I’m happy to welcome award-winning educator, author and speaker, Dr. Randy Overbeck. Today, Randy shares interesting facts about ghosts and his two releases, Blood on the Chesapeake and Crimson at Cape May.
When I did the prep work in advance of writing the first two novels in my new series, the Haunted Shore Mysteries, I conducted a considerable amount of research. For example, for Blood on the Chesapeake, not being a sailor, I had to learn the details about a sloop and specifics about sailing the Chesapeake Bay. And of course, I had do some scholarly research on the social issues focused on in the novels, lynching and racial injustice for Blood on the Chesapeake and human trafficking for Crimson at Cape May. But, as the novels in the series are ghost stories as well as mysteries, I also had to gather considerable knowledge about ghosts and the spiritual world. Since I want my writing to reflect, as close as possible in fiction, what we know for sure about ghosts, I did my best to study up on the subject. I read books, examined verified websites, checked out reported sightings and even met with ghost hunters. What I learned surprised me…in many ways and I thought they might surprise you as well.
Here are a few facts about ghosts what we believe and know. Insert pic of ghost
1) Approximately half the people in the U.S. acknowledge a personal belief in ghosts. Belief in ghosts and the spirit world is not merely the thing of childhood nightmares or foolish hobgoblins of minds. Two different studies conducted over the past several years have yielded almost identical results—48% of respondents replying yes to this question in the first (Harris Poll, 2003) and 51% in the second (Huffington Post, 2017).
2) One in five Americans believe they have had a personal encounter with a ghost. This incredible statistic was confirmed through two separate studies, (Baylor University, 2006 and AP Ipos, 2007). These encounters include hearing, seeing and even sensing a ghost.
3) Every religion in the world includes a belief in ghosts as part of their mythology. No matter what faith community you were raised in—Christianity, Judaism, Muslim, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American religions—you were taught that ghosts are a very real part of our existence on this earth.
4) Many famous scientists, performers, inventors, politicians and athletes have shared that they believe in ghosts, most often because they have had a personal encounter with the spirit world. Belief in ghosts is definitely not for the feeble minded. The list of names might surprise you. Thomas Edison, Ronald Reagan, Paul McCartney and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., just to name a few.
5) Interest in ghosts and hauntings are so widespread that there are ghost hunting groups, organizations and even companies in every state and a great many cities and towns. A simple exploration of the web will yield a surprising number of “ghost hunting” groups in your area. And none are anything like the famous Ghostbusters.
6) Almost all experts who study this field believe ghosts are individuals who have died, but have some unfinished business that keeps them tethered to this world. This is ample evidence of this in the anecdotal records of documented ghost sightings all across the globe.
7) Often, though not always, a ghost encounter will result in a dramatic drop in a room’s temperature for the time the ghost is present. This experience has been documented repeatedly, using very precise scientific instruments, video and audio recording devices. In all the reports I’ve read, I’ve never seen a “physical” explanation for the very physical change in the atmosphere. And this phenomenon seems to be universal.
So, as I crafted my narratives, I worked to keep the fiction of the ghost story as close to the documented reality of the spiritual world as possible. I’m hoping the inclusion of this “paranormal” element in my storytelling makes the novels just a bit more interesting. I’d love to hear what you think.
Blurb – Blood on the Chesapeake
Wilshire, Maryland seems like the perfect shore town on the Chesapeake Bay—quiet, scenic, charming—and promises Darrell Henshaw a new start in life and a second chance at love. That is, until he learns the town hides an ugly secret. A thirty-year-old murder in the high school. And a frightening ghost stalking his new office. Burned by an earlier encounter with the spirit world—with the OCD scars to prove it—he does NOT want to get involved. But when the desperate ghost hounds him, Darrell concedes. Assisted by his new love, he follows a trail that leads to the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and even the Klu Klux Klan. Then, when two locals who try to help are murdered, Darrell is forced to decide if he’s willing to risk his life—and the life of the woman he loves—to expose the killers of a young man he never knew.
“Overbeck is a master storyteller. The characters are very human and lovable…humor, romance and suspense all included.” ★★★★★ —Have You Heard My Book Review
“An absolutely chilling ghost story wrapped around an even scarier piece of history – or perhaps it’s the other way around.” ★★★★★ —Chanticleer Reviews
“A classic novel, obviously well-researched, thoughtful, compelling, and a rapid-fire story.”—Reader Views
“Well plotted and skillfully written, a novel that entertains readers and appeals strongly to their consciences and sense of humanity.”— ★★★★★ ReadersFavorite.com
“Overbeck’s pace is spot on and makes for a thoroughly engaging and quick read…a clear look at the way racism and bigotry continued to leak far beyond the bounds of the deep South even after desegregation began to make its way across the US.” ★★★★★ —Literary Titan
Blurb – Crimson at Cape May
No matter how far you run, you can never really escape a haunted past.
Darrell Henshaw—teacher, coach, and paranormal sensitive—learned this lesson the hard way. With his job gone and few options, he heads for Cape May to coach a summer football camp. The resort town, with gorgeous beaches, rich history and famous Victorian mansions, might just be the getaway he needs. Only, no one told him Cape May is the most haunted seaport on the East Coast. One resident ghost, the Haunted Bride, stalks Darrell, begging for his help.
He can’t refuse.
Joining forces with Cassie, a street-wise teen and another sensitive, he investigates the bride’s death and discovers her murder is connected to a far greater horror. But can Darrell and Cassie expose those behind the crimes before they end up being the killer’s next victims?
“With both elements of mystery and suspense, readers across genres will find this second book about Darrell Henshaw intriguing…I highly recommend it.” ★★★★★—Literary Titan
“It’s a ghost/mystery story filled with suspense and action. The plot is so engrossing it had me hooked from the very first page.” ★★★★★—Nana’s Reviews, Greece
“An exciting paranormal mystery I couldn’t put down… A great read. Highly recommend!” ★★★★★—N.N. Light’s BookHeaven
“Rollicking good…Darrell is a wonderful protagonist, an ordinary man put into extraordinary situations and rising to the challenge..” ★★★★★ —Over My Dead Body magazine
“I loved everything about this book. As a ghost story combined with a mystery, a romance, a social injustice and stunning historical details, Crimson at Cape May has something for everyone.” ★★★★★—ReaderViews
“Masterly spooky adventure…an accomplished work of haunting mystery fiction that fans of the genre won’t want to miss out on. Highly Recommend.” ★★★★★—ReadersFavorite.com
Dr. Randy Overbeck is an award-winning educator, author and speaker, capturing state and national accolades for his work. As an educator, he served children for more than three decades in a range of roles captured in his novels, from teacher and coach to principal and superintendent. His thriller, Leave No Child Behind (2012) and his recent mysteries, Blood on the Chesapeake (2019) and Crimson at Cape May (2020) have earned five star reviews and garnered top awards and recognition from sites such as Literary Titan, ReadersFavorite.com, ReaderViews.com and N. N. Lights Bookheaven. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck is an active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville and the Midwest Writers Workshop. When he’s not writing or researching his next exciting novel or sharing his presentation “Things That Go Bump in the Night,” he’s spending time with his incredible family of wife, three children (and their spouses) and seven wonderful grandchildren.