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Talking Haunt Jaunts with Julie from Above the Norm

Julie at the Copper Queen Hotel
Julie at the Copper Queen Hotel

I’m continuing something I set out to do for 2010, which is chatting with other bloggers about Haunt Jaunting. The wonderful and wordsmith-gifted Julie from Above the Norm graciously agreed to participate, so she’s the next lucky victim -er, I mean subject –of my experiment.

Why Above the Norm?

After spending the night at the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, AZ, Mike and I tried to start an organization of sorts for all our ghost hunting friends. Mike is around the age of both my children but we share a common interest in ghosts. In 2008, we started a blog called “The Arizona Ghost Organization”, TAGO for short. None of the others that were with us in Bisbee were interested in being a part of an organization, so we decided to do another blog giving us more freedom to talk about anything paranormal. Mike looked up the definition for “paranormal” and came up with the title of our new blog, “Above the Norm”. In 2009, we started the new blog, leaving the other blog up and linking it to the Above the Norm blog.

Ah ha! See? Now I’m glad I asked. There’s always a back story. Very cool!

So, what is it that drew you to the supernatural/paranormal?

I have always been interested in anything having to do with paranormal or supernatural subjects. I had some strange and unexplained experiences when I was little, but mostly as a teen. One time I suffered from “Sleep Paralysis” and saw an old man looking down on me while I was trying to sleep. I watched in paralyzing horror while he appeared to be getting closer. I was finally able to close my eyes and scream. My parents came in right away but never saw anyone in the room. This was around the time when my friend was being constantly haunted by an unseen and unknown spirit. Her terrifying story and my own experiences is what got me more interested in ghost and their possible existence. The “Bird Cage Theatre” and “St. Augustine Lighthouse” episodes of Ghost Hunters boosted my interest in ghost hunting and to find more answers.

That’s frightening, Julie! But I can relate. When I was five I saw a face in the ceiling talking to me. I was awake, I was not hallucinating, but no one in my family would believe me. (But in their defense, it didn’t help that I was prone to fibbing.) However, that time I was not. I don’t know what it was, but it really happened. I found your story quite intriguing. Thanks for sharing it!

Now, you semi-sort of covered this in your first answer, but what made you want to blog about the paranormal?

Mike and I wanted to share our experiences and stories of haunted places. We were hoping to do more investigations in 2009 but that never happened. We both enjoy writing and found a blog to be the best place to do so. We love telling our stories and getting the great comments about other’s experiences from our fellow bloggers.

Well, I’m glad you both write and I’m glad I found your blog. I really enjoy it. And you’ve been very wonderful to get to know. (I’m still pea green with envy that you and Autumnforest have now met each other in person!)

Okay, so on to my next question…What’s the best Haunt Jaunt you’ve ever taken?

I have been to many places known to be haunted such as The Queen Mary, Whaley House, Ford’s Theatre, and many places around Arizona and other states. In 2008, I was invited by Mike and my son Andy to join them and a few others to spend the night at the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, AZ. After watching the episode of Ghost Hunters where on video they captured Grant’s foot being uncovered by unseen hands, I was very excited to go. We walked around Bisbee at nightfall, a town that is a mecca of stories about paranormal activity. My son took a picture near some lighted stairs and a ghostly figure showed up in the photo. (We have it posted on our blog.) At one point we all decided to an EVP session in one of the rooms we were staying in. We turned off all the lights and the room was pitch black. For the most part nothing happened, except when we were all on one side of the room laughing at the crazy antics of the boys. On the other side of the room was the dresser where one of the boys put a quarter and dime on the top. At one point during the craziness, we all heard the money slide off the dresser and onto the floor. One of the guys quickly turned on the light and there was the quarter and dime lying on the floor. Also, throughout the night, I smelt cigar smoke in the area called “Albert’s corner” on the fourth floor. This usually means he is making his presence known. Another weird thing was the constant whispering that me and my friend kept hearing as we were trying to sleep. All and all, it was a fun trip.

How awesome! I love the Copper Queen. We never got to stay there, though. But we did make trips down to Bisbee when we lived in Phoenix. I love it there! What’s your dream Haunt Jaunt?

I have so many dream places I want to go. I would love to travel around Italy to look for ghost but mostly those of my Mother’s family. I could spend a month there checking out all the sites and searching for my family’s genealogy. The Stanley Hotel, Alcatraz, and Autumnforest’s home Aspen Grove are amongst some of the other places that I would love to do a haunt jaunt to.

Cool! I think I remember you leaving a comment once about wanting to make a trip to Italy. And I think I teased I want to go too, but I’ll live vicariously through you since you’ll likely make it there first! I’d also like to Haunt Jaunt to the other places you mentioned. (I think Autumnforest should have a big ol’ blogger get together/ghost hunt at Aspen Grove!)

And speaking of traveling, what’s something you absolutely DO NOT travel without?

First and foremost, I must have my camera. You never know when a great picture might present itself to you. My blackberry is a must to keep in contact with others as well as my new netbook, which I absolutely love. Both these items are great for getting information on any of the haunted places I may want to stay the night.

ACK! You have a netbook? Thanks. Make me more jealous why don’t you?

Okay, this one’s just for fun: What are your five favorite blog posts? (That you wrote.)

  1. These Old Doorknobs – This was my latest and about the doorknobs that once stood on my Grandparent’s house. I presented a story that tells what these doorknobs have seen while on their house.
  2. Will Rogers and My Grandpa – It is the story about my Grandpa Wilton and how he died in a plane crash near Will Rogers’ Ranch. I go on to mention how five years later Will Rogers himself died in a plane crash in Alaska.
  3. Santa Bob – This story was based on my Dad and told about a wonderful man named Bob who loved being Santa Claus every year.
  4. Disneyland: the Happiest Haunt Place on Earth – about all the haunting of ghost throughout Disneyland.
  5. All the stories on my daughter friend April especially “Cottage #4: Mummified Body in Bathtub” and “After the Ouija Board: the Visitor”.

I happen to ADORE posts 1-4. The ones in 5 are all new to me. But that mummified body one? Hysterical title!

But the one that tops my list because it left a big imprint on my heart was your Santa Bob.  That is a primo example of why I regard you as such a talented wordsmith.

Julie, thanks so much again for humoring me and answering these questions. It’s been really fun talking all things Haunt Jaunts with you!
Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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5 thoughts on “Talking Haunt Jaunts with Julie from Above the Norm

  1. I adore Julie’s blog Above the Norm. She’s charming, insightful, and definitely a gifted writer. I like her inquisitiveness. She’s really open to all things paranormal and authentic. I just love that about her. Her story of sleep paralysis was really frightening because I have night terrors that involve the exact same thing, a gray face leaning over me and getting so close to my face, I can feel it blocking the air movement. I open my eyes screaming and then once I start moving, I begin hitting and thrashing. It happens about once every 4 years thankfully that rare, but my heart pounds wildly. I can swear someone was there. It must be a universal sighting–or perhaps in that moment we’re sleeping if we’re between cycles, maybe our minds are able to see what is always there…. Yikes! Thanks so much for interviewing Julie. Her blog is one of the very first ones I check on every day to see what she’s got for me to think about for the day.

  2. Thanks Courtney, this was my first interview and I enjoyed answering the questions. Of course I read and reread my answers over and over like I always do when I write something…..LOL. You are such a sweet lady and I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks!

    Sharon, thanks for all your sweet words, you are a blast to ghost hunt with. Can’t wait to do it again…..perhaps Aspen Grove?

  3. Nice interview with the very cordial Julie.

    All blogs tend to have an ‘air’ about them and Above the Norm has a very special ‘air’ about it. Nothing hum drum and each post is always unique and very different. Sometimes of a personal nature and sometimes not. I like that.

    There’s only one Julie.

  4. You know, I always love opening my email in the mornings and seeing if anyone left comments on any posts. I have to say, this morning to find all of these, with all the nice words you all had about Julie…this was the best. I’m so glad you decided to left me send you the questions Julie! (And I’m fanatical about reading and rereading stuff before I post, submit, hit send, etc too!) These comments just prove how much you’re admired, appreciated and loved.


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