Thursday, April 7, 2016

Creative Process Formed From Paranormal Experiences: Mark Sarro

Mark Sarro (left) 

Upon occasion, I come across people with amazing talents in the creative realm and I have to stop and ask them, "have you had paranormal experiences?" Sure enough, they pretty much always say, "oh yes!" The stories are interesting and varied, but the theme is the same - when one experiences the unexplained a doorway is opened in the mind and the soul and suddenly nothing is as we thought before. With that phoenix-like renewal, our creative process is born.

I came across a great Delaware band called Lost Souls on Broadway and also found a lead singer and songwriter, Mark Sarro, was a very wise old soul in the realm of para encounters. I put some questions to him and here's what this talented and open-minded man had to say.

Sharon:  Tell us about your experiences with ghosts as a child and your attitude about the interactions, i.e. were you scared? curious? enchanted?

Mark:  It all started when I was only 5 years old. My family had just gone bankrupt and my father lost his business and we lost our house. It was time to try something new, so my dad took the family and moved us downstate in Dover, DE. The house we moved into was a smaller home near the historic downtown. No sooner did we move in that the neighbors came around and warned my folks that we were living in an “Amityville Horror” type of house; my parents did a good job at keeping that from us, but it wasn’t too long before we all started to experience it for ourselves. Footsteps, doors, windows and cabinets opening and closing by themselves. Full body apparitions that would come and visit me in the middle of the night. A dream that I would have (really a nightmare) that was a repetitive dream that stayed with me until my teenage years. (I go deeper into the experience in my “Ghosts of Delaware” book, shameless plug, I know…) I was terrified to say the least, this coming from someone who would run screaming from a vacuum cleaner (I’d run and jump and stand on the couch and scream bloody murder, next to the barking dog!). My brother and sister got such a kick out of it! It turns out that the house used to be a funeral parlor and was also located next to a church. In the basement were these slab shelves (where they used to keep the bodies) and I thought they made a great place to set up and play with my Star Wars toys! We only lived in that house for a year. (We didn’t move because of the haunting, we moved because of my father’s work). My sister and I still look back at that house with very fond memories, even though it scared me quite a bit.

Did growing up with ghosts make you feel different than others? Could you share that or did you keep it to yourself? 

Mark:  Absolutely, I realized that I was very sensitive to it and continued to have experiences with it all throughout my life. I kept it a secret, even some of the more intense experiences I kept from my family. I tried to share it with friends over the years, but it wasn’t until I became an adult and started meeting folks through my research and investigations that had very much the same types of experiences. Very quickly I realized that I wasn’t alone.

Sharon:  Did you develop an interest in Halloween and horror movies, develop a tolerance for spooky things?

Mark:  Yes, horror movies, sci-fi, going to haunted places or chasing down urban legends was something I started doing as soon as I got my driver’s license and had access to a car. You could definitely say that I developed a tolerance to the movies and such. There really aren’t more than a handful of movies that have actually scared me over the years. 1. Poltergeist (The original of course) and 2. Prince of Darkness… Those movies just creeped me out!

Sharon:  How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a singer/musician? Were their influences around you that made you interested or just a love of music?

Mark:  I started playing my first instrument when I was 10 (violin) and at 13 picked up the guitar and was in my first band. (garage punk rock, in the realm of Black Flag, Misfits, etc) My older brother is a drummer and played in bands too, so he was a big influence on me. As soon as I started playing in a band and I got to feel the energy of it and the interaction and collaboration it just sucked me in. I was already hooked on music as a whole and it was the escape I needed to get away from some of the things that I had to deal with already in my life (paranormal and such).

Sharon:  You are now in a band. When you are writing lyrics, do you find your earlier influences showing up in romantic prose? morose prose? dark prose? or philosophical prose? Do you think your ghostly encounters made you more insightful to life and death, joy and anguish?

Mark:  I would definitely say dark/philosophical. I did a lot of writing growing up. The bug to be a writer got me earlier than music, it wasn’t until years later with the work I was doing in the paranormal field that I would get to become a published writer. I definitely feel that my paranormal experiences have given me greater insight into life and death, joy and anguish. Some of the experiences that I’ve had with it have at times been violent and dark. There have been a few cases that I’ve worked over the years that I felt that I barely got through it.

Sharon:  Do you pursue ghosts even today by going to haunted locations, cemeteries, B and Bs, battlefields and such? Do you think these locations tap something creative in your soul and, if so, what?

Mark:  Yes, I still actively research and investigate. I do it more now for my book writing, whereas before I ran a paranormal group that actively worked private cases and such. (Chester County Paranormal Research Society) I’m still actively writing and currently working on my fifth book for Schiffer Publishing. I’ve built up some decent relationships with other writers, investigators and groups in and around the area. I still try to contribute where I can to the field and am always open to working with other groups and investigators.

Sharon:  Mark has also written books on para subjects and I have to say - this man is chock full of talent! 

I fell in love with his music, but now I'm intrigued by the creative force behind the passionate tunes. The band has a grunge-like sound that I find very appealing. In recent years, music seems to have died as far as any movement or talent. It's good to see there are still musicians with a soul bringing life to the soundtrack of our lives. I highly encourage you to check out the band's site and definitely get the music!

Band Website:

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