Because sometimes, the truth is scarier (and funnier) than fiction.
The picture I have posted is of Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio. And because one man’s worst nightmare is another woman’s dream come true, I decided to share this ABSOLUTELY TRUE story of what happened to me on April 2nd, 2016 with the Nick Groff Tour. If I wrote about EVERYTHING that happened that night, I’d need WAY more than the 750 word limit to cover it all (in case anyone cares, my word count was at 736)! But before I start, the very first thing I need to say is this: THANK YOU Nick Groff, Katrina Weidman, guest investigator John E.L. Tenney, the entire Nick Groff Tour crew, AND the wonderful volunteers at Ohio State Reformatory for making one of my paranormal dreams come true! And, thank you Cynthia Rodriguez for having your birthday celebration here! And also, thanks to Kayla Roth…for videoing this entire incident that is about to unfold! SO I’ve kept you in suspense long enough! Here is:
My arm shook as I held the recorder out in front of me; I don’t remember the last time I was in a place where it got below thirty degrees at night. The group of about twenty huddled as close to the entrance of the old prison cell as possible as I began to speak.
“Hi, my name is Stefanie; nice to meet you,” I said. I hoped nobody could tell my voice was shaking as hard as my arm. “Are there any spirits who would like to communicate?” I swept my eyes around the cell; nothing but our shadows on the wall.
Nothing’s going to happen to me, I thought to myself. The first two people caught a few voices; I’ll be lucky if paint chips hit me in the face.
My attitude ten minutes earlier was about the same when Nick Groff, the head investigator, was calling for volunteers. When one of the cells showed signs of activity, Nick decided to send three people in to perform EVP recordings. The first two people caught stuff and came out of the cell with their dignity intact.
“Ok, we need a third volunteer,” Nick said. “Who’s going to go?”
Deep breath, deep courage.
“I’ll go,” I said, stepping forward. As I approached the cell, I began to mentally prepare for what was to come—or rather, what I believed wouldn’t come.
Coming up to the cell, one of Nick’s crew members shined his flashlight at me, and my bright turquoise hoodie lit up the pathway.
“Hey! You’re that girl who said she can’t get guys to talk to her!”
Flashback: about an hour earlier, my group was in the solitary section of the prison: A.K.A, “the Hole”. After a period of free-style investigation, we came together in a group to conduct a group EVP session.
Look, I swear on God’s green earth that I have NO idea why this was appropriate to announce to a group full of strangers, but right before we began the session, I took a nice, deep breath and said:
“I can’t even get living guys to talk to me!”
This might be a good time to tell you that our guest investigator, John E.L. Tenney—a giant force in the paranormal community—was standing right next to me.
“Hey!” he said. “I talked to you!”
If you’re reading this, Tenney, I am REALLY sorry about that.
End flashback: the entire group is giggling and Nick Groff—one of my paranormal heroes—is giggling with them.
Great, I thought. This is how he’s going to remember me!
If I ever give you any indication I hated it, don’t buy it: Nick could have been throwing tomatoes at me and I’d be keeping them in a jar and building a shrine.
Now that I was in the cell and attempting to communicate, the self-inflicted humiliation was on the back burner. My left shoulder was starting to feel weird, but I didn’t think too much of it at first; our session was just about to end.
“We’re about to leave,” Nick called into the cell. “So if you have something to say, this is the time to say it.”
“Ok, there’s a tingling feeling in my shoulder,” I said. “AND it’s getting stronger.”
Standing in the middle of a cell with no electrical power and with not one, not two, but THREE layers of clothing on, I felt as if someone had attached an electrode to the top of my left shoulder and turned it up to the highest setting.
“Are you touching her right now?” Nick asked.
Eventually, we ended the session and I handed the recorder back to Nick.
“Heh, ghost hookup,” Nick said, eliciting more giggles from the group.
We all huddled around the recorder.
“Are you touching her right now?” Nick’s voice asked on the recorder.
“Yes, I am,” a voice answered.
I could tell you that a few things have happened to me before, but I was almost always alone; now I had at least twenty people who could confirm it: I had been touched by a being that was no longer in the physical world. This was an experience that truly touched me—both spiritually and physically.
And I’ll never forget the very last thing Nick said to me as I left the cell:
“He should have at least left you a number.”
You’re a great wingman, bro.