December 12, 2008
By Lee Prosser
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing (December 2008)
Pages: 192 - Price: $14.99
Interview by Jeff Belanger
Ghostvillage.com author interview
When it comes to ghosts and the supernatural, skeptics will often say, "If it's real, show me!" That's fair enough. There are places where we often can show you where the ghosts have walked, where the voices have been heard, and the specters seen. If you pick up Lee Prosser's new book, Missouri Hauntings, you'll know the Show Me State may just show you a ghost or two. Lee Prosser has been a valuable contributor to Ghostvillage.com for many years now, we're glad he took the time to talk to us about his new book, and we're proud of him for his accomplishment.
What first got you interested in the subjects of ghosts and spirits?
Lee Prosser: When I first realized I could see ghosts was at age six. I had an Uncle who guided me with my gift. His name was Willard David Firestone, and he had the same kind of gift. There were others in my family who had the same ability, but most never utilized it. Uncle Willard was my tutor from childhood to adulthood, and he gave me a sound occult education which gave me insights into ancient religions and ancient rituals used by different civilizations with an emphasis on Ancient India, Ancient Egypt, and American Indian teachings. He instructed me in Enochian magick and Gnostic teachings. He explained the true goals of the Knights Templars and the Rosicrucians and introduced me to Freemasonry. Additionally, my occult education included in-depth studies in Vedanta and the Golden Dawn which led to my enduring life-long interest in Vedanta and the Golden Dawn.
Uncle Willard safeguarded his knowledge and his gift, and he made it clear to me at an early age not to mention such things I learned from him and his books, nor things I saw, not to anybody but him and he would do the same by me, because growing up in the 1950s America was not the place to share such things publicly! Oftentimes, Uncle Willard and I would see things at the same time and verified each other's findings. Uncle Willard was associated with a woman who shared his views, and his eclectic correspondence included letter exchanges with the great occultist, Arthur Edward Waite, among others. The more I worked and studied on developing my skills and techniques as a true sensitive, the more the paranormal opened up to me. My wife Debra also has the gift of being a sensitive, and her abilities sometimes takes a slightly different direction than mine, and sometimes we see identical paranormal occurrences, and other times we see different paranormal occurrences when the paranormal encounters come to us. When the reader reads my Missouri Hauntings they will discover I share more additional information and guidelines for developing into a sensitive plus other related topics. Even today, I make a practice of not blatantly discussing my sensitive abilities to people in general, but only to those who genuinely understand.
I have seen too many misguided people make fun of those with paranormal gifts. There have been too many recorded incidents of people having gifts dealing with the paranormal who have had their careers and lives ruined by ignorant people! I once had a Christian minister tell me that paranormal gifts were afflictions from Satan to confuse the innocent. I told him, if you had those paranormal abilities, not only would they be openly accepted, they would also become a holy sacrament! To each his or her own. I do not argue politics or religion. As more people with paranormal abilities come out of the closet and share, there will be more understanding, and much to learn. There will also always be those who seek to make a buck off of it, and that, too, is sad. If you can truly help with a free insight, why not share it if it is feasible, for goodness shared freely should not have a price tag attached to it.
Like my Uncle Willard, I treasure this gift, and it is mine. I would suggest those interested in communicating with ghosts read the following verse in the Holy Bible: 1 Corinthians, 12:10. Also, there are many faiths in this world, and as Sri Ramakrishna observed, "As many faiths, so many paths." If readers are interested in on-site investigations into past history, there are other avenues to consider. Readers may find interesting reading in Remote Viewing (2008) by David Morehouse and The Yoga of Time Travel (2004) by Fred Alan Wolf. Find your personal positive approach and follow it, whatever that positive approach may be, and wherever it may lead you in a positive manner. Don't allow dogma to destroy your individuality. Think for yourself. Explore. Focus your intent. Learn and share your findings. That is something to think about, and consider.
Does Missouri have more than its share of ghosts and haunting? If so, why?
Yes, Missouri does have more than its fair share of ghosts, hauntings, paranormal occurrences, and supernatural happenings. I share this with the readers in my book, Missouri Hauntings. I think this is due to Missouri's central location for migration in the United States, American Indian settlements, and the great number of American Civil War deaths.
Missouri does have a violent history, but then, so does much of the United States. Even now, the USA continues its wobbly stance at being the lone Police Watchdog of the world at the cost of bankrupting its own citizens! If you study sociology, social institutions, and history, it seems the USA has an ongoing struggle between doing what it right, doing what is not right, and being greedy. Our wonderful country is, in the final analysis, a country of contrasts and living themes that aren't necessarily the ironclad rule for the rest of the world. I love the USA, but I sense it is now come to its end. It is just a matter of time before it splits up into regions with differing goals and differing issues.
On the bright side, Americans are resilient and will reinvent and reshape themselves into some new song to be sung. 2009 will be the watershed year for the United States. I am told the Pacific Northwest is pretty this time of year. Who knows what will take place!
What's your favorite Missouri haunt?
There are too many to name! I go back to places, often. I would say, at this time, it would have to be all of Southern Missouri. I enjoy the research and on-site explorations into the paranormal. Being a sensitive is never boring. Being a sensitive means being an explorer when it comes to the paranormal and supernatural, and there will always be elements of surprise when it comes to encountering what is lurking there. I share that intense, exciting, rewarding, and oftentimes pleasurable feeling of exploring the unknown in Missouri Hauntings. Learning how to understand the unknown of the paranormal and supernatural is worth the journey. Missouri Hauntings reflects my ongoing journey. There will be other journeys to come.
Does being a sensitive help you in your work, or can it be a hindrance?
Missouri Hauntings is in many ways the journal of a sensitive in search of the paranormal, and finding it. I am that sensitive, and this book is my account of what I encountered. Being a sensitive, or Sensitive, depending on how you spell it, has not been a hindrance to me. I have always felt that being a sensitive was a blessing and has led me into further meaningful learning situations during my current lifetime. I believe the soul is immortal; accordingly, I believe in the possibility of reincarnation. I enjoy being a sensitive and it has given me many unique perspectives and encounters!
Being a sensitive, falls into the same defined categories as being a psychic, oracle, or medium. The word comes from the old French of the 1600s and means, literally, to see beyond the veil of death. Being a sensitive is encountering spirits, ghosts, the paranormal and other supernatural occurrences in which the sensitive makes contact or observes. A sensitive, unlike a psychic, oracle, or medium, does not make predictions or tell the future. However, I have known some sensitives who do develop an ability to make predictions and tell the future! Personally, I prefer to observe and make contact, where feasible.
I think many people get the wrong impression or wrong idea about all this and sometimes make the mistake of thinking a person who does such things is a guru! That is not the case! Everybody is capable of developing an intuitive self capable of becoming a sensitive. And, it does not work all the time. There are instances with each individual which interfere at times, and whereas one time all is clear and revealed in toto, there may be another time when the well is dry and nothing is there to reveal. I do not claim to be a psychic, medium, or oracle! But I am a sensitive, and I do know things about the paranormal from personal contact and I admit it freely.
Did you have any moments during your research where you were scared?
No, not really. Each encounter is a different situation. If I do not wish to make contact, or observe, I simply block it out. A change in thought patterns usually does this quickly enough. I know some sensitives who do the banishing act ritual of the Golden Dawn, whereas others use specific types of mental imagery, which, for instance, may involve the person imagining he or she is covered and protected by white light. Individuals each have their own approach. There are many books and writings available on such blocking or banishing approaches. I believe the readers will find many helpful hints in Missouri Hauntings, things they may be able to put to use in their own personal investigations of the paranormal and supernatural.
I notice you discuss many creeks, rivers and streams in the state that seem to be haunted. Do you believe there's a connection between water and paranormal activity?
Yes, definitely, because there is energy in water. The paranormal is in flux, and so is energy. You cannot actually destroy energy, but only transform it into another form. I would personally define the paranormal in this manner: Paranormal activity is a form of existential reality based on pre-existing sequences in time.
How has the local reaction been to your new book? Did folks in the Show Me State know how many ghosts were their neighbors?
The reaction is positive. Most Missourians either know of personal ghost stories, have been told by others of ghost stories, or have some relative who had a comment on such things of a paranormal nature. Southern Missouri, and Southwest Missouri, have countless tales and encounters, and of course, there is always the ongoing paranormal situation of the remains of American Civil War actions in this state. In fact, when I started writing Missouri Hauntings, I had to seriously research and study the topic of the American Civil War for the first time in my life. This actual history of the topic was new to me! Did you know that over 60,000 books have been written and published about the American Civil War? Incredible. I knew about ghosts and the paranormal from personal, firsthand encounters. What I wanted to learn more about was the "why" of them being in abundance in Missouri. I sought out locations where battles and skirmishes were fought and people died, and more importantly to me, I went to as many locations as I could to actually feel the living sense of this ghostly history as it happened, and discover the impressions left behind. And I did much reading about the actual history of this tragic American war.
Many kind friends loaned me books. I read a heavily documented book titled In the Course of Human Events (2000) by historian Charles Adams that revealed to me that the war between the states was not over or about slavery, but was over unfair taxation and taxes, which the North attempted to force upon the South. I read elsewhere in other studies that 95% of the South did not own slaves, but only 5% did or had some slave connection. So, I came to understand why the South rebelled and why the North had to quell the rebellion -- it was over taxes and unfair taxation! The American Civil War was fought by greedy northern states seeking economic control over the southern states. I suddenly came to understand during the year 2008 at age 63 why the Southern Secession took place. I read other historians. I found reading Causes Won, Lost, & Forgotten (2008) by historian Gary W. Gallagher a fascinating analysis of how Hollywood and the popular art of different time periods shaped what the world came to know about the American Civil War. Another book I read among many was The Lost Cause (1996) by historian William C. Davis. Yes, I was amazed with what I read, and readings in the American Civil War certainly fleshed out some logical reasons why there are so many ghosts from that era still lurking about either in residual hauntings or in intelligent hauntings! The USA is a haunted nation is more ways than one! I feel my Missouri Hauntings will share helpful insights on the Missouri ghosts of the American Civil War by helping to document their ghostly presences in a given Missouri area.
What is Missouri's most haunted town?
I would say all of Missouri is haunted, very much so! Given the nature of the American Indian battles between tribes, the American Civil War, prohibition era gangsters, jazz speakeasies, prostitution, child abuse, drownings and murders, disappearances, and related, Missouri takes a top-ranked position in the list of haunted states. Four Missouri cities have more hauntings than most others, and these are St. Louis, Kansas City, Joplin, and Springfield. Missouri also has an abundance of haunted cemeteries, which I wrote about in Missouri Hauntings. Webster County in Missouri is a prime example of a haunted Missouri county with over sixty cemeteries, and since it is the home to several rivers, it has an abundance of river ghosts, bobbing ghost heads, and floating body ghosts. There are ghosts in those rivers! Marshfield is the largest town inthat county, and the county itself is mostly unexplored. Webster County, settled in the middle 1800s, is approximately 594 square miles in size with a total population of under 32,000 people. I would add, too, that water has its own special energy which seems to attract paranormal occurrences and hauntings. I have seen and come into contact with many strange paranormal occurrences near rivers and bridges. Simply put, there is always something lurking there in or by the river!
Did you have a funny ghost encounters while researching your book?
Yes, there were humorous moments. I try to find the humorous in situations when I am out exploring the paranormal, and sometimes by accident it would seem, I find them! I recall one laughable moment when I was looking at something and not watching where I was walking and stepped into a cow spot where several cows had taken their bowel movements. I think every cow in the county must have used that location to do their personal potty business! That made me the recipient of Stinkiest-Smelling Person of the Day Award and the ghost got away! Try making paranormal contact sometime when you are standing with your feet sunk and covered in cow feces, see what you think! Then consider the ordeal of finding a stick, or rock, or anything to clean the mess off of your shoes! Yes, there are funny moments along the way! You just laugh about it and go on. That is the way of it!
What future projects are you working on?
Whatever comes along that interests me. I am currently at work on a second book about Missouri ghosts. I am also writing a children's book.
How many cats do you have and what are their names?
Well, I think that is a curious question! Five. Two Siamese male cats named Barry and Frank, a Manx female cat named Tink, a lively little female black cat named Bessie, and a loveable male cat with big beautiful eyes named Bob. I sometimes mediate with one or more of the cats in attendance, and they curl up around my feet or lay beside me. To me, they are fine pet companions. Also, there are two female Mein Pin dogs named Prissy and Celeste which live with my wife and me. Within reason, I can meditate just about anywhere, outdoors or indoors. I generally meditate by closing my eyelids, lighting an imaginary tapered white candle, looking into the flames, and letting go, confronting and observing what comes my way once the silly things have floated by and vanished! Much can be accomplished with meditation. Much can be accomplished by making contact with the paranormal. It is focused intent. Intent is everything; anything else is secondary.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, most of all, I wish to thank you for this interview and visiting with you! In my opinion, you are one of the finest paranormal and supernatural authors on the contemporary scene, and you also write excellent children's stories! I would urge people to become more reflective and attentive to their personal powers of observation and intuition, and actively seek out paranormal contacts with the other side. It is a skill which is either inherited or developed, and either way, it is there for you to train, use, and enjoy. Thank you, Jeff, and thank you to all of the readers out there who read, enjoy, and comment on my column at Ghostvillage.com titled "Bide One's Time." Again, thank you. I hope each of you find much reading enjoyment with my new book, Missouri Hauntings, available directly on the Internet through the Schiffer Publishing Web site and in your favorite book store! Happy hauntings!
here to buy this book now.