Steve Shippy was a national recording artist with an interest in the paranormal. We had the chance to chat with him about his filmmaking career and his new series, Haunting in the Heartland for Travel Channel.
In his former life, Steve Shippy was a successful rap artist known as Prozak who had a keen interest in the paranormal. This stemmed from his childhood in Saginaw, Michigan where he grew up in a haunted house.
His search for the truth behind his supernatural experiences as a youth, led him into the world of documentary filmmaking where his series of A Haunting in Saginaw films drew the attention of the Travel Channel. Now, he is the host of a brand-new show for the network which focuses on saving various Midwestern towns from evil entities.
We were fortunate enough to chat with Steve Shippy in lieu of Haunting in the Heartland’s premiere. Here is our interview.
A Haunted Beginning
1428 Elm: Thanks for spending time with us, Steve. You started off in the music business as a rapper. How did you make the transition from that world to being a paranormal investigator? Did growing up in a haunted house have anything to do with it?
Steve Shippy: Well, it wasn’t actually a transition. I’ve been investigating and researching the paranormal since I was a teenager, well before my career as a national recording artist. In regard to my childhood home, that was most certainly the catalyst which started me on this hair-raising journey.
1428 Elm: When you found out that the previous owners of your house had been murdered, did you think that maybe the haunting was tied to the victims wanting their stories to be told or was it something darker?
SS: There was so much speculation and rumors as to what really transpired/or did not in that home, that it truly makes it difficult to pinpoint the cause of the activity that was occurring. Also, being so young, I wasn’t able to look at the events that transpired through an investigative lens, but through the eyes of a terrified child. Sorting through facts and rumors, I am still, in a sense, looking for some of those answers, but regardless the paranormal activity within that home was very real, and left me with more questions than answers.
1428 Elm: Your documentary series, A Haunting on Finn Road: The Devil’s Grove, A Haunting in Saginaw, Michigan and A Haunting on Brockway Street have quite the fan following. Did you approach Travel Channel with the idea for Haunting in the Heartland?
SS: Yes, the Haunted Saginaw films have developed a massive and very dedicated core of followers over the last 10 years/10 films, and the notoriety these films gained is what lead Ample Entertainment (the production company which produced “Haunting in the Heartland”) to take notice. They reached out to me and stated that they felt my midwestern grassroots approach to these films, both as a filmmaker and investigator, was unique in many ways.
Particularly the way I canvassed the communities by speaking to all the locals, getting the history and stories from the people who lived there… the greater picture, even dealing with local law enforcement. They wanted to help broaden my reach outside of my home state and community – and give me the opportunity to help others in the greater region of the Heartland… the place I feel most comfortable.
Ultimately, this project made its way to the Travel Channel and found its ideal home.
1428 Elm: Your premiere episode, “The Watchman” sounds pretty harrowing. It doesn’t get any scarier than an evil entity that has been tormenting a town for years. The fact that this spirit could destroy structures is terrifying. Without giving too much of the plot away, tell us about some of the tragedies that have plagued the area.
SS: The activity that plagues that rural farm community is nothing to be taken lightly. The dark and restless residue that covers that land, spawns from a tragedy that took place in the late 1800’s. During the investigative process, I started to notice many similarities within the folklore and claims by the locals, as well as identical reports of activity taking place within different homes in the area.
As a result, this led me to look for a bigger picture, something that must have happened to create this reoccurring pattern within the entire community, not isolated to one particular home. Sure enough, after performing all due diligence, and obtaining all the records and information from local historians, the answer became clear. An infectious and deadly epidemic once ravaged this community, killing off a large percentage of its once proud and prosperous population.
1428 Elm: Which one of your investigations for Haunting in the Heartland affected you the most and why?
SS: Without a doubt, I would have to say, “I Am Red Death” (Premieres Friday, February 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT). I traveled to the remote and mountainous town of Greenville, Tennessee, to help a young family plagued by a malevolent force.
Not only was the activity terrorizing the helpless family, it was also believed to have caused the death of one of its members. While diving deep into the community for answers, a dark and disturbing under current of black magic began to surface. The stakes were high, the danger was imminent, and there was no turning back.
Haunting in the Heartland premieres on Feb. 21 at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel.
Have you seen Steve Shippy’s Haunting in Saginaw series? Are you looking forward to Haunting in the Heartland? Let us know in the comments.