Conner Gossel and two friends created the Instagram account Haunted Historian in an effort to create an online community dedicated to cataloguing the world’s haunted locations.
The 25-year-old Dayton, Ohio native launched Haunted Historian with Blake Kendig and Alex Meiring in late 2018 when he was beginning law school.
It was an attempt to keep in touch with his friends back home whom he would do paranormal investigations with, as well as get his fill of the paranormal and the horror genre. He was away from home attending law school at Ohio State.
Back in Gossel’s junior year of high school, he and his friends started their own investigations after being inspired by investigators like Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures and Grant Wilson of Ghost Hunters.
Gossel, who works as a public relations professional for a marketing firm, has investigated locations like Hill View Manor in Newcastle, Pennsylvania, Brushy Mountain Penitentiary and the Hales Bar Dam in Tennessee.
“I made the page as an outlet, while I was gone, to stay involved and have a reason to research these places and hear about these places,” he said, in a late April phone conversation. “You know, the whole beginning was to see if I couldn’t build just a small little close-knit community of like-minded people into the same topic matter and who could share their paranormal experiences.”
He recalled mentioning to one of his friends that it would be cool if the page could grow to get over a hundred likes on a picture or to converse.
Now, it’s appealing to a global audience with over 55,000 followers, as well as investigative opportunities like shadowing the Columbus Catholic Diocese on an exorcism in New Albany, Ohio.
“It’s gone beyond the community and to kind of like, like the icon of a global audience. A lot of international followers started coming on,” Gossel said. “They started asking for content in their locales, in their areas and the touch base, not just in America, but all over the world.”
Some of the Canadian locations featured on the Haunted Historian Instagram account include British Columbian locales like Tranquille in Kamloops, Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria and Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam.
With every photo, of every location, there is a lengthy writeup about the history of a given building and the hauntings associated inside its walls.
Continued growth is encouraged as other investigation groups have submitted photos to the trio to post through the Instagram account. And they still get plenty of submissions, including an unnamed sanatorium in Ecuador and another location in Northern Russia for content.
It’s also caught the interest of some production companies who have been tapping into their visual encyclopedia for additional information and location scouting.
“The more obscure, the more out-there — places that we wouldn’t have found — the more valuable the page is,” Gossel said. “I mean, anybody can hop online and do some level of research to find these places, but it’s the international followers and people who are in regions that aren’t as investigated, sending in these places.”