone You Should Know: Tom Danheiser
Tom Danheiser is the Senior Producer of Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, a late night radio show with three million listeners at any given time. It can be heard in the U.S, Canada, Mexico and Guam.
Ok, let’s get started, here’s our first question. Obviously you’ve been in radio for a long time, producing several Los Angeles radio shows on your way to Coast To Coast AM. Did you always want to be a radio person?
Tom: No, I worked at a linen company until I was about 19 and my job was paying the bills but I wasn’t really happy, so I decided I wanted to pursue radio. It’s something I wanted to do. There were these two new jocks on the radio, it was their first day. They were asking for jokes, so I called with a joke, they didn’t use it on the air, but they told me how to volunteer down there, so I immediately got a volunteer position at KLOS radio in Los Angeles and that is the first job I got in radio.
Rick: It seems like you’ve come quite a way from being a volunteer to being the Senior Producer at a radio network.
Tom: I’m lucky.
Rick: Well there must have been a lot of steps in between.
Tom: I volunteered for a while at KLOS; I then got a job in the Community Affairs Department where we put on station events that would make money for charities. I did this for KABC and KLOS which are sister stations. Along the way, we added ESPN radio and a station called the Zone, so I actually worked for 4 radio stations in one job, and I did that for many years, and then a longtime friend and great guy named John Ramos told me that Premiere Radio Networks (later named Premiere Networks) wanted somebody to help produce a radio show called the Motorized World of Leon Kaplan. I came over to the network to do that while still working at ABC radio. Disney eventually bought ABC which put a bunch of people out of a job, including me, and that is when I came over full time to Premiere.
Rick: How did you get hooked up with Coast to Coast AM?
Tom: It’s funny. The first year I was at Premiere they were looking at cancelling all 3 shows I was working on, so I and a group of other guys were faced with no employment at the end of the year. Then I was told “ hang on, we’re working on something”, and they called me in one day and said at the first of the year we are bringing this show called Coast to Coast AM down to L.A., would you like a spot on the show. It took me all of a second to say yes.
Rick: So you’ve been working on Coast To Coast AM now for how long?
Tom: For about fourteen plus years.
Rick: I’ve been an avid listener for a very long time and have heard your name for, well, forever; it’s why I call you the Gateway to Late Night Paranormal, because anybody who wants to be on the George Noory show has to go through you.
Tom: It’s a phenomenal show, the people are great to work with and the listeners are great. I originally wanted to get into radio because I felt that it touched people and I wanted to help people. I was a big band disc jockey at my college and it was a pretty big signal so I was heard from San Diego to Santa Barbara and all in between. People would call me and they would comment on the music I played, and I realized that people really listened to their shows and really bond with them; and the people they listen to on the radio and behind the scenes become their friends. Everybody that calls in are like family. It’s kind of crazy.
Rick: I always like when the guy calls in, and it’s almost inevitable, “long time listener, first time caller”
Tom: There have been people that have actually told me they have waited five years to get on the show.
Rick: I’ll bet! I‘ve listened for quite a while, and I’ve actually picked up a lot of knowledge from listening to the show. Now that you are the Senior Producer of Coast to Coast AM, did you have an interest in the paranormal before you got on the show?
Tom: Probably the short answer would be no, but it’s pretty interesting how I got intrigued. I remember that it was maybe the first month that I worked on the show and somebody had called in and they said “I got to tell you this; I got to talk on the radio. I woke up in the middle of the night, and I had an old lady sitting on my chest”. Now for people who know this story, that’s called the old hag syndrome, it’s kind of interesting. I didn’t really believe it at the time but it was kind of interesting. They told their story on the air, and then about a week later somebody called with the exact same story, states away across the United States. In the course of two or three months there were several calls from other people totally in different areas of the United States who had the same story. I remember that was the story that really got me going “wow, this is kind of cool”, and then I just became Mr. Curious.
Rick: That’s why I like the paranormal, I’m curious about everything, UFOs, Bigfoot.. Actually I want to ride around in a UFO looking for Bigfoot. Let me ask you this, has there ever been a story you’ve heard on the show that changed your mind about anything?
Tom: This guy called in who was incarcerated, broke the law in some way, and one day they brought in some new prisoners and they brought in a child molester. Now picture a wall that is chipped away and has pipes exposed and sticking out. The caller said he was sitting in his cell when the new prisoner was put in a cell. Suddenly the new prisoner’s head started jerking back and forth, almost as if he was having spasms, and his head went straight through that pipe. So the guy that called in and told us the story said that he really believed that was pure evil, the guy was pure evil. Boy, what a story!
Rick: There is no doubt there is pure evil in the world, all you have to do is watch the news.
Tom: I have another one, there was gentleman who had twin daughters, and one Sunday they were looking for grandma and they couldn’t find her. Now Grandma had a routine, she would go to church, then go get something to eat with her friends. Well, nobody had seen her, so they knew they better keep looking and looking, and they finally went to her house. No one was home. They decided to check the attic. The way they told it, they found her lying on her back unconscious with a burlap sack on her chest, and in that sack was a Ouija board. That’s another story that sticks in my mind.
Rick: Every once in a while I hear on your show about people using Ouija boards, I just want to drive over to their house, knock on the door and then smack them on top of the head.
Rick: Let me ask you this, have you ever been on a ghost hunt?
Tom: I have, the one that comes to mind is Penn State Penitentiary, and that was really a good experience, very creepy, really fun, there were a lot of people there so you had a comfort to it. The other one wasn’t a ghost hunting, but they took me and two other guys on a tour of the Mansfield Reformatory, where they shot the Shawshank Redemption movie and that was creepy, it had a vibe that was very creepy. I asked them to put me in “the hole”, and they shut the door, and thirty seconds later I asked them to please get me out.
Rick: We were doing a movie there and that’s when we started the Hollywood Ghost Hunters. Tell me about this new about this new business venture you have going?
Tom: About four years ago I thought to myself it would be really neat to bring radio to stage, so I formed an entertainment company with a great partner I have, her name is Lori Wagner. What we do is we literally bring radio to stage; we go to different cities and put on a three hour live stage show. We bring in guests, add a little bells and whistles, and create “Radio to Stage”. It’s a really fun evening for people. We’ve done Toronto, Vancouver, Boise Idaho, St. Louis, Mo, Asheville, NC, and Everett, Washington to name a few. We have a show coming up in June in Las Vegas, NV.
Rick: That reminds me of when we did the Queen Mary with you guys.
Tom: I can’t forget that, I loved that night! Was that the first time I met you?
Tom: You and Ra Mihailoff, that was a great night and a lot of fun for me.
Rick: Being on the Queen Mary, you had the audience sitting there, and just the feedback we were getting from the people sitting there, I can see how good the live stage show would be.
Rick: I know you do a lot of charity work, could you talk about that?
Tom: In 2014 I was driving around; I do a lot of thinking when I’m driving. Christmas time is my favorite time of year and I was trying to think of something to do to give back a little because I consider myself a pretty lucky guy. I thought you know what; I’ll do a Christmas charity CD. It was February, so I had time to put this together correctly. I started another company with a longtime friend of mine, Carrie Clarke. We started to look for guests who had been on the show and can sing or play an instrument. I wanted the CD to have a traditional feel with traditional holiday songs. It was quite an adventure, and it took a lot of work, but we found some guests who were phenomenally talented. We pulled this all together and Christmas 2014 we launched the “Holiday Magic Coast Style” CD. This lives on Amazon to this this day and 100% of the proceeds go to Veterans hospitals throughout the United States. Rick, you were tremendous in helping by putting it in the magazine, so thank you. Full disclosure we made our costs back for doing it, but we took no profit, I didn’t take anything, my partner who did it with me didn’t take anything, we just let it live on Amazon and when we are able to cut a check, we do so. It’s funny, the more you dive into charities, I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, the more you see how they make a lot of money. I’m pretty big on when I give; I want it to go to the right place. Every time we are able to cut a check, I drive it down personally so I know it gets to the hospital we choose. I hand it to the guy in the veteran’s hospital in Los Angles and have him get the funds to the hospital we choose. We pick a different state very time.
Rick: That is very cool.
Tom: That way I know it’s going to the right place.
Rick: I don’t know if you know this or not, but we have t-shirts and hats on our website, and all the profit, actually more than all of the profit goes to St. Jude’s Hospital.
Tom: I didn’t know that.
Rick: The other thing is that I’m such a sap, I’ll get people who hit me on Facebook that say I’m so excited that I found these t-shirts and I’m saving up to get one. I’ll answer them “what’s your address?” And they’ll say “Why”
and I tell them that I am going to send you one and it’s on me.
Rick: What are you doing in the future?
Tom: Well, I’m lucky enough to produce the radio show, and I also really want to concentrate on my entertainment company. Both provide a lot of fun for me; I have to have an aspect of my life where I have fun because if I don’t I’m just dying.
Rick: What is the name of your entertainment company?
Tom: Danheiser/Wagner Entertainment; you can find us at email@example.com. We’re always open to taking on new clients and new projects.
Rick: Thanks so much for the interview!
Several years ago, Kane Hodder, RA Mihailoff and I were guests on the TV show Ghost Adventures, and I am glad to say we are still friends with all the guys, so when I heard that Nick was doing a new show called Paranormal Lockdown I knew I had to interview him. He agreed, and we set up a time for him to call me. He’s pretty busy with his new show!
Rick: Is there anything you want me to ask you about your new show?
Do you think this new format might open up something new in the paranormal field?
Nick: I’m pretty open minded, you know me, you’ve known me for a long time, I’m pretty straight forward, and honest, and honestly, I’m really excited about this show, not just because It’s me doing a show, more or less because I’m super passionate about the subject matter and I’ve been wanting to do this for so long, and I just feel like this is the future of what paranormal should be conducted as. We’re just in a weird period of life where there are so many paranormal shows, there is so much paranormal happening that I think sometimes you need to step outside the box a little bit and revolutionize it, so I’m really excited about it.
Rick: I agree. Things have become so formula, that thinking outside the box is a great idea.
Nick: Honestly, I’ve gone through life, through so many different experiences that there comes a point where you start theorizing, you start thinking deep, what is death, what is next and you see some family members that pass on, aunts and uncles that pass that you are really close to, and you start questioning things. I think of what has happened to me throughout my last couple of years, at locations where we are going in just wild as youngsters looking for experiences, but once you start having experiences and you grow a little bit wiser and older, when you start questioning a little bit more, how is that possible, you try to explain things a little bit and put some logical explanation behind it. So I’m kind of at that point in my life where I want to discover something new within in the paranormal field, and now we label stuff as people, as the human race, stuff that’s unknown because we don’t understand it yet, but we haven’t actually categorized it as a name. We haven’t put a definitive name on something we discovered, kind of like scientists are discovering new things with the universe, landing on comets and going to Pluto, and crazy stuff like that, so I want to discover something new in the paranormal field that would revolutionize the way we look at things in our life before I pass on, in this world. I want to be that guy who has that discovery.
Rick: I think we all want that, everybody in the paranormal. You’ve always sounded more passionate about it, more realistic about the whole deal. I’m the same way, I’m not really going into a place to get scared, I want to get something that I can show somebody and say “ there it is”, so there is no question what they are looking at..
Nick: Exactly, I mean, here’s the thing, no matter who you are, what your background is, the human nature of your senses as a human being, you’re going to get startled, regardless, some people are getting more startled than others, obviously, and a lot of that plays into it. You are going into an extremely haunted location, now the locations we are going to for Paranormal Lockdown are researched heavily so they are extremely haunted, before we even get there. So I’m not just going to a location saying oh we heard all these reported legends and mysteries and these paranormal investigators that had been there, and they are saying we saw shadow figures, and they saw this and that and then that’s the typical norm of how these shows have become. With me, for Paranormal Lockdown, I’m going in and I’m researching, like this one location I’ve been researching for fifteen years, Franklin Castle in
Cleveland, we finally convinced the owner after long conversations to allow us to investigate it for three days straight which is the concept of our show Paranormal Lockdown so, the concept is OK. I’ve been in locations from overnight, 7 hours, 12 hours, dusk ‘til dawn, at a length, that’s the longest I’ve been at a location sometimes, so usually typically when you are investigating things get intense sometimes at really haunted locations, and you don’t have time to try and take that even further so I’m at the period of my life where I’ve been doing this so long, ten years now, professionally, I want to take it further. What is the breaking point? What mentally, physically, emotionally, just everything all kind of put together and is it possible if we stay at these locations longer where you saw an apparition, or you saw this figure, would that appear where we can possibly capture on our high tech equipment that we have, that we are evolving right now for the future. We’re using state of the art cameras that are actually just ground breaking I feel, they are 6K that can see in all dynamics of light, and were the only ones that have them right now besides the military, so I feel that the way we are conducting it, the way we are doing it, passionately, I am super involved in it, every aspect of Paranormal Lockdown from nuts to bolts. I am living it, breathing it, sleeping it, every single day that I wake up, even when I’m not at the location that’s all I’m doing in my life, because I’m more on a quest, I’m on this kind of soul seeking, not just for the experiences, not just for the rush anymore, not just for hey, I captured this voice we can go home now, or this place is haunted, this place isn’t haunted, it’s let’s discover something that is groundbreaking , something that is new, something that we haven’t actually found yet, that we can say wow, maybe this why we’re seeing these figures, or this is a solid apparition or a solid ghost that we label as a ghost that now we can say here we are, we captured this. Let’s take it a step further, enough of this debunking, improving, throwing it in people’s faces, let’s work as a team as one united as the human race to try to discover something new, you know what I mean Rick?
Rick: Oh yeah.
Nick: That’s the point I’m at in my life right now.
Nick Groff Katrina Weidman
Rick: You know what I would like to see on your show, I would love to see that when you went in there on the first day all sorts of things start happening, above and beyond what we’re used to seeing, the kind of things that would make most want to leave, it would be very interesting to see you guys have to stay through that..
Nick: That’s our show, that’s exactly what we’re doing, we’re staying there for three days straight, pretty much 72 hours straight, picture 26 hours in, you’re there day one, and this is exactly how it’s happening in some of the experiences we’ve already gone through in some of the locations and suddenly you have these experiences, you hear the voices, you hear the noises, right? As a logical thinker, as you and I are, we try to figure it out, but you can’t figure it out. And then you have some more experiences. It’s weird, because I feel that when you get into day two, you start becoming a little bit more a part of the environment and the spirits or whoever is there start to realize they can communicate with you and it becomes more aware, and you become more alert, and more things start happening, which is wild. Now where it gets really scary at some of these locations a that are more negative and when we actually have to go to sleep for about two or three hours or whatever it is because eventually your mind and your body shut down, you have to lay down, or else your body will just give up. So about twenty six hours in there becomes a point where we have put our cot or sleeping bag out, I usually will pick an extremely haunted spot, because it’s supposed to be haunted, I want to capture, I want to document, I want to experience things, so like I said we can discover something.
So that’s where I become a little nervous is when I become vulnerable, when my eyes shut, my mind kind of stops to hibernate for that second, where you are just lying there.
Rick: That sounds like it would be really interesting.
Nick: Yeah! It’s creepy, its nerve wracking, it’s intense, but the thing is I’m not going anywhere, I’m staying man, I’m staying my ground until it gets like physically crazy.
Rick: Katrina Weidman, your partner on the hunts, is she going to be sleeping at the same time you are?
Nick: Yeah, there will be a point where we will need l to get like two hours sleep, 26 hours in, it’s like 4AM, on day one, night one, so she will go to a separate part of the location in the building, and she’ll stay there, and I’ll go to another part of the building that is reportedly one of the extremely haunted spots and I’ll stay there too. And then if one wakes up before the other, then we’ll grab our camera off the tripod, and I’ll go off and find her, and it’s pretty hilarious sometimes, because I’ll find her and she’ll still be under her sleeping bag, and I’ll be like” hello”, she’ll come up out of her sleeping bag and her eyes are shut, and she’s like” what’s going on?”, and she’ll look at me.. it’s such a surreal experience, it’s super genuine, it’s really how it’s done, we’re living, we’re sleeping, we’re eating at these locations, we don’t leave, sometimes I’m so nervous that I keep my boots on for three days straight, even when I’m sleeping, because I don’t know when I’m going to have to jump up and chase a ghost or a sound or something wakes me up, or something happens. The first time I did that, I took my shoes off on day three when I left the location for good, and my foot was almost white from no blood circulation.
Rick: It sounds great, a lot of new concepts for a show, I think the new elements you’ve added will really make it interesting. Next question: Of all the places you’ve been, is there any place you wouldn’t go back?
Nick: Interesting, I used to say Bobby Mackey’s, but I went back there recently in the beginning of the year, not for Paranormal Lockdown but for the Nick Groff Tour we were doing. For personal reasons I came to the conclusion to never say you’ll never do something ever again, so I’m at that part of my life where I’m never going to say I’m not going to say I don’t want to do that, I’m going to say it’s possible that I could do things that maybe my mind tells me no to do sometimes, but maybe that’s just my crazy personality, you know have such a severe experience, or something like that happens that you want to question it further, and you want to go back and engage it more because of those scenarios. Sometime I think I just get into that mentality.
Rick: You got to remember, I’m the guy they throw off roofs and down stairs for a living, my mind and body tell me all the time I shouldn’t be doing this.
Rick: Next question, if you could go back to anyplace you’ve already been to, where would you most want to go?
Nick: I would love to go back to Linda Vista Hospital, with the experience, the equipment we have now, oh man, being there for three days, wow, that would be an experience.
That experience that I had there when I saw that young ladies’ spirit a few feet in front of my face, to me that was groundbreaking in my part of my life back in 2009, and I keep going back to that, imagine if I could live there and confront her once again and she would show herself and we could document her, to me that be epic, that would be the Holy Grail.
I don’t know, there is something about that location, but you know all the locations we’re doing for Paranormal Lockdown, are all new, locations they’ve been researching for years, these locations are all badass, probably some of the best I’ve ever done. I’m excited about the locations because the evidence we’ve actually captured so far is absolutely amazing, I feel some of the evidence we’ve captured is groundbreaking too, and it’s getting us closer and closer to those questions.
Rick: I’m getting excited, I want to see it!
Nick: I’m excited to show the world, because I’m at the point where it’s going to be something different, it’s going to be really good.
Rick: I ask this to everyone I interview, if you could go back in time to anywhere in history with a video camera, where would you go?
Nick: You know it would be interesting to document the Battle of Gettysburg, just watching the whole battle, it would be sad, it would be really sad to see both sides fighting on American soil. Just seeing how that all came out, and just standing above on tower and watching the whole battle take place.
Rick: I think that would give everybody a lot more perspective than they have now.
Nick: When you walk on the field you just feel it, you feel that emotion, that energy just lingering, you a hundred thousand deaths, whatever the exact, the bloodiest battle that ever took place on American soil, so imagine being there watching it unfold, it would be really gripping, be kind of disgusting and sad, but at the same time it would be interesting to see what would happen when the smoke settles and the war is done, and all the bodies are there, would there be any apparitions still walking around? That’s how I look at things. What would happen with the spiritual energy after the fact while the bodies are still laid out? I’m not talking about now.
Rick: Yeah, exactly..
Nick: There are all the stories of the hauntings, but those are all after the fact.
Rick: I’ve never been there.
Nick: It’s a really cool town, you have to get out to Gettysburg, it’ really, really awesome, definitely one of the places you would like to go if you are interested in ghost hunting.
Rick: Thanks for doing the interview, next time you’re town give me a shout.
Nick: Next time you go to Scotland and you need a partner, let me know.
It’s taken a little longer to get this out due to a redo of the magazine website, but it has given me a chance to see the first two episodes. I really like this show, the format is new and fresh, Katrina Weidman and Nick Groff are excellent together, the new Geo Box is something new and fascinating, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one of them. I heartily recommend it!
Paranormal Lockdown can be found on Destination America, Fridays. Check it out!
Scotland has beckoned to me from afar for all of my life, a calling that I was finally able to respond to, and I know it was a combination of my ancestors being from Scotland, the awesome ghost hunting locations, and just the idea of meeting new people and a new adventure that made me want to go so much. But there was one thing I was totally unprepared for… the Scottish people.
I was working on a movie called Checkpoint in North Carolina,
then had to go to Chicago to work on my mother’s house so I could sell it, then on to Nashville for the Home Show we run. Because of this, I had very little time to plan out where to stay or where to go, so I was really in the dark about a lot of things, and never really had a chance to get excited about my trip being so busy with everything else. Right after the Home Show, I flew to Chicago, spent a week clearing everything out of the house, and cleaning it top to bottom, it is three and a half stories, so it was pretty intense getting it done, and then I flew to Los Angeles, where I had a total of two days to grab everything and head off on the trip I had been waiting years for.
As I landed in Edinburgh and grabbed my bag, I headed up to a man who worked there and asked him where a cab would be. He asked me where I was going, then told me the cab would cost fifty dollars, but if I went out front and grabbed the bus, it was only seven dollars! I jumped on that bus as quick as I could, then realized other than knowing the address of the Travelodge, I had no idea where I was going. I went up front and asked the driver, who told me he would call out to me when it was my turn to get off. After about a half an hour, he called me to the front of the bus, and I could see the hotel in front of me, about a block walk. Perfect! He said hold up mate, it’s a bit tricky to find the entrance to the hotel, you have to go down the side and in through the alley.. It would have taken me quite a while to find it, but $43 dollars ahead of the game, thanks to very helpful people, I found the alley, and as I stood looking at the building I thought this hotel might not be what I was looking for as far as a place to stay, but I was totally wrong. . Without anywhere else to go, I headed in, where I met the desk clerk Alan. I told him I was there for my first real vacation, and he made sure I got a room with a view, and it was magnificent! It was a huge room, and check out the photo of my view!
I was also fortunate to meet Anna, who helped me get a room at another hotel when theirs was full, and Michael who guarded my luggage like a pit bull. Once again, great people, extremely helpful. Alan and I would chat a lot at that front desk, as he would tell me what to see and how to get there, which, seeing as I was right on the main street across from Edinburgh Castle, was very busy with tourists, and you could walk most everywhere, and there was so many interesting things and so much history, you would walk up and down those hills all day and not realize you had probably done close to ten miles.. One thing I noticed walking up those hills, some fairly steep, is that the girls have definitely benefitted from walking all those hills.. hey, I’m single and on vacation, I’m allowed to notice!
One of the things I really wanted to see was Rosslyn Chapel, which was in the DaVinci Code movie, and where many experts believe the Knights Templar hid the Holy Grail. Alan at the front desk of the Travelodge told me where to catch the bus, it was only about 150 yards from the hotel, and it was only three dollars to get to the chapel. It was a double decker bus, so of course I went up top to see the sights, and as I was riding along, once again I realized I didn’t know where to get off. I asked the lady next to me if she knew what stop I should get off at, and she said she would tell me when to head downstairs.
A bit later she said next stop, dang these people are so nice! I went down to the front of the bus and asked the driver how to get to the Chapel as he pulled to a stop.. He chuckled, pointed straight ahead and said “go down that road, and you’ll walk right in the front door”
Yes, I realize Rosslyn Chapel and the city it resides in are spelled differently. Who knew?
After I had exited the bus, I had a nice walk, only a couple hundred yards until I got to the Chapel.. It has a gift shop where you can grab a sandwich or something to drink, as well as a souvenir shop. I paid for my ticket, and headed onto the Chapel grounds. I walked all around the Chapel, I was in no hurry at all, I had wanted to come here for a long, long time, so I was enjoying all I could.. I went into the Chapel, which isn’t as big as I would have thought, but it was awesome! The hand carved wood and stone work was amazing, and a lady walked in, had us sit in the pews, and told us the history of the place. I won’t go into all of it, but one of the things that really caught my interest was a carving in the stone of what was obviously corn. Why is that interesting? I’m glad you asked.. At the time the Chapel was built, no one had yet been to America, the only place corn grows. Told you it was interesting! I went over everything, thinking I might actually be standing in the place where the Holy Grail may have been,
and some scholars think the Ark of the Covenant may have been there as well. Something about the Chapel, its history, the whole surrounding area really felt like home to me, I know I have ancestors from Scotland, but I really liked this place.
If you go to the Chapel the grounds around it are full of cool things, the parts of a castle destroyed by the British, two old time cemeteries,
paths that will take you through the woods, you could spend a week investigating the place.. and I did!
I walked back up the road to catch my bus back to Edinburgh when I saw a small, very charming two story inn. I went in to look around.
The Chapel Cross Guesthouse
The inn was a very old period type, with a desk in the entry for the hotel ,and to the right was a Tea Room. I wandered into it and was transported back to another time. There was a young girl named Beth there behind the counter, maybe 15, and dressed in a long, old time apron. I thought I had walked through a portal, what a great place!
I went to the counter and checked the menu, ordered a sandwich and an iced tea. The girl brought it over, and a lady came out of the kitchen. I was the only customer there, so we all talked while I ate. Once again, the Scottish people are so nice!
It dawned on me that this would be a great place to stay for a few days as I wanted to ghost hunt, and this place had the right look and feel. I asked the lady how much it would be to stay, and was nicely surprised, it was about half what I would have paid for the weekend in Edinburgh, so I told her I would be back the next day, jumped on the bus and went back to the city, spent the night wandering through it, checking out places to ghost hunt.
I chose Edinburgh Castle to visit, man, that place is awesome!
It’s enormous, and everything is pretty much the same from it was first built. OK history buffs, the English burned it down, all except for one room, but the Scots took it back and rebuilt it
I was anxious to see it, because I am supposed to be related to King Malcolm, my last name comes from Malcolm, and I wasn’t disappointed, I found four King Malcolm’s on their Wall of Kings.( I think I should have gotten a discount on my admission)!
Back to the Chapel Cross Guesthouse
The next morning I grabbed my stuff, jumped on the bus, and made my way back to The Chapel Cross Guesthouse. When I got there, I met a lovely lady named Gail, who hooked me up with a nice room with a view of the Rosslyn Inn,
and right outside the hotel is a courtyard that is next to their bar/restaurant, which is a meeting place for the locals ( and tourists).. I had several dinners there, everyone was excellent, as were the people who work there.
I met the owners of The Chapel Cross, Richard and Amy, really nice people who made sure I enjoyed my stay, especially the waffles I had every morning! I had an adorable server named Abigail; you can see her picture wearing one of our Hollywood Ghost Hunter shirts. This place was so comfortable for me, I ended up staying five days all together, and I am going back in June. The Guesthouse, as a matter of fact the entire area is a total gem of a place to kick back and just roam the countryside. I went to Rosslyn Chapel several times, went down to a field where William Wallace of Braveheart fame socked it out with the British, as well as a cave where he used to hide from the British, I’ll talk more about that in this issues Group of the Month.. I can’t wait to get back to the Guesthouse!