Monday, September 24, 2007


I have heard some concerns lately about “disrespecting” survivors of a crime or natural disaster in suggesting that ghosts may remain. I guess that’s why Eastern Airlines was so uncooperative with the investigations into the appearances of the ill-fated pilots Repo and Loft after the crash. Here is a link to this well-documented story, which was the subject of a book and a film in just a few years after the crash killed everyone on that plane:

Although I hear a lot of noise about respect for the dead in the wake of Columbine and 9/11, and nothing at all about the victims of Katrina, I don’t know of anybody who thought investigating ghosts after the 401 crash was disrespectful. We made two movies about the heroes of Flight 93 (also on 9/11), so why is it taboo to make a film or write a book about Katrina, the World Trade Center, or Columbine, all perfect ghost makers?

Sunday, September 16, 2007


My long-awaited book of campfire ghost stories officially launches today! All of the details are on the website,

Okay, I know there are plenty of ghost story books out there. But that’s the point—lots of folks like ghost stories. Many of these books have been in print a long time. There are books of classic ghost stories, books of true ghost stories, books of ghost stories for your kids. There are even two other sets of books of ghost stories marketed to Boy Scouts.

So where does HAUNTED CAMPS fit in?

First, send the Cub Scouts to bed before telling a chilling tale from this book. The stories are truly scary, intended for people above the age of 13. One of the Scout campfire book series, which I’ll review in another post, is geared to young children. The teenage crowd wouldn’t even think it was funny, let alone scary. The other series, those by William Forgey, has a few good stories in it, but also has stories teenagers today would laugh at. The stories in HAUNTED CAMPS, while not as edgy as Stephen King tales (no vulgar or explicit content), will turn the ho-hum campfire into a spellbinding night of terror! But not to worry… (usually) everything is back to normal when daylight comes.

HAUNTED CAMPS includes two little-known classic tales: “The Lost Trail To Dead Oak Crossing” and “The Purple Bishop,” which I recreated from memory. Several of the stories relate to local Scout camps: Lost Pines (“Fire Across the Lake”), and Camp Urland (“The Ballad of Timothy Squirrel”). Texas’ State Parks become haunted in “Vernal Pools” and “Black Stain.” Two of the stories—“The Hole” and “Just Like Being There”--are modern.

I have encountered two of the ghosts myself: the stealthly specter known as “The Purple Bishop” and the wandering “Ghost Car” which appears in lots of places.

I can’t wait to see what your reaction to HAUNTED CAMPS will be.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Author D.S. Dollman (<-- the picture is not her!) of the online group JustGhostStories found a recent haunted house article in the Great Falls Tribune apparently related to a 1975 disappearance of a woman who lived there.

What is really interesting is the comments. Readers were upset that the Tribune was so callous in sharing this “un-news-worthy” item so soon after the disappearance. (32 years ago!) This brought to mind how our society goes so overboard to make sure there won’t be any lingering memories.

We completely remodeled Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. They bulldozed the Luby’s in Killeen, Texas because of the shootings there. I remember a McDonalds that met a similar fate, but I don’t remember where it was. And more recently, an Amish community built a whole new school rather than fix the bullet holes in the old one.

I remember they didn’t tear down the clock tower at the University of Texas after the shootings there. In fact, I’m a bit fuzzy about when we started razing every building where a mass murder occurs, but I know a place where a most grizzly crime took place that still exists, and I’ve been in it many times!

First, let me warn you. The murders were BAD. Do not read the rest of this post if you are eating.

There is a building on the Southwest Freeway at Westpark in Houston we all know as the Haunted Malibu. It was a Malibu Gran Prix family fun center, with a go-cart track and an arcade. One night in the early ‘80s, just after closing, three disgruntled employees entered the building and murdered everybody. All five victims were mutilated. One 19-year-old, who tried to hide in the bathroom, had a 12-inch knife twisted into his brain like a corkscrew. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!) The “gentleman” pictured above was found guilty of this murder.

If you look this up on Wikipedia, it says the place was shuttered because of the murders, but not so. After a short while, the center reopened. My Scouts went there many times after washing cars on Saturdays, between 1986 and 1993. When we had someone with us that didn’t know about the murders, we would watch them use the restroom. Often they came out and said something like: “What’s up with that bathroom! I can’t go with somebody watching me!” I swear, from personal experience, that no one is ever alone in that bathroom, and the sensation is most uncomfortable.

The building was a car dealership for awhile, but now it stands abandoned and forlorn, a canvas for gangs to post graffiti on.

What do we accomplish when we destroy a place where ghosts remain? Does it hurt the ghosts? Obviously tearing down the scene of the crime doesn’t satisfy a spirit’s unfinished business, so what becomes of them?

Monday, September 10, 2007


One of my online friends is Darla Sue Dollman, a lady who is often pestered by ghosts and loves to write about them. She has a brand new author website,, and the interview she did with me about my upcoming book, HAUNTED CAMPS, is the first thing on it!

While you’re checking out my interview, be sure to read her short story about shadows. It’s a simple story that will leave you knowing that ghosts are cool!