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  • Interview with Paranormal Investigator & Author David E. Harkins: Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    This weeks brings us someone special. David Harkins is the real deal: a paranormal investigator and author.

    Welcome, Dave Harkins! You’ve just released “Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks.” 

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    What inspired Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks? What attracted you to the genre?

    I have always had a fascination with graveyards and cemeteries; more notably some of the older ones that I have had the pleasure of visiting. I find them very alluring historically and aesthetically. I moved to Missouri back in 1985 from California state and had the opportunity to visit many smaller unknown family plots as well as some of the more known cemeteries and Civil War Battlefields here in the Ozarks. During my visits to some of these burial grounds I had the opportunity to speak with many local folks who after finding out my involvement in the paranormal started to tell me of strange happenings that were allegedly occurring at some of these locations. Being thoroughly enthralled with these stories I started researching some of the persons, history and lore associated with these places. After doing so I found that many of the events that occurred surrounding these graveyards could be triggers for paranormal activity.

    Is paranormal research a hobby for you, research or an occupation?

    I am the founder and Director for the Ozarks Paranormal Society. (T.O.P.S) I have been actively researching and investigating the paranormal for over 30 years. At this point the paranormal has become a full time venture for me.

     Are you a first generation paranormal researcher?

    No. My Grandmother who was of Cherokee decent was also very involved in the aspects of paranormal, spiritual and supernatural realms. I grew up around it and have had a strong fascination with it since childhood. I suppose it all really kicked into gear when some friends and I started up an Occult Bookstore back in 1980 in Fresno California. We would have different folks come into the shop looking for books or any information on hauntings and other paranormal activity. Most of them were just looking for some sort of help and had nowhere else to turn. Having always been fascinated by all things metaphysical and having many paranormal experiences myself, I found it natural to investigate their claims. This is where my journey into paranormal investigation began.

    Tell us about a few of the local and more exotic locations you’ve visited in your paranormal research.

    That’s a very hard one to answer. I have investigated all over the planet. On a local level I would say that our team was granted permission by the Department of the Interior to do an overnight investigation of the Battlefield at Wilson’s Creek near Republic, Missouri back in 2011. We were the first team ever granted such permission and to this date still are. A month later we returned to the battlefield for a second investigation which was filmed for the Travel Channel special Legends of the Ozarks.

    I have also done two amazing evening investigations of Stonehenge in England back in the 1990’s.

    Have you written other books on the subject? Any fiction in the works? What else are you working on? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    I’m working on two more books that should be released sometime next year.  I can’t really disclose what they’re about exactly, but they do involve events that have occurred in Missouri and more notably the Ozarks.

    What’s one personal paranormal experience stands out in your mind and why?

    Wow! That’s a really hard question to answer. There have been so many that none truly stands out as being any more significant than the others. As long as there are folk out there that are in need of some sort of assistance in dealing with a situation that could be paranormal in nature I will be there to assist in any way possible. It has been a great journey thus far and I’m always fascinated at the twists and turns that this path presents to me. I have no clue where this road will lead me to next so I’ll just keep my head up and continue looking for the next adventure.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    I’m more of a planner. I start with an outline of the history that I feel I need to cover.  After I have assembled enough history, legend and local lore I like to investigate the claims made by others to give my spin on what may or may not be happening at a location.

    Do you have any advice to a newbie interested in learning more about the paranormal aspects in our everyday lives?

    Do not venture out on your own! Not all paranormal investigation is like what you see on the television shows. It’s not all fun and can at times be very dangerous. To get started in the field of paranormal investigation all you really need are a few basic tools of the trade such as a digital recorder to perform EVP Sessions, a camera for visual evidence and some sort and an emf meter to check for natural or unexplainable sources of varying Electromagnetic fields. Once again I stress never investigate alone and always seek permission from property owners before investigating any site. If you for any reason feel that you are in a very uncomfortable or hostile situation, have the sense to leave the area. Step back and assess what just occurred. If you are not the type to venture out on your own, get on the internet and look for a local paranormal group that is experienced and reputable and see if they have any entry level positions open that you may apply for and also check to see if they conduct any sort of training classes for the public.

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect?

    From the neatly tended urban necropolis to the long-forgotten family plot at the end of a winding gravel road, these “quiet cities” of the Ozarks have the power to send chills up and down the spine of the most hardened skeptic. Be it the restless Civil War soldiers of Greenbrier, the mass murderer who stalks Peace Church or the red eyes that persecute visitors to Robinson, tales of ghostly activity abound in every burial ground carved out of the ancient Ozark hills.

    Where can we find you and your books online? 

    Website | TOPS (The Ozarks Paranormal Society | Facebook

    You can find my book at:

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Walmart

     

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    Originally from Fresno California David Harkins now resides in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. In 1980 David helped launch an Occult Bookstore in Fresno which is still in operation today. During the early years at the bookstore folks would come into the shop and share stories of their homes being haunted by things they believed to be of a paranormal nature. With a fascination with all things Occult and Paranormal David began investigating these claims of supposed paranormal activity and soon got hooked on the fact some of these claims may actually be happening. At this point his journey into the paranormal world began. Soon after moving to the Ozark Mountains of Missouri in 1985 David began investigating different locations in the Ozarks and eventually encountered others with the same interest in the paranormal.

    In 2006 after meeting more folks in the area with a strong lure to the paranormal, David founded The Ozarks Paranormal Society (T.O.P.S). Since forming T.O.P.S David has been featured on Radio, Print and television. Most notably, he and his team were featured on the Travel Channel program “Legends of the Ozarks” investigating the activity at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield near Springfield, Missouri. In 2013 the Ozarks Paranormal Society became official family members the world renowned paranormal team The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS). Over the years David has investigated many places in the United States, as well as Europe and India and continues his journey thru the paranormal world to this day.

    UPCOMING EVENTS: 

    I will be a Guest Speaker at the 3rd annual Delta Paranormal Project happening in Vicksburg, Mississippi October 3rd thru 5th. You can check out their website for more information at: http://www.deltaparanormalproject.com/

     

     

     


  • Grave Discoveries: Pine Hill Cemetery – A Haunting We Will Go

    This week’s offering is a hidden treasure I discovered thanks to David E. Harkin’s book Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks. I was thrilled to learn several of the cemeteries he mentioned were within my day job territory. So this week as I was visiting St. James for blood drives, I wandered out to Pine Hill Cemetery. And by the way…it’s haunted.

    Within this fence, you’ll find the Goat Man’s grave, witches and more.

    IMG_7034 (1024x768)One does not simply happen upon Pine Hill Cemetery. It is well off the beaten path about five miles outside the St. James city limit. I wandered down a long, winding blacktop road outside of St. James down County Road 3450 (AKA Spook Hollow Road. Not making that up!).

    It was a hot day and the lush greenery encroached across the road making it increasingly eerie even in the daylight. I prayed Google Maps was up for the challenge and the cell signal held. At one point there was water over the road from the previous night’s storm. Now, I drive a Ford Fusion. It is not an off-road-adventure-worthy mobile so I was a little concerned I might be getting in over my head but trudged forward.

    The large limb over the road was the the second deterrent,  but I managed to skirt around it as well. I was starting to get that little tingle of foreboding in the hollow of my chest that perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea. Maybe I should turn back.

    After all, no one even knew I was OUT on this little side trip.

    Ignoring common sense, I trudged forward.

    And then the road narrowed and devolved to gravel.

    Seriously?

    Several long minutes later, I was relieved to finally arrive.

    Of course there was no actual signage but Google Maps declared our adventure a success.

    Here’s what I found:

    IMG_7047 (1024x768)This one was especially creepy to me, like it was clawing itself up out of the ground. Pretty sure that’s a lichen covered “Lamb of God” at the top.

    IMG_7051 (1024x768)It is shady cemetery for the most part and there were indeed some pine trees. This grave was just a pile of rocks. Efficient. I like it.

    IMG_7046 (1024x768)I found these rock garden graves interesting.

    IMG_7045 (768x1024)One thing we have in abundance in Missouri is rocks.

    IMG_7037 (768x1024)Another melting Lamb of God on top. They don’t age well.

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    Broken and haphazardly placed…just how I like it.

    IMG_7039 (1024x768)Can’t get much simpler than this one.

    IMG_7040 (1024x768)All Hand of God and no name.

    IMG_7041 (1024x768)More shade-tree graves.

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    IMG_7050 (768x1024)This one was a new combination for me. The hand pointing Heaven and to the crown according to Grave Addiction symbolizes victory or triumph over death.

    IMG_7049 (768x1024)And finally a bird nest. Beginnings and endings right there.

    Want to know more about the Goat Man and the witches of Pine Hill? Go get David E. Harkin’s book Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks. It’s full of haunted graveyard goodness. Also…join me right here this Friday, Aug. 1 for an interview with David E. Harkins to learn more about him and his paranormal research.

    Sign up to receive post updates in your inbox at the top right of this page so you don’t miss out on future posts from the Grave Discoveries series.

    Speaking of cemeteries. Did you know that reapers travel from consecrated ground to consecrated ground through and invisible network called the consecrated subway? It’s true. Just one of the amazing details of the the Reaper Series.

    Want to know more? There’s still plenty of time to read book one and join in on the fun. Reap & Repent is available now at all ebook retailers. 

    AMAZON | B&N  | KOBO 

    Reap & Repent blurb

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.