1. Your new book, America's Haunted Universities,
has stories of some of the most haunted
locations in the country—college campuses. What inspiration led you to
write a book about these locations?
That's an interesting question. I guess
you could say I was born to write this book. I was born on Halloween,
so, while other kids had balloons and clowns at their birthday parties,
my party featured a full-sized monster mannequin with glowing red eyes.
I've been weird ever since.
But, the real idea for this book started
when I worked for a local newspaper in central Pennsylvania. When you
have a Halloween birthday, you tend to gravitate toward Halloween
assignments. One year I decided to research local ghost stories for a
feature article, but came up short. However, I found a lot of material
at nearby Penn State and its branch campuses.
Over time, I continued to research
university ghost stories and found that just about every campus has its
share of creepy tales; the book really germinated from this interest
2. Do you think there is
a certain reason (or reasons) that college campuses tend to be more
haunted than other locations?
There are a few reasons why universities
attract ghost stories. Folklorists will tell you that colleges and
universities have a transitory population—a new class of students start
and another class graduates each semester. Campus legends (like ghost
stories) provide quick and efficient ways to transfer knowledge about
the school's history and moral code. The tales also build a sense of
Paranormal investigators and ghost
hunters have another explanation. Many believe that such a
concentrated, creative pool of minds create a lot of psychic energy.
This can, they say, be released in the form of paranormal activity,
like spirits and poltergeists.
I try to present both sides and let the
3. Have you personally
encountered any of these paranormal entities through your research?
the full interview.