Speakers & Presenters
Troy Taylor is the author of nearly 130 books on ghosts, hauntings, true crime, the unexplained, and the supernatural in America. He is also the founder of American Hauntings Ink, which offers books, ghost tours, events, and weekend excursions. He was born and raised in the Midwest and currently divides his time between Illinois and the far-flung reaches of America.
Allison Jornlin has been investigating strange phenomena for more than 20 years. She developed Milwaukee’s first haunted history tour in 2008. Since then Allison has led numerous tours and presented talks on a variety of Fortean topics — poltergeists, fairies, UFOs, cryptids, demonic possession, etc. Allison currently works as a professional weirdo, writing articles for a variety of publications, developing haunted history tours for AmericanGhostWalks.com, and awaiting the birth of her first book.
Scott has been actively involved in researching the paranormal for more than half of his life. He is a published author, having written a historical/paranormal book about Chicago called “Voices from the Chicago Grave.” His work in both production and the paranormal includes two documentaries on the unexplained, running the website WhatsYourGhostStory.com, co-hosting and producing the paranormal radio show “The Mothership Connection” out of WLIP AM-1050 Kenosha and being interviewed multiple times for Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Monument,” in addition to other local press. Markus has been working in various aspects of film and television production since 1997. His work has taken him across America while working on set for “Lost,” “The Dark Knight,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshal,” “Stranger Than Fiction” and many more. He is a regular public speaker and paranormal convention guest across the US, including Hawaii.
CORY J. RITTERBUSCH:
Cory is a restoration ecologist, historian and writer. He also teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, is the Executive Director of Advance Shullsburg, Inc., sits on the Board of Directors of the Galena Historical Society and is President of the Friends of Berry Tavern. He is a popular public presenter and presents on numerous subjects ranging from baseball history to music.
Jim Winter has been involved in the paranormal for 2.5 years, but has been a fan of the unknown and mysterious for most of his life, starting with a childhood fascination with Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Bermuda Triangle. Jim is the digital content director for WATT Global Media, a business-to-business media company out of Rockford, Ill., and the founder and co-director of Transcendent Paranormal Society of Dubuque, Iowa. In his spare time Jim dedicates time to his passions: his daughter, paranormal investigation, managing a semi-pro baseball team, metal detecting, photography, reading and exploring new places.
Tobias Wayland is a passionate fortean who has been actively investigating the unusual for over a decade; the first several years of his investigative career were spent as a MUFON field investigator, and following that he investigated independently prior to becoming the head writer and editor for the Singular Fortean Society. But it was a series of formative paranormal events incorporating elements associated with hauntings, nighttime visitations, and alien abduction that as a young child first aroused his interest in the anomalous. He's carried that interest with him throughout his life, attempting to draw connections between seemingly disparate phenomena in an effort to better understand the impossible.
Chris McBrien is a documented psychic medium was raised in a documented Scots Irish family tradition of shamanism carried with his ancestors from Antrim, Ireland to the US in 1809. He had additional witchcraft teachers Dolores Youngquist, George Shadwick and Selena Fox. He then spent nine years in training as a Sufi in the Dayemi Tariqat under the direct tutelage of it's Master, Sheikh Din Muhammed Abdullah al-Dayemi. His abilities from his Sufi training include Sufi meditation techniques, energy work/Dhikr as well as the skill of exorcism. His psychic/medium abilities were enhanced as the result of a near-death experience in 2011. Besides the experience inherent in his work, he also travels to research and document the paranormal both in the US and Europe. He provides services through but not limited to his office in Galena, IL.
Bryan Dorn, aka Ian "The X-Man" Xavier is independent pro wrestler for the past 25 years. Bryan is also a 20+ year paranormal investigator and cemetery explorer. He runs a group called Shadow Hunters Minnesota with his business partner Mary Zocher. They have traveled all over the Midwest investigating some of the more haunted locations as well as places all over the United States. Bryan is the author of the book Paranormal Pursuits, the upcoming documentary Minnesota's Famous Dead, and has acted in a few minor independent wrestling films.
Mike Huberty was always interested in ghost stories, UFO sightings, and other weird tales. In 2010, he founded a tourism company called Madison Ghost Walks dedicated to preserving the Wisconsin capitol city’s history and folklore, as well as showing people a great time around the city. In addition to hunting ghosts, he co-hosts a weekly podcast on the paranormal and pop culture called See You OnThe Other Side. Madison Ghost Walks has now expanded to American Ghost Walks, preserving and boosting haunted history in more Midwestern (and beyond) cities including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Lake Geneva, and Wisconsin Dells, as well as joining forces with his sister’s ghost tour, Milwaukee Ghosts.
WENDY LYNN STAATS:
Musician for the paranormally-inspired rock band Sunspot and Co-Host of the podcast "See You On The Other Side", Wendy's curiosity for the unknown is balanced by a healthy skepticism established through years working as an engineer. As an American Ghost Walks haunted history tour guide for the city of Waukesha, she presents fantastic stories of ghosts and mysticism while remaining dedicated to the historical accuracy of Wisconsin's riveting past.
Galena's Master Magician, P.T. Murphy is known for his personable style, mischievous sense of humor, and sophisticated sleight of hand that the Chicago Reader called "An evening that shows magic to its best advantage, up close and personal." Murphy believes in magic. It’s his job. He entertains, mystifies and inspires his guests to believe!
Sunspot will be performing for the Haunted Galena Conference's Welcome Party. From investigating haunted concert halls to performing at abandoned hospitals to hitting the stage at a UFO convention, Sunspot doesn’t just sing about adventures, they live them. Writing Dilithium-powered Rock anthems inspired by high strangeness from Arthurian legends to Shadow People, Time Lords to Transylvanians, Sunspot is pure energy rock that sounds like Muse meets Cheap Trick with Douglas Adams writing the lyrics. Based out of Weird Wisconsin, Sunspot is a multiple award winner, including a 4-time winner for Best Rock Album from the Madison Area Music Awards and Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s Artist of the Year, an honor shared with Garbage, Violent Femmes, and Bon Iver. Recent music placements include Expedition Unknown, Hellier 2, and the releases of The Fate of the Furious and Dead Again in Tombstone starring Danny Trejo. In the last year alone they have shared the stage with Saving Abel, Smash Mouth, Black Stone Cherry, Third Eye Blind, AWOL Nation, and Tantric. Get a free CD at the conference by signing up for the email list at their table or visiting www.sunspotuniverse.com
TRANSCENDENT PARANORMAL SOCIETY:
Transcendent Paranormal Society will be leading the paranormal investigations of Turner Hall and the DeSoto House Hotel. Transcendent Paranormal Society formed in 2018 and is comprised of a diverse team of individuals who are passionate about the paranormal field and helping people. Our team investigates historical locations as well as private homes and businesses. We use various scientific equipment to collect evidence and analyze it to help verify or disprove claims. Our team employs a healthy amount of skepticism and an open mindedness for the unknown.
Questions about the conference or accommodations? Contact us at