For starters, let's set the record straight: Are ghosts more active on Halloween?
It's my opinion that ghosts or spirits are active all the time. Halloween just seems to bring out all the curiosities in them. I definitely think that the idea of ghosts is more attractive during the Halloween season.
Your book, "Haunted Columbus, Georgia," describes "phantoms of the Fountain City." Which story might readers find especially surprising?
There are some classic tales from Columbus like the spirits of the Springer Opera House, old Indian legends like Lover's Leap and a few about the phantoms in the old mills. However, one or two may catch readers slightly by surprise. I was intrigued to discover a 100-year-old werewolf legend from Talbotton and some interesting facts about the final resting places of Thomas Wiggins, the blind savant born as a slave in Columbus who became an international sensation as a musical prodigy.
You lead local ghost tours. How many of your guests believe in ghosts?
I host local tours at the National Civil War Naval Museum. The Sea Ghosts Tours bring people from all over the area for a good story and some frightening evidence of the supernatural that my team and I believe exist at Port Columbus. Many people come as skeptics but a few leave scratching their heads and more often than not, visitors to the museum on any tour have reported some sort of unusual experience.
Let's say someone thinks his or her house is haunted. What's your response?
We do that, too! We offer paranormal investigations at no charge to the public. It's a simple matter of submitting your information to our website: www.AlabamaGhostHunters.com. We investigate homes, businesses and properties (both commercial and non-commercial). Our general goal in doing paranormal investigations and research is to help people who may potentially be experiencing paranormal issues and to spread awareness about a phenomenon that doesn't have a rational explanation.
What's the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?
I'd have to say it's a toss up between an alleged alien abduction that took place on Fort Benning in the 1970s and the old station hospital on post. I was not able to publish the abduction story in "Haunted Columbus, Georgia" due to the nature of the material. However, working in paranormal circles, cryptids, UFOs and ghosts all fall in the realm of "otherworldly" and are considered "paranormal." I did blog the story and it's available online at my blog: www.hauntedhaven.blogspot.com. The old station hospital, on the other hand, had more stories then I could fit into one chapter in "Haunted Columbus."