When an author of psychological horror and an author of dark fantasy team up to investigate the paranormal, what do you get? “Encounters with Darkness.”
“Encounters with Darkness” originally started as a podcast and vodcast where Seymour resident Ashley Greathouse shared personal encounters that inspired her to write books. A podcast is a series of spoken word, audio episodes, all focused on a particular topic or theme and a vodcast is a video podcast.
“Then I started to dive into haunted Indiana and talk about all of these different locations that we have here,” Greathouse said. “Then I wanted to go out and actually investigate these places and that’s when it became so much more that it ever was.”
About a year and a half ago Melissa Slate-Bindschadler, also of Seymour, came on board and the duo started visiting those haunted places.
The two became friends when they worked together for a short time at Woodforest National Bank at the Seymour Walmart Supercenter and found out they had a lot in common.
Greathouse, 33, is a graduate of Brownstown Central High School and is currently a home health aide. She used to be the scheduling coordinator, but stepped down so she could have a little more time for writing. She also loves helping people in her position as an aide.
She has written several books which she classifies as psychological horror and her latest is, “It Hatched on Easter.”
Bindschadler, 31, graduated from Connersville High School and has lived in Seymour for nine years. She is employed at Emerson Elementary School as an instructional aide and is married to Joe Bindschadler. The couple have a daughter named Harlow.
Melissa has written and published two dark fantasy books, “But. It was October” and “Fallen September,” which is the sequel to the first book.
Greathouse’s and Bindschadler’s books are available on amazon.com and through The Magic of Books Bookstore at bookshop.org/shop/TMOBBookstore.
The two friends said they plan on writing more books individually and have talked about possibly co-writing a book based on their investigations.
The “Encounters with Darkness” vodcast can be found on most social media outlets such as Tik Tok, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and the podcast is on Anchor, Spotify and other podcast platforms.
“One of our most recent adventures was Monday evening at the forestry at Jackson-Washington State Forest in Brownstown,” Greathouse said. “We’ve not reviewed our footage as of yet, but we definitely got ran off.”
They believe they caught something on camera, as well as seeing it with their own eyes, which hadn’t happened before, Bindschadler said.
“Most of our stuff we don’t see as they’re happening, we see it from the footage as we’re editing,” she said. “This is the first time we were watching something on our night vision camera as it happened.”
Greathouse has an app on her phone that works as an electromagnetic field (EMF) detector and a spirit box, which displays the words instead of a person having to listen for the words.
“So we were in my car and there was an orb — plain as day — and it went into her phone and her phone started beeping which we can’t explain,” Bindschadler said. “That’s the first time we saw it as it was happening.”
Greathouse said they’ve also been to the Carr High School, also known as the Weddleville High School, near Medora. Built in 1857, it predates the Civil War and is the oldest school still standing in Indiana.
“We were the first investigative paranormal team to have access to the building,” she said. “We got chased out and it’s one of the places we will definitely not go back to after 9 o’clock at night. We will go there and visit the museum once it’s open and we’ll go there to pay our respects to anyone at the cemetery that’s on the property, but not at night.”
Bindschadler said the man who owns the building did not tell them what had been seen and heard in the school prior to their visit, because he didn’t want to put the thoughts in their heads.
“When we told him what we had experienced, he said he’d wanted to see if we experienced the same things he and his workers had felt there,” she said. “The workers will not stay there past 9 o’clock either. It was a different kind of energy.”
Greathouse said of all the places they’ve visited and investigated in Indiana, the scariest encounters they’d had were with actual people.
“It’s just the two of us that go to these places and there have been times we were chased out of places by real people, when we’ve come across things we shouldn’t,” Bindschadler said.
The two women have equipment they take along on their investigations. Some of those items include a bionic ear, which picks up sounds not normally heard by the ear; a thermal gun to monitor dropping temperatures; an EMF detector, which detects fields emitted by moving electrically charged objects; a spirit box to sweep AM and FM radio frequencies and essentially clear the air for spirits to come through and send a message; and a very loud motion detector.
They have even manufactured some of their own equipment (with their logo on the side) which picks up electromagnetic frequencies. Something they use during every investigation is the Necrophonic app, which can act as a spirit box, on the cellphone. The app ties in all of the high tech applications that are already in the phone, Greathouse said.
Anyone interested in having the “Encounters with Darkness” team conduct a paranormal investigation may contact them on any social media platform and they will determine whether or not it’s something they want to take on.
“We are there to only observe and capture evidence, so we don’t make the spirits go away,” Greathouse said. “We are there for validation if someone wants to know whether or not a place is haunted.”
She said they use humor as a coping mechanism while they are on their investigations and crack jokes the whole time when they are afraid, so that’s why they laugh a lot in their videos.
“We love Halloween and both of us decorate our houses,” Greathouse said. “We plan to dress up and take Melissa’s daughter trick-or-treating. We’re still in the childhood spirit of Halloween.”