It's pretty obvious that 2020 has been a year like no other in our lifetimes. The worldwide pandemic has obviously put a huge damper on the world of paranormal investigation and research, in addition to just being a general upheaval in every day life. So many things have changed, and we've all had to adjust to new norms taking the place of our previous way of life. My son isn't able to partake in the martial arts training he loves, and has also switched to virtual school, which is a lot of work and worry on my part. In addition to that, my mother in law passed away in October, and we're now going through the process of moving my husband back home here.
I'm beyond stressed. My anxiety and depression have come really close a couple of times to spiraling out of control. But, I know that I am so, so lucky and therefore, am so, so thankful this year. My family has remained relatively healthy. No one has experienced job loss or wages cut because of the pandemic. We've been able to spend more time together, and I've had more time to slowly get back to working on my paranormal interests.
Earlier in the year, I took advantage of the lock down to catch up on my paranormal non-fiction reading. I also binged watched a ton of documentaries and paranormal shows on YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. I took a few online courses through Coursera and FutureLearn. And, I've been taking advantage of many FREE online lecture programs from a variety of paranormal researchers, historical societies, and other organizations. I've been trying to find the light in the dark, and I think I've been doing okay. But, I couldn't do it alone, and I wanted to share some of the specific people and things that I'm especially grateful for this Thanksgiving season.
I'm thankful for my family for always supporting my paranormal interests and making sure I have the funds and the childcare to make sure I can pursue them. My husband has been especially great in encouraging me and never saying no when I ask him to make a stop at a local haunted cemetery on our way home. I'm thankful that I have access to the internet and various platforms to help me stay connected with others in the field, and watch/read/listen to paranormal media. I'm thankful that my car has held up and has safely transported me to different investigations and events this year and for the past 11 years. I could write a book talking about all the things I'm lucky to have in my life, but here's just a short list of specific people/organizations I really wanted to give credit to. I know I'm leaving so many people off this list, but here's what came to mind, in no particular order:
*The Flatwoods Monster Museum and Andrew Smith for giving me the opportunity to help spread the word about all awesome paranormal tourism opportunities you can experience in Braxton County, WV! Click the banner link at the top of this blog (best seen on desktop version) to learn more about The Flatwoods Monster, the Haunted Haymond House, the Bigfoot of Sutton Lake, and all sorts of other spooky and non-spooky things that you can see in do in Braxton County.
*Teresa Holcomb Frame for inviting me to experience the Haunted Haymond House in Sutton, WV for myself this October. The Haunted Haymond House has a really fascinating history and no shortage of paranormal activity to be experienced. There are different paranormal and psychic-themed events throughout the year, and you can also rent the home for overnight ghost hunts. Teresa has done a wonderful job preserving and sharing the history of the home, and bringing it back to its original splendor. She's also done a wonderful job in advancing the paranormal study of the home, through allowing investigators to come in and share their evidence and experiences. This was also my first REAL investigation in a very long time, and so it was especially meaningful to have such a wonderful place be my first dip back.
*David Scott Worley of Haunted Beckley. Haunted Beckley has some great ghost tours and other events throughout the year and I've been fortunate enough to attend several. This year, Scott invited me out to two awesome ghost story and ghost hunting events. Not only did I get to participate, but I also got to help lead some group investigations. It was so fun getting to meet new people, and also connecting with people in person who I only knew through Theresa's Haunted History.
*Brian Clary of SRI. This year, I took a plunging leap out of my comfort zone and joined a newly formed investigation group, Spectral Research and Investigation. Because of the current worldwide situation, we're taking things slow, but we've had a successful training investigation of the TNT area, outside of Pt. Pleasant, and of course, the overnight investigation of the Haunted Haymond House! I can't wait to see where the new year brings us, and I look forward to really getting out in the field once again with like-minded individuals. A special shout out goes to my friend, who'll I'll call T---she wasn't able to make it to our Haymond House investigation, but she loaned me some equipment, which came in super handy!
*FeedSpot. I'm thankful that FeedSpot ranked this blog, Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State number 17 on its list of the Top 90 Paranormal Blogs of 2020! I'm not sure how I pulled that off, but I'll take it!
*Lewis O. Powell IV of the Southern Spirit Guide. The Southern Spirit Guide is one of my favorite blogs, offering information on tons of haunted locations throughout the southern United States, and its author, Lewis, has always been a great supporter of my blog. I'm blessed to have his encouragement!
*I'm thankful for YOU! Seriously, I cannot thank everyone who reads and shares my blog and social media posts enough. I love being able to connect with people who love the paranormal as much as I do, and I hope that my posts entertain and even educate you on the haunted history of West Virginia and beyond. Thank you for giving me a reason to keep doing what I'm doing, and the encouragement to keep improving. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and an amazing rest of 2020. Here's to a better year in 2021---stay spooky, ya'll.