Congratulations to Liza Gardner Walsh for her new book, GHOST HUNTER’S HANDBOOK. Liza has agreed to give do a book for the perfect Halloween giveaway. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back on November 1st to discover the winner.
What is a ghost, and how do you know if you’ve seen one?
Famous ghosts and haunted houses
On the hunt with real-life ghost trackers
Where to look for ghosts
How to tell a good ghost story
The book’s journey and mine:
I have always had an interest in ghosts. I lived in a haunted house growing up and constantly felt eyes on me. Now that I know more about ghost hunting, I know my childhood house would’ve been the perfect site for a hunt. It was a doctor’s office and when people, um, perished, they would be kept in our basement until they were buried. Yikes. Rather than trying to pretend this wasn’t happening, I eagerly embraced the spooky world that surrounded me. I spent hours in the graveyard, read local history, and took notes on the bumps in the night. I also developed a real love for reading and telling a good ghost story.
Fast forward many years and my editor at Downeast Books asked if I would be interested in writing a book about the ghosts at Fort Knox, a colonial fort on the coast of Maine that had recently been featured on the television show, Ghost Hunters. I agreed and ended up spending time with some real ghost hunters and learning a lot about the hobby. I also had some bonafide supernatural experiences that were hard to explain.
But the greatest impetus for writing this book happened during my school visits. In the beginning of my presentation, I always talk a little bit about me and what I have written. I show the covers of my books along with a few key images, and at the end of the session almost every question was about my Fort Knox ghost book. Kids wanted to know if I had seen a ghost, if ghosts were real, and they wanted to tell me their own scary stories. After a particularly excited group of third graders shared this same response, I called my editor and said I thought I needed to write a book about ghosts for kids.
My own kids were overjoyed. We live three houses down from a graveyard and for years they had been leading their own informal ghost hunts. Their enthusiasm was a tremendous help as I wrote. And so was a group of local kids who gathered at the Rockport Library to practice telling ghost stories. Many of my books have photos from the field but it is harder to capture images of ghosts due to their allusive nature! But the book’s designer, Lynda Chilton and my editor, Michael Steere, did an amazing job at researching photos and creating a spooky yet kid-friendly design.
As I wrote this book, I wrote the book I wanted to read when I was first discovering an interest in ghosts as well as the book my kids would want. I loved doing the research for this book and although I am still not 100% sure ghosts exists, because a good ghost hunter always keeps a healthy amount of skepticism, I encountered some pretty strange things. So here’s to many spooky adventures!
Liza Gardner Walsh has written numerous books for children , including Muddy Boots, Treasure Hunter’s Handbook, Fairy Houses All Year, and Where Do Fairies Go When it Snows? illustrated by Hazel Mitchell. Liza has been a children’s librarian, high school English teacher, a Museum Educator and she holds an MFA from Vermont College. She lives with her family in Camden, Maine.
Thank you Lisa for sharing your journey with us and offering GHOST’S HUNTERS HANDBOOK to one lucky winner.