Zoar will make you roar in fear

“A good recipe for fear: a full moon, a creepy little town, a dark old house, and sitting alone in the corner with ghost hunting equipment, trying to communicate with the dead. That is what the town of the Zoar topped with Haunted Heartland Tours has to offer.”

A good recipe for fear: a full moon, a creepy little town, a dark old house, and sitting alone in the corner with ghost hunting equipment, trying to communicate with the dead.

That is what the town of the Zoar topped with Haunted Heartland Tours has to offer.

The history of this quaint little town explains why it is a hot-spot of paranormal activity.

Zoar was found by German separatists who were forced to flee Germany.

The Zoarites were almost like the Amish or the Mennonites, they wanted to remain unknown. They wanted to remain alone, Brake-Recco said.

When the town was founded in 1817, it was set up as a commune.

Zoar survived 75 years as a successful commune until the Zoar Hotel brought outsiders to the town.

Haunted Heartland Tours offers a Dinner and a Ghost event.

Patrons get a hearty, authentic German meal prepared by members of the Ohio Historical Society.

Brake-Recco tells the history of town during dinner. She shows you ghost hunting equipment available for use, and then patrons head out to explore.

They are allowed to roam through five places and hunt for ghosts.

None of these places have electricity, and each has a lot of stairs, so comfortable clothes and shoes are a must.

The Number One mansion is a sight in itself.

Psychics who enter the mansion sense the presence of elderly people and have seen the apparition of a young woman in period attire.

The next stop is the Magazine Building, which served as a place for the townspeople to get their supplies.

No tragic events are recorded in here, but the building is known for having a lot of paranormal activity. Brake-Recco said voices have been recorded in the building.

A couple of the Mansfield Reformatory guys came here, very seasoned paranormal guides, Brake-Recco said. They went to the upstairs of that building, and they got very freaked out.

Two more stops are the Tin Shop and the Greenhouse.

The doors at the Tin Shop have been known to open and close on their own.

This night was especially enlightening because the group was joined by three mediums.

Michelle Zidian, Sally Klepay and Janet Boehf have all been mediums for the better part of a decade.

We have been going all over and honing our skills, Zidian said.

Each woman has a different talent when communicating with the dead.

Some people see, some people hear and others feel, and all of us do something different, Klepay said.

Boehf seemed to have the most experiences with the paranormal in Zoar.

Someone tried to push me down the stairs in the Number One house and a man in the same spot almost fell too, Boehf said.

Her EMF (electro magnetic field detector – looks for ghost activity) meter was also assaulted in the Magazine Building.

In the Magazine room, something ripped my meter out of my hand and threw it. I didn’t do it, Boehf said. It unplugged it too, that’s how hard the force was.

There was significant activity in Zoar that night. There were numerous photos with orbs and an EVP was recorded in the Number One house. An EVP is an electronic voice phenomenon, or a ghost talking.

The EVP was a little girl saying no, but it was terrifying, because there was no one else around when it happened.

It’s all about energy, Brake-Recco assured.

She uses the laws of physics to explain the paranormal. The first law of thermodynamics says that energy is neither created or destroyed; it only changes.

Your bodies are electrical and impulse energy, Brake-Recco said. When you die, where does that energy go?

If you follow the laws of physics, it has to take another shape or another form. When you feel a cold spot and you are not standing someplace where there is an air conditioning vent or a door that’s open, it can all be about energy.

Interaction with the dead is not limited to mediums or self-appointed ghost hunters.

Some people are just more sensitive to their surroundings than others.

When you are sensitive to things you may be able to tell when an area has activity based on how your body reacts.

When it is uncomfortable you feel pressure, or heaviness, or a feeling like there are bands around your lungs, Brake-Recco said. Sometimes, if you’re really sensitive, you can get lightheaded.

It is not hard to put together your own recipe of fear, but if you are not feeling very creative, you can visit hauntedhistory.net and Sherri Brake-Recco can help.

Just be sure to bring a change of underwear. You might need it.


” #1.1361590:1282650059.jpg:ghost 2.jpg:Two patrons of the Haunted Heartland Tour in Zoar encounter a strange appearance.:COURTESY KATIE YOUNG”