Tag Archives: ghosts

Interview with Author William Hart

Tell us a little about yourself.

     I wanted to be a writer from childhood, but didn’t think of myself that way until after college, when I decided to become one. Tired of school and knowing poets don’t earn much, I began supporting myself, my wife and our daughter as a commercial sheet metal worker on grain elevators in Wichita, Kansas, my hometown. In my thirties I did grad school in English, finishing at the University of Southern California, where I met my current wife, a filmmaker from Calcutta, India.

     My wife and I taught college writing for twenty years, then retired early to pursue our creative careers. I write novels, memoirs, stories, and poetry collections. I also help Jayasri make her documentary films, two of which have played nationally on PBS. My writing has appeared in several hundred literary journals, commercial magazines, newspapers and anthologies, and fifteen books.

What was your first experience with the paranormal

     I had one ESP experience over fifty years ago, which I discuss under question 8. The book I just published, My Friend Richard, is a narrative memoir describing in detail my second experience with the paranormal, which has been transpiring off-and-on for over a decade now, ever since a close high school buddy came in his spirit form to live with my wife and me. When Richard arrived, I had an open mind on the subject of ghosts, partly because my wife tells a vivid story about her grandfather, who in the days after his death came to see both her and her cousin, his favorites among his female grandchildren. My wife is an unusually rational person, truthful to a fault. If she says her grandfather’s presence came to say good-bye accompanied by the heavy rose scent of his funeral ceremony, then it happened. 

What is one misconception people have about the paranormal that you want readers to know?

     Most of us watch Hollywood movies, and the most powerful of them help shape our thinking. One problem with that is we can end up with many unfounded notions about, for instance, the paranormal. I believe films vastly exaggerate the drama of paranormal, usually to scare us out of our pants. The truth is calmer and more mundane. To me the paranormal is as normal as regular existence. Richard, once my living friend, and now my spirit friend, I’m convinced is as real as me. He’s just in a different state. I’m a living being, composed of both body and spirit. He’s a spirit without a body, having lost it to death. Both of us are natural, and real, and neither of us is more real or more natural than the other. In other words, the “paranormal” is a generally unacknowledged part of the normal.

     Richard has shown me that our laws of physics are woefully inadequate, because they omit entirely the spiritual components of our universe, which are as genuine as the material components, though less substantial. There is a whole other world of spirit alongside (or within) our world of the living. It was my luck to be contacted by a being from that other place, who had a favor to ask. He has become my guide in the zone where his world and mine intersect. Our continuing friendship has made me an explorer of the other side.

Are there any haunted locations that have fueled your interest in the paranormal field?

     Definitely. In 2013, my wife and I visited the good ship Queen Mary, permanently docked in Long Beach Harbor and functioning as a hotel. We attended a ghost presentation by one of the ship’s officers, a true believer in the ghosts aboard his vessel. His lecture on those ghosts, which he and other ship employees have witnessed, along with film and stills taken of them, convinced my wife and me that the Mary is haunted by a number of spirits—men, women, and some children. I suspect not all ghost houses are real. But I think a ghost house running overnight on the Queen Mary would give you a decent shot at experiencing the real thing. And, if ghosts congregate on the Mary, they likely gather in other similar places.

What is the biggest takeaway you have from your experiences with the paranormal as expressed in your book? 

     My friend has proved to me I will have an afterlife, as we all will. There can be no doubt in my mind, because I’ve seen and interacted with someone whose afterlife is now over fifty years old. I doubt all ghosts continue in their spirit state as long as Richard has. Most of us I think, after a time in our ghost manifestation, move on, though I don’t know to where or to what. Perhaps our spirit moves into the body of another being, like many Hindus believe. All I know for sure is that we all have afterlives, whether brief or long or forever. Richard leads me to believe we may to some degree get to choose for ourselves what that afterlife will be.

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If you could travel to one haunted location and investigate it, where would it be and why?

     I don’t have to travel. The ghost I know best has lived with us for twelve or thirteen years at least, and apparently has no intention of changing residence. He seems to have settled into our master bedroom closet. However, he hasn’t been active since the first of this year, when he threw a temper tantrum, breaking a ceiling panel in our kitchen and stealing our new 2022 kitchen calendar. We haven’t found the calendar. 

How much influence and power do you think people give to spirits or ghosts?

     Hollywood gives ghosts a lot more power than I believe they actually have, simply to up their terror factor. Lacking a body limits an actual ghost in what it can do physically. I also believe ghosts are bound by rules, imposed by whom or what I don’t know. For example, I think spirits aren’t allowed to harm humans to any significant degree. When I asked Richard not to bother me for a while, he obeyed. He obeyed so well I thought he’d left us. Then I offended him with something I wrote (and he read) and he retaliated on New Year’s Day in our kitchen.  

Besides ghosts, what other paranormal fields interest you?

     I’ve experienced ESP and am curious about it. My daughter was 150 miles away when she was seriously assaulted. I was busy at work when it happened, but I felt the attack powerfully in my gut and knew it was my kid afraid and hurting. I didn’t learn what happened until later. This experience convinced me humans have psychic powers. I’ve seen that Richard has psychic powers too. It’s made me want to find out more about ESP. How many psychic powers are there and how can they be explained? I’d like to know more. 

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About the Author

William Hart is a novelist and poet living in Los Angeles. After earning a doctorate in English from the University of Southern California, he taught college writing courses in LA and wrote. Now he writes–fiction mostly–while helping produce the documentaries of filmmaker Jayasri Majumdar, his wife. Hart’s work has appeared in several hundred literary journals, commercial magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, and fourteen books. A pair of one-hour documentaries from Hartfilms aired nationally on PBS, the latest receiving Emmy nominations. 

Life with the Afterlife: 13 Truths I Learned About Ghosts by Amy Bruni Review

Paranormal Investigator and star of the acclaimed paranormal documentary series Kindred Spirits, author Amy Bruni shares her experiences and lessons she learned in the paranormal field in an effort to dispel the hysteria and fear that is often associated with the paranormal in her book, “Life with the Afterlife: 13 Truths I Learned About Ghosts”. 

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The Synopsis

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Star of Kindred Spirits and paranormal investigator Amy Bruni shares stories from her years of experiences with ghosts, organized around thirteen truths that guide her approach to the supernatural.

Amy Bruni, co-star of Kindred Spirits and one of the world’s leading paranormal investigators, has learned a lot about ghosts over her years of research and first-hand experience. Now, in Life with the Afterlife, she shares the insight she has gleaned and how it has shaped her unique approach to interacting with the spirits of the dead and those who encounter them.

From her earliest supernatural encounters as a child, through her years appearing on Ghost Hunters and the creation of her company Strange Escapes, which offers paranormal excursions to some of America’s most notoriously haunted destinations, and into her current work on The Travel Channel’s Kindred Spirits, this book is full of astonishing and deeply moving stories of Amy’s efforts to better understand the dead but not yet departed. With Amy’s bright humor and fierce compassion for both those who are haunted and those who are haunting, Life with the Afterlife is an eye-opening look at what connects us as people, in life and beyond.

The Review

As a longtime fan of the author’s work both in television work and in the field of paranormal investigation, I have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to review this book. The author and investigator does an amazing job of balancing personal stories and her views on the paranormal with real-life lessons and techniques that aspiring investigators can take with them into the field, along with helping to shed the “horror” quality paranormal investigations often get from those who don’t fully understand the field. 

The thing that really stood out to me in this book is how the author balances personal experience with infamous cases and beyond. For instance, the author can relay some incredible moments from seasons of Kindred Spirits in the personal homes of a mother and son, and then just as easily switch over to the infamous Conjuring House, and discuss each case in the same matter of fact and thought-provoking way. It allowed the book to maintain a balance of personal and emotional recollection with scientific and investigative reporting. 

There were so many incredible stories and lessons to be learned in this book, but one that really resonated with me was the lesson that is revealed early on in the book. Everyone tends to treat every haunting as something fearful and terrifying, but that is rarely the case. Sometimes people are so desperate to be heard in the afterlife or confused about what’s happening that their attempts to communicate come across as frightening, when it really wasn’t meant to be. The notion that people are generally going to act and behave the same way they did in the afterlife as they did in their living life is such a profound thing to think about, and a lesson that can really help others understand the paranormal in a whole new light.

The Verdict

Hauntingly engaging, both humorous and emotionally driven, and an evenly-paced yet exciting read, author Amy Bruni’s “Life with the Afterlife” is a must-read book and one of my favorite non-fiction reads in the field of the paranormal. A perfect balance of personal stories from her work and her life with the lessons and techniques investigators and average readers alike can take when dealing with the paranormal, this book is the perfect blend of entertaining and educational in this field. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Amy Bruni started working professionally as a paranormal investigator in 2007, when she began appearing on Ghost Hunters, one of the longest-running and highest-rated paranormal television shows. Now, she’s the co-star and executive producer of The Travel Channel’s Kindred Spirits. In addition, Amy is the owner of Strange Escapes, a company offering paranormal excursions to some of America’s most notoriously haunted destinations.

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The Haunting of Barry’s Lodge by Annie Walters

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A modern day classic horror story comes to brilliant life in author Annie Walter’s novel The Haunting of Barry’s Lodge. A blend of old school ghost stories with psychological horror, this book takes readers on a whirlwind journey through one terrifying week in the life of an aspiring writer. Here’s the synopsis:

Alfred, a washed-up author, plagued by failures can’t believe his luck when his father-in-law, Frank, provides him with a chance that he direly craved for:

Seven days alone in an isolated Motel with the task of finishing his upcoming book!

But little does he know about the Motel’s unsavory history. Hidden in the copse of trees and about 400 miles away from his home in the dark forest of Skiddaw, it is a two-storey facade with twisting, malevolent chimneys and an eerie allure.Lack of WI-FI, poor signals and weird set of rules, the dark atmosphere soon turns his seemingly idyllic trip into a living nightmare. Apart from the usual creaks, groans, and moans of the crumbling structure, he soon finds himself face to face with an entity. An urban legend that is lurking in the woods long before the Motel found its existing foundations.

The Motel’s dark and haunting history quickly becomes tangled with Alfred’s life as he frantically searches for answers. Barry, the caretaker is hiding something. But what is it? Is there someone else living in the motel beside him? Or is the caretaker not what he seemingly appears?

Alfred quickly begins to lose his tenuous grip on reality as he sinks further and further into an intricately designed game of deceit and lies that might put his life in danger! Or is he a threat to himself and everybody around him?

The Haunting at Barry’s Lodge is a full-length novel of a riveting ghost story and a third edition by the author, Annie Walters, previously published as Barry’s Lodge A Haunting.

This was a fantastic new horror story. Playing on the classic themes of psychological terror and spine-chilling ghost stories, readers will be on the edge of their seat as they try to find out who Alfred can trust, and what is coming for him in this strange and eerie motel. The book was fast paced and drew the reader in with it’s vivid imagery and haunting backstory. Expertly crafted to paint an image in your mind, the story takes readers through the darkest corners of Barry’s Lodge, keeping the reader on their toes as friends become enemies and salvation may be a trap for Alfred.

Overall this was a fantastic story. Building a modern day classic, author Annie Walters has done an expert job of bringing this story to life. With a shocking twist ending, horror fans will not want to miss this brand new adventure. Be sure to pick up your copies of The Haunting of Barry’s Lodge today!

Rating: 10/10

 

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