Friday, January 14, 2011

One Year Ghost Hunting with Autumnforest

Us in front of the Smurthwaite House.
In January of 2009, Mike and I erased our The Arizona Ghost Organization (TAGO) blog and created the Above the Norm blog. He and I wanted to talk about all kinds of paranormal subjects instead of just ghosts. Besides, all the others that were excited about us starting our own paranormal group changed their mines and all that was left was the two of us. It seemed silly to keep the TAGO name and that is another reason for the blog change. As the blog enters into another year of existence, it has undergone so many changes.

Sometime in the middle of 2009, Mike’s work issues were taking up much of his time so I continued with the blog on my own hoping that he would be able to do a couple of posts here and there. That didn’t happen. I kept his name on the blog until I solely took it over in 2010. I made many changes and added “Bizarre Arizona” to give it my own special touch. OK, I am getting a little ahead of myself and need to get to the “ghost hunting with Autumnforest”.

One of the many things I like about blogging is being able to write about things you love, interesting subjects, and share your thoughts with others. The other thing is the followers. You guys are gems. Since the beginning of our blogs existence, a follower named Autumnforest was seen on many of our posts making comments. She always seemed to have great insight into paranormal subjects and had a blog of her own called “Ghost Hunting Theories”. I got hooked on reading her posts; they were and still are extremely interesting. Sometime during 2009 we started emailing each other and found out that we both lived in Arizona. I knew that she had been on some ghost hunts with other people and groups. I expressed interests in going with them.

In January 2010, Sharon (who is really Autumnforest….. shhh, don’t tell anyone) invited me to a workshop at the Pioneer Cemetery in downtown Phoenix. I was very excited and really wanted to go. I was hesitant because it was located in a bad part of the city and we would be leaving at midnight. I decided to go and met Sharon there. Before this time, she introduced Dale the Doll on her blog and brought the little beast with her. I got there before her and waited in the parking lot until she arrived. Shortly afterwards, she pulled up next to my car and inside was Dale seat belted next to her. We finally met in person (that included Dale too) and from the get go, it was like we had been friends for a long time.

We met up with Debe, the leader of the workshop, along with about 30 other paranormal enthusiasts. She took us on a quick tour of the cemetery while a bum walked down the street next to us talking to himself in a loud voice. Before the workshop began, we each had garbage bags to clean up the cemetery as part of the deal for letting us ghost hunt there until midnight. During that time, we talked about everything and got to know more stuff about each other. Later, she showed me how to use divining rods and EMF device. After the EVP sessions with just ourselves and then later with the group, it was time to leave. Unfortunately, Sharon’s battery was dead and she had to get a jump (no dirty minds here, lol). That workshop was the beginning of the many trips and projects that we would end up doing in 2010.

Sharon, or Autumnforest, had become one of my dearest friends and has given me so much confidence in myself to do anything. I never thought that I would have been coauthoring a few books with her, attempting to write one of my own, or getting interested in photography again. Here I am, and it is 2011 and that is exactly what I am doing. Thank you my little sis for taking this unsure dreamer on the best adventures and bringing out the most intimate parts in me. Love Ya!

the Smurthwaite House

the workshop group

me meeting Dale

the Lost Dutchman

the cemetery crypt

Dale ghost hunting with us

picking up trash around the Pioneer Cemetery


  1. Congratulation on your one year anniversary! Looking forward to more blogs about your adventures as well as the new book! And why am I not surprised she would show up with Dale strapped in? He needs one of those kiddie seats that allow him to look out the window. Ha!

  2. Dale was lucky she didn't throw him in the trunk, which she has before. Our first adventure begins at the end of the month in Prescott and Vulture Mine.

  3. I love the relationship and teaming up you do togegther. When I first started following you both I'd see your comments and figured you knew each other. It only dawned on me during the Halloween of 2009 that you knew each other from your blogs, but not in "real life." I think it's so neat you all have met in person and hang out like you do now. Plus, it makes for fun reading! ;)

  4. Sis;
    You were just the sister I imagined when we met. I could tell from your blog and your talent that you were going to get the wild ride I've been on trying to do everything in life all at once like someone given a second chance. You have been patient and have humored me when I want to make movies of Dale drunk in a graveyard trying to pick up on the girl cherub statues and my Bigfoot in the desert hoax. Or the time I stole that huge folding wood screen from an abandoned site and you were my lookout. You are my partner in crime, ah, I mean my partner adventures in the paranormal world. You really have become my right arm, sweetie!

  5. I'm glad for both of you! it is really nice when you find someone searching for the same things in your life. Keep up the good work :)

  6. Courtney; it was like we knew each other for a long time that first time we met in person. I had no idea we would be doing the trips and books together. I enjoy sharing them with all my readers. We have fun doing them and each one has been an adventure. We never know what is going to happen or what we will find. Thanks for being there with us through the blog.

    Sis; your crazy ideas and videos have been the most fun. I never know what you are going to have me do, but ready and willing to do it. Thanks for all the encouragement you have given me. You are the best, my little sis.

    Thanks Doo; I guess we were meant to meet and enrich each others lives. We love the trips and ghost hunting and sharing them with you.

  7. Yay! Happy Anniversary! I have been enjoying your blog now for, hmmmm, about 6 months I guess...I love every part of it...Oh, and Sharon's too! LOLOL

  8. I thought you and Sharon actually were sisters! Happy Anniversary and keep on bloggin - it's awesome!