the Sara Gates
| hand-sculpted horrors |


In this space I'm hoping to blog about processes and tutorials, day to day life, and maybe even post some short fiction (or link to short fiction and other writing samples!)

About Stranded...

In light of vending at Pennhurst ParaCon 2018 this weekend, here's a writeup about that time I was on a ghost hunting reality tv show.

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In Early November of 2012 I was sent to live on an isolated island in an entirely empty hotel ten miles off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire with my best friend Xand and ex-boyfriend Sean to film a television show called ‘STRANDED’.

We investigated the hotel and the surrounding island (caves, chapel, village and multiple graveyards and cemeteries) and learned some history of the area. 

We also looked for ghosts. 

We got to use some pretty great ghost-hunting technology (EMF detectors, EVP recorders, thermal imaging cameras [FLIR], motion sensors, laser grids, fancy thermometers) and found some pretty spooky evidence (that unfortunately wasn’t as heavily featured on the television show as I would like; it was focusing more on the psychological effects of living in seclusion than any ‘proof’ we might find in my opinion). 

We also had multiple unexplained experiences in real time: the chill and sense of complete sadness at the caves where Betty Moody reportedly strangled her infant child to keep its cries from luring a violent group of invaders to herself and her other child that were hiding in the caves and, when that failed to keep the intruders away, leapt to her death off of a cliff with her eldest child in her arms; the sound of running, giggling children playing on the second floor/nursery room; the feeling of an icy hand on my arm on the most-haunted fourth floor, and the building-shaking, furniture bouncing pounding noises up and down the halls shortly after; a window being inexplicable open (though the hotel was effectively boarded up for the winter) one minute, and solidly closed the next. 

It was by far the coolest, creepiest, most adventurous week of my life.

(The only unfortunate part was the editing; as stated before, the focus wasn’t on ‘proof’ so much of that was omitted or glossed over on the final episode, and the timestamps were all wrong; it looks like most of what we did was eat and sleep when that was decidedly not the fact as we ate ~2 meals a day maybe and got on average 5 hours of sleep a night. Not to mention the complete lack of electricity in all but the kitchen, no hot water, and having to keep track of all of our very expensive equipment. Watch the episode here, but keep my notes on editing in mind. )