Milwaukee journalist Tea Krulos documents the lives of paranormal investigators and encounters some strange things along the way in his new book Monster Hunters.
Monster Hunters author Tea Krulos. Photo by Jennifer Janviere.
Monster Hunters is available now: BUY IT HERE
For his new book Monster Hunters, Milwaukee journalist Tea Krulos immersed himself in the world of paranormal investigation. He spent over a year traveling around the country in search of poltergeists, Bigfoot, Mothman and other American legends with passionate individuals who have dedicated their lives to demystifying the unexplained.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Krulos about his weird experiences on the road, as well as the upcoming Milwaukee Paranormal Conference he is orchestrating to celebrate the weird in Wisconsin.
Cult of Weird: Where did your interest in the paranormal begin?
Tea Krulos: When I was a kid, I loved this stuff. I would go to the library and find all the books I could on the subject. As I got older, I had a more casual interest. I’d watch documentaries and reality shows and occasionally read on it, but wouldn’t consider myself a researcher.
For Monster Hunters, you dove headfirst into the lifestyle of paranormal investigators. What was that like?
It was great, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I liked the subject matter and I like interesting people, so I thought it would be a good match for me. I set out with a goal of trying to write about a good range of people– ghost hunters, ufologists, cryptozoologists, demonologists, true believers, skeptics, hoaxers, serious researchers– and I had good luck finding all these types of people and really had the time of my life getting to know them.
During the research process with the subjects of the book, did you experience anything strange yourself?
Yes! The first strange thing that happened was when I joined the Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee on an investigation of the notorious Bobby Mackey’s Music World in Kentucky. That place is supposed to be extremely haunted and the team has had a couple of creepy experiences there. While I was with them, one of the members had either a fear based paralysis or I guess a spirit possession. I also had a terrifying night out on a Bigfoot expedition in Michigan. We were awoken by a bloodcurdling scream and later that same night witnessed a UFO. I’m not saying it was a Bigfoot and extraterrestrials, but it was a weird and frightening night in the woods.
Did these experiences change your perspective on the paranormal?
It did a little. I went in very skeptical. Journalism, to me, means you need solid proof before you report it as fact. I did encounter a few cases where I can at least say I don’t know what happened. So I wouldn’t say I’m a true believer, but it did make me more of a believer in mystery. Who am I to say I know definitively that something does or does not exist?
Tea Krulos with a statue of Mothman in Point Pleasant, WV
Did your research take you to any interesting places here in Wisconsin?
I took a fun day trip out to Elkhorn, where I met Linda S. Godfrey, researcher and author (and Milwaukee Paranormal Conference speaker). She was the first to report on the Beast of Bray Road, a werewolf-like creature spotted running around the farmlands of Elkhorn. I wrote a chapter on her in my book Monster Hunters titled “The Accidental Werewolf Chronicler.” I went out to interview her and then my friend and I cruised around Bray Road. We didn’t see a Manwolf, but it was cool to see the scene firsthand. Most of my other Wisconsin material was joining the Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee on ghost hunts in the city and surrounding suburbs, although one case took us up to Juneau, WI.
The Milwaukee Paranormal Conference is coming up in June. What can we expect from that?
The conference started as a way for me to talk about my book– several people I wrote about will be giving talks at the event. It quickly grew into something bigger. There hasn’t been a para con in Milwaukee for ten years, so people are really excited and I know people from all over the state and beyond are attending. I didn’t want to get in over my head, so I started year one as a one day event with about a dozen speakers, most from right here in Wisconsin. I think I got a good mix of different subject matters. In addition to the speakers and panels, there is a lot of fun stuff in the vendor hall and some tours and an after party after the con. Admission is free, which I think is pretty rare for any sort of convention like this. I’m very confident that this year will lay groundwork for an expanding annual event. People can find the day’s schedule and more info on the speakers at: www.milwaukeeparacon.com
What are some things paranormal enthusiasts can do in Milwaukee if they want to encounter something supernatural?
There are a couple paranormal investigation teams in town, including Brew City Paranormal and the previously mentioned Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee. I’m most familiar with PIM and I know they do a lot of public events, like presentations at local libraries and “tag along” investigations a couple times a year. Allison Jornlin is Milwaukee’s ghostlore expert and she runs Milwaukee Ghosts- Tours & Investigations. Shaker’s Cigar Bar aka “Milwaukee’s Haunted Bar” is a fun place to hang out and they offer a variety of tours, too. I’m glad to say everyone I just mentioned is participating in the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference.
Where can the Cult of Weird community find more of your work and get the latest updates?
If you go to teakrulos.com you can find info on my first book, Heroes in the Night, other projects I’m working on, and a blog. I post something every month that has links to articles I’ve written and other news.
The Milwaukee Paranormal Conference is being held June 6th, 2015 at the Irish Heritage & Cultural Center. Monster Hunters will be released that day and available at the conference.