I’m a little fascinated with the paranormal.

The Collingwood Arts Center is a huge facility in West Toledo that was once a monastery and women’s college. The building is fascinating and you can’t help but stare when you drive past. If there was ever a building that was haunted, this would be it. It is huge, old, and super creepy.

When my daughter was two, we rented the building for a family photo shoot. We had a fantastic time and got some great photos – many of which are still hanging in our living room. We were in awe of the building’s beauty as my daughter played running up and down the halls. 

Many of the locals here believe that the Collingwood Arts Center is haunted – some say even the most haunted building in the state. I have been in it several times and have not seen or heard anything. I’m not saying that people aren’t experiencing something when they go there – I just haven’t personally experienced anything. 

Even though I have not experienced anything paranormal at the CAC, I can’t help but feel chills every time I walk into the building just thinking of the possibility of seeing or hearing something strange. Yes, I’m admitting it – I get a little nervous when I go there. 

I don’t believe in souls or spirits but I do think there is something to it – something unknown or unexplained.

A few months ago, the popular series Ghost Hunters investigated the Collingwood Arts Center, and my husband and I couldn’t wait to watch the episode. 

I love watching shows on the paranormal but they are almost always disappointing. You’re hoping for some concrete evidence but it never happens. However, it is always interesting to learn about the history of the places being investigated.

Just like the rest, the Ghost Hunters episode on the CAC didn’t turn up any real evidence. Some noises and movements here and there – may be a few coincidences – but nothing concrete.

Despite the lack of evidence, I am still fascinated by the paranormal. I’m sure some night soon I will once again crack open a beer, put my feet up, and watch another episode of Ghost Hunters. I think it’s really interesting and I hope one day they find an explanation. 

Are you fascinated with the paranormal? Bonus points if you’ve experienced something strange yourself.


  1. Katydid says

    I enjoy reading and watching programs that feature the paranormal–there are a lot that are very well done. I just finished reading a 2-book (so far) series by British author Jodi Taylor weaving in old mythology and alternate worlds. Jayne Castle has a whole series about paranormal abilities in her Harmony and Arcane series (approximately a gazillion books).

    I grew up watching shows like In Search Of… and The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery; the 1970s were a huge, huge time of tv shows about the paranormal. There was another surge in the early 2000s with shows like Medium and Ghost Whisperer and that medium guy who did cold-reading and acted like it was real. E.g. “I’m getting the letter J. Anyone know anyone with a name that starts with J?”

    I can’t say I’ve experienced anything paranormal.


    Was staying with a friend in the midwest. Friend said they had gotten really weird vibes a couple times down by the mailbox. That night I cleared my mind and reached out. I did get a very clear strong response: “This is none of your business.” Never got anything else.

  3. mordred says

    There is an old spring the Elisabethbrunnen (named after a local saint) near Marburg in Germany. Years ago someone took me there, telling the place had some really strange atmosphere. I find the idea of the paranormal fascinating, but am rather skeptical so I thought any spooky atmosphere I felt would probably be suggested by my guide’s story. We visited that place after dark and I had never been there before, but from about 100 meters away I could immediately tell where the place was. I suddenly felt an oppressive fear, getting the impression of something heavy, old and dark and seemed to see a vague cloud of deeper darkness under the trees to the left of the path.
    Later my acquaintance brought someone else to the place, without telling him. The guy completely freaked out and would never again go near the place even in daytime.
    Now I’m very much inclined to explain this as a psychological effect, but I got no idea, what at that place should have triggered several people’s emotions like that. The picnic tables in front of the spring don’t look at all threatening.

  4. John Morales says

    ‘Paranormal’ is effectively ‘supernatural lite’ — difference is that something called paranormal is supposedly a natural phenomenon potentially explainable by science, whereas something called supernatural is supposedly beyond the workings of nature, and so immune to scientific explanation.

    Both are forms of wishful thinking, best as I can tell.

  5. Nomad says

    I watched part of an episode of some ghost hunter show on TV. It did not impress, it was a bunch of people with the requisite gear walking about acting excited while nothing happened. At a commercial break the the teaser for what was coming next featured all sorts of drama with someone claiming to have been scratched by something. “Okay, this’ll be a good one”, I thought. I sat through the whole next segment… and nothing happened. The entire thing in the teaser didn’t happen. It was just something they faked to string people along. I don’t know if they filmed it but decided it didn’t look real enough, or if they routinely make fake teasers, or what, but if I wasn’t already rather cynical about TV ghost hunters, that would have made me cynical about them. The only reason I’m not calling the entire show fake is that they had so little to show for their efforts.

    Apparently ghost hunting is big business on Youtube. I watch a Twitch streamer who often shows ghost hunting youtube videos at the end of his streams as cooldown material. I’d never watch them myself, but I see them that way. Some of them at least try interesting effects and things. But so many follow the same formula. The spooky thing always happens in the corner of the camera’s field of view, and it always happens a second or two before the camera is turned away from the spooky thing. It’s like ghosts are shy or something. And the ghost hunters are such obvious fakers. I mean, right down to the fact that they often have a camera view that’s tinted green to look like night vision, even though it’s just a normal camera that often has a floodlight illuminating what it’s pointed at. There’s an interesting one in a foreign country. I don’t remember where this is, but apparently you insult ghosts there to make them go away. So this one youtube ghost guy goes to spooky places, gets scared out of his wits, and then screams insults at them at the top of his lungs.

    For personal experiences… well.. . make of this what you will, but in one of the houses I grew up in, we had this upstairs library space. A big open room with bookshelves on one wall, a lot of open space in the middle, and a computer desk against the opposite wall from the bookshelves. I played a lot of computer games, I had just gotten old enough to be allowed to use it on my own. I’d be up there playing on the computer, but I felt uneasy. I felt something behind me. Nothing ever happened, I never saw anything. But when I was facing the computer, after a while I’d feel the presence behind me. It made me uneasy, but let’s say it didn’t stop me from playing computer games. A kid’s got to have priorities. It wasn’t an old house with tons of history or anything, I had no reason to believe anything happened there. It wasn’t even a gloomy room, it was light and airy, it opened out over the first floor in one part.

    I’m not saying it was anything, but at the same time it stood out to me, even then. The rest of the house was fine to me. Maybe it’s the psychology of being so wrapped up in something, maybe it was more about using the computer then the room.

    Oh yeah, and I was haunted by shadow people when I was very young. But I’m quite sure that that was sleep paralysis. I’d heard of sleep paralysis and that seemed to explain things nicely, but then I heard about people being haunted by “shadow people”. That’s what I saw! You can find depictions of them on google, I get chills every time I see them, because they’re familiar to me. I was not prepared to find that the things I saw were named, it makes it feel more “real” somehow, like I’m suddenly in a horror story instead of normal reality. What happened is I’d wake up in bed, and my perception was that my bed had some light on it but I was surrounded in darkness. Like the rest of my room was gone, I was stranded in a void. And in the darkness, there were beings. They wanted me, they surrounded me, almost like they were performing a ritual. But the light on the bed was holding them back. I feared they would overcome it in time though. I had to call my mom, she was the only one that could save me. I cried out, but made no sound. I tried again, and only a squeak emerged. That’s how it always went, every time I made a little more noise until it was enough to wake her up and she’d come in, and as soon as she entered the room the spell was broken. Everything was normal.

    I like to tell the story because it’s so incredibly creepy. But I’m quite satisfied with the explanation that it’s a sleep paralysis thing. It was an old house, but I don’t really think it was haunted. It was intensely scary though. You could make a horror movie depicting what I experienced. Actually it looks like there may be more than one movie that is about exactly that. I don’t know if I could watch it. I can say that I’m confident that it was sleep paralysis, that there’s a naturalistic explanation for the whole thing. But I’m not sure I’m willing to see a horror movie depicting what I saw.

    I don’t think I ever saw the shadow people again after we moved away from that house. Presumably that’s more about my growing older than moving away from the haunted house.

  6. sonofrojblake says

    I’m old enough to remember the 70s, the decade that took the paranormal seriously. A weekly magazine called “The Unexplained” filled my head with nonsense. “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World” did a similar job on TV. Many, many books in the library uncritically reported ghost stories as true events. People mounted “serious” expeditions to find Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, the Yeti, etc.

    And then the 80s came. And sceptics came. And gradually, I realised it was all, all of it, absolute bullshit. Kirlian auras? Bullshit. UFOs? Bullshit. Ghosts? Bullshit. Spoonbending, remote viewing, telekinesis, spirit mediums, gods and religion, copper bracelets for rheumatism, cryptids… ALL of that stuff, all of it just lies. A few things had a kernel of truth, obviously – infrasound has weird effects on perception, sleep paralysis is a thing that happens, Have Blue and similar projects probably looked alien from the roads round Groom Lake. But generally, it all was nonsense.

    And now, of course, all of it is settled.


    You want a mystery? You want magic? Learn enough physics to understand why most of the universe is apparently missing or inexplicable – dark matter and dark energy. Learn enough to realise that a large part of what you think of as “you” doesn’t have human DNA, and that an even larger part – the vast majority, in fact – is the left-over rubble from the violent explosion of a star that’s been dead for billions of years. Most humans’ stories are weak sauce compared to what we know we don’t know about reality.

  7. Katydid says

    The 1960s and 1970s had a LOT of children’s literature about ghosts and extra-sensory perceptions. My school library had a whole section of them, including a cat who was killed in the 1700s and went on as a ghost and reported on the times she was living in, and a girl with a mean teacher who bumps into the teacher as a young child, and a British story about a girl who finds a ghost in an old mirror in an attic, and the ghost wants to take her over. There were authors who wrote of nothing but the paranormal (Lois Duncan was one): time traveling, distance traveling, remote viewing, a boarding school where talented ghosts took over the students to dance, write music, paint, etc. etc. I think that one was made into a tv movie.

    Everyone seemed to be really into those things, the same as they were astrology and…wrestling. If you wanted to fit in, you learned about them, too. Mostly they were fun thought experiments–what if you really did see ghosts?

    The astrology has come back around, with one of the younger generations taking it seriously.

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