the South. "This part of the interview focuses on Randy's personal ghostly interactions and some stories in the book that I found particularly "haunting."
I recommend picking up a copy of his book. It will really give you a different feel for walking into a hospital...
PART 2: Q&A WITH RANDY RUSSELL
Q: It seems that a good number of the hauntings were associated with the Civil War and I don't think that many people realize (as you cited) that private homes were opened up as hospitals and may contain ghosts of soldiers. Are you also a Civil War history buff?
I am not a history buff of the war, per se. However, it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, when you live in the South to be interested in any aspect of history and avoid coming to at least a minimal understanding of the effect on people and places of the War Between the States. Private homes used as hospitals were widespread as the last years of the war moved from town to town and county to county. Churches and colleges saw similar use.
Q: Do you belong to a ghost investigation team?
I do not. I am friends with a few paranormal investigators and talk with many. But I am not a gizmo guy. I think the only tool necessary to document a ghost encounter is the human heart.
Q: Have you personally had any encounters with ghosts? If so, when was your first encounter?
Great question, Rob. Yes, I have had many encounters with ghosts. You know, I think it may be impossible not to. I’ll probably have many more. I think ghosts are pushing and pulling at us from the beginning so it is terrifically difficult to determine a first encounter. I’m sure my first communication and/or interaction with the dead occurred when I was very young and I gave it little or no heed. As with most children, a ghost simply isn’t out the ordinary. It’s someone to talk with when we’re alone. That is, until adults talk us out it altogether.
All that said, my own first memorable paranormal experiences were aural. I would wake up in the middle of the night to someone calling my name.
|Author Randy Russell|
Q: As a medium I encountered a ghost in the Washington Adventist Hospital on an elevator when I went to visit a friend in 2010 and I crossed her over into the light. Did any of these hospital ghosts cross over that you know of?
I’m sure they do cross over and many have already. If nothing else, they fade from weariness, I would suspect. A haunting really isn’t likely to last forever. Face it, most famous ghosts haven’t been seen by anyone for years, decades even. In fact, I would suggest that the ghost a person is most likely to encounter is the ghost of someone they know or of someone who knew them.
Q: The story of Rachel's encounter with the ghost doctor from the Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital was particularly interesting. Did you interview Rachel or her boyfriend/nurse? Did the boyfriend believe her encounter? Was that recent?
The haunting was very recent. Rachel is a made-up name for that reason. I also created the dialogue as a part of developing the reported happenstance as a story. The ghost encounter, in this case, belonged to Rachel (instead of the boyfriend). It is intriguing to me that not all people in the vicinity of a haunting experience it in the same way. I would say Rachel’s boyfriend may well come to terms with her encounter as a ghost experience, just not right away. Rachel understood this as it was happening, of course.
Q: Another story that really stuck with me was that of Beth, the girl who was struck by a car driven by an actor, and who died watching the actor's performance at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee. Did the actor's family not want to be recognized? Why do you think Beth decided to "haunt" the theatre instead of her home?
Rob, I could go on and on about this dandy little ghost of a girl in Memphis. Beth is kind of the opposite of trend in that she is in fact seen over and over again through the years. It seems as if the theatre was the most thrilling thing she’d ever seen in her short life. Why leave? I mean, as long as they keep changing the show… she’s content to watch from her seat in the balcony.NEXT: PART 3: Reactions of Hospital Workers and Hauntings in Rebuilt Structures.
"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!