The producers of “Gen Silent” and “Reel in the Closet” are set to debut a new web series this October, and just in time for the spooky season of Halloween.
The web series is the first of it’s kind as it follows Stonewall Columbus and their Queer Ghost Hunting team, in and around Columbus. They look to investigate ‘haunted’ sites, asking for the first time — can ghosts be queer, and if so, are they willing to come out?
“Sometimes it feels a little like group therapy.” says Queer Ghost Hunter Katy Detrow.
“Even though they really believe in what they are doing, they are totally aware of how bizarre it all looks. So, their ability to have fun at their own expense has been just as fun to document,” said Stu Maddux, Director at Stu Maddux Films who has created several LGBT history and aging documentaries including “Gen Silent” and Reel in The Closet along with his spouse and coproducer Joe Applebaum. “It is the perfect combination of real findings and funny moments wrapped into a campy version of ghost hunting shows.” adds Applebaum.
So how does this all work? How does one go about finding queer ghosts willing to come out of the paranormal closet?
Before an investigation, the team does some preliminary research on the site, looking for evidence of “queer people who may have been there.”
An example they cite is their research team found a batch of prison records from the early 1900s of more than 50 young men that were sent to the “Ohio State Reformatory” (as the prison in the film “Shawshank Redemption” was called) on convictions for sodomy and some of those young men died while there. Where there are dead people, maybe there are ghosts.
“The ghosts of some of these people seem to still be there and ready to talk,” says Shane McClelland, a cofounder of the team. “But they’ve been waiting for an understanding voice. Plus they seem to be a little randy after all those years. That helps.”
Season 1 will premiere October 1st. The group also plans to start a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to investigate more places and create a second season about what they discover.