Friday, October 26, 2012

Trucker Ghost Stories: An Interview with Annie Wilder

In a uniquely entertaining book by a rising star, here are uncanny true tales of haunted highways, weird encounters, and legends of the road.

It may have happened to you; it’s happened to almost everyone who’s ever driven down a highway at night, or in the fog, or snow. Something suddenly appears: a flash of movement, a shadow...what was it? It could be, as the true stories in this book attest, a ghost.

These are true stories from the highways and byways of America. These firsthand accounts are as varied as the storytellers themselves—some are detailed and filled with the terror and suspense that made people feel they had to share what happened to them with others; others are brief and straightforward retellings of truly chilling events.

Here is a chupacabra attack on the desert highway between L.A. and Las Vegas; ghost trains and soldiers; UFOs; the prom girl ghost of Alabama; a demon in Texas, and other accounts of the creepy, scary things that truckers and other drivers and passengers told to editor Annie Wilder.

With so many different stories, Trucker Ghost Stories moves beyond the usual haunted house to offer stories to entice any ghost story reader...and anyone who’s ever wondered...

And Other True Tales of Haunted Highways, Weird Encounters, and Legends of the Road
Edited by Annie Wilder

“Soon summer’s campfires will be extinguished, but it’s not too late to study up on scary stories to pack along with the marshmallows.
These “true first-person accounts of strange encounters on the highways and byways of America” include the tale of the “Alabama Prom Girl Ghost,”
the always popular “Hitchhiker in Red” and the unbelievable (we mean just that) “Kentucky Train Track Monster.”
-- NY Daily News

An Interview with Annie:

1.  How did you get started with paranormal investigations?
I wrote a book about my experiences living in a house filled with ghosts and the investigators came calling.

2.     What was your favorite thing about writing this book? Reading the ghost stories that came in and hanging out occasionally on the online trucking forums. I like the colorful vernacular and blue-collar vibe of trucker world. Also, I ‘ve really enjoyed working with some of the truckers and other contributors who are now writing their own books, or finishing up books or stories they started years ago. 

3.     What is the weirdest story you have ever heard or experienced? That’s a hard question to answer; there are so many good stories in the book…The hitchhiker who had goat legs and hooves was pretty weird. Or the skinwalker chasing two boys in a pickup truck in Arizona.  There’s a witch story in the book that filled me with a sense of dread. Lots o’ weirdness out there on the roads — I think we captured some of the best of it with this book.

4. Open up the book to any page and tell us what is happening.
 It’s nighttime. A trucker is driving solo near the Little Big Horn Battlefield in Montana. He hears a voice saying, “Can you help me?” coming from inside the truck. In the driver’s words:
“Now I am running 68 mph at the time. I looked over and there in buckskins was Custer, plain as day. He said, ‘I need reinforcements’ and disappeared.”

4.     Tell us about your other books, House of Spirits and Whispers and Spirits Out of Time.
My first book, House of Spirits and Whispers, is my account of living in a house haunted by spirits and characterized by astral anomalies of all kinds. The main house spirit, Leon, described the house to one of the psychics as “Grand Central Station for ghosts.”

My second book is a book of true family ghost stories from my Irish and German relatives, and has stories of things ranging from fairies and death coaches to animal omens, Bloody Mary, and a mysterious ghost girl.

6. Pepperoni pizza or sushi?
   Pepperoni pizza. No. Sushi. Ever.

7. Margaritas or sparkling water with lime?
   Is a tequila shot an option?

8. What is it like having your home investigated by ghost hunters?
It’s interesting and novel and usually fun. It also requires a lot of trust, since you’re letting strangers go through your home. I do request that all visitors in my home be respectful of my property and of the beings residing here, whether they are physical, spirit, or animal. I also ask guests not to summon or invite anything into my house that isn’t already here.

The group that investigated most recently told me that when I left for a few minutes to walk our dog, the atmosphere of the house changed. It became more guarded, as though the spirits were nervous about the investigators being there without me in the house. I thought that was pretty cool.

What have you found out about the haunting?
Hmmm, this is hard to answer, since it’s kind of a neverending ghost story. Each psychic, paranormal investigator, and sometimes the haunted tea party guests add a bit of information or some new insight to the story.

I talk about recent investigation findings, plus the latest weird happenings, quite often on my Facebook page. I also have a bunch of material that I plan to use in additional books.

9. Tell us about what you are working on now.
I’m collaborating with the house spirits on my next book, a short Q&A, but with the spirits providing answers to the questions I’m most often asked by readers or by my haunted tea party guests.

There’s a psychic in Texas, Linda Drake, who is really good at getting really interesting and informative responses from the ghosts in my house. So I booked a couple of readings with Linda and, as I had hoped, the spirits had a lot to say. I’m working now on following up on some of their comments to see if I can corroborate or add any details. I think it’ll be a fun book to read.

10. What are some of your favorite spooky reads?
I started reading Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour when I lived alone and it was so terrifying to me that I had to put it away for a few years. I started reading it again when one of my kids moved back home for a bit and got weirdly hooked on it, even though I found it so frightening that I was almost afraid of the book itself — as if the story’s evilness could seep out of the pages and into my house.

In nonfiction spooky reads, I love Colin Wilson’s Poltergiest and FATE Magazine. I’m also a huge fan of the fabulous UK magazine Fortean Times. And I’m reading all of Nick Redfern’s books now and digging them.

Thanks Annie for hanging out with the zombies today!! Weird is wonderful and we can't wait to read your book.

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