I write books about monsters. I lead walking tours past, and occasionally into, locations said to be haunted. If someone calls me or the rest of the Paranormal Investigation and Research Society (PIRS), claiming a malevolent shadow person terrorizes the hallways of their home, I grab my gear and charge half-cocked into an unfamiliar and potentially dangerous situation. I do not write under any pseudonym. The name on the cover of this book you’re holding is who I am. To borrow a Jimi Hendrix lyric, “I wave my freak flag high.” I chose said lyric, because often a freak is exactly what some people think I am, in more conventional social circles. In a way, perhaps they’re right. After all, it takes a certain sort to do the things I do.
But no matter what sort of societal situation I’m in, be it a dinner party with the stuffiest of stuffed shirts, or a paranormal convention in a cheap hotel bar surrounded by my fellow Fortean enthusiasts I’m always asked the exact same question when they learn of my unconventional vocation—“have you ever had any paranormal experiences?”—and each and every time I struggle for an adequate answer.
That tidbit of information speaks volumes about my lifelong inability to prepare for even the most anticipated of chitchat, but it is the truth. I will stutter, and stammer, and then I will draw a complete and total blank. When this happens, I quickly blurt out something to the effect of “Oh, I’ve seen a shadow or two out of the corner of my eye, but nothing terribly dramatic.”
One of two things invariably will occur. Either the person will crush me with a groundswell of disinterest and wander away to find the crab dip, or they’ll enthusiastically tell me about some unexplainable episode from their own lives, ever so pleased to find out that a Fortean author and ghost hunter has somehow managed to lead such a thoroughly unremarkable life compared to their own.
After such occasions, I find myself lying in bed hours later, replaying the interaction in my head unceasingly. Because mere moments after such conversations conclude, my mind is flooded by a torrent of thrilling and unexplainable personal experiences. Then I get out of bed, unable to sleep, and in disgust, order pizza. Yes, I have problems. This new book will chronicle my various personal experiences, including but not limited to:
- A pack of terrifying, and potentially spectral black dogs that chased my friends and I away from a haunted country lane in Cleveland, Georgia.
- A Germantown, Wisconsin investigation where I captured an audio recording of a ghost chastising my fellow investigator for talking during an EVP session.
- The large scratches I found on my shoulder after getting ill during a tour of Louisville’s Waverly Hills Sanatorium.
- The time a sepia tone woman’s face materialized right in front of me in Mammoth Cave National Park.
- Phantom footsteps following me in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. The site of the infamous John Brown insurrection that was meant to end slavery, but instead ended in slaughter.
I intend to post regular updates regarding my progress on this as yet unnamed book, both to keep you informed, and me motivated to continue my writing. Watch this blog, subscribe to my email list (the subscription box is to the left of this blog), or follow my Facebook Page
I’ve had many puzzling experiences that have left their mark on me. Some of which have actually showed up on camera. Now, back to work.