Kathi Kresol — Historian, Author — Haunted Rockford
Kathi Kresol, Operator of Haunted Rockford

Kathi Kresol has worked at the Rockford Public Library for years and loves sharing her enthusiasm for reading in any way possible. After working for some time as a Library Branch Manager, Kathi, in 2021 was offered the position of Mobile Library Manager. Kathi loves the new and exciting challenges of bringing Rockford Public Library resources into new and different locations and neighborhoods.

A member of the Rockford Historical Society, Kathi is always digging through Rockford’s past and she gives all the credit for her research skills to local history specialists Jean Lythgoe and Jan Carter of the Rockford Public Library.

Kathi Kresol has been researching the history of Northern Illinois for twenty years. She has published two solo books: “Murder & Mystery in Rockford, Illinois,” (2015); and “Haunted Rockford, Illinois,” (2017). Kathi has also collaborated with other local authors and shared articles in three books featuring compilations of Rockford authors.

Kathi shares the stories she researches in presentations for local organizations and in events sponsored by the Rockford Public Library and her business Haunted Rockford events. The local newspaper, Rock River Times has shared Kathi’s stories for several years. He column “Voices From The Grave” has allowed Kathi to share her passion for history with a larger part of Rockford’s community. She is always honored when someone mentions reading one of her stories.

Kathi’s main goal in sharing her stories, whether they are true crime, ghost stories, or local history, is to honor the lives of the men, women and children who came before. Some of the stories reflect a tragic moment in these people’s lives; but Kathi also tries to show the courage that the survivors displayed as they move forward from what must have been the worst moment in their lives. She also hopes that these stories illuminate the compassion that the folks of Rockford have always displayed for those who are suffering.

Samantha Hochman — Executive Director Of Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum
Samantha Hochmann, Executive Director of Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum

Samantha Hochmann is a historian by trade and also a paranormal enthusiast. She is the Executive Director of Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, a widely known paranormal hotspot in the Rockford community. She also participates with various historical committees and boards in the Rockford area. Sam has been volunteering with the Haunted Rockford team for the past couple of years.

Sam’s love for history started at a very young age, and her interests in the paranormal stem from growing up with a sensitivity to the paranormal realm. When she is not researching in the library or giving tours of the museum, you can find her reading spooky stories and walking through the local cemeteries.

Sylvia Shults — Author And Speaker
Sylvia Shultz, Author & Presenter

Sylvia Shults is the author of 44 Years in Darkness, Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital, and other books of true ghost stories. She has spent the past twenty years working in a library, slowly smuggling words out in her pockets day by day to build a book of her own. She sits in dark, spooky, haunted places so you don’t have to. She lives a short, ten-minute motorcycle ride away from the haunted asylum that features in so many of her books. She considers it the highest privilege to share the incredible, compassionate history of the Peoria State Hospital.

After battling an intense, lifelong fear of the dark, Sylvia decided to become a ghost hunter. (What WAS she thinking?) As a paranormal investigator, she has made many media appearances, including a tiny part in the Ghost Hunters episode “Prescription for Fear”, about the Peoria State Hospital. She is a recurring guest on Ron Hood’s podcast Ron’s Amazing Stories, with the monthly segment “Ghost Stories With Sylvia”. She is also the writer, director, producer, and host of the true ghost story podcast Lights Out, available on YouTube, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and anywhere else great podcasts are found.

Sylvia loves hearing from her readers, especially when they have spooky stories of their own to share with her. She can be found at www.sylviashults.wordpress.com, and on Facebook at the pages for Fractured Spirits and Ghosts of the Illinois River.

Conference Presentation

Lizzie Borden: A hot day in August. Tempers fray in the oppressive humidity. Anger explodes into tragedy. The story of Lizzie Borden has become one of the most intriguing mysteries of our nation’s past. But what really happened on the muggy morning? Sylvia Shults, collector of history and real ghost stories, takes us back in time to the August day that saw the brutal ax murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, and asks the question…did Lizzie really give her mother forty whacks, and her father forty-one?

 

More information

Sylvia Shults Website

 

 

Scott Marshall — Media Producer, Author
Scott Markus Author and Speaker

Scott has been actively involved in researching the paranormal for more than half of his life. He is a published author, having written a historical/paranormal book about Chicago called Voices from the Chicago Grave.

His work in both production and the paranormal includes two documentaries on the unexplained; running the website WhatsYourGhostStory.com, co-hosting and producing the paranormal radio show The Mothership Connection out of WLIP AM-1050 Kenosha; and being interviewed multiple times for Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Monument; as well as other local press. He is a regular public speaker and paranormal convention guest across the US, including Hawaii.

Markus has been working in various aspects of film and television production since 1997. His work has taken him across America while working on set for Lost, The Dark Knight, Forgetting Sarah Marshal, Stranger Than Fiction and many more.

Conference Presentation

Scott will be sharing stories from his research into the paranormal.

 

More Information

Scott can be found at the website What’s Your Ghost Story.

 

Chad Lewis — Author And Speaker
Chad Lewis Paranormal Researcher and Author

Chad Lewis is a paranormal researcher and author for Unexplained Research. Chad holds a Master’s of Science degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Chad had trekked across the world in search of the paranormal. From tracking vampires in Transylvania and chasing the Chupacabras in Puerto Rico, to searching for the elusive monster in Loch Ness, and pursuing ghosts in Ireland’s castles, Chad brings over 18 years of research experience to his presentations.

Chad has been featured in hundreds of radio interviews, TV appearances, and newspaper articles. Chad is also the co-author of the Road Guide to Haunted Locations book series.

 

Conference Presentation

“Haunted Midwest Road Trip”: Join Chad Lewis on a spooky presentation to some of the most haunted locations of the Midwest. Filled with tales of eerie graveyards, bizarre curses, haunted hotels, creepy back roads, and mysterious spirits roaming the countryside, this program will give you everything you need to start your own haunted road trip!

 

Other information

Chad can be found on the Unexplained Research Website.

 

Anna Lardinois — Gothic Milwaukee
Anna Lardinois of Gothic Milwaukee

Anna Lardinois is owner, researcher and primary tour guide for Gothic Milwaukee, offering the city’s most popular haunted, historical walking tours. She is the author of Milwaukee Ghosts and Legends, (2018) and other books, as well as numerous shorter magazine pieces. Lardinois is the creator of Walking Milwaukee, a collection of self-guided tours that explore the best of Cream City’s history and architecture.

Anna also wrote, produced and hosted Haunted Heartland on Riverwest Radio from 2018 to 2020.

Conference Presentation

Anna Lardinois will be sharing stories from her research into haunted history.

 

More Information

Anna Lardinois Website

 

Dale Kaczmarek — The Ghost Research Society
Dale Kaczmarek, Ghost Research Society

Dale Kaczmarek is President of the Ghost Research Society and director of Excursions into the Unknown, Inc., the only year-round ghost tour of haunted Chicagoland locations. Kaczmarek has been actively investigating ghosts, hauntings and poltergeist phenomena since 1975 and is active in a number of organizations including: American Association for Electronic Voice Phenomena, Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained, International Fortean Organization and the prestigious Ghost Club of England. Kaczmarek has been active for 46 years in the field and has investigated over 4,100 cases both public and private. He has accumulated what may be the largest collection of authentic spirit photograph collections in the world and has taught workshops, classes and seminars on the subject of Spirit Photography and Ghost Hunting Techniques.

His website Ghost Research Society is one of the most active of its kind anywhere in the world. His group, Ghost Research Society, uses some of the most state of the art in paranormal equipment in the field today.

Kaczmarek has appeared in numerous books, publications, newspapers and periodicals. He has been a guest on “Oprah” two times, “Encounters”, 2 episodes of “Sightings”, 3 episodes of “The Other Side”, “Rolanda”, “Mysteries Magic and Miracles”, “Exploring the Unknown”, “Paranormal Survivor,” “Travel Channel,” “Destination America” and was called on by the “Discovery Channel” to help produce and appear in two segments; “Real Ghosthunters”, “Phantom Photos”, “World’s Most Unexplained” (Coincidence or Curse & Mysteries Made in the USA.)

 

Conference Presentation

Dale’s Presentation is entitled: “Electronic Voice Phenomena.”

From the earliest scientists and explorers of EVP, this presentation will trace the early history, right up to the present-day investigators. The proper way to conduct EVP sessions, which equipment works best and many examples of EVPs the Ghost Research Society has captured using various pieces of real-time devices will be covered.

 

More Information

Ghost Research Society Website

Cindy Heinen And Randy Sunby — The Society For Anomalous Studies
Cindy Heinan & Randy Sunby of Society for Anomalous Studies

Cindy Heinen and Randy Sunby are members of the Society for Anomalous Studies (SAS), a paranormal cooperative based out of Janesville, Wisconsin. SAS’s mission is to support the preservation of historical buildings through paranormal investigations and research that takes a deep dive into history. The group has raised thousands of dollar for historical societies by creating paranormal themed presentations and events. Together, Cindy and Randy, have represented SAS and the group’s work at workshops, presentations and conferences.

Cindy started her paranormal endeavors in early 2000 when she captured the voice of a Civil War soldier on an audio recorder at Devils Den in Gettysburg. Since then she has participated in a number of EVP-based research projects, written essays and research papers and has written chapters for several paranormal-themed books. She is a founding member of the Society for Anomalous Studies.

Randy Sunby, director of the Society for Anomalous Studies, has a long standing interest in the paranormal and has been an active investigator for years. Randy has done investigations on aircraft carriers, the Queen Mary and other fascinating locations. With a deep respect for SAS’s historical partners, he insures their clients understand the evidence captured by connecting the dots between the spirits and the expanded history they often share. He is the “voice” of many of SAS’s videos.

 

Conference Presentation

Their presentation, “A Paranormal Case Study: Hauntings of the Historic Lake House Inn”, will explore the fascinating history and the paranormal evidence they have captured over multiple investigations of this historical hotel/supper club in rural Rock County, Wisconsin. With Native Americans, early settlers, colorful owners and a mobster-connected history, many colorful personalities have lived and died on this property and SAS has found that some remain to tell their stories.

 

More Information

Society for Anomalous Studies Website