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20 QUESTIONS WITH Jason Offutt

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Jason Offutt

An author, a journalism instructor at Northwest Missouri State University, a syndicated humor and paranormal columnist, and not a snappy dresser at all. In Jason’s career he has been a newspaper editor, general assignment reporter, photographer, newspaper consultant, bartender, farm hand, and the mayor of a small Midwestern town. Jason’s published work includes the humor books “On Being Dad” and “A Small Town.” He’s married to Kimberly Offutt and they live in Maryville, Mo. Jason has four children – Tawney, seventeen, Hayden, eleven, two-year-old Sam and seven-month-old Sabrina. The baby likes to sleep and poop. Sam likes to eat, slide, and flirt with waitresses. Tawney likes baseball and music. Hayden likes to pretend he’s a super hero – and so does Jason. In his spare time, Jason hunts ghosts, complains there’s nothing on TV, and he likes beer – a lot. You can reach Jason through his Web site at www.jasonoffutt.com, e-mail him at jasonoffutt@hotmail.com, or mention something to anyone from his hometown of Orrick, Mo. They know his Ma.

“Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri's Most Spirited Spots,” is available NOW at: www.jasonoffutt.com www.amazon.com www.barnesandnobel.com https://tsup.truman.edu/

 

My Web sites are: www.jasonoffutt.com
And from-the-shadows.blogspot.com

Visit Jason Offuts's official web Site Here:

www.jasonoffut.com

20 QUESTIONS WITH Jason Offutt

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

Unfortunately, the public is a fickle creature so, as hot as the paranormal is right now, interest will wane at some point. Will it take five years? Ten? Twenty? Who knows?

 

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

I’ve seen one; a little boy with brown hair, flannel shirt and blue jeans. He looked at me and I looked at him. Of course, I doubt he could see through me, but I could see through him. The problem with gathering evidence of ghosts is our technology. With Photoshop, pictures won’t cut it any more. Neither will audio recordings, video recordings, or EMF readings. With Bigfoot, science demands a body. With UFOs, science demands a ship. With ghosts, a scientist will never accept them as real unless he/she experiences one. Then, of course, they’ll be too embarrassed to ever talk about it.

 

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

In a dormitory at a Missouri college. The third floor is empty and padlocked. The only people with keys are in the housing office and the director of housing was kind enough to give me a tour – that began with removing the padlock. The popular college ghost story (complete with disembodied voices and footsteps) includes a ceiling light in one of the rooms that comes on (but doesn’t go off) by itself. On my visit, the housing director was visibly shaken when we discovered the light was on. He flipped the switch to the “off” position (I watched him do it) and we walked a few doors down to the end of the hall, turned around and walked back. When we went by the room again, we found the light was back on … and the switch was in the “on” position. No one else was up there, just us, and light switches cannot move by themselves.

 

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

Sure. I’m a skeptic at heart. Why should we believe people who use scientific equipment to prove something science knows nothing about? How can we be sure EMF meters are picking up ghosts? Maybe it’s just detecting the power transformer on a pole at the edge of the cemetery. How can we be sure our digital cameras aren’t just photographing dust in the air instead of orbs? A lot of investigators are so intent on finding something paranormal, that’s what they WILL find, even though a more commonplace answer is available. I'm not being a jerk, I'm just being realistic.

 

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

Already been there. The Lemp Mansion in St. Louis. Lots of suicides, lots of mystery, lots of misery, lots of encounters. A very cool place.

 

6. What was your first Paranormal encounter?

Shadow people walking through my room as a child. It got to the point I was seeing them so often, Dad stopped coming to my room because there was nothing there when he turned on the light.

 

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

The paranormal isn’t scary; people are scary. I’m more afraid of running into a thug in the dark than I am a ghost.

 

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

Hans Holzer, hands down.

 

9. Read any good Paranormal Books lately?

Yeah, “Haunted Missouri,” by a guy named Jason Offutt. Good read. Otherwise, I’ve been too busy to actually sit down and read a book lately. That said, I’ve gone online and read some stuff by Mac Tonnies and Nick Redfern. Good stuff.

“Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri's Most Spirited Spots,” is available NOW at: www.jasonoffutt.com www.amazon.com www.barnesandnobel.com https://tsup.truman.edu/

 

10. What Question do people ask you most when you tell them you’re a paranormal investigator, writer or Personality?

Have I ever seen a ghost, how long have I been interested in the paranormal, and I have a ghost in my house, what should I do? are the most common. The answers being, "yes," "all my life," and "run screaming into the night."

 

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

New Orleans gets a lot of press on this topic, but going by a city’s population, its age and violent history, I’d probably have to say New York City, but that’s only a guess.

 

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

I feel more professional scientists should get involved in paranormal investigation and less weekend warriors. We’re never going to be able to prove anything with a bunch of accountants wandering around cemeteries with EMF meters. Unless science provides answers, none of this will be taken seriously.

 

13. What does the future hold for you?

Writing more books on the paranormal. Let’s just hope the public doesn’t get bored with the subject before I’m finished writing on it.

 

14. Paranormal Conventions do you see them growing?

I’m not big on conventions. Although there are usually some great speakers, conventions are usually places for people to either act like groupies or drink too much and hit on waitresses.

 

15. What is your favorite Missouri ghost story?

Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal. It’s not necessarily the ghost part of the ghost story that makes it my favorite; it’s the living part of the ghost story. During Mark Twain’s youth in Hannibal, Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell, a surgeon from St. Louis who founded the Missouri Medical College, was trying to petrify a human body. Problem is, he didn’t have a body … until his 14-year-old daughter died of pneumonia. He placed her in a glass-lined copper cylinder, filled it with an alcohol mixture, and hung it from a ceiling in a cave room. Then children from Hannibal would go back in that room and tell ghost stories and some of the braver ones would unscrew the lid to the cylinder and pull the girl’s head out by the hair. After enough of the children ran home crying, the parents from Hannibal petitioned the doctor to remove the body, which he did. Ever since, visitors and tour guides have seen a mischievous teenage girl peaking at them from behind the rocks and sometimes disappearing through the walls of the cave. Again, the ghost isn’t creepy, but how about that doctor?

 

16. Tell us about your best moment in investigating the paranormal for your book?

I was wandering around the Hotel Savoy in Kansas City before an interview and, when I walked onto the fourth floor, I suddenly felt uncomfortable. My chest grew tight, my breathing labored, goose pimples raised on my arms, and I felt I had to leave that hallway immediately. But before I did, I snapped a picture. Later, during the interview, I learned the ghost of a 10-year-old girl wanders that fourth-floor hallway. Something anomalous also appeared in the photograph. Pretty cool.

 

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

For me, there isn’t one. Although some people hate to admit their restaurant/bed and breakfast/historic site is haunted, most people are really open with it. It’s easy reporting when people are talking about their ghost. Of course, if you’re looking for a hard part, I’d say the travel is really expensive …

 

18. How did you document your investigations?

I’m a journalist, not a paranormal investigator, so I come equipped with paper, pens, a camera and tape recorder.

 

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

Yes, I’ve taken a few, and they’re usually kind of hokey, but I’m not criticizing. Ghost tours are meant to be fun, so they ARE fun.

 

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

As I said before, more professionalism. I’m not trying to cause hurt feelings, nor am I trying to discourage the weekend warriors from ghost hunting, but the mainstream culture won’t treat investigations seriously unless they’re done by people with alphabet soup behind their names.

Haunted America Tours wants to be your source for real ghost stories. So please submit your ghost story today visit here!

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