So, it’s almost Christmas. What better time for us to talk about ghosts and monsters, right? Yeah, I know…probably better suited for Halloween, but hey…Dickens’ did it. Why not me? As you guys know, my series of adventure thrillers deal with a wisecracking cryptozoologist and his search for strange creatures around the world. The stuff simply fascinates me. And in my “travels” through research, marketing, and the rest, I’ve met a lot of very interesting and curious people who actually do the things my fictional hero and his team do. These people hunt for phenomenon of the unknown. They hunt ghosts. They hunt monsters. They hunt ghostly monsters. They are seekers of the truth…no matter what that truth might be. And they are extremely interesting people to get to know.
One such person that I’ve encountered recently is Angel Koebbe who has written a fantastic guide to all things paranormal in the state of Florida (my own state!) called “Florida Hauntings: Ghosts and Cryptids.” And no, though I mostly feature authors of fiction…this isn’t one of them. Florida Hauntings is a piece of non-fiction and I believe, definitely worth checking out!
Here’s the product description from Amazon that details what this book is about:
In this book, you will find haunted locations organized alphabetically by city. Some of these are based on legends, facts, records, and actual witnesses. In these pages,you will find 143 locations that have hauntings. Florida Hauntings – Ghost and Cryptids is the supernatural atlas of Florida.
When I started talking to Angel about her book, I was curious as to how she became interested in researching the paranormal. She is a staunch skeptic, yet admits that there are definitely things out there that haven’t been or can’t be explained with modern science. So, she told me a story about her first couple of encounters with “the unknown”. I’ll share what she had to say in her own words:
When I was around the age of ten, my family took an outing at Starved rock, located in Utica, Illinois. We enjoyed getting out of the city life and escaping into the deep forests (2,630 acres) and rushing waterfalls. To me, this place was out of this world. It was early afternoon when my parents suggested I walk further ahead on the trail. On this trip my parents brought my grandparents, they were talking and I wanted to see deer. Staying on the trail, still within sight of my mother I was at least thirty or more feet from the rest of my family.
Slowly walking along, looking for acorns on the forest path, the sun was blocked out from above. As I looked up, I froze in amazement, fear, and excitement. Soaring above me…right above me…was this huge bird. I stood there; looking up for several minutes, not once did this creature flap its wings. Knowing this cryptid had a wing span of about 20 feet, this is the exact day I fell in love with the unknown in this world.
Three years later, my friend and I decided to take our mountain bikes out for a ride. In Palos, Illinois along side of the Cal-Sag River was a patch of woods with dirt paths. Riding along, we came across a part in the path we needed to walk the bikes. As we continued to walk, we both stopped at the same time. Laughter was heard, right along the path.
The laughter started up the path and within seconds, traveled down the path right next to us. When it came, it stopped. Then a loud scream was heard and something ran right past us. We heard the leaves on the ground crunching under unseen feet, branches being broken and pushed as if something was trying to get away, and quick! We jumped on our bikes and headed back without saying a single word to each other. The location was torn down and is currently a golf course. This was the day I became interested in the supernatural.
I have been visiting haunted areas since my early teenage years, searching for proof.
I explained to her that her encounter with the giggling mystery in the Illinois woods sounded a great deal like the Native American equivalent to the Smurfs…or rather what they call the “Little People” or more specifically, the Yunwi Tsunsdi [a topic that fascinates me and will appear heavily in an upcoming book of mine]. Still, these two encounters sparked a life-long interest in researching the paranormal for Angel. In essence, she wants to discover the truth…no matter what that is. And she’s been doing a fantastic job of it…which has culminated in today’s featured book.
While talking to her about the book, Angel was kind of enough to answer some questions about her book, her interests, and life in general. Here’s what she had to say:
1) Your book Florida Hauntings: Ghosts and Cryptids sounds like a very interesting book. In your own words, tell us a bit about it. What prompted you to write it?
In Florida Hauntings: Ghosts and Cryptids, I have 143 haunted locations in alphabetical order. I have always been interested in ghosts and cryptids and I wanted to write a book that can be used as a road atlas for the supernatural.
2) Can you tell us a couple of your favorite hauntings or cryptids in Florida?
Castillo de San Marcos (the fort in St. Augustine) has got to be my number one hot spot for the supernatural. Cassadaga (woods) would have to be my second hot spot. It’s best to stay away from large groups of people while visiting the Fort, and make sure you take lots of pictures. Cassadaga woods is just past “downtown”, I definitely had an uneasy (somebody is watching me) feeling while walking the wooded paths.
3) If someone wanted to check these places and creatures out and do their own investigations, are there any that would be a “sure thing” to catch some sort of evidence? Are these places open to the public for paranormal investigations or do you need to get special permission?
Many haunted locations are closed to the public, some are not. I would definitely seek out permissions to investigate certain places. Cemeteries can be viewed during day light hours without any problems, at night becomes a different story.
Visit St. Augustine Florida, make sure to take the tour of The Spanish Military Hospital, I would say this would be a “sure thing” to hear, feel, and see many things.
4) Do you believe in ghosts? If so, do you have any theories on what they are? What causes them?
I’m really a skeptic with the unknown. I highly believe most hauntings can be explained as natural occurrences. However, I cannot explain them all, this is why I am so interested in this field. I am very interested in the unexplained.
5) Okay…cryptid question. Of all the cryptids out there (not just in Florida), which would you consider to be your favorite? Why? Which ones do you believe truly exists and may one day be discovered?
I love this question. Big Foot and Large Birds by far are the most intriguing of all cryptids. I do believe of their existence and evidence will be discovered. To me, it’s not a far fetched idea that a hairy beast or a huge bird are living in the unexplored woods of this planet. Besides, I myself have had a personal experience with a cryptid bird.
6) Besides writing and investigating paranormal stuff, what do you enjoy doing for fun? Hobbies? Interests?
I love the outdoors and spending time with my family. Taking the boat out on the St. John’s river or having a BBQ in the backyard is my kind of fun.
Finding The Truth: Evolution and Creationism, I wrote this book to figure out if evolution disproves the bible. I’ve gathered my facts and theories and picked apart creation and evolution. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you so pick up a copy, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
8) Do you have any new projects in the works? What can we be looking for from you in the future?
My next project is another haunted state. My goal is to finish off the United States and combine all of them for a “Haunted America“.
So, I hope you will check out her books! And for you Kindle enthusiasts out there…Haunted Florida is also available for it too!
Here is a link to her books on Amazon:
And to the book’s Facebook page:
And thank you, Angel, for taking the time to share a little about your books and I wish you the greatest of successes!