September 20, 2009
The Ghost Chronicles: A Medium and a Paranormal Scientist Investigate 17 True Hauntings
By Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc. (September 2009)
Pages: 308 - Price: $14.99
Interview by Jeff Belanger - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ghostvillage.com Author Interview
Fans of Ghostvillage.com have known the name Ghost Chronicles for years. The voices of Ron Kolek and Maureen Wood have been gracing our Ghostvillage Radio podcasts for close to 100 episodes now. Ron and Maureen have been exploring the unexplained for a long time as part of the New England Ghost Project. Now, the duo have teamed up yet again to pen their first book, The Ghost Chronicles: A Medium and a Paranormal Scientist Investigate 17 True Hauntings. Ghostvillage.com caught up with them to hear more about their exciting new book.
Tell us how the New England Ghost Project got started?
Ron Kolek: Read the book. No, really, it is a long story, but the gist of it is that I cut off my fingers (they were reattached)… had a near death experience while I was in the hospital… when I got out of the hospital I had plenty of time on my hands so I took a course in television production… had to produce a show to complete the course, so since the building I ran my business out of was suppose to be haunted, I decided to do it on ghosts (take a breath here)… the show was successful and eventually made its way on commercial television… so I did more… I became hooked on the unknown always wanting to experience more. I found various people who could help me in my quest… and the rest, as they say, is history, (exhale here).
How do you approach a haunt? In other words, someone contacts you, claims they're dealing with something paranormal, what's your next step?
Ron Kolek: The interview. That's what it is all about. If I can have a conversation with the client prior to taking a case, I can pretty well sort out what has to be done next. Originally, I took every case that came our way, but that was a huge mistake. With a long waiting list, I soon realized that we can't take every one that shows up on our doorway. There is a great deal of work and prep that goes into each investigation if it is done properly, so I have to trust my instinct to decide which cases to take and which cases to pass on. Once I have taken a case, I assemble a team, determine what our goals are, and complete the investigation.
Ron, in you years of investigating, how has your perspective on the subject changed?
Ron Kolek: Most Definitely! When I first started I was the ultimate skeptic, but not closed minded. I didn't believe in a lot of things (paranormal) but at least I was open minded enough to explore their validity. As I always point out, I did not believe in psychics or mediums (I thought they were all charlatans) and now my partner is one. I consider myself Van Helsing now, a man of science but versed in the arts and crafts, someone who can rely on his scientific discipline and draw on his metaphysical training.
Maureen, in you years of investigating, how has your perspective on the subject changed?
Maureen Wood: When I started working with Ron over eight years ago, we would often argue about how much our investigations did or did not help the living and the dead. It took me a while to see that although we weren't sending a spirit on, per say, we were in fact, still helping. We were helping the living by providing verification and helping them come to terms with what they were encountering; and the dead by giving them the chance to speak and possibly release whatever it was that was holding them here. (Not all spirits want to move on. . . Free will and all.)
What was the challenge in writing a book like this? You both have a back-and-forth in the text that's similar to your… err… bickering on your radio show. How did you make that translate to print?
Maureen Wood: Bickering? Hmmm. . . Actually, the scary part is that our fans sometimes believe that Ron and I are married. Brrrr, shiver to think. Seriously, Ron and I have worked together so closely for such a long time, we've managed to find out what makes each other tic, or know what buttons to push to get the other ticked off. As for Ghost Chronicles, it was difficult at first to figure out our writing styles (which are completely different). But, once we found the rhythm of writing together, it all sort of fell into place.
Ron Kolek: As Maureen mentioned, we both have different writing styles which at first made it really difficult. However, once we got by our stubbornness and egocentricities it began to flow quite easy. I believe we successfully conveyed the personalities of the radio show to our book.
Do you have a favorite case you've worked on (and why)?
Maureen Wood: I would have to say the Portsmouth Lighthouse. Because it was the first time that a spirit (Connie, the last lighthouse keeper's wife) who died of old age / natural causes channeled through me. She was so full of love and peace that it was an amazing experience. And the reward came when we attended a follow up presentation where I was able to see a life-size image of Connie. I must say that I was moved to tears. It's not every day that I have the fortune to come face to face with a woman or man for that matter that I've channeled.
Ron Kolek: Wood Island Lighthouse, just because it was such a cool location. We were dropped off by boat and had to traverse the entire deserted island with all our equipment to get to the lighthouse. There was no hope of escape since we were entirely dependent on the boat and the weather. It was awesome just like something in a Hollywood horror movie. If you want to find out what happened that night, you can read about it in the book (shameless plug here).
What's the funniest thing that's happened to you on an investigation?
Maureen Wood: Once during an investigation in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, Ron, myself, and the crew of the N.E.G.P. with lights out walked through an up stairs bedroom. Ron motioned for me to join him near a window. He said, "Maureen, tell me what you feel, what do you smell." Just then I replied. "Crap." Literally! We all burst out laughing as Clay; our tech specialist, aimed the light of the camera on the rug in front of us. Out of everyone, Ron had been the only one to step in dog poop. The owner's had allowed their dog to run free and I guess he hadn't been feeling very good. Through bouts of laughter Ron took his shoes off and carried them outside to scrape them on a rock. Karma is a wonderful thing!
Ron Kolek: We were at the Houghton Mansion just completing our investigation when one of the motion sensor alarms went off. Sarah, Josh's sister, went screaming down the hallway with her arms flaying in the air like a scene from a Hollywood B movie. Maureen and I just looked at each other and burst out laughing. It was one of those you-had-to-be-there-to-get-it, but it was funny. When we wrote about it in the book, we had to explain it to our editor a half of dozen times before she got it (if she ever did).
Do you still get scared during an investigation?
Maureen Wood: I would be lying if I say I don't get somewhat anxious. The truth is, when dealing with the unknown, especially being a medium; you never know what you're going to come up against. I will say that I don't allow myself to get too worked up. I save that for the scary movies, where I have the luxury of feeling fear. Even if it's not real.
Ron Kolek: Never been scared. Van Helsing fears nothing. Fear is a luxury I cannot afford. Just like a surgeon, you do your job without being emotionally involved. The safety of the client, Maureen, and the rest of the crew all depend on me keeping a cool head.
Maureen, as a psychic, how do you prepare yourself before going in to an active haunt?
Maureen Wood: First off, I bring various forms of protection: rosary beads, holy water, liquid sage, as well as a collection of stones like black tourmaline and onyx for protection as well as some crystals to enhance energy. I'll also bring along my pendulum and sit and meditate for a few moments prior to the investigation. The meditation is a way for me to focus and direct my attention to the task at hand. I'll also speak to my guides and the angels to help me to communicate with those that need to speak.
Ron, how do you determine what is valid evidence of the paranormal during your review after an investigation?
Ron Kolek: We do what most paranormal groups do; spend countless hours reviewing the audio clips, video, photos, field reports, etc, etc… Anything of interest, that which is not normal, is put aside for further review. Then all things that can not be explained are presented to the client. We do not proclaim that a place is haunted or not, but rather let the client or viewer decide on their own.
How did you get such a cool guy to write the foreword to your book? I mean seriously, what's it like to even know Jeff Belanger? (Please be specific and detailed.)
Maureen Wood: Just lucky I guess. Seriously, Jeff is an amazing speaker, writer and researcher. What can I say; it's an honor to be in his presence! (How's that Jeff, good.) :
Ron Kolek: Jeff and I actually go way back, his mother and my mother were both mothers. When he heard I landed a big book deal, he couldn't wait to get is grubby little hands in the pie. (Oh, did I say that, I really shouldn't write what I'm thinking). Anyway, I have always gone to Jeff for advice, he's my literary Godfather, so it was just natural that he would write the obituary… I mean foreword.
What future projects are you guys working on?
Maureen Wood: We have a few more books that Ron and I have been throwing around ideas on. It's a bit too early to tell. And, our schedule, with the radio shows and all of the book signings, we're pretty busy. Hopefully we'll be able to buckle down and get going on our next book within a few months. So stay tuned!
Ron Kolek: I have several projects in the works: new books, new events, tours, and other stuff. There are plans for a lot of traveling with trips to Canada and The U.K. in the works for 2010.
If you were trapped on a desert island and could only listed to one song for the rest of your time on the island, which would it be? Ron? Maureen?
Maureen Wood: Hmmm. That's a tough one. I would have to say that "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts would have to be my number one pick.
Ron Kolek: "WMCA" - Village People… "WMCA… it's fun today stay in the WMCA…"
Uhhh… Ron, I think the song is actually "YMCA…" Rock on.
here to buy this book now.