This is Paranormal State…

I attended Penn State University from 2004-2008. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. How could anyone possibly know at that age?! I also had no idea why I had to take so many dumb math classes in college. I knew that things would fall in to place. I was so absorbed in every moment and having the best time everywhere I went. When it came to an area of study, I’ve always loved movies, and I excelled in French. Film and French it is!

Documenting life through the use of various cameras, started for me when I was young. My main after school activity was filming ridiculous skits with my moms movie camera. My friends and I often filmed dance videos and remakes of John Carpenter’s Halloween. Important questions we would ask ourselves-What mixed tape are we putting in the boom box for this one? Do we need to set up the fan to blow our hair back in this dance number? Obviously I would study something relating to video.

I didn’t identify with the normal college crowd. Drinking and partying was not my thing. Most of my time was spent playing music in an experimental rock band called Heavy Radio. My cousin Harold and I started the band and drew our inspiration from Jane’s Addiction, Tool and Crass. We were constantly writing music and playing out at bars, putting on shows at coffee shops and at Penn State.

Playing a show in Pittsburgh.

One day while I was on campus studying for a French test, I came upon a newspaper article about a paranormal research club at the main campus. It highlighted The Penn State Paranormal Research Society (PRS), a student run club started in 2001. PRS organized Univ-Con, which was the largest paranormal convention at the time. They had lectures from guests like Jay & Grant, Lorraine Warren, George Lutz, Loyd Auerbach and more. I remember being super stoked to join so I saved the article.

The article from The Daily Collegian newspaper that led me to discover PRS.

It’s a year later and I’m really narrowing down my extra curricular activities. My choices for clubs are as follows: baton twirling with the Blue Band, Juggling Club, Comedy Club OHHH and PRS! I choose PRS and immediately start attending meetings. They were held in 210 of the Thomas building every Sunday. Students shared their experiences and sat at tables that faced each other. The club conducted investigations mostly on campus and they had all their own equipment. They approached each case using methods like interviewing, research, and thorough investigation while seeking logical explanations. My goal was to get involved in the investigations and become a full time member of the organization. I wanted access to haunted buildings. I ended up going through the training process of becoming a Field Investigator. It was like adding another class onto my college curriculum and the class had about a 75% drop out rate. We learned about demonic investigations, haunted cases, the occult, demonology, psychology and were required to read several books and even write a report. I wrote my report on Sleep Paralysis.

Working my 1st Univ-Con-I got to investigate the Old Botany building on campus with Jay & Grant. Taken during my Jr year in college

Fast forward to the 5th or 6th meeting and I notice a new face in the room. A bearded man named David Miller, who would later become Co-Executive Producer of Paranormal State. He was looking for students to star on a TV docu-series for A&E that would chronicle the clubs investigations. Upon joining the club I had no idea about a TV show. Pretty soon, there were signs all over campus advertising for this show. They had me at “Do you want to explored haunted locations?”

I filled out a 20 page pamphlet about my background and interest in the subject, then went back to my studies. A few weeks later producers were in my apartment with a camera. The executives loved me because I was wacky and played in a band. That November of 2006 we started filming for season 1. None of us knew the impact that our show would have on families across the US.