An Evening To Benefit The Humane Society Serving Clark County

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Over the years, I’ve given presentations at a wide variety of locations for an even wider variety of reasons. But the ones that are nearest and dearest to my heart are the ones that are done for a great cause. It’s a truly amazing and humbling experience to look out across an audience and know that we’ve all come together to share some strange and spooky stories and to help those less fortunate.

That’s why I’m so happy to announce my next appearance: The Strange & Spooky World of James A. Willis—An Evening to Benefit the Humane Society Serving Clark County.
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This special, one night event will take place on Saturday, April 29th at The Heritage Center: 117 S Fountain Ave, Springfield, OH 45502. Proceeds to benefit the Humane Society Serving Clark County.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • Doors open at 6:30 pm
  • Refreshments and Appetizers (by donation) from 6:30 pm until 7:45 pm
  • Presentation begins at 7:45 pm
  • Book signing and meet and greet following the presentation

Tickets are $25.00 each and can be purchased at the Humane Society front office, or by US Mail.

If ordering tickets through the mail, please send payment (cash or check only) to:

The Humane Society Serving Clark County
Attention: Event Department
5201 Urbana Rd.
Springfield, OH 45502

The deadline for mail order tickets is noon on Saturday, April 22nd. Please be sure to include your full name and mailing address with your order.

This will be a special evening in that I will be sharing my personal stories and experiences from my favorite strange and spooky locations that I have visited over the years. Plus, as if you needed any additional incentive, this will mark the very first time that I will be talking about some of the locations I visited for my upcoming book, Central Ohio Legends And Lore.
71xEPsPbFHL So what are you waiting for? Reserve your seats and let’s pack the Heritage Center!

For more information on the event, please click here.

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Strange & Spooky Side Of Abraham Lincoln Presentation Has Been Rescheduled

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Illustration depicting alleged event where spirits lifted a piano off the ground while several men sat atop it, including President Lincoln

The ice and snow earlier this week forced us to postpone the free presentation in Steubenville. But we’re back on track and there’s a new date!

That new date is Monday, March 7th at 6:00 pm. The presentation will be held at the Steubenville-Schiappa Branch Library, which is located at 4141 Mall Drive in Steubenville.

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My Interview On WCIT Radio

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Here it is: My October 2nd, 2015 interview on WCIT (940 AM) out of Lima. I talk about my involvement with the Lima Lantern Tours, my book, Ohio’s Historic Haunts, and some assorted spookiness.

Interview starts right around the 9:35 mark. Just give a click below to start listening.

Enjoy!

This October, Lima, I’ve Got Something Special For You!

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I may have taken part in a bunch of the Lima Lantern Tours over the years, but nothing compares to what’s going to happen in Lima on October 3rd!

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Let’s be honest: My love for all things Lima goes deeper than Kewpee, the Greely Road Crybaby Bridge, and even that spooky, off-limits building way up in the hills. Lima’s just a weird place, plain and simple. So why wouldn’t a weirdo like me love it? And I’d like to think that over the years, Lima has returned the love. It certainly felt that way on the numerous Lantern Tours I took part in. But something in me felt that this year, I needed to give Lima a little something extra. Something special they wouldn’t soon forget.

You see, I tend to get very animated when I share my own personal ghost stories. I wave my arms and I pace back and forth—two things that can make for some awkward moments when you’re snuggled so close together in the back of a trolley making its way down Main Street in Lima, Ohio.

--From the 2010 Lima Lantern Tour

–From the 2010 Lima Lantern Tour

But more than that, it sometimes became hard to tell my ghost stories because Lima is just so chock full of strange and spooky history that I often felt I was stomping on all the other cool stories. So I would often hold back on my storytelling, especially since many of my stories needed to be seen to be believed in that it’s often hard to explain exactly what our video cameras picked up on an investigation or what the spooky noises really sounded like. To be honest, there’s not much room on a trolley car for a projector and video screen. So by and large, my favorite ghost stories remained untold.

Until now.

On Saturday, October 3rd, I’ll be heading over to Lima’s Encore Theater and giving you something truly unique: A special presentation that will feature the best of the best of my collection of ghost stories. Not only that, but I’ll be bringing along audio, video, and photographs of strange and spooky things I’ve captured over the years. Things I can’t explain.

And since I included Lima’s own Literacy Council in my upcoming book, Ohio’s Historic Haunts, what better time to let everyone in on some behind-the-scenes secrets of my investigations inside that building?

Want to know the different types of equipment I used? Curious as to what “evidence” I walked away with? Want to hear and see the “evidence” for yourselves? Well then, October 3rd will be your chance!

Upstairs Hallway at Literacy Council, showing placement of some of the equipment I used during my overnight investigation

Upstairs Hallway at Literacy Council, showing placement of some of the equipment I used during my overnight investigation

I’ll also be taking your questions and will be hanging around after the presentation to ensure you get all your ghostly questions answered. And since my book, Ohio’s Historic Haunts, is coming out on September 30th, a mere three days before the Lima appearance, I’ll make sure I bring along loads of that book (as well as some of my other titles) for you to purchase and have signed.

Put another way: You might have seen me in Lima before, but you’ve never seen me like this!

Tickets are only $5.00 each with proceeds going to Downtown Lima, Inc., an organization dedicated to creating and maintaining a dynamic, vital, and sustainable downtown. So for just $5.00, you’ll get to hear some great strange and spooky stories and help downtown Lima. It doesn’t get any better than that!

BTW, while this presentation is suitable for all ages, given the subject matter, it is not recommended for children under the age of 10.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to order tickets.

Ticketing Information For My Presentation At Farnam Manor

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OK, here’s some exciting news for you: I’ll not only be doing a special presentation at Farnam Manor, one of the locations featured in my upcoming book, Ohio’s Historic Haunts, but you’ll also have the opportunity to ghost hunt with me and members of The Ghosts of Ohio!

Farnam Manor Exterior

It all begins at 7:00 pm on Saturday, September 26th. I will be giving a special talk at Farnam Manor that will showcase some of the strangest and spookiest places I’ve visited in my 30+ years investigating the paranormal. A large portion of the presentation will focus on what happened the night I visited Farnam Manor for my book. Members of The Ghosts of Ohio who accompanied me that night will also be on hand to share their personal stories.

Then, after a tour of Farnam Manor, a very lucky few will have the opportunity to conduct a mini-ghost hunt at Farnam Manor with myself and The Ghosts of Ohio.

Tickets are available for the presentation, the ghost hunt, or both. But they won’t last, so grab yours today by clicking here now.

Ticket Information On Somerset Presentation

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Here you go: the specifics on my upcoming presentation in Somerset, Ohio:

The event will take place on October 23rd at the famous Clay Haus restaurant in Somerset, Ohio, which is also featured in my upcoming book, Ohio’s Historic Haunts. Things will get underway at 6:00 pm with a special dinner provided by Clay Haus. After that, we will all be headed downstairs for a special presentation, showcasing some of the weirdest photos, videos, and bits of audio I’ve managed to capture over the years. Of course, there will be plenty of time spent discussing what happened when I spent the night inside Clay Haus for my book. I will even have some special guests with me who will share their experiences, too.

As if that wasn’t enough, here’s some more coolness: proceeds from the ticket sales all go to the Nellie Sheridan Wilson Statue Committee. This committee, which is comprised of members of the Perry County Historical and Cultural Arts Society, was formed in 2014 with the sole purpose of raising funds to erect a statue of Nellie Sheridan Wilson near Somerset’s town square. In other words, by purchasing a ticket to hear me talk about ghosts, you’re helping get a historical statue erected. How cool is that?

Tickets to this special event are extremely limited. In fact, there are only 50 seats available. And they are going to go fast!

To purchase your tickets, send an e-mail to Gerald Bryant at jbryant0225@gmail.com. Title it something like “tickets for James Willis at Clay Haus” so it gets to the right place and be sure to let him know how many tickets you’re interested in. Gerald will get back to you with information on how to purchase the tickets if they are still available. Sorry, but I am not handling the ticket sales, so you can’t order them through me.

Best of luck snagging these tickets! Hope to see you on October 23rd!

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For more information on Nellie Sheridan Wilson and the plans for the statue, go here.

Visit the Clay Haus’ web site by clicking here.

Pre-Registering Information For My Eastlake Presentation

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Look! There’s an official poster for my upcoming appearance at the Eastlake Public Library this September!
Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.33.26 AMIt’s free, but you will need to pre-register in order to make sure they have enough seats. This will be my first appearance at this library, so you might want to grab your seats as soon as they become available.

Pre-registration begins bright and early on Monday, August 17th. You can call the number on the poster or register online by following this link:  PRE-REGISTER HERE.

As for what I’ll be speaking about, it will be the usual spooky stuff, although there will be a lot of new video, audio, and photographs, especially since this will be my first time in Eastlake. Of course, I’ll also be talking about Ohio’s Historic Haunts and maybe, just maybe, I’ll bring along some members of The Ghosts Of Ohio so you can really get a behind-the-scenes look at things!

Hope to see you all there!

Pre-Registering Information For My Westerville Appearance

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Here’s the link where you’ll need to pre-register if you are planning on attending my presentation/appearance at the Westerville Library on October 15th, 2015:

Pre-register here

The event is free and open to the public, but everyone needs to pre-register in order to ensure they have enough seats. Seating is also limited, so once the seats are gone, they’re gone!

Wondering what I’m going to be talking about? Well, let’s just say I plan on bombarding you with photos, videos, and audio clips from my favorite investigations over the past 16 years. Oh yeah, and I’ll also be giving you all a behind-the-scenes look at my newest book, Ohio’s Historic Haunts.

Trust me, you don’t want to miss this presentation!

Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Location #2 Revealed!

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OK, one last chance to gaze at this picture and see if you can guess the location. Scroll past the pic for the answer.
Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 3.16.05 PMGive up? The photograph was taken at the Museum At The Friends Home in Waynesville, Ohio. Specifically, it was taken inside one of the rooms done up to represent what a typical Boarder’s Room would have looked like back in the day. What’s a Boarder’s Room? More importantly, what’s a “Friends Home”? Questions like that were what led me to cover this location in my upcoming book, Ohio’s Historic Haunts.

You see, Waynesville, Ohio, has long been rumored to be chock full of ghosts. Some even claim that Waynesville is “Ohio’s Sleepy Hollow”. The place is full of history, too, so there was no doubt that I wanted a Waynesville location for Ohio’s Historic Haunts. But which one? Sure, there were several famous Waynesville haunts that had been covered before in other books and shows. But I wanted something different, something unique that hadn’t really been covered before. That’s when someone mentioned to me that the Museum At The Friends Home was rumored to be haunted. My ears perked up when I heard “museum”, but to be honest, I didn’t understand the whole “Friends Home” bit. When it was explained to me that the museum was housed inside what used to be an old Quaker Boarding House/Home (and that Quakers address fellow Quakers as “Friends”), I was hooked and knew this was the perfect location for the book!

Exterior of the Museum At The Friends Home. The porch and balcony would come to play a part in several of the ghost stories Museum staff told me.

When I began interviewing the employees and volunteers of the Museum At The Friends Home, it quickly became clear to me that, like Farnam Manor, the Museum was also believed to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl. However, in the case of the Museum, there was some confusion as to who this girl was, especially since when the building operated as a boarding house, only one little girl lived here (albeit briefly). The little girl ghost wasn’t said to be alone in the building, either, as several other spirits have been reported here.

WIthout giving too much away, I do have to publicly admit that the Museum At The Friends Home was a truly unique experience for me in that the “weirdness” started even before my investigation began. In fact, all my investigators weren’t even inside the building yet!

Main staircase of the Museum At The Friends Home. Remote sensors used during my overnight investigation are visible in middle of stairs as well as running along the right side of staircase.

Want to know more? Well, you’ll just have to wait until Ohio’s Historic Haunts comes out this fall. Or you could pre-order your copy here. And if you’re dying to hear about things straight from the horse’s mouth, check this out: on Saturday, November 21st, I will be giving a special presentation at the Museum At The Friends Home, entitled An Evening With Author James A. Willis. And yes, my experiences at the Museum will definitely be a huge part of that presentation. I might even bring along a special guest or two who were with me during my investigation so you can really get the full story!

For more information on the November 21st presentation, visit the Museum At The Friends Home website here or click here to let people know you’re going! And keep on eye on my Calendar Of Events to see if I’ll be coming to your town!

Information On My Thurber House Appearance

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On Wednesday, July 29th, I will be the featured speaker at one of Thurber House’s Literary Picnics. What’s a Literary Picnic? Simply put, it’s an opportunity for people to come out and hear an author speak while enjoying a picnic-style dinner on the front lawn of the historic Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. How cool is that?

If you’ve ever been to one of my presentations, you know that I tend to enjoy assaulting my guests’ eyes and ears with all sorts of weird visuals and audio clips. Not sure how much of that I do while standing in the middle of a yard with the bright summer sun shining, so for now, exactly what I’ll be doing is still up in the air. But rest assured, it will be memorable!

Thurber House -- via thurberhouse.org

Thurber House — via thurberhouse.org

In terms of tickets, there are several packages available: you can get the whole “dinner and a show” ticket or, if you prefer, you can bring your own dinner and just buy a ticket to my talk. Either way, the Thurber House will be open for tours during the entire evening and you can even BYOB!

There will be copies of my books available for purchase. However, I am not handling the book sales, so I have no idea which ones they will have on-hand (Weird Ohio and The Big Book Of Ohio Ghost Stories are safe bets, though). I’ll be hanging around after my talk to sign books, shake hands, and consume any of your leftover reubens, if you let me.

But perhaps the biggest question people have been asking me is “are you going to talk about your new book?” The answer to that is “yes”. While Ohio’s Historic Haunts isn’t due out for a few more months, I will indeed be spending a bit of time discussing the book and maybe even giving a sneak peek or two at what readers can expect to see when it finally comes out.

For more information about Thurber House’s 2105 Summer Literary Picnics, click here. Or, if you’re chomping at the bit to get your tickets, click here to review the different packages available and order your tickets online. 

No idea how many tickets are available, but I’ve been told they do sell out quickly. So if you’re thinking about coming, don’t wait to get your tickets.

Hope to see you there!