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2018 Venue information

CROSS COUNTY MALL
700 BROADWAY AVE.
MATTOON, IL 61938

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2018 Special Guests

Check out the growing list of awesome special guests joining us at Spook Show Con 2018!

Jeff Mudgett

Jeff Mudgett was living a normal life as a practicing attorney when at age 40 he was thrust into the most harrowing chapter of his life. Learning the facts about his ancestry plunged Mudgett into a full investigation about the forefather from which he unexpectedly learned he was descended, the infamous serial killer, H. H. Holmes.

In 2017 Jeff Mudgett starred in History Channel's "American Ripper".  Like American Ripper, Jeff's book, Bloodstains, takes readers through history, perhaps learning more than they wished to know about the terror and horror Holmes (his great-great-grandfather, Herman Webster Mudgett) reigned down upon innocent victims during the late 19th century.  Using the Holmes’ diaries, as depicted in the story,  Jeff Mudgett gives us a glimpse into mysteries yet unsolved.

For those who are not familiar with H. H. Holmes and his “Murder Castle” built during the  construction of the  World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Mudgett’s book, BLOODSTAINS, tells the story from a completely new angle, a personal history combined with methodical research into an ancestor no one would willingly claim. Herman Webster Mudgett was a swinder, a con man, a womanizer and, at his worst, H. H. Holmes, the most atrocious serial killer of all time.

SANTIAGO CIRILO

Santiago Cirilo was born April of 1973 in Puerto Rico, He is No#6 of seven children to Hector and Maria Cirilo both originally from Puerto Rico. Santiago lived in both Ohio and Puerto Rico at a young age. Growing up in Lorain, Ohio was a big challenge for Santiago. Being bilingual and adapting to America culture was just the easy task, growing up with 5 brothers, 1 sister, in a 2 bedroom duplex was the hard task. During his teenage years to adult hood Santiago always had the passion for the entertainment business, but never had that push to precede it. Santiago was involved in numerous high school Dramatic Arts Programs hosted and coordinated events. You just couldn’t get him off stage or away from any type of camera. After college Santiago enlisted in the United States Army Infantry. For 6 years Santiago was a member of the 101st Airborne Infantry at Ft. Campbell Ky.Santiago’s dedication to America has earned him numerous achievement awards and metals to add helping in one mission as a Translator and Infantryman for USA Special Ops, Marine Recon, and Navy Seals. Once Santiago’s military term was up, he was hired at Gibson Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee. In less than 1 year Santiago moved up in ranks from a level 1 sander to being personally responsible and only builder for Chet Akins guitars and guitars for “A” List artists to include Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Keith Urban and Toby Keith. During his time at Gibson, Santiago followed his heart and faith, and started going back to school for a Paralegal & Performing Arts Degree. Working 8 plus hours and going to school at night and weekends, gave Santiago the dedication and Drive to be successful in both professions.

ursula bielski

Ursula Bielski is the founder of Chicago Hauntings, Inc. and the host of PBS' "The Hauntings of Chicago" (WYCC). 

An historian, author, and parapsychologist, she has been writing and lecturing about Chicago's supernatural folklore and the paranormal for two decades and is recognized as a leading authority on the Chicago region's ghostlore and cemetery history. She is the author of ten popular and critically acclaimed books on the same subjects including the Chicago Haunts series and Graveyards of Chicago.

Ursula's interests in Chicago ghost hunting began at a young age. She grew up in a haunted house on Chicago's north side and received an early education in Chicago history from her father, a Chicago police officer, who introduced Ursula to the ghosts at Graceland Cemetery, Montrose Point and the old lockup at the storied Maxwell Street Police Station. Since that time Ursula has been involved in countless investigations of haunted sites in and around Chicago, including such notorious locales as Wrigley Field, the Congress Hotel, the Indiana Dunes, the Red Lion Pub, Hull House, Bachelors Grove Cemetery, Rosehill Cemetery, Archer Avenue, Chinatown, the Eastland disaster site, Death Alley, The House of 200 Demons, Dillinger's Alley and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre site. Her paranormal travels have also led her to investigate sites as diverse and infamous as the Bell Witch Cave in Tennessee; the Oshkosh, Wisconsin Opera House; New Orleans' House of the Rising Sun; the City Cemetery in Key West, Florida; Linda Vista Hospital in Los Angeles, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, and the Civil War Battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Aside from her writing, Ursula has been featured on numerous television documentaries, including productions by the A&E Network, The History Channel, The Learning Channel, SyFy, The Travel Channel, and PBS. She's been a judge on "Paranormal Challenge" and a regular guest on "Ghost Adventures" and the "Maury Show"s paranormal specials.  She also appears regularly on local Chicago television and radio and lectures throughout the year at various libraries, historical and professional societies and designs and hosts tours for Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago History Museum.  In addition to her books, Ursula is the author of numerous scholarly articles exploring the links between history and the paranormal, including articles published in the International Journal of Parapsychology. Ursula is a past editor of PA News, the quarterly newsletter of the Parapsychological Association, a past president and board member of the Pi Gamma Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, and holds membership in the Society of Midland Authors.  She also edits children's books on the paranormal for Bearport Publishing in New York  and teaches courses in Paranormal Studies for Harper College.

A graduate of St. Benedict High School in Chicago, Ursula holds a B.A. degree in history from Benedictine University and an M.A. in American cultural and intellectual history from Northeastern Illinois University. Her academic explorations include the Spiritualist movement of the 19th century and its transformation into psychical research and parapsychology, and the relationships among belief, experience, science, and religion.

VINCE WILSON

Vince Wilson has been practicing magic since he was 12 and hypnosis since 1993. He is a master mentalist and has even invented several original illusions and reinvented several others. Recently he has helped develop the most unique murder mystery theaters you have ever seen!

Vince Wilson is also well-known for his involvement in science, history, the paranormal and the unexplained.  He is the author of multiple books including Ghost Science, Ultimate Ghost Hunter, Ultimate Ghost Tech and Ghost Tech.  He has lectured on ghost hunting technology and has also appeared on all the major local TV stations in the Baltimore area and on numerous radio stations in regards to his work in paranormal research. Vince has also been featured on Creepy Canada in 2005 aboard the USS Constellation and the Discovery Channel in 2006 for an investigation he did at the Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore. He is also very studied on hypnosis. In 2011 Vince achieved a life long dream when he was certified by the American Institute for Parapsychology.

You can learn more about Vince Wilson via the following links: 
www.magicandmurder.com 
www.ghosttech.com 
www.vincewilsonmagic.com

josh "tko" turner

Josh "TKO" Turner is a Pro-Wrestler & Actor from Indiana. Josh trained at OVW in Louisville Ky, when they were the WWE training center. Josh went on to have not only success in the ring, but outside of the ring as well. Josh is known for his work as "Tattooed Savior" from The Walking Dead Season 6,7, & 8. The "Jeter Brother" from Under The Dome, "Jake The Truck Driver" from Banshee, "Jolenes Boyfriend" from Nashville. Josh has also had roles in The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, Leverage, ANTMan, Homicide Hunter, Killer Couples, and many other different network shows and films. Josh is also working with different charities such as Fighting For Autism, Where he is the US National Assistant Director. Josh also helps with Pops For Patience, Julianana Barbara Foundation, The VFW Post#1994, JDRF, Waiting to Hear, and many more. 

SCOTT "INSANE" LANE

Scott "Insane" Lane is an Actor / Pro-Wrestler, that is based out of Tennessee. Scott also has found success out side of Wrestling in the film industry. Scott is known for his work on "The Walking Dead" Season 7 & 8 as Savior. Scott is also known for his role as a Inmate on "Spiderman Homecoming". Scott has also been apart of such hits as Need For Speed, ANTMan, The Originals, Black Lightning, Nashville and many other major productions. Scott also works with Fighting For Autism, POPs For Patients, The Julia Barbara Foundation, Scott also helps with a lot of other charities.

KAYLIE TURNER

Kaylie Turner is a young actress from Tennessee. Kaylie started her career at a young age with a starring role in the Vince Vaughn film "Term Life". Kaylie has went onto have roles in, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Red Road, Homicide Hunter, Killer Couples, and many other different hit shows and films. Kaylie was also the children's spokes model for the 2016 NASCAR The Chase for NASCAR Kids. Kaylie also does a lot of work with different charities such as, Fighting For Autism, Pops For Patience, and Julianana Barbara Foundation, The VFW Post#1994, JDRF, Waiting to Hear, and many more.

mike Ricksecker

Mike Ricksecker is the author of the Chase Michael DeBarlo mystery novels Deadly Heirs and System of the Dead, and the paranormal books Ghosts of Maryland, Ghosts and Legends of Oklahoma, and CampfireTales: Midwest and the hybrid paranormal research written work of his new “Ghostorian Case Files” series. He has appeared on multiple television shows and programs as a paranormal historian, including Animal Planet’s The Haunted and Bio Channel’s My Ghost Story, Fox 5 News (Washington DC) and Fox 25 News (Oklahoma City), and he produces his own Internet shows Ghosts and Legends and Paranormal Roads. Recently, he has formed his own publishing company, Haunted Road Media.

Mike’s historic paranormal articles have been published in The Baltimore Sun, Paranormal Underground Magazine, and he writes an Oklahoma City paranormal column for Examiner.com. His work has also been featured in The Oklahoman, The Frederick News Post, and Marshall University’s The Parthenon.

With over 20 years of experience, he’s also a paranormal investigator and “Ghostorian” with Society of the Haunted and regularly travels to speak about the paranormal and writing.

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