Monday, September 13, 2010

Guest Post and Blog Tour: Scott Nicholson, Ghost Hunter

When Scott contacted me about participating in his blog tour I was all for it. I adore his work and suggest that you check him out!

Scott Nicholson, Ghost Hunter

By Scott Nicholson

Actually, the title is a little melodramatic.

I’ve done much more ghost story collecting than I have ghost collecting, but my interest in spirituality naturally leads to afterlife curiosity. One of the recurring themes in my work is the exploration of the Big Question: Why are we here and what happens when we die?

I don’t really expect to bump into Aunt Mildred’s ghost and she will spill all the secrets of the universe over a cup of tea, but I do think the belief in ghosts is a fascinating social, philosophical, and psychological matter. Whether you don’t believe in anything and think we are here to consume candy and die, or whether you spend most of your day in prayer and meditation, you are probably as close to the “answer” as anyone else.

And people from all walks believe–and don’t believe–in ghosts. Some skeptics can be changed with one bizarre incident or encounter, while some curious folks can search for evidence of the afterlife for years before concluding there’s nothing out there.

As a newspaper reporter, I went on a ghost hunt at a local hotel with a group of paranormal investigators. While the old hotel was big and spooky, I was most fascinated by the personalities of the hunters, their expectations and their reactions to phenomena that I chalked up to the usual stuff of old hotels–cool drafts, distant elevator noises, and squeaky floors.

A year later, I hosted a paranormal conference at the hotel, gathering information that I used in Speed Dating with the Dead, when a paranormal conference goes haywire.

In the novel, I had to accidentally invoke some demons, because “real” ghost hunting is incredibly dull. You sit in the dark all night with lots of equipment, and then spend several weeks poring through audio and video files to get a few seconds of suggestive information.

I’ve gone on several other hunts since, and even hosted another conference, and I still collect ghost stories, but I stopped short of investing in lots of gear. I do think there is potential for devices that correlate many different kinds of data, measuring time, temperature, and location with various other data (similar to the Multiple Anomaly Coordinator, or MAC Attack, the team uses in the book).

But even if you line up a bunch of coordinates and statistics and say, “This is a ghost,” what exactly have you proven? You still haven’t answered the Big Question.
The hunt continues.

Scott Nicholson is author of Speed Dating with the Dead, The Skull Ring, and 10 other novels, five story collections, four comics series, and six screenplays. A journalist and freelance editor in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, he often uses local legends in his work. This tour is sponsored by Amazon, Kindle Nation Daily, and Dellaster Design.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog.

Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free ebooks to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter.

And, hey, buy my books and put me in the Top 100 and I’ll throw in another random Kindle 3 giveaway. Thanks for playing. Complete details at


  1. How fun is this. I'm so into paranormal stuff...kinda obvious with the name ;)

    Plus, I've had a few "close" encounters of my own with some tricky ghosts. I'm dying to go to The Myrtles.

    I've been to the Paraplex {New Orleans} which was really interesting and I actually felt a huge drop in temperature in the upper hallway, so I think certain devices could technically prove that something is not quite "normal" about a certain place. I don't know what would be needed to proved undeniably that ghosts exist. Same as aliens right? You have pictures, you have sightings - you have tests results and people still turn their noses up at it. I guess if one sat down on national television and was like "hey I'm a ghosts" maybe that might convert the masses...

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    parajunkee at

  2. How many crazy hats do you have?

  3. Love that hat! Where did you get that? Hm....

    Anyway, I think there ARE ghosts. Ok, not ghosts, but spirits. (sorry, Casper!) They may be in another dimension. To be more specific, the fourth dimension. (Great. Now I sound like a geek.) Where will we go after death? What will we be? ..... Now, THAT's the million-dollar question.

  4. I believe in the Holy Spirit :D

    Also don't forget to check out my amazing blog design giveaway that ends 9/12!

    Ashley's Bookshelf

  5. When I was young and foolish (now I'm older and foolish, never mind), I was fascinated by paranormal and spiritual happenings. It was the seventies, Carlos Castaneda was in, and some of us spent all night in the Anza Borrego desert in So. California, meditating, waiting for Don Juan (the sorcerer) to drop by and trying not to get bitten by rattle snakes. I kind of outgrew that craziness, but a lingering fascination with the spiritual and alternate realities remained. Speed Dating with the Dead (great title!) is a fascinating and fun book. Definitely read it!

    Hmm, Scott must have as many hats as Mrs. Marcos had shoes!

    (just in case I win that Kindle)

  6. I don't believe in ghosts, but that hasn't precluded me from some awfully strange experiences over the years.

    e-mail: rabidfox[at]

  7. I love anything paranormal. Never been on a ghost hunt but; I do believe there are unknown things all around us. This was a really fun post.
    Sue B

  8. Hi Scott, I am just now getting into paranormal so Speed Dating with the Dead looks like a good next read. I love your title. lol
    I have always believe there are things out there that we can't see but can feel their presence.
    Thanks for stopping by to chat.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  9. I would classify myself as a wanting-to-believe skeptic. I used to be heavy into the paranormal stuff, but it's cooled off of late. However, when I read [i]Speed Dating with the Dead[/i], I felt some of those old stirrings again. Great book!


  10. My librarian friend tells me of seeing a female ghost in the library, her former home. Anytime building renovations go on, pranks happen and sitings increase so patrons and staff see her as well.

    Nadine stacypilot at yahoo dot com

  11. I find ghost hunting facinating and the results open for interpretion.

  12. How oh How to separate "Ghost Hunter" from GhostBusters theme song?
    It'll definitly play non-stop in my mind now, all day long..

    mayarend -at-

  13. I do believe that some part of us lives on after our body dies. But I think too many people spend too much time trying to figure out exactly what happens after death, and don't pay attention to the life in front of them.
    As fiction, though, it makes for an interesting story. :)

  14. There are plenty of things in this world that defy explanation - even things that man has come up with - like, "How does a copier work, and then NOT work?" I am confident in believing that God has it all in hand, with me tossed in because He loves me. There is a real ghost story in the Bible. Read I Samuel about when King Saul asked the Witch of Endore to call on the dead prophet Samuel.
    Interesting ramifications...there are dead souls and they can be called up, but they are not too happy with the ones who called them, eh?
    Ghost stories make great stories, I must admit! I even like the pseudo-angel stories like "It's a Wonderful Life" that someone wrote about just a bit ago. A Christmas Carol is one of my all-time favorites. By the way, they have Tim Curry reading the book (unabridged) on! It was a free download last Christmas and It is great to read along to. Hamlet and Othelo were some worthy stories to throw in with ghost stories that did rather well. One of my other favorites is Jack Tripper's (Bill Murray's) campfire story in the movie "Meatballs," which is not really a "ghost" story but I would put it in the same storytelling genre.
    As for what happens when you die... there's lots to learn there. Are we to dwell on it if God has secured our place in that future, or work to make our present better and and that of our fellow living beings?
    I wonder if we will get to wear cool hats in the here-after, and where would we get them?

  15. I am naturally skeptical and don't believe in ghosts and am not religious, but I also know that we don't know about everything that's out there.

    It makes more sense to me that there is a force that ties everything together, kind of like The Force in Star Wars, but that's more of an extension of the laws of physics than any kind of supernatural thing.

    Another fun stop on the tour!

  16. My ghost experience only happened when I was a child. I would feel my grandmother's presence beside me and smell her perfume. She came during a period when I needed the extra comfort and reassurance, and then she was gone.

    It remains a wonderful memory for me.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  17. I love all things paranormal, but would have to classify myself as a skeptic. I've often wondered why, except for those observed as ectoplasm or light etc., do ghosts appear clothed? What allows for clothing to manifest itself in the spiritual world?


  18. ESP, paranorm/spirit activity is weird to experience. Wish we understood it better.


  19. I don't know much about ghosts, but I do believe in a "spirit" world around us. It seems like a great subject for an author like Scott. Now I have one more book to add to my TBR list.

  20. I'm skeptical.
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  21. I'll have to come in a bit and read all the replies better...but I am loving these comments! So interesting! I believe something exists.

  22. I've been having a blast following Scott around the Internet these last several days. I want to thank him for introducing me to blogs I'd never have found on my own and for talking openly about his career, beliefs and thoughts. Thanks Scott, its been a fantastic journey so far.

    calseeor (at) gmail (dot) com

  23. Hi Scott,

    I know everyone is here commenting on your blogs in the hopes of winning a Kindle. I am, too, I suppose. Although NOT for myself... It's just that the Christmas funds will be a little LOW this year... Hmmm... But I am hoping you will eventually butcher a few trees so their spirits can live on in a "Speed Dating with the Dead" paperback version.

    As you know, I was briefly a paranormal investigator myself (and originally got in it through my work as a reporter, too). So I know a little bit of what to expect and a little about how you go about doing it. But I must say, I have NEVER experienced it done in the unique way YOU go about it.

    When you wrote "my interest in spirituality", it suddenly jarred my memory about your reports on your ghost hunting expeditions. At first I took your reference to the word "spirituality" to mean the search for inner essence or truth of a human being, whether of a religous nature or otherwise. However, I soon learned that YOUR interpretation of "spirituality" is completely different. It's sort of a back woods, hillbilly definition involving visual and auditory sensations, illegal stills and moonshine!

    I remember one particular "ghost hunt" you went on... You really wanted to be prepared so you got a FULL jug (not just a wimpy jelly jar full) of 'shine -- you had to loan a couple of your best goats out for dates to get the stuff, as I recall. You reported seeing and experiencing all sorts of strange and bizarre things--creepy corpses crawling up out of graves, disembodied creatures flying through the air, and (most amazing of all) gorgeous sexy women being attracted to you -- and then you somehow found yourself waking up in a gutter in an alleyway on the other side of town (with no recollection of how you got there) in a puddle of ectoplasm (which looked and smelled and felt mysteriously like vomit). Eerie!

    Keep up the good work, Scott! I'll see you at the next blog stop. (In the mean time, kill some trees! I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy...)


  24. Your statement about how much time it takes to go through the tapes and video made me think of the show Ghost Hunters. I used to love watching it but I came to realize quickly how much went into getting so little reward. I still enjoy the show occasionally but I know I would never have the patience to be an investigator.

  25. I have never been on a ghost hunt, but think it would be an interesting thing to do.

    kissinoak at verizon dot net

  26. I've had a few paranormal experiences in my home and at other peoples homes. None of my experiences have been like how they're depicted on TV or in the movies though. Usually it starts with a feeling of another presence when you know you're alone. I almost never get the chills like on TV. The room doesn't get cold or anything. But you know something is there. Then the "spirit" will show itself in some form. Sometimes a shadow figure or floaty light. It'll do its' thing for a while and move on.

    It/they never communicate and I never try to interact with it. My scariest incident was when a shadow figure was looming over my bed one night. I woke up in the middle of the night, saw it and screamed like a little girl. It reached down at me and my mother ran in my room to see why I was screaming. When she flicked on the light the entity vanished.

    After each experience I tend to rationalize it and find logical explanations. I've come up with some perfectly sensible explanations too, purposely trying to be skeptical. Because honestly, I don't want to see no freaking ghosts. I would be fine without those experiences. But these things seem to happen when I'm at my most skeptical-ness. If anybody wants a ghost/spirit feel free to take mine.


  27. Hello All. I'm still here.

    web at jasonfedelem dot com

  28. Great post. Very interesting. I do believe that ghosts exist but I have never been on a full ghost hunt. I actually think it would get rather boring with nothing happening all night. While I do think it possible to see and communicate with ghosts I think in order for it to happen to have to be open to the possibility. Which might be why so many stories come from children they definitely have a much more open mind than most adults.

    I love to read ghost and spooky stories. Sadly I have found that there really arent a lot of true ghost stories in fiction at least not readily available.

  29. Parajunkee, I went on a ghost tour of New Orleans--disturbed old town, that place is. Even if you caught a ghost on tape, you'd never fully prove it. And yes the Green Park Inn is always that foggy!

    @sailorwind, panther, I like hats, used to be in a rock band. That's actually part of my Digger outfit 9yes, I dress as the comic book character I play in a comic book). Confusing, ot what? I'll go into that later in the tour.

    @Jeff Obviously spirituality is important to me but I'm more of a "roll your own" type. I never trust any one book or person who claims to have all the answers--clearly the topic of a lot of my books. And I love Tim Curry reading anything!

    It's exciting to see how many people have had encounters or experiences of some kind. One thing I have absolutely no doubt of is that more is going on in this world than just what we think we see and hear. Reality--it's just a theory.


  30. I'm not sure of the whole ghost thing as individual I feel more that there are echos of events or some good some very dark, that we still feel.

  31. I know there are ghosts, but my story is much too long for a comment and I'd probably get picked on so I won't tell it. I just know they exist and it's because of my personal experience.

    candace_redinger at yahoo dot com

  32. @Candace I'd love for you to share your story. I'm positive that no one will pick on you! I'll share my little story.

    @Donnas I also think children experience a lot which leads to my little story.

    My little girl used to see "things" when she was small. It always kind of freaked me out.

    My son has always had an odd way of "seeing" things or "knowing" things. We rent the house across from my's in the same neighborhood it always been in and the same people who've always been here. The lady who used to own the house passed away probably 15-18 years ago. My so nis 4 so obviously he would not have known her or of her. Well, one day he says that Ms. (lady's name) said that she's happy we are living here. Well it was shocking but...I have been close with this family for years and knew her very well. I always thought it was freaky but of course that's only one of the strange things he has said.

    Also..I don't discourage my kids and say "No you didn't see that." I've always believed that that is the reason that we as adults are not as open to things as children are.

    Whooo...ok that's a long comment LOL!

  33. Obviously I did not check my spelling before I hit post.....*blah*

  34. I've never had a ghost experience but my aunt may have. For one year after her husband of 50 years passed away, she felt his presence. It was so strong, she would turn around and expect to see him standing behing her. On the one year anniversary of his death, she no longer felt his presence.

    One of the last things he told her, before he passed away, was that he would stay by her side until he was satisfied that she survive on her own....

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  35. Very interesting stuff

  36. Stories like the ones posted here really creep me out but I can't get enough of them. I believe in ghosts, I've had an experience or two in my life but I don't invite it. It scares the hell out of me, I'm as chicken as they come.
    Six adults, including me, were sitting on the living room floor of my grandmother's house, going through a wad of old family pictures, laughing and poking fun at one another, trying to shake off our grief because my grandmother had just passed away two days before. While we were all sitting there a glass vase with dried popourri flew eight feet across the room from a shelf on the wall. It landed on top of the pile of photographs we had splayed on the floor. We all just sat there for what seem like minutes staring at it and not saying a word. I guess grandma either didn't like our jesting or wanted to be a part of it. True story, six witnesses.

  37. Oh, I scared myself so bad writing the above post I forgot to leave my contact

  38. Thanks for the giveaway!


  39. I try to keep an open mind about everything relating to the world. Ghosts are certainly a possibility, but what are they really? I can honestly say that there is so little we know about the world and space, that we might only understand the tip of the ice burg, for it may be all that we can see.

  40. Whew! Let me catch my breath as I've finally caught up with the last several blog tour stops I've missed.

    I have a fascination for the paranormal. I've had some strange experiences that can't be explained (a few of them really spooked me out!), however nothing such as seeing a ghost.

    Keep up the great work with the blog tour. It's been fun since day one!

    conrad.jd (at) gmail (dot) com

  41. I definitely believe in ghosts although I've never encountered one. But my Aunt adamantly claims that my Grandma is haunting her; moving things around the house, etc. But I'm not sure if I believe her.

  42. I'm really not sure whether or not I believe in ghosts. I think it's a cool idea that my friends and family who have died are looking out for me and helping me. I'm just not really sure whether it's true or not... and I certainly do not like the idea of mean or evil ghosts.


  43. I'm not sure what you would call this. As children, my sister and I shared the same recurrent dream. We would dream that we opened our eyes and saw what we called "see-throughs" standing around our bed, but they felt like loving family members. We each had our own favorite relative who smiled at us. Now, I wonder if they may have been ancestors. I'm happy that I can confirm these experiences with my sister, or else I would have found a logical way to dismiss it a long time ago. varbonoff22 at cox dot net

  44. I would love to go on a ghost hunt some day!


  45. Scott,

    My family and I had a blast at your first paranormal convention. You are definitely right when you say that each one has a very distinct personality. They were all extremely nice people and were very passionate about what they did.
    You don't have to be into ghosts real heavy to enjoy talking with these people. It was an awesome convention and we can't wait to attend another.

    Thanks for the fun!


  46. Goodness, I don't know if I can read with out having nightmares or having the thoughts of ghosts playing with my mind. Certainly a interesting read hope I also don't get the hebejebees!

    denice p

    doozercries at yahoo .com

  47. LOVE the idea of ghosts, but just can't believe in real life. Thank gawds I can suspend that disbelief enough to enjoy the heck out of a good supernatural story.

    geekgirlunveiled at gmail dot com

  48. Would be very interesting to be on a ghost hunt. I was recently in Long Beach, CA and went on a ghost tour of the Queen Mary one night. Lots of odd noises and eerie feelings. Very exciting as it was a place I'd wanted to visit for years. There will always be an audience for paranormal work I believe. Looking forward to reading Speed Dating with the Dead, got my kindle for pc up and running now I just have to wrestle some time on the computer away from my kiddos so I can use it!
    Looking forward to your continuing journey.
    Cajun Book Lady, your site is very nice looking, may have to come back for another visit. Thanks!
    All the best,

  49. Getting caught up on all my stops.

    Jo Ann (jajjmj (at) quixnet (dot) net)

  50. i am the warped one but i gotta say i am enjoying the different pictures you show.

    ps you might like CIRCLE OF SOULS paranormal murder mystery written by a shrink from India! I LOVED IT!

  51. One girl at school was crazy about ghosts so we decided to have a go with a Ouija Board - scared ourselves silly even though no one answered!!

  52. I think that ghosts are real. I had a bad experince with a Ouija Board once though. It was really scary.


  53. I would LOVE a Kindle DX. Thanks for the opportunity to win one! :)

    P.S. Click on my name for my contact info. ;)

  54. Ghosts are such a great subject. They either are or they are not, but then again... There is so much you can do with such an open subject.

    Please enter me.

  55. The books sound great!

    bunkercomplex @ gmail . com

  56. I have never seen nor heard anything that would make me believe in ghosts. And I would have to see it first hand to ever believe...but I do love a good ghost story .

  57. Thanks for stopping in everyone!

  58. Finally! I thought a ghost had taken over the comment form! Good post about ghost hunting, I don't want to go -- I'm too chicken.
    The school where I worked at has the reputation of having a ghost in the main building. Several of us refuse to be alone in there after dark.
    The young girl who worked in the office next to mine declared one day that there are no such things as ghosts.
    One Saturday afternoon, I was working away in my office with my door open. I saw her go down the hall so I hollered "hello!" A few minutes went by...
    then she poked her head into my room, her face pale. She said, "I don't believe in ghosts, but when I heard your voice -- I started to believe."
    bmcbroom AT gmail dot com

  59. This is another interesting post. I haven't hunted or experienced anything to do with ghosts.

  60. Hi Scott, I am still following you. lol I love the name of your book "Speed Dating with the Dead". I can just imagine how those would go. lol

    Thanks for this opportunity to enter and I really need a Kindle DX so I can read more ebooks. I can't sit for long at my computer so don't get to read them very often.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  61. The "real ghost hunting is boring" thing made me think of that scene in Poltergeist when the ghost hunting guy says, "A child's toy car rolled four feet across the floor. It took eight hours on film." And Craig T Nelson says, "Uh huh" and opens the door to toys and records whirling all around the room. Now THAT'S ghost-hunting! Sometimes you have to take poetic license... ;)

    inannajourney at

  62. Luv the blog tour. Speed Dating with the Dead sounds really interesting - adding it to my list!

    dreamer dot ima at gmail dot com

  63. Hi Scott. Thanks again for another chance to win. Good blog, good hat!

  64. We've had some experiences with the 'supernatural' ourselves, and know there's definitely something going on, but what? When you find the answer Scott, please let me know which book you put it in. I buy them all anyway, but if one of them has the 'answer', I wanna know which one it is!
    lol, Gail in Florida
    cowgirl3000 at gmail dot com

  65. This post makes me want to go ghost hunting myself. hehehe.
    I will need to buy myself some crazy gear!

  66. I've always wanted to "ghost hunt" but I too scared when I even watch the shows on tv. The closest I ever got was a ghost walk in Lancaster, PA.

    Maggie at tethered mommy dot com

  67. Thanks Scott! Great post, keep it up!


    tztomfromcali _ at _ gmail _ com

  68. I’d be interested in hearing some stories about what went down when ghost hunting. As a Christian, I know the spiritual side of our world is very real and does manifest itself from time to time (seen and heard too many things to discount anything but the spiritual reality we live in, more specifically a Christian one).

    And this type of data does make for good story basis in general, especially when dealing in darker fiction. Adds a level of realism that wouldn’t be there otherwise.

  69. I love a good ghost story! Great post. Keep it up!

  70. I'm cyber-stalking for that Kindle!

    I don't see dead people, but I feel like one in the mornings.

    Twitter: MachineTrooper

  71. I'm starting to feel like I'm on a Grateful Dead tour, following Scott from blog to blog.

    Another interesting article - thank you for sharing!

  72. I've always kind of secretly wanted to go on a "ghost hunt"!


  73. Hey Scott,

    Mischievousmaya mentioned earlier about feeling like following the Grateful Dead.

    This put me in mind of an early passage from Seth Godin's book "Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us", how the people who followed the Grateful Dead from concert to concert were a tribe, with their own short-handed (ex., "2-14-70") a shared passion for the music and a sense of belonging to a community.

    So Mr, Nicholson, are you using this tour to create your own tribe of dead-heads . . . maybe undeadheads?

    Thank you,
    --Greg the Undead Rat

    theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com

  74. Just thought of something. Paranormal experiences, such as poltergeist and others, have influenced the psychology of C. G. Jung, the Swiss psychologist/psychiatrist, and stirred his interest in the spiritual aspect of life. "Memories, Dreams, and Reflections" is an interesting book.

  75. Thanks, everyone for entering, entries now closed here at 77 comments but please join later stops, where there will be more ghost hunting goodness.

    Christa, Jung's book was pretty influential to me and I do believe in a collective unconsciousness. There's a mountain near me (inspiration in part for Drummer Boy) where I always feel like "I KNOW that place." Probably resembles something from Scotland and my ancestral memory.

    Thanks Kris for hosting!


  76. Great title: Speed Dating with the Dead. Isn't speed dating a horror story in and of itself?

    wordygirl at earthlink d0t net

  77. What a great idea for a giveaway! I would love to be entered in you draw. Thanks.

  78. Please include me.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  79. i dont like to think about after we die!! =)

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

  80. Please enter me love mystery/paranormal books!!

    monacart32 at hotmail dot com

  81. I've never heard of Scott Nicholson, or his books before. This is a great way to get your name out there!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  82. well i don't dismiss the truth about the paranormals..


  83. Wonderful idea!


  84. Jeannine D