Merrill starring in new Travel Channel series investigating paranormal activity

Saginaw County native Steve Shippy is investigating paranormal activity in Merrill and five...
Saginaw County native Steve Shippy is investigating paranormal activity in Merrill and five other towns during the debut season of "Haunting in the Heartland" on the Travel Channel. (WJRT)
Published: Feb. 7, 2020 at 12:57 PM EST
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(2/7/2020) - A Saginaw County native is starring in a new Travel Channel series highlighting unexplained or paranormal experiences around the United States.

"Haunting in the Heartland" with Steve Shippy premieres at 10 p.m. Feb. 21.

During the series, Shippy visits towns traumatized by fear of the unknown. He uses personal experiences from his childhood in a "creepy house on the corner" to connect with families seeking help.

“Growing up in a haunted house in a small Midwestern town, I understand the isolation of the experience, and it was only when others in town started to have similar experiences that I realized I wasn’t alone,” said Shippy.

The first season features six one-hour episodes. Shippy uses eyewitness accounts, archival information and his own toolkit to investigate the towns' ghostly past until he can develop a plausible resolution.

“Like my documentaries, working on this show is truly my life’s work," Shippy said. "These small towns have a bigger story to tell, and in order to find the resolution these families need now, we need to piece together their past.”

He will document an alleged evil spirit holding the small town of Merrill hostage since the 1800s in the first episode. The Saginaw County town along M-46 has about 765 residents.

Shippy will investigate an increase in hauntings during the summer of 1974, which prompted investigations by police, firefighters and even the FBI. The paranormal activity may have included a spontaneous fire that burned down a family's farmhouse.

The alleged evil spirit at work in Merrill may be connected with another haunting. Shippy gets help from a clairvoyant during the episode to ward off the spirit.

During the first season, Shippy also visits Malvern, Iowa; Atchison, Kansas; Hebron, Ky.; Holly Springs, Miss.; and Greeneville, Tenn.