Ghosts of Ohio
About Goo

Ghost Hunter To Speak At Local Library

Marysville Journal-Tribune
From J-T staff reports

The Ghosts of Ohio founder James A. Willis will visit the Marysville Public Library Tuesday at 6:30 pm to talk about paranormal research (ghost hunting) and the equipment that is used.

Willis was born and raised in the Hudson Valley area of New York, an area rich in ghost stories and folklore. Hudson Valley is not far from Tarrytown, which was used as the town in Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

It was in New York that he first began chasing things “that go bump in the night” about 20 years ago. He’s also been involved with investigations in Georgia, where he began a longtime association with the American Ghost Society.

In 1999, he founded The Ghosts of Ohio organization and it has been in continuous operation ever since. Headquartered in Columbus, The Ghosts of Ohio has approximately 20 members throughout the state of Ohio, and operates a fully operational “ghost outpost” in Cincinnati. Plans also are underway to open another outpost in Northern Ohio.

Willis’ new book. “Weird Ohio,” was co-authored with Andrew Henderson who heads up “Forgotten Ohio,” and Loren Coleman, who is considered an expert in the field of crypto-zoology.

Willis spent close to a year traveling across Ohio in search of strange, spooky or just plain weird events. He said Athens and Cleveland are two specific areas where there is a great deal of paranormal activity reported.

“In general, we get a lot of reported activity in the north-east part of Ohio. Indeed, many of the requests we get for private investigations of peoples’ homes come from that area,” he said in an interview with Marysville Library Marketing Manager Nora Roughen.

He has never actually communicated with a ghost, Willis said. But “when something unexplainable happens during an investigation, the sensation is a combination of pure excitement and general uneasiness.”

He also dispelled the common belief that animals can see ghosts.

“The rationale is that unlike humans, animals don’t have a society that tells them that ghosts do not exist. So, while humans might see something and convince themselves that they really didn’t see anything at all, animals are believed to simply accept what they see.”

The Ghosts of Ohio operates under a strict code of bylaws which forbids associates from making information about private investigations public, Willis said. That is done so people can contact The Ghosts of Ohio without worry about having their private lives on display on a Web site.

“For me, it is a wonderful and sometimes humbling experience to have people in need reach out to me, knowing that at the very least, I can calm their fears and perhaps bring a bit of tranquility back into our lives,” he said.

Willis said, from a paranormal research perspective, libraries are a wonderful source of research materials, including books and newspaper articles.

He will bring slides and videos of his experiences Tuesday. Registration is required. Call the library at 642-1876 extension 36.

© 2008 The Ghosts of Ohio