Today, September 30, is National Ghost Hunting Day. This day has been around for a few years, and it’s intended to encourage ghost-hunting awareness and solidarity. Current methods of this paranormal pursuit are, say I shall, “beyond my EMF meter.” However, the long history of ghost hunting is something I’ve been charting for much longer than National Ghost Hunting Day has been a thing.
For instance, my Ghost Hunter Hall of Fame page provides an overview — and links to more information — regarding ghost hunters as far back as ancient Greece. I’m especially interested in Victorian ghost hunters, and this is a topic for a book that’s so far in the future I probably shouldn’t even mention it. All I’ll say is that it’ll be somewhat similar to Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports in U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917 in that it’ll be an anthology of non-fiction.
Fictional ghost hunters have a long history, too, and I’ve compiled a long list of these characters. It’s called The Legacy of Ghost Hunter Fiction: A Chronological Bibliography. Again, the Victorian period is my main focus there.
This interest blossomed when I set out to chronicle the cases of my own fictional ghost hunter, Vera Van Slyke. I’m pleased to announce that I’m over 100 pages into the first traditional novel featuring this character: Guilt Is a Ghost. I call this a traditional novel because my previous book, Help for the Haunted: A Decade of Vera Van Slyke Ghostly Mysteries, is what’s called a “composite novel” (a.k.a. a short story cycle). In other words, each chapter spotlights a discreet paranormal investigation, but the characters and their relationships evolve as the book moves forward. So read it “in order.”
Even though the novel I’m working on now delves deeper into the first meeting of Vera and her “Dr. Watson,” Lida Prášilová — who also happens to be my great-grandaunt — I still recommend that readers begin with Help for the Haunted. And, hey, it’s already available!
Enjoy National Ghost Hunting Day! I hope I’ve contributed to the greater ghostly good in my own way.