Another year is rushing by. Though I've felt like my life has been quite boring lately, it hasn't been entirely without amusement and productivity. Most of my writing time has involved PowerPoint shows for libraries (I'm expecting to do several this fall on various places, including the Cuyahoga Valley) and helping with a book. Haunted Akron—written by long-time investigator and former arch enemy Jeri Holland (it's a long story, but we used to fight over the valley many years ago)—will be released this fall as part of the "Haunted America" series by The History Press. I've been helping with research and acting as contributing editor, making sure it's as free of errors as possible and polished before submission. I can tell you now; if you know about haunted places in Akron, you'll find plenty of surprises in this book.
There will likely be a sequel, hopefully within a year. There were so many hauntings in the Akron Metropolitan area that there wasn't enough time to thoroughly research them all and still meet the deadline. Some well-known ghost stories were left out due to time restraints, but other forgotten stories have been brought to light for the first time in a century. Then there's the surprise twist to an old story covered by many people over the years. Every paranormal investigator who has waited for a ghost train to appear at a certain bridge in northeast Ohio has been looking in the wrong place. Luckily, that legend has finally been told correctly in Haunted Akron. I'm looking forward to investigating the real haunted bridge this summer with Jeri and a few other friends.
Aside from the sequel, Jeri and I are teaming together for a new Haunted Cuyahoga book (likely to be named "Ghosts of the Cuyahoga Valley")slated for next fall, published by The History Press as well. I've enjoyed working with Jeri the past few years. We both feel passionate about history and love to dig up old stories from books and newspaper archives. This time, the Cuyahoga Valley will be covered in-depth and accurately. I'll be dusting off my old research from my old book, correcting errors and including many more tales recently uncovered along with stories meant to go in the unfinished sequel. I am looking forward to the chance at working with The History Press. Well, officially working with them this time.
Since Jeri has a bad case of stage fright, I'll be helping out with talks at libraries and events dealing with ghosts of Akron this fall. My talk at Cuyahoga Falls Library on Australian hauntings will kick things off on July 5 at 6:30 PM. From that time on, I'll be heading into my usual busy autumn filled with ghosts and goblins. I have some other plans in store as well, but I'll save the details until they happen. I really do need to get back to work on seeking out those bizarre, unusual ghost stories I do love to find. But for now, I have much more work to do.