Beth Heldebrandt from the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier has written a fine feature on my new book Paranormal Illinois, which includes three chapters on places in Coles County: Pemberton Hall, Airtight Bridge, and Ashmore Estates. I have a long history in Coles County. I lived in Charleston for nearly eight years, and it was where I first began writing about local ghost stories and legends. It was where I published Tales of Coles County, Illinois, my first work of historical fiction, in 2004. Copies of that book, in its various incarnations, are probably still floating around out there.
Nowhere else have any of the legends and lore of Coles County been documented so thoroughly. Nowhere else has the history of Airtight Bridge or Ashmore Estates been so completely written or well-researched. As a whole, Paranormal Illinois is the culmination of years of research, and it is accessible both to casual fans of the paranormal and anyone interested in Illinois history and folklore (or, what I like to call “folk history”). It’s fun, informative, and greatly entertaining.
I promise you, you have never seen most of this information before! If you think you’ve read everything there is to know about Airtight Bridge from my previous writing, you are mistaken. Paranormal Illinois is the first and only book to contain the complete story, featuring interviews and first hand accounts by people who were involved with the case.
Paranormal Illinois is available at several fine retailers, as well as a local bookstore near you. If you don’t find it there, ask them to order it! The book is also available online at the following websites:
Amazon.com ($12.74 – a really good deal!)
Schiffer Books ($16.99)
So what are you waiting for? Order it today!
I’m featured in a couple of new newspaper articles this month, and will also appear on Rockford’s WTVO Channel 17 (digital channel 16) tonight at 10pm central time. Click the links below to read the newspaper articles, or simply go to the “press” tab to read those and past articles. Hopefully a video clip of the Channel 17 piece will be available on their website soon.
Charleston is Haunted
Daily Eastern News
October 30, 2009
…As the legend goes, two men passing by the bridge in the morning noticed what they thought was the body of a nude woman about 50 feet from the bridge. As the men approached they realized that the woman had had her head, hands and feet severed from her body.
The men quickly called the local sheriff’s office and from there the investigation began.
Michael Kleen, an Illinois paranormal researcher and author, said that the case is shrouded in mystery.
Read the entire article…
The Science of Spirit-Sleuthing Part III: Local Lore
Stuart R. Wahlin
Rock River Times
October 28-Nov. 3, 2009
Twin Sisters Park is a popular wintertime destination on Rockford’s southeast side. Boasting sizeable twin hills, there’s little question where the park got its name. It is rumored, however, the park is not only popular with those who sled, but with those who are dead.
“Some people claim that this park has attracted more sinister guests,” local writer and historian Michael Kleen said of the legend during a recent talk at the Rockford Public Library. “The woods have been the scene of several murders, hangings and even a drowning. People say that they experience feelings of dread. They see things moving in the shadows. They feel like they’re being followed in the woods.”
Read the entire article…
The Streator Times posted an interview with me today about the May issue of the Legends and Lore of Illinois (on the “hatchet lady” of Moon Point Cemetery).
Check it out: http://mywebtimes.com/archives/ottawa/display.php?id=381419
My favorite quote: “For the record, no one threw hatchets at me while I was there.”
Q&A with Michael Kleen
“Michael Kleen is the man behind Black Oak Media, a Midwestern publishing company. As I was getting started in photography, he was very supportive of my work and helped me become the photographer I am today. I’m happy to present you with a short Q&A I had with him about his magazine Black Oak Presents and what part photography plays in it.”
In this exclusive interview I answer 6 questions with Greg Inda, cover photographer for Black Oak Presents. Check it out now!
Liz Surbeck, a freshman English major at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, was nice enough to quote me in a column she wrote on the Pemberton Hall legend for the Daily Eastern News. Read it here: Pemberton’s legend, Mary.