Conference Presentations


Panel Discussion hosted by Mike Huberty with Allison Jornlin, Scott Markus, Wendy Lynn Staats and Ted Williams

Pack a lunch, fill up the ol’ gas tank, and hit the open road in search of ghost stories! Our panel moderator is Mike Huberty, who runs American Ghost Walks, a haunted history tour company in eight different midwestern cities and will talk to a panel of tour guides and paranormal historians that will tell you about some places you can visit within a couple hours drive of Galena. On the panel are Wendy Staats, Allison Jornlin, Scott Markus, and Ted Williams. You’ll hear the lore behind eerie historical locations that are open to the public, so you can plan a Summer drive to go take a look and explore for yourself!


Ted Williams and Robyn Davis

Join your conference hosts, Ted Williams and Robyn Davis, for a presentation on two of Galena’s most notorious haunted locations, The Ably House and The DeSoto House Hotel. The Ably house sits on a lovely acreage along the rivers edge, near Council Hill Station, 8 miles outside Galena. There were 6 suspicious deaths and one confirmed murder from the 1840’s – 1870’s that appear to have been motivated by greed and lust. The DeSoto House was built in 1855, and soon thereafter, became notoriously haunted by The Lady in Black, whose sightings are well documented, but her origins remain a mystery. Ted and Robyn will delve into the fascinating history of these two Galena haunts, and deliver conclusions as surprising as the ghosts that wander these properties to this very day.


Troy Taylor


Spiritualism — like jazz music — is an American invention. Starting in the middle of the nineteenth century and continuing today, Americans have been influenced by the supernatural. Since the Fox sisters first reported the “mysterious rappings” in their New York home, mediums, magicians, and ghost hunters have played have delved into the mystery of communication with the spirit world. Discover the roots of our fascination with ghosts, hauntings, and talking to the dead and explore the rich, entertaining, colorful, and eerie history of seances, ectoplasm, table rappings, Ouija boards, spirit cabinets, and more!



Allison Jornlin


Who was the first ghost hunter? How did poltergeists, doppelgangers, and tulpas find their way into the English-speaking world's study of the paranormal? If you don't know, you're missing at least half the story. Many of the best contributions to our field go unsung. This presentation will set the record straight and change the way you look at the history of ghost hunting, parapsychology, and psychical research forever. 



Cory Ritterbusch and Jim Winter


The Berry Tavern, located 18 miles from Galena and built in 1840, has had a long varied history. It served as an important stagecoach stop, tavern and hotel, the third Post Office in Wisconsin, place of worship, school and later a farmhouse. However, most are intrigued by the infamous murder that occurred there in 1842 and a cholera outbreak there that killed over twenty people in 1854. Residents and visitors following that era have experienced strange happenings since. In 2017, professional paranormal investigators were dispatched to learn more.   We look forward to providing a tour of the Berry Tavern the following day.



Chris McBrien


Chris McBrien, Psychic Medium, Shaman and Sufi will be discussing his experiences while being raised in a historically documented Scot Irish shamanic tradition, his family's history within said tradition, his experiences with his teachers including his witch teachers and Sufi Master of nine years. He will also be discussing paranormal encounters from his travels and work both in the US and abroad.



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