Kaitlyn/Kathy: I first met Beth Oliver a long time ago in a galaxy far far away . . . in other words, back when we were both members of the fledgling Maine Romance Writers of American chapter (MERWA). During the years since, in addition to writing Gothic paranormal mystery novels (Obsidian, Three Truths, and Stealing Darkness), Beth worked as a paranormal investigator for Maine Ghost Hunters. With that background, how could we not ask her to visit us here at Maine Crime Writers to talk about her experiences?Take it away, Beth.
The things that scare most people don’t scare me. I’m not talking about roller coasters, bungee jumping, or being confined to small spaces. Instead, I am referring to the search for the existence of spirits.
For most, the idea of sitting in the semi-darkness while calling out to some nameless entity would be reason enough to question their sanity. But since I’m not about to bungee jump, ride a roller coaster or confine myself to a small space, this is the risk I was willing to take.
Have I ever been scared while investigating? I’d be crazy if I said no. I’ve had disembodied energy spin objects in my hand. I’ve been propelled up a staircase by a guiding unseen hand and I’ve seen blue balls of energy dance in the night. Have I seen a ghost? The jury is still out on that, but I do know that what I’ve seen is enough to convince me that our souls continue long after our demise.
The television shows only have it partly correct. In the interest of keeping an audience and a short time frame they tend to leave out some of the less glamorous aspects of ghost hunting. They gloss over the basements filled with humongous spiders, the long hours of waiting for anything to happen and lots of nights with limited sleep.
Often, being called to investigate means travelling long distances and finding yourself in stranger’s houses as you struggle to put aside any preconceived ideas and beliefs to search for something that may never even show itself.
There are many reasons for people to seek out a ghost hunter, but the most prevalent ones that I’ve heard are fear and grief. There are the occasional thrill seekers, but most are only looking for answers. Answers that don’t always reveal themselves. The most I can do is offer assistance and guidance. Anything else has to come from the client or the spirit.
Ultimately, fear can be the catalyst that holds you back or propels you forward. It can be the thing that makes you stronger than you ever thought and open your mind to possibilities beyond your comprehension. The same energy that manifests from our fears is the energy that makes me believe that it is strong enough to continue after our death.
Beth Oliver writes Gothic Paranormal Mysteries under the name Teagan Oliver. Her latest, Stealing Darkness is available through Amazon Kindle as an ebook. You can find out more about her paranormal adventures at www.TeaganOliver.com and through her GhostGirl blog at Gotghost.blogspot.com.