This is part 1 of 3 of the Q&A with Randy.
I recommend picking up a copy of his book. It will really give you a different feel for walking into a hospital...
"The Ghost Will See You Now: Haunted Hospitals of the South"
BOOK SUMMARY: Organized as a state-by-state guide to known Southern hospital hauntings, The Ghost Will See You Now includes 40-plus ghost stories and lists of sightings at more than 160 haunted locations. In addition to the numerous hospital sightings, ghosts also haunt medical-care facilities as diverse as TB sanitariums, spas, dental clinics, treatment centers at historic forts, nursing homes, hospice centers, ambulances, hospital train cars, and an early-19th-century pharmacy in New Orleans. To Buy the Book on AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/The-Ghost-Will-See-You/dp/0895876310
*Randy has authored several other fascinating books I've also read:
Ghost Dogs of the South, The Granny Curse and Other Ghosts and Legends from East Tennessee and Ghost Cats of the South!
Q: You cited your employ in a hospital as an influence to write the book. Did you ever directly deal with the deceased there?
Randy: Not really, if you mean interacting with the dead. I think the stronger influence was in working among the dying, rather than those already deceased. Certain areas of the Medical Center were definitely clouded with a heavy sense of foreboding.
Q: What perception of physical death and ghost investigations give you about the afterlife?
Oddly enough, I find a stronger sense of an afterlife among the living than I do from any perception of physical death. Yes, physical death is real. Yes, it will happen to each one of us. If there is an afterlife beyond the bounds of this earthly realm, that’s cool. I’m all for it.
But what I know of the afterlife is found in the experiences of the living. My research takes place among the living, collecting in detail the true experience (senses, feelings and understandings) of a living person who encounters a ghost… or who in any number of ways interacts with and/or communicates with a dead person. My own experiences with ghosts are limited to a few.
Q: Why do you think so many stayed behind in hospitals instead of "haunting" their homes and places familiar to them?
Many ghosts haunt the location of their deaths. These are ghosts in general who have lost contact with their loved ones and their homes. Trauma and fear, confusion and pain, isolation and helplessness all contribute to a less than ideal moment of passing from living to dead. The transition is, to put it simply, an unhappy one. This would tends to create a ghost, and perhaps a ghost of some discontent.
But I think you make a good point, Rob. I’m sure many people who have died in a hospital (or on their way to a hospital) are likely to haunt other locations of their lives. Some ghosts travel. Some ghosts don’t. Some of the ghosts in THE GHOST WILL SEE YOU NOW are the nurses and doctors who worked in a particular haunted hospital.
Q: Do you think that the majority of the hospital haunts you wrote about were residual (i.e. like an emotional thumbprint of events that keep running over and over) or intelligent (where the ghosts could communicate and interact with the living)?
Let me say that I’m not convinced that an emotional thumbprint runs over and over on its own. I simply do not believe a ghost falls in the woods when no one is there to see or hear it. When people, the right people perhaps, are present, I do think some ghosts fall in the same place and in the same way without attempting further, if any, communication with the living. My personal belief is that a ghost activity of any sort only occurs in the presence of the living.
That said, the living don’t have to understand (or appreciate) a ghostly activity at all. The audience of a ghost performance may not even notice. Still, it is my belief the audience is a requirement for the performance to occur. A true ghost experience, as I define it for my work, takes place between the living and the dead. Solely and, well, souly.
NEXT IN PART 2: RANDY'S GHOST HISTORY, AND REALLY MEMORABLE STORIES