Category Archives: paranormal

Jimmy Buffett and The Estes Method

Two things have been bouncing around my head over the past two weeks; Jimmy Buffett and  The Estes Method. At first glance, these two things have nothing to do with each other, or do they

Jimmy Buffett was a popular musician who filled the heads of millions and millions of boomers with his music celebrating the virtues of hanging out at the beach drinking margaritas. He is probably completely responsible for retirement communities like The Villages in Florida. I’m not looking to move to The Villages, but I enjoy his music, and I’m all in on his living at the beach fantasy.

The Estes Method: If you’re not familiar, it’s a technique created by paranormal investigators Karl Pfeiffer, Connor Randall and Michelle Tate. They created the technique aiming to more accurately capture communication from spirits. Previously paranormal investigators used “spirit boxes” to listen to what they hoped would be cogent auditory messages from the other side.

The “spirit box” is basically a radio that scans rapidly through A.M. and F.M. frequencies.

Paranormal investigators believe that otherworldly entities have the ability to manipulate and communicate through these radio signals. For the last two decades we’ve seen paranormal investigators listen to these static making machines and occasionally shout with joy when they hear what might be a word if you listen really hard. I’ve never been impressed by that. It could be any random word from a D.J. in Spokane bouncing off a satellite and accidentally reaching a random radio in Albuquerque.

What Conor, Karl, and Michelle did differently was to start having the person listening to the spirit box wear a blindfold and noise cancelling headphones to remove any outside noise or influence. Then they ask the “spirits” direct questions and hope to get relevant responses. In examples that you can see in Hellier and The Unbinding, they’ve had some surprising success.

So how does recently deceased musician Jimmy Buffett play into this? Some of you have already figured out where I’m going, maybe because you’re psychic, or just because you know how weird I am.

All of us who were fans of his music wish there were more Jimmy Buffett songs. Some tech heads are going to start making Jimmy Buffett knock off songs using A.I.  Not me! I’m going to collaborate on new songs with Jimmy using The Estes Method!

Here’s our first one:

Trudging through the snow, it’s miserable in Buffalo

I’m too tired to fight, I just need a flight

Three hours to paradise, I know fleeing life isn’t nice

But I just need sun and a rum drink with ice

That was all Jimmy. I heard it in the headphones. That’s all for now. Me and Jimmy will get back to work after we finish a game of beach volleyball and a couple margaritas! If you have an idea for a few more lines in the song, feel free to add them in the comments!

Have a great weekend! ~Phil (and Jimmy)

Please Let It Be Haunted…

Amityville Horror House

You may be asking yourself, what do I want haunted and why? First of all, why are you asking yourself that? You don’t know! I do and I’m going to tell you.

For the fifth time since The Phil Factor began in 2005, I’m moving to a new residence. Other questions you might be asking yourself are as follows:

1. Why does Phil move so much? 

2. Could he be trying to stay one step ahead of the law?

3. Could he possibly be a secret agent for the FBI, CIA, or MI5?

Was that a poltergeist, or just really kick-ass hi-def tv?

Never mind those questions. They are irrelevant. I’m moving again, and I’m hoping for a haunted house. I’m not hoping for just any run of the mill ghosts who make little noises at night. I want the full on Amityville Horror haunting. I want poltergeists out the ying-yang!

My last home, before the one I’m in now, was lightly haunted and it was enjoyable. I don’t want lightly haunted. This time I want the full on Stranger Thingsmy son is in the upside-down” kind of haunting. I want to see my dog walking on the ceiling and not knowing why. I’ll be running around the house with my cell phone recording myself Blair Witch Project style, only to find myself in the closet facing the wall.

Is this bad mojo to put this idea out into the universe? Probably. Will I regret it? Also probably. But, imagine how great all my paranormal blog posts will be when I’m reporting from my own home! I’ll have video and audio, and I promise I won’t be shouting about orbs. Zak Bagans is a clown. After about ten years he suddenly needs gigantic glasses? Did he go blind because he got an orb in his eye? SMH.

For cripes sake Zak. If you’d stop yelling all the time we might be able to hear the ghost talk in those crappy, static recordings. Every week you act like you’ve never seen a ghost before. And if you want to fight me Zak, I invite you to have your say on my blog and if you’ll invite me to follow you on one of your “investigations”, I’ll write about it. Sounds fair, right?

So here’s my question for you my readers: Answer in the comments, would you live in a haunted house, maybe if it was only lightly haunted?

Have a great Sunday and thanks for reading! ~Phil

Are Psychics Real? Uri Geller and I Think So!

Yes, I will continue to use this picture that I created in 2017. See? I knew what you were thinking, because I’m a psychic.

Are psychics real? That’s a big question isn’t it? Many people go to see psychics in a variety of venues for a variety of reasons and a lot of those people report their psychics as being knowledgeable and helpful.

Hmm… I wonder if Uri Geller psychically knows that I’m using his name to attract readers? Probably. Uri, if you’re reading this, I’d love to interview you.

Many “psychics” have made lucrative careers on stage and TV, as well as your local psychic who charges $100/hour for a tarot reading. The question is, do these psychics truly have the ability to read minds, see the past and future, and bend spoons? And, are these psychics qualified to give you advice on important life issues?

I do believe that some people do have legitimate psychic abilities, but that’s probably a much smaller number than the number of people who call themselves psychics.

Picture Courtesy

The one group that most people are familiar with is tarot card readers. A person can give a great tarot card reading without being a psychic. Some tarot readers are actually very skilled therapists in how they work with a client through a reading. Some tarot readers are psychic and some are not, but either can be very helpful.

The pictures on the tarot cards are intended to project a general theme that either you or the tarot reader can interpret and expand upon, relating that theme to things in your life. As the tarot reader reveals each card it adds another layer of depth or nuance to the original theme that you or they attached to the first card. Tarot readers are one kind of psychic. There are many others.

Psychic Uri Geller

Another kind of psychic is the reality show/Las Vegas psychic. These type of psychics always make me a little uneasy. Not because I think they are all fakes, but because I think some of them are fakes. The guy in the picture above is psychic Uri Geller, who is best known for bending spoons with his mind. Yes, I believe that he really did that and I really believe that he is a psychic. Why do I believe that? I’m reading a book on his life and he has done so much more than just spoon bending. His life has been so unbelievably crazy that it deserves it’s own post, coming soon after this one. 

Btw Uri, if you’re reading this and know I want to interview you, just send me the answers. I’m sure you already know my questions

In addition to tarot card readings and putting on entertaining stage shows where they channel the spirit and voice of your late Aunt Audrey, psychics have a lot of different ways that their abilities are manifested.

Some can hold an object and tell the history of that particular object. Others have claimed to have the ability to leave their bodies and travel to and observe others. There is what’s called remote viewing, where psychics are able to mentally see what’s going on somewhere else far away. Telepathy, precognition, and telekinesis are some of the topics I’ll be exploring in my next few posts. If there are any other types of psychic phenomena that you’d like to hear more about, just give me a shout in the comments. 

Thanks for reading (my mind) Especially you Uri! ~Phil

My Favorite Paranormal Podcast

To be clear, the podcast is not paranormal. No one is sending it to me psychically. The podcast in question is Greg & Dana’s Haunted Objects Podcast. Over the last several months I have tried several paranormal podcasts. Some are of the “tin hat” type of crowd and others are very knowledgeable and experienced, but the paranormal investigators are not always great broadcasters. Greg, Dana, Connor, and Keelin are anything but boring.

The name of the podcast is misleading. It is about so much more than haunted objects. Greg and Dana are a couple. She’s a self-proclaimed witch and paranormal investigator. He is a paranormal investigator and multi-media producer. Together with their fun loving crew they are producers of some of the most interesting and entertaining paranormal content online, in podcasts, and on TV.

Greg and Dana are also the curators of The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and Occult. They have an advisory board that includes many of the most experienced and erudite paranormal minds in the business.

On their podcast, they essentially do what I did over the past six weeks with my blog posts, introducing a wide variety of paranormal subjects and exploring the history and science of each different type of paranormal phenomena. They intersperse funny stories from their travels and investigations, and sometimes do experiments to prove or disprove certain phenomena.

The time they went Bigfoot hunting with Jeff Goldblum

Above is a picture from Season 2, episode 5 of Jeff Goldblum’s show The World According to Jeff. That’s the only litmus test that I need. If Jeff Goldblum likes them, then I’m all on board.

If you have a sense of humor, like podcasts and the paranormal, then you need to listen to Greg & Dana’s Haunted Objects podcast.

Also, I would highly recommend that you check out Hellier,  a docuseries on Amazon Prime,  that they produced a few years ago. It follows their several years long paranormal investigation that has some truly bizarre turns. It is so much more fun than those ghost shows.

Also keep your eyes open later this summer for The Unbinding, which chronicles their harrowing experience with a haunted/cursed relic that they discovered in the Catskill region of New York.


Hey Greg and Dana, if you ever see this blog post, I’d love to interview you for my blog! Email me or on Twitter @ThePhilFactor

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

What I Did In The Haunted Library


As you can see from the pictures, the Ray P. Flower Library in Watertown, New York is a beautiful library inside and out. The library opened in 1905. The funds for the library were donated by Emma Flower Taylor in 1903 as a memorial to her father. Another girl with Daddy issues, am I right? Maybe that explains why these statues are there. Still trying to get daddy’s attention even in the after-life? Emma, when will you ever learn? 


I’m here tonight writing this from within the library. (The call is coming from inside the house! Who remembers that line from the movie When a Stranger Calls?)

The ghost of Emma has been spotted by both librarians and others visiting the library. Also, many have reported blood-curdling screams in the basement.  If there wasn’t a security guard and other people here I’d do a whole Blair Witch thing for you right now.

I am sitting in the room in the library that is dedicated to Emma Flower Taylor. My parents were both from this area and I share a surname with Miss Emma Flower Taylor. Could we be related? I have no idea, but it seems likely. 

I spent about 90 minutes hanging around this spectacular library. Sometimes I’d sit in one room or area for a bit and at other times I meandered through the halls and stairwells. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to the basement. It was roped off.

I even spoke aloud to Emma when no one was around. Nothing. Hoping to provoke a response from her ghost I even did a cartwheel when no one was looking.

Between my cartwheel and my salt & pepper hair, I don’t know how a ghost with daddy issues could ignore me! 

If you’d like to hear some first-person accounts, here’s a video with some of the library staff discussing their experiences with Emma. 

Have a great Thursday, and thanks for reading! ~Phil


My Paranormal Investigation of Thompson Park, Watertown, NY

Alien abduction is fun!

So last night I investigated the “interdimensional vortex” in Watertown, NY’s Thompson Park.

Dear Watertown, NY: If you are going to name something after a supernatural phenomena, please get it right. You claim that there’s an “interdimensional vortex” in your park.  Vortex refers to a mass of whirling fluid or air. People disappearing from one spot and ending up in another sounds like stepping into a portal. 

Secondly, if you’re going to have a freaky park located on a road called Gotham Street, why not work in a Batman statue or two? Are you just going to ignore the marketing possibilities of marrying Batman and an interdimensional portal in your park? 

I spent 90 minutes walking around this Batman-less park hoping to accidentally step into a portal that would drop me on the other side of the universe or maybe even just the other side of the park.

At dinner prior to the park, I did have a large glass of water. When will I ever learn? A little while later I was wandering down a trail in the woods of this park and I felt the call of nature. I needed to pee and I was about a mile from the nearest restroom. So, I did what was necessary and I thought to myself, “How cool would it be if I peed into the vortex/portal and on the other side of the universe it landed on some aliens head?”  Sure it might cause an intergalactic war, but also it might be best practical joke ever, right? Then I saw these: Portal potties!

Yes, I was dying to write that joke into this post.

Also, Watertown, NY, if you’ve got one of these towers in your freaky park, why not paint the top of it like a UFO like the Flushing Towers in Men in Black I ? For cripes sake, if I can think of these things, why can’t you guys hire a marketing genius to figure this sh*t out?

So, people have claimed to lose time and/or be transported from one place in the park to another? I did lose 90 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back, but there was no teleportation involved. I decided that this is just the place that teenagers go to have sex and when they come home too late they tell their parents they got teleported to another universe for a couple hours.

One odd thing was that after 90 minutes of walking around and taking pictures on my phone, it was still at 98%, so maybe those elevated electro-magnetic fields kept my phone charged. No portals but a free phone charge, so I’ll call that a win.

Just because nothing weird happened to me in that park doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened to others. That’s one part of paranormal investigations that you never see on those ghost hunting shows. In paranormal investigations, there’s a lot of quiet waiting around that you can’t edit out when you’re the one investigating.

Come back in 24 hours for my investigation in a haunted library that might have some ancestral connections for me!

Thanks for reading and happy Hump Day! ~Phil

My First Solo Paranormal Investigation: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

I have been on a paranormal investigation before. Communicated with some ghosts, and enjoyed the vibe. Over the month of May, I featured posts here focusing on the paranormal. Ghosts, psychics, witchcraft, UFOs, and demons. As I researched for my posts and interviewed some of the best paranormal people out there, I started to think to myself, “Maybe these are my people.”  Don’t worry, I’m not turning The Phil Factor into a completely paranormal blog, yet…

I enjoyed my month of learning how wide-ranging the paranormal specialties are and how often paranormal things intrude into our world. I decided that when I travel for work I’m going to look for opportunities to find the paranormal in the towns and cities I visit.

Watertown, NY‘s Thompson Park is located about a five-hour drive upstate from New York City. Watertown is a small military base city that is literally just a short drive from Canada.

The interesting paranormal phenomenon that allegedly occurs in Thompson Park is that people believe there is an interdimensional vortex. People have reported instances of losing time, getting disoriented, disappearing from one spot and turning up in another, or not turning up at all…

Science fiction has been rife with vortexes or portals since the genre originated. People have long fantasized about a doorway to another place. Teleportation if you will. Is there any chance something like this could be real?

Plasma physicist and NASA-funded researcher Jack Scudder from the University of Iowa has figured out how to find these portals. “We call them X-points or electron diffusion regions. They’re places where the magnetic field of Earth connects to the magnetic field of the Sun, creating an uninterrupted path leading from our own planet to the Sun’s atmosphere 93 million miles away.”


Thompson Park has a long history of paranormal reports that real paranormal investigators like Greg Neukerk have checked out. Investigators have found very high electromagnetic fields, which are often typical in areas of high paranormal activity. If you look back at the comments from the NASA scientist, he mentioned the magnetic fields of two places connecting. What if some localized electromagnetic fields connected? Couldn’t that create a short portal or vortex phenomenon?

Do you know what is also often found in close proximity to paranormal events? Military bases, like the one in Watertown, New York. Even more odd is the fact that the government’s code name for the infamous Area 51 in Nevada is “Watertown.”  I don’t suppose that’s an accident. With New York state ranking 5th among the states for UFO/UAP sightings, maybe something interesting is going on at the Fort Drum military base that may be bleeding over into the park.

Picture from

So this evening, I’m going to walk around Thompson Park and see what happens. Then, when I get back to my hotel, I’ll sit down at the hotel bar and chat up the military contractors that are always there, and ask them if they’ve seen anything unusual when they’re at the base.

Also, I’ll come back here and add an addendum to let you know that I returned safely from the vortex. If I disappeared after writing this blog post, how weirdly creepy would that be?

Addendum: I made it back safely without teleportation. Look tomorrow morning for my write up of the “investigation”.

Thanks for reading and wish me luck! ~Phil

My Afterlife To-Do List

In 2023 it has been disconcerting to see so many people, possibly more famous and probably wealthier than me, pass away and I’m realizing it’s possible I may not be able to avoid death.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have no plans to die, but as I get older I like to hedge my bets a little. Hell, if Jerry Springer can’t dodge the Grim Reaper, what chance do I have?


That’s my favorite Grim Reaper. He’s from a cartoon my kids watched. I thought he was particularly funny because he had a Jamaican accent. That’s the first item on my After-Life To Do List: If I’m going to allow myself to be escorted to the other realm it’s got to be him, that Jamaican Grim Reaper. It’s impossible to stay mad at anyone with a Jamaican accent. C’mon man. It will be alright. Let me show you around. Being dead ain’t no big ting… If it’s not him, I’m not going.

Prior to my death, and possibly as soon as this week, I’m going to choose my house to haunt. Who says that you have to haunt your own house? What’s to stop me from haunting The Bachelor house? There’s always people home, so I’d never be bored. I could participate by doing ghosty kind of stuff. How great would The Bachelor be if the vapid but beautiful dolts were all living in a haunted house for three months? And how about if the ghost gets to choose who leaves the house each week by making some mysterious sign, like a mark on a chalkboard or something? I’m totally going to pitch this idea to the producers. I’m putting it in my will just in case I don’t get the contract signed before I pass.


List of people to haunt: I’m making this list and including in my will that invites be sent out to my funeral. Only the date of the funeral will have to be filled in.  I’m pre-signing the invites now  with the phrase “See YOU soon!” How creepy would it be to get one of those? Also, at my funeral I want everyone there to stand up and read their favorite Phil Factor aloud.

Choose My After-Life Occupation: If I have eternity ahead of me, I don’t want to retire yet. Sitting around playing checkers with the old guys at McDonald’s in the afterlife sounds boring. In the after-life I’m going to be a real estate agent helping the recently deceased find the home of their dreams to haunt.

Ugh, this lady is the worst. This is a real online ad. Who wants a ghost-free house?

Me as an afterlife real estate agent: This lovely colonial on a cul-de-sac has five of the living, four bedrooms and two and a half baths..

Recently Deceased: What about pets? I hate pets. Dogs always barking at me. Cats getting spooked when I’m trying to stand quietly in the corner watching TV. They can see us you know.

Me: So are pets a deal breaker for you?

Recently deceased: What about Jennifer Lopez? I’d love to haunt Jennifer Lopez.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. Her house just went off the market last month. How about Justin Bieber?

Recently Deceased: Ugh. No thanks.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

After-Life Hobbies: I never want to be all work and no play, so I’m going to be an amateur stand-up comedian in my spare time. Spare time? I’m dead. All my time is spare! See? I’m writing jokes for the after-life already. Man, I am gonna brighten that place up.

Blogging: Yup, I’m going to continue. I’ve been doing this blog for 18 years. Why should I let death stop me? I’ve pre-written an extra post a week for the last ten years and scheduled them to be released on a regular schedule after my transition to the after-life, Heck, I could be dead already and you wouldn’t know! Why else would I be writing about death?

So, as you can see, there’s lots to do in the after-life, and I don’t want to show up unprepared. What do you want to do after you die?

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

copyright ThePhilFactor 2023

Interview with Demonologist Rich Valdes!

This,my friends, is one of the most interesting interviews that I’ve had the privilege of doing. Rich Valdes has been a demonologist for over thirty-five years. He is such a legendary presence in the demonology community that he’s featured in a new show, Eli Roth’s Legion of Exorcists, premiering Thursday, June 1st on The Travel Channel. It’s a little different also because most of my interviews are by email. Rich was kind enough to spend some time having a phone conversation with me!

TPF: Hi Rich and welcome to The Phil Factor. I really do appreciate you taking the time to talk with me. I want to be considerate of your time, so let’s jump right into the questions! Was there a point in your life when you decided to become a demonologist, or was it something that happened circumstantially?

Rich: I didn’t know what it was called at the time, but I was thirteen years old when I started taking an interest in anything and everything that was like demonic, and the Pastor of the church that my mother attended took notice of it. I had an affinity for it.

When I was about to turn eighteen he reached out to me. He said “I’ve always felt that you had a calling for demonology.” I asked him what that was because at that time I had never heard of it. He explained that it was the study of demons and theology and all the cult practices and religions. I was immediately hooked and I started studying with him for two and a half years before he passed away. Then I had to take a break from my studies.

TPF: How long have you been a demonologist?

Rich: I’ve been a demonologist now for thirty-five years, after nine and a half years of training through three different churches.

TPF: I was wondering how after your pastor passed away, how you continued your studies, because I don’t think you can get that at a community college.

Rich: No. No, that’s usually only offered in churches.

TPF: So the more you became involved in demonology, what surprised you the most?

Rich: What surprised me the most was how demons interact with us. They know more of us, the humans, than we know of them. It’s psychological warfare. Imagine if you would, having to battle something that has pre-dated mankind. They know our weaknesses and strengths even before we discover that we are up against one. So that’s what makes it so difficult.

TPF: What was the most frightening experience you’ve ever had?

Rich: Do you have time for this?

TPF: I have time if you have time!

Rich: (Chuckles) Ok, the scariest experience, well I wouldn’t say scariest, but it rattled my cage a little bit and made me realize that what I was up against was something that knew me better than I knew it. This was a case about sixteen years back, I was asked to take on. As a demonologist, you have to test and see if there are signs of demonic infestation, oppression, and possession. I contacted the husband of the couple. His wife was the one that was actually being tormented by what he felt to be something demonic.

I drove to Ocala from Miami, but before I did,  I called him and I stated, “Do me a favor. Do not say my name out loud. You will refer to me as “Frank”. “Frank Black”, kind of like my favorite character from Millenium. It’s one of the many tricks of the trade, and he referred to me as Frank. When I got there, he answered the door and referred to me as Frank. He took me upstairs to where his wife was. There was a little table by the window with two chairs.

She was sitting on one side. I put my briefcase down and I introduced myself, “Hi. my name is Frank. Frank Block” and she said, “We both know, we all know that’s not true. Your name is really Rich or Richard.” I was like, “No.” Admittedly I had to fib a little bit but I had to keep my poker face up. I informed her, “No, I’m Frank” and she said, or they said, I should say “As you please.” Then I continued with my testing. Let’s just say that she did not pass. Everything that I tried kept proving that there was something or things with her.

Toward the end, as I started wrapping things up, I looked right at her, but never looking right into the eyes, that’s one thing that we’ve been trained never to do. I dismissed myself and said, “Thank you so much.”  She replied, “No, we thank you, Richard Valdes.” That threw me for a loop. Of course, you always have to keep a poker face.

I went downstairs and said goodbye to the husband. I said, “Thank you very much.” I got into the car and drove three blocks down and I literally went through a half-pack of cigarettes. Let’s just say that I couldn’t drive anymore and I stayed the night in a roach motel and I took advantage of the opportunity to call my pastor and told him that we needed to get a young and old priest over here ASAP.

TPF: Wow! That sounds impactful.

Rich: Yes, it is impactful when you know for a fact that individual didn’t know my name and all of a sudden you’re there being exposed and all those testings that I used, they were repelled by whatever testings I used. It wasn’t Captain Obvious things like crosses or anything like that.

TPF: Has anything funny ever happened during one of your investigations? (this is me asking the dumbest question a demonologist has ever heard. He’s probably at the demonologist meeting right now saying to his friends “And then he asked me if anything funny ever happened! I ought to send a demon to his house to see how funny he thinks that is! What a maroon! “)

But this was his polite reply to me…

Rich: Umm, no. Not that I can recall. I’m always vigilant for anything and everything and the phenomena no matter how small they may be, end up towards the end building up to be something more.

TPF: You are premiering in The Legion of Exorcists, on The Travel Channel on June 1st, Could you tell us a little bit about that show?

Rich: The only thing I can say is that it is by far the first time that people will witness a show that is presented by theologians, individuals that are well-studied within the church or have degrees and have been certified and trained predominantly by the church. It won’t be by paranormal investigators, although I myself am a paranormal investigator. To have the experience as well as a demonologist, they brought me in just to give a different perspective. it will be the first show presented on the Travel Channel that we have individuals that are not being addressed as paranormal investigators that are talking about demons and giving their first-hand experience with demonic activity through the eyes of a theologian.

TPF: That was my last question Rich. I appreciate you sharing your time and experiences with me and my readers.

Yes, I know this was significantly longer than my usual posts, but Rich and his knowledge and stories were well worth it and one of the highlights of my Paranormal Month. If you or a family member does get possessed, just let me know in the comments and I’ll get you Rich’s number!

Have a great Sunday and thanks for reading! ~Phil


Legendary Creatures & Cryptid Stuff with Author JW Ocker

You might be asking yourself, what is a cryptid?  You may not know the word, but you have definitely heard of specific cryptids. Does the name Bigfoot ring a bell? How about The Loch Ness Monster? Those are the big name headliners in a field called cryptozoology. To borrow from JW Ocker’s book, “a cryptid is a creature or species whose existence is scientifically unproven.”

Author JW Ocker does not take cryptids as seriously as cryptozoologists do, but he’s all in on the fun of the possibility of cryptids, and I’m with him on that! Wouldn’t it be a wonderful, fun world if all those legends like the Mothman, The Jersey Devil, and the Loch Ness Monster were all true?  Let’s get on with the interview!

Picture from CNBC

TPF: How did your interest in the paranormal begin?

JW: As a kid I liked monsters and I was also raised religious, so soul-deep in gods and demons, but it wasn’t until college or thereafter that I really started digging the strange in a real way. Probably at that moment when I got my first real job and a place all my own and was supposed to start getting serious about life. I looked out at that landscape and realized, “Ah. The regular world kind of sucks. Guess I’ll be spooky instead.”

TPF: Which of the creatures you wrote about is your favorite, and why?

JW: The Mothman. It’s got a great story arc (most cryptid stories peter out, but the Mothman story raises to a climax with the collapse of the Silver Bridge), but also because Point Pleasant supports its creature in a way that has become the template for all other cryptid towns. Plus, you can explore the TNT area where the creature was most often sighted and pretend it’s the late 1960s and it could pop up anytime with its glowing red eyes and freaky motionless flying.

The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp-Pic from Redbubble

TPF: Which creature would scare you the most if you came upon it in the wild?

JW: The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp or, if you can count them, Gray Aliens. The former is because a humanoid reptile just sounds like it could mess you up more than anything else in cryptid lore (minus the water monsters, which is a totally different fear). The latter is mostly because of the movie Communion.

TPF: What did you do before you figured out that you could make a living writing about interesting oddities?

JW: Oh, I can’t. Not and keep my family in Bigfoot t-shirts. I’m also a strategist at an agency in Boston. That basically means I tell stories for businesses, which is a lot like telling paranormal stories except that the monsters all wear suits and I’ve got to pitch them to rooms full of people with “Chief” in their titles.

TPF: Those monsters sound scarier than anything else we’ve discussed here!


TPF: When I look at your collection of books, it seems like you’ve covered almost everything. Do you have a work in progress right now, and if so what is it about?

JW: I’m currently working on a book about cults that will come out next year. There’s still a ton of weirdness out there I want to tackle, but after my last three nonfiction books–cursed objects, cryptids, and cults–I might just be out of c-words.

Thank you for your time JW. I’m completely enjoying Cryptids and I’m planning some trips in hopes of seeing a Jersey Devil or maybe a Snallygaster! To my readers, JW is a fun follow on social media and has a website: which is always a fun read. You can also find him on Facebook. In addition to his paranormal subjects, he also has quite a few fiction novels for both young readers and adults. You can find his entire collection on Amazon!

Have a great Saturday everyone, and come back tomorrow for my interview with a demonologist who will be appearing on The Travel Channel in the coming week! ~Phil