Mysterious Heartland invites you to explore real-life mysteries in the American Heartland, including unsolved crimes, missing persons, conspiracy theories, legend tripping, and unexplained paranormal phenomena. Although we report on past and present criminal cases, we are not a news source.
Mysterious Heartland went online in December 2008 and for over six years provided information, interviews, reviews, and more related to the legends and lore of Illinois and the Midwest. Looking for old articles? Visit our archive.
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Our Editor: Michael Kleen
Michael Kleen holds a M.A. in History from Eastern Illinois University and a M.S. in Education from Western Illinois University. He is a freelance columnist, as well as the author of Haunting Illinois, Paranormal Illinois, Six Tales of Terror, and Tales of Coles County, among other works. Most recently, he edited and published the anthology Secret Rockford.
His nonfiction articles have appeared in publications like Historic Illinois and the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, and his short stories have appeared in anthologies like Hunting Ghosts: Thrilling Tales of the Paranormal and Mythos: Myths & Tales of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard.
In 2011, his short story “Coed Terror in the Ivory Tower of Doom” was adapted into a short film called Headline News, which won Best Actor for Michael Wexler as Dr. Ethan Campbell at the 2011 Chicago Horror Film Festival.
Michael has spoken about local history and folklore at conventions, libraries, cafes, museums, schools, and colleges; and he has presented research papers at the 2007, 2010, and 2011 Conference on Illinois History in Springfield. He has also been a guest on radio shows like The Mothership Connection on AM-1050 WLIP, Thresholds Radio, the Michael Koolidge Show, the Kevin Smith Show, and the Bobbie Ashley Morning Show, among others. He has also appeared on 30 Odd Minutes, WGN Channel 9 News, WTVO Channel 17/FOX 39 News, WREX Channel 13 News, WICD Channel 15 News, and Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures.