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20 QUESTIONS WITH Charles J. Adams III

GHOST HUNTING

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Charles J. Adams III is a native of Berks County, Pennsylvania, where he resides today. He has written 30 books on ghosts, shipwrecks, train wrecks, and baseball.


In addition to his books, Adams also writes regular features on travel and local legends in the Reading Eagle newspaper and has written travel stories for several other magazines and publications. In addition, he is the morning air personality on radio station WEEU in Reading.


Adams has been a speaker at the International Ghost Hunters Alliance conventions in Gettysburg, Pa., and at regional paranormal conferences in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He has been interviewed on ghostly topics in England, Ireland, South Africa, and on several American radio and television stations. He has also appeared on The History Channel's “Haunted America: New York” and “Haunted America: Philadelphia” programs and has served as consultant and on-air “expert” for programs on hauntings and ghosts on The Learning Channel, MTV, and The Travel Channel.


Adams has also organized and escorted tours of haunted places in the United States, England, and Scotland.
He has produced, written, and conducted “ghost tours” in Lancaster County, Reading, and Philadelphia, Pa.; Cape May, N.J., and Greenwich Village, New York City. His stories have been selected for inclusion in several anthologies, including “Classic American Ghost Stories” (August House Publishing). At the personal request of the producer M. Night Shyamalan, his book, “Bucks County Ghost Stories” was used as a prop in the 2002 movie, “Signs,” which stars Mel Gibson.


On Halloween, 2006, Adams donated to the Exeter Community Library his collection of nearly 400 books on haunted places and ghosts that he has collected in his extensive travels. They are available for research and reference at the library, in suburban Reading, Pennsylvania.


His 31st book, “Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties Ghosts, Legends, and Lore,” will be released in June. And, “Berks the Bizarre, Book Two,” will be released in September.

 


Charles J. Adams III 20 QUESTIONS

1. Where do you see ghost hunting and Paranormal groups, web sites or Ghost information, tours Books like your own in 10 years?


As I have been in the field for more than 35 years, I have seen sweeping changes in the perception of “ghost hunting” from within and from without. I would hope that the future would see the proliferation of amateur “wannabees” who have slapped up web sites and dubbed themselves “ghost hunters” whittled down to those who take the craft and the pursuit beyond what I would call the “tree house” mentality of makeshift clubs with dubious credentials. I believe the level of ghost touring will continue to increase as the general public is searching for places with deeply-rooted legends, lore, and ghost stories. And, of course, with self-publishing becoming ever so easier, more and more books about ghosts and the hunting thereof will continue to be published and be popular with readers.


2. What would you personally consider to be the definitive proof that ghosts are real?


I truly do not believe there ever has been, is now, or ever will be definitive proof that ghosts are real. I would not like to live in a world where there is such proof.


3. What is the most real evidence you personally have uncovered so far?


My interactions with sensitives and scientific searchers have often resulted in curious, but not conclusive, evidence that there is a level or plane of energy “out there” that we have dubbed the “other side.”


4. Are you skeptical of the claims other make of their findings?


Of some, yes; of some, no. Of most, yes.


5. If you could investigate your "Dream Haunted Hot Spot" where would it be?


I have stayed in or investigated virtually every “dream spot” I have ever thought of, and can only answer that question by saying that the next haunted place I find will be that next “dream spot.” It is, thus, not yet discovered. Or, so I hope! Every day, every week, every month, every encounter can provide such a place if I remain adventurous…which I hope to do!
6. What was your first Paranormal encounter? Describe it? Tell the whole Story in short?
I was aboard the USS Essex aircraft carrier in 1967 when I was innocently and unexpectedly cast into a residual haunting of sailors who had been killed during World War II when a Japanese airplane crashed into the ship. I felt their pain, heard their muffled screams and scrambles to save themselves, and was forever changed by the experience (which is far more detailed than that).


7. What scares you about Ghost Hunting or Paranormal Investigations?


Ghost hunters and paranormal investigators.


8. If you could work side by side with one of the Paranormal Investigator greats, who would it be?


I would need a multiple choice. I have accompanied several of them on several investigations. I would like to do further investigations with Dr. Bryce Langston in the U.K. and the eminent folklorist Dr. Hilton McElway.


9. Read any good Paranormal Books lately other then your own?


I believe Vince Wilson has put together a pair of fine books, Ghost Tech and Ghost Science. I like Ed Okonowicz's approach to storytelling, as well as Mark Nesbitt's fine work.


10. What Question do people ask you most when you tell them your a paranormal investigator, writer?


What an inane question: “Do YOU believe in ghosts?”, of course!!


11. In your opinion, Where is the most Haunted city in America?


Another difficult question to field. In sheer magnitude, Philadelphia. But, there are untold small towns that, per square mile or per capita, are just as haunted.


12. Do you feel more people should get involved with Ghost hunting or Paranormal Investigation?


I see no reason for that to happen. There have to be players and spectators. We need more spectators and fewer players. But, there are many "tree houses" up there, and as soon as anybody figures out the metaphorical "secret word," they're allowed to go in and play.


13. What does the future hold for you?


I wish I knew. Know any psychics? I suppose I will continue to write as long as I can. Then, I will die. Then, I will come back and be an orb.


14. Paranormal Conventions do you see them growing? And which ones are the Must go to ones?


They, too, will be sorted out. Every year, a dozen more come along, and the ranks of those who speak and attend are thinning. I believe the Ghost World 2007 event could be the benchmark and new standard for all in the future to follow.


15. What is your most favored tool of the trade?


Tools, as in plural, as in my imagination and my intuition.


16. Tell us about your best moment in investigating or conference attending for you?


That's simple: Watching the eyes of a child open widely as they hear a good, old-fashioned ghost story. All the “science” and all the “investigations” and all the “theories” aside, THAT is what all of this is…or should be…all about.


17. What is the hardest part about being a paranormal writer?


Keeping up with the research and opportunities. So many ghosts, so little time!!!


18. How do you document your investigations?


As a ghost story writer, I let the words of those (including my own) who have experienced the haunting tell the tale. That is classic documentation.


19. Have you ever taken a ghost Tour? And, What about it did you not like?


I have taken many. I don't like sing-song guides who carry water bottles and cell phones, wear tee-shirts, have no command of or respect for the English language and act as if they're working at Disney. I like guides who take the tour seriously, dress in period or professional garb, and present effective, intelligent, and riveting tours. Most importantly, they should TELL THE STORY in a dramatic, authoritative fashion. No notes. Lots of emotion.


20. What in the field of ghost hunting and Paranormal Investigating needs the most attention?


Getting back to basics. The treatment of these types of research has been cheapened and sullied by certain television sideshows and Internet charlatans who have misled and misguided the public. If paranormal investigating was as “scientific” as it claims to be, it should have-as any other investigative or clinical procedure has-a better sense of self-policing. However, I have gotten a sense from the public I deal with on my humble level that people are, shall I say, “getting wise” to those individuals and organizations

 

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