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'My Ghost Story' to feature Tipp City bookstore


Since first forming four years ago, the Midnight Shadows Paranormal Society (MSPS) are at their strongest and prepared to encounter national exposure. Their findings at Browse Awhile Books in Tipp City will soon be detailed in the television series, ‘My Ghost Story,’ which airs on the Biography Channel.

Browse Awhile is the groups most investigated location and where paranormal activity always occurs. John Allen Dershem is the co-founder of MSPS and reports that 13 spirits are confirmed to exist in the bookstore. “We keep finding more,” he said.

There are sure to be some skeptics, as not everyone believes in the existence of ‘ghosts,’ but after having the pleasure of being part of two investigations at Browse, I’m certain of their existence. With the evidence to be shown on ‘My Ghost Story’ everyone else should be made a believer as well.

Dershem hopes that by appearing on the series that the public will gain a better understanding of what they do. “We strive for more paranormal awareness in the community. The group isn’t about seeking fame, but being able to do what we enjoy,” he said.

In addition to books being thrown off the shelves, apparitions seen and voices heard; there has also been physical encounters at Browse. Investigators have had their hair pulled, backs touched and thighs rubbed.

A neighboring group, Valley View Paranormal Society, often teams up with MSPS and have undergone some chilling experiences at Browse. Though Brian Stephenson, director of Valley View, prides himself on never running out of an investigation, an exception was made while in the book stores basement. The basement is where much of the activity occurs. “I ran right up the stairs, I had to get out of there,” said Stephenson.

While in the basement, Stephenson was playfully picking on Dershem and then felt himself getting scratched. He immediately fled, and later discovered red marks on his skin. On a separate investigation, which will be further detailed on ‘My Ghost Story,’ Stephenson suffered a partial possession. He momentarily blacked out and mumbled incoherently. It occurred while in the Sci-Fi room.

Thankfully nothing as dangerous has happened the times I’ve been along. However, I have witnessed flashlights being turned off and on in response to questions being asked to the spirits. And while we were all in the basement, footsteps were clearly heard upstairs. It was truly shocking. It wasn’t just the floor creaking or my mind playing tricks, it was footsteps. Mind you, nobody was upstairs either.

Founded in 2003 by Jeanette Porter, Valley View Paranormal Society, is based in Germantown and is the only group MSPS trusts so closely. Porter always enjoys investigating Browse and partnering with MSPS. “By working together it helps verify the findings,” she said.

Dershem is most proud of the unified trust within the MSPS and how each member can be depended on. “I’m very happy with how our group has come together,” he said.

The MSPS hosts the annual Ghost Walk in October and through ‘My Ghost Story,’ will bring national attention to Tipp City. The episode is scheduled to air in April or May.