Michael is the Founder, President and CEO of the Indiana Ghost Trackers, INC (www.indianaghosts.org) and is one of the leading authorities on hauntings in the state of Indiana. He is a research specialist, investigator and journalist covering the field of ghost and poltergeist phenomena. Michael has been researching paranormal phenomena since 1997. Michael graduated from Purdue with his Bachelors of Science degree in Systems Analysis in 2007.
Michael has a long history with the paranormal. His earliest experiences with ghosts started when he was about 10, seeing a spirit for himself of a deceased boy who had been killed while using a pogo stick to bounce himself to school.
His interest grew over the years and he was inspired to begin investigating after his first paranormal photo in 1997. It was a misty blob of a face next to the gravesite of Daniel Boone in Defiance MO. He was also inspired by the Haunted Historical tours of New Orleans.
In 1996, Mike started a non-profit internet chat club (NIICC) that got together for live events every month. Many friends from that organization had a shared interest in the paranormal and became the first ghost adventurers with Mike in his quest. They traveled to various sites in NW Indiana and found anomalies that couldn?t be explained. In 1999, inspired by the New Orleans tours, Mike took his friends on a Halloween ghost tour of the NWI region. Pictures were taken on the first hunt or tour, of very clear faces in windows of a reputed haunted house in Porter County.
When the newspapers covered the stories about the group, many interested people from the public joined the calling to establish a professional paranormal organization in NW Indiana. NIICC disbanded in 2000 as Mike began the Northwest Indiana Ghost Trackers, later dropping the Northwest part of the name to take on a larger role.
In 2000, Indiana had nearly no paranormal groups. Only 2-3 small groups existed publicly at the time, with only one of them that even answered emails. One area group in NW Indiana had disbanded only a year prior, plagued by scandalous activities of its President and Founder. Indiana was scoffed at as jokes were made. One joke by a very well known author was ?There?s nothing but corn in Indiana? as he referred to the ghosts. I guess they were proven wrong!
People from 5 hours away continued to answer the call of a paranormal organization that was open to the public and non-exclusive. The Indiana Ghost Trackers expanded to meet the needs of the public. Not just the people who had problems in their homes or businesses but those that wanted to become a part of something bigger and learn more about investigating the paranormal.
Michael structured the organization and took on the heavy management responsibilities associated with the extreme endeavor of having such a huge membership base (with the help of many friends of course as the song goes!). Creating nearly everything from scratch wasn?t easy but the organization became one of the countries largest regional based paranormal organizations with over 450 members and 13 chapters. (Some groups claim more memberships but many are national organizations or those that use online and free registrations to count membership. IGT uses the word membership to represent those current and active members who have paid a membership fee and participate actively, not just over the internet. )
Utilizing a combination of investigative skills and technological monitoring and detection equipment, Michael has conducted numerous paranormal investigations throughout Indiana and many areas of the United States. He has cases referred to him by various individuals and organizations.
Being a main contributor to the education of paranormal enthusiasts around Indiana, Michael has taught over 2,200 people paranormal investigation techniques. He gives lectures along other similar lines of study including psychic protection, Electronic Voice Phenomena and advanced investigation topics. He has been giving public talks and lectures since 2000 on various topics related on the paranormal. He is also an educator for Purdue University instructing students on paranormal investigations.
McDowell has been featured in a large number of various news articles, TV stations and talk shows throughout the state and around the country. Just a few involve A&E?s ?Dead Famous?, Living Channels ?Conversations with a serial Killer? (2 episodes), local news broadcasts, local & internet radio shows and much more. Some of his video work includes Mystic Indiana by Paz Productions, Ghost Stories 2 and 3, The haunting of Fox Hollow all by Vizmo Films and Dead Whisper by Ronald James Productions.
TOUR COMPANY FORMED
In 2006, after 5 previous years of running bus tours for the Indiana Ghost Trackers, Chaos Haunted & Historical Tours was formed to run ghost and historical type tours of the NW Indiana region. www.chaostrips.com . Michael still donates tours and fundraising efforts to Indiana Ghost Trackers. Michael served on the board at the Porter County Historical Society from 2006 - 2009.
Mike has served as Chairman of the Porter County Historical Society in 2007-2009. He is currently Sargent at Arms in the Calumet Toastmasters where he has been a member since 2015. He is currently working on completing his CC with Toastmasters.
The word Chaos was used in the company?s name for a few reasons. Michael had a dream at the age of 11 that he was standing next to a bus with some friends nearby. The word on the side of the bus was Chaos. He thought that it was a rock band that he was a part of and made a drawing of what he saw in the dream. He always felt the dream was prophetic but never understood it?s true meaning. He still has that picture. When developing an internet persona in 1996, Chaos seemed an acceptable handle. He had never used it before but somehow, it seemed a good fit. The wild sided Chaos of the Internet chat rooms was formed. The chat room handles, like Chaos, were used at the NIICC events and the Chaos name continued to be a part of him. In 2001, at one of Mikes first big investigations (Valparaiso City Hall) where he did EVP, he captured a voice saying ?Chaos? in somewhat of a growl and another voice saying ?Hello!?. None of the investigators were his old chat room friends or had called him Chaos. Michael took this to mean that he was being personally welcomed as an investigator by some unknown entity.
Michael, a.k.a. Chaos, has been told by many psychics that quite a few ghosts follow him.
Some of the Media Appearances Mike has been featured in:
Haunts & Legends - NW Indiana Documentary (2012)
The Haunting of Fox Hollow (Video 2011)
Ghost Stories 3 (video 2009)
Ghost Stories 2 (video 2008)
Dead Famous (2 episodes 2008)
Mystic Indiana; Paz Productions (Video 2003)
Dead Whisper (www.deadwhisper.com) (2006)
A&E Channel, Dead Famous (2006)
The Indiana Ghost Trackers were featured on: Sci-Fi Channel, 2003
CBS Morning News
FOX morning show
14 WFIE TV (2003)
South Bend CBS, ABC, FOX news programs (2002)
Graveyard Theater (Local cable) (2002-2006)
WSBT South bend (2002)
Hooiser hauntings ?
Ghostly Talk Radio
Paul Weaver show, WTRC Elkhart, IN
HITS 96.3 FM,
Multiple other radio phone in interviews
A link to heaven http://www.bloginservice.com/bbc/a_link_to_heaven.shtml Robbie Thomas ON BBS RADIO
http://www.bob.fm/ May 3rd CJFR-BOB FM
http://internetradio.net/genre-oldies/?more_info=537&ma=&co=&sp=&ci= with Bruce Wiley
APW Wire Notre Dame Investigation
Post Tribune (Lake & Porter)
The Times newspaper (Porter and
Ghost Magazine issue #1
National Association of Counties
LaPorte Harold Argus
Crown Point Images magazine
The Beat Magazine
Journal and Courier
The Beach Coast
Plus multiple other print sources
Has done talks for MANY groups including:
InconJunction - Guest Speaker 2005, 2006
Gen Con Guest Speaker 2007 - 2011, 13-15
Lake County Library
Porter County Library
Lowell Public Library
Lions Club of
Porter County Historical society
Kankakee Historical Society
Kankakee Historical Society
Other public appearances:
Lake County Fair 2004, 2005
Ghost Tours 2001- 2016
Popcorn Fest 2004, 2005
Porter County Fair 2006, 2007, 2009 - 2011