Troy Taylor is a supernatural historian, murder buff and the author of almost 90 books on ghosts, hauntings, history, crime and the unexplained in America. He is also the founder of the American Hauntings Ghost Tour Company.
Taylor shares a birthday with one of his favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, but instead of living in New York and Paris like Fitzgerald, Taylor grew up in Illinois. Raised on the prairies of the state, he developed an interest in "things that go bump in the night" at an early age and as a young man, developing ghost tours and writing about haunts in Chicago and Central Illinois.
He began his first book in 1989, which delved into the history and hauntings of Decatur, Illinois, and in 1994, it spawned the Haunted Decatur Tour -- and eventually led to the founding of his American Hauntings Tours, with current tours in Alton, Chicago, Decatur, Lebanon and ghost excursions that travel all over the country in search of haunted places.
In 1997, Taylor launched the Haunted America Conference, regarded as "America's Original Ghost Conference" in Decatur, Illinois. After a number of years in Alton, Illinois, the conference has returned to its original site at the Lincoln Theater in Decatur. The Haunted America Conference remains the most imitated conference in the country and in 2013, will hold the 17th annual events in Illinois.
In addition to the tour companies and Haunted America Conference, Taylor is also the founder of Whitechapel Press, a publishing company for books about the supernatural that he started in 1993, and Apartment #42 Productions.
Along with writing about the unusual and hosting tours, Taylor is also a public speaker on the subject of ghosts and hauntings. has appeared in scores of newspaper and magazine articles about the subject and in hundreds of radio and television broadcasts about the supernatural. Troy has appeared in documentary productions for TLC, The History Channel, A & E, Discovery Channel, PBS, CMT and in various network programs and syndicated news shows. These programs have included America's Ghost Hunters, Ghost Waters, Night Visitors, Beyond Human Senses, Scariest Places on Earth, Children of the Grave, and others. He has also appeared in one feature film about the paranormal. Troy currently resides in Illinois.
Michael A. Kleen has a M.A. in History from Eastern Illinois University and M.S. in Education from Western Illinois University. He is the author of Haunting Illinois, Paranormal Illinois, Six Tales of Terror, Tales of Coles County, and Witchcraft in Illinois. He was also editor of the anthology Secret Rockford, and recently directed the documentary Tinker’s Shadow: The Hidden History of Tinker Swiss Cottage.
His nonfiction articles have appeared in publications like Historic Illinois and the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, and his short stories have appeared in anthologies like Hunting Ghosts: Thrilling Tales of the Paranormal and Mythos: Myths & Tales of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard.
In 2011, his short story “Coed Terror in the Ivory Tower of Doom” was adapted into a short film called Headline News, which won Best Actor for Michael Wexler as Dr. Ethan Campbell at the 2011 Chicago Horror Film Festival.
Michael has spoken about local history and folklore at conventions, libraries, cafes, museums, schools, and colleges; and he has presented research papers at the 2007, 2010, and 2011 Conference on Illinois History in Springfield.
He has also been a guest on radio shows like The Mothership Connection on AM-1050 WLIP, Thresholds Radio, the Michael Koolidge Show, the Kevin Smith Show, and the Bobbie Ashley Morning Show, among others. He has also appeared on 30 Odd Minutes, WGN Channel 9 News, WTVO Channel 17/FOX 39 News, WREX Channel 13 News, WICD Channel 15 News, and Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures.
Amelia Cotter is an author, poet, and storyteller with a special interest in the supernatural, history, and folklore. Her books include This House: The True Story of a Girl and a Ghost, Maryland Ghosts: Paranormal Encounters in the Free State, and the children’s book Breakfast with Bigfoot.
Amelia is also an award-winning poet whose work explores the themes of alienation, isolation, and anxiety, often incorporating supernatural elements. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in journals like Barren Magazine, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, tinywords, and many others.
Amelia has appeared on various radio and television programs, and in the documentaries Scary Stories and Tinker’s Shadow: The Hidden History of Tinker Swiss Cottage. She also appeared as a regular cast member on the show The R.I.P. Files.
Amelia lives and writes in Chicago but is originally from Maryland, where she earned a degree in German and History from Hood College. She has given tours with Chicago Hauntings ghost tours and is the official jewelry model for the Chicago-based fair trade company Sandpiper Imports. Amelia regularly presents at conferences and events, and is a member of The Society of Midland Authors. Visit her official website at www.ameliacotter.com or write to her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of Amelia's favorite places in Illinois: Alton, DeKalb, Galena, Rockford, and Utica (Amelia got married at Starved Rock State Park!).
Some of Amelia's favorite haunted and historic sites in Illinois: Bachelor's Grove Cemetery, Chicago's Lincoln Park (City Cemetery), Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery, Haunted Willow Creek Farm, and Manteno State Hospital.