GHS 2005 graduates Ashley Brooks, Ty Gowen, and Nick Nordfors, went their separate ways after high school. Brooks attended the University of Southern Maine, earning a degree in English, with a minor in Creative Writing. Gowen earned a degree in English with a focus in Communications from the University of New England, while Nordfors attended New York University, graduating with a degree in Film and TV production.
Their day jobs take them in different directions, too, but at night, they work closely on a joint project they are passionate about…their web- based TV series Haunt ME, which premiered in November of 2012. Over the ensuing seasons, it has garnered a growing audience and will be airing its 4th season beginning in May. Haunt ME showcases some of Maine’s history, visiting places that are reputedly haunted, and sharing the stories of those who have died, but may be lingering on.
By day, Brooks is a businesswoman, running Vetiver Boutique, an online store catering to vintage and antique clothing. She hopes to open in a physical storefront next year. She is also a freelance music journalist and is a musician herself. “Being self-employed allows me to be creative on a daily basis, but it also requires a lot of motivation and focus,” she said.
By night, Brooks is the creator and leader of Haunt ME and also serves as the researcher and historian for the new season. When asked what originally drew her to this endeavor, she said, “I love exploring historical buildings and unraveling their secrets and lore. I have always been attracted to the past, and to telling the stories of events and people long forgotten.”
Gowen spends his work week in Marketing at Unum. “I transfer the skills I learn in my day job to my night job of Haunt ME,” he said. After hours, Gowen is the Tech Analyst for Haunt ME, the Location Scout and “the Y chromosome representative” among the four investigators on the series. He added, “I’ve always wanted to explore the unknown…being able to do this with my best friends is more than I could ever ask for.”
Nordfors freelances in live television/events as a script supervisor, working in New York and LA throughout the year, on various shows such as the Emmys, MTV Movie Awards, NBA All-Star Weekend, and Disney holiday specials. Nordfors is the producer and director of Haunt ME, capturing the investigations on video and putting each episode together as a cohesive story. Initially a skeptic of the paranormal, Nordfors said, “I was originally drawn to the project by the challenge of trying to capture these live, organic investigations with little equipment and a small budget.” After 4 seasons, he has better equipment and is more open-minded about paranormal encounters.
Other Haunt ME staff include Carol Cleveland, a manesologist, a paranormal expert with a wide breadth of knowledge in the field, and Katie Webb, an occultist, who utilizes metaphysical tools and theories in the investigations. The tech crew consists of Michael Strout, the production tech producer and cam- era crew: Krista (Bertalan) Ryall (GHS ’05), Erin Cross (GHS ’05), Anna Halloran, Johnny Speckman, and Charlie Widdis (GHS ’03).
What can people look for in season 4? The cast and crew will be exploring three new historical locations in Maine, including famed North Pole explorer, Admiral Peary’s home in Fryeburg. Gowen said, “Now that we are more experienced, we also thought it would be a good idea to revisit three of our favorite places from previous seasons.”
This will also give them a chance to re-test their measurements and observations at these locations. The Haunt ME team uses a scientific approach and employs a variety of scientific tools and equipment, such as night vision/infrared cameras and film to measure and record visual paranormal activity. Many paranormal findings are audio-based and are picked up by digital audio recorders. They also use devices such as thermometers and EMF meters to measure thermal and electromagnetic changes.
Season 4 will also feature appearances by three well-known experts in paranormal activity: investigator, Grant Wilson, from SyFy’s show Ghost Hunters; psychic medium Chip Coffey, who has made appearances on shows like Psychic Kids, Paranormal State, and Kindred Spirits; and Greg and Dana Newkirk, who run the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult, and who recently brought a haunted item from one episode of Haunt ME to show on TLC’s Paranormal Lockdown.
Brooks lives in Brunswick and Gowen lives in Westbrook. Nordfors splits his time between Maine and NYC and is often on the road for TV jobs.
Brooks is the daughter of Greg and Kathy Brooks. Gowen is the son of Mary and Bruce Gowen; brother Nick Gowen, (GHS ’09); and Nordfors is the son of Laurie Nordfors; sisters Katie Nordfors (GHS ’08) and Ashley Aceto (GHS ’15).
Here’s where you can watch new and old episodes of Haunt ME: