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!

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October 2014…And Beyond!

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It’s October 1st, which means the Halloween season has officially begun for me! So this seemed the perfect time to address what so many of you have been e-mailing and texting me about recently. Namely, the fact that it doesn’t look like I’m doing very much this year in terms of presentations, appearances, and ghost tours. The simple answer is that I’ve decided to take this October off for the most part. Don’t worry; I’m not going anywhere. Just taking a break to gear up for some craziness that’s going to pick up the first of the year and continue straight through next October, when all heck is going to break loose…in a ghostly good way!

So that’s the simple answer. If you care for a longer, more in-depth explanation, then read on! I’ll even throw in a couple of random spooky pictures just to sort of break things up.

Still there, huh? OK, then let me start by saying that I’ve been overwhelmed with the outpouring of e-mails I’ve received from people who appear to be downright depressed that they aren’t going to be able to see me this Halloween season. You guys touch me in all the right ways (and none of the wrong ways) and to you, I say “thank you”. Some of you have even said that you plan on boycotting some of the events/conferences/locations to show your displeasure at my not being there. Please don’t do that. Look, I appreciate the gesture, but to make it clear, not a single one of those events/conferences/locations asked that I not return. Across the board, it was my decision and mine alone. Since all of these events/conferences/locations depend on your attendance in more ways than one, I ask that you continue to attend and support them. And don’t think you’ve seen the last of me at those events, either. I’m taking a break, not going away.

So why am I taking a break? For no other reason than I needed one. My upcoming project, the one I keep teasing the heck out of, took over 2 and a half years (and literally thousands of miles) to complete. While that was going on, I was still trying to keep the Halloween tour schedule running full-steam ahead and attempting to balance all that madness out with my personal life. Late last summer, when the project was finally put to bed, I realized something that depressed the hell out of me: 3 Halloweens had passed and I had yet to take my daughter, Courtney, trick-or-treating.

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Courtney wears Batman stuff because he’s her “buddy”. But for Halloween this year, she wants to be Batgirl. She also wants her dad to be the Riddler. I’m still trying to convince her dads are not supposed to wear spandex. Wish me luck!

That’s right: James A. Willis, the self-proclaimed strange and spooky guy who’s addicted to all things weird has yet to take his daughter trick-or-treating. How sad and pathetic is that? Sure, I could try to blame it on Ohio’s asinine habit of randomly assigning what 2-hour window I’m allowed to celebrate Halloween during, but the simple fact is that it was usually because I was either hopping around some stage/auditorium/haunted house/carriage, entertaining everyone with tales of weird and ghostly things.

And that was when I made the decision to take a break this Halloween season and focus on my family. I’m planning on taking Courtney trick-or-treating. Not only that, but as a family, we’re going to be carving a whole mess of pumpkins, decorating the house, bobbing for apples, watching It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on TV, and rolling around in the 25,000 pounds of leaves that fall in my front yard every year. In short, this Halloween, I plan on being nothing more than a strange and spooky father and husband.

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One of our latest acquisitions. After helping me put him together, Courtney asked if we could keep him in her bedroom.

But I’m not going anywhere. Far from it. In fact, I would suggest that most of you take this opportunity to enjoy a break from me. Because come next year, you just might get sick of seeing my ugly mug.

You see, the other reason I felt I needed a break was to sort of rest up for what is going to be nothing short of a strange and spooky assault on all of you in 2015. One that I’m sure you’re all going to enjoy: new projects, new appearances, and new presentation topics. Trust me, 2015 is going to be hopping around here!

It’s probably going to start picking up right after the first of the year. By the end of the summer, things will more than likely be bordering on “strange and spooky overload.” Put it this way, if you or someone you know is planning on having me out for an October event, etc. in 2015, you might want to look at getting something confirmed with me before this coming summer. The sooner the better, too. To put things in perspective, my latest project involves 21 specific locations in Ohio and 20 of them have already expressed having some type of event in October of 2015. So do the math…and get excited because, as I said, you’re probably going to get sick of seeing my face in 2015!

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Contrary to popular belief, Steph and I really ARE wearing Halloween costumes in this photograph.

Of course, all of this is calling for a bit of re-branding of myself. Well, perhaps “re-branding” is a bit strong. But by and large, people tend to develop incorrect preconceived notions about what they’ll get from one of my presentations/appearances. Their conclusions come from them thinking I fall into one of two categories:

  1. A published author, meaning that I will spend most of the time reading from my books
  2. A ghost hunter, meaning that I will spend most of the time trying to convince people everything is a ghost and that demons regularly pick me up, scratch me, and then chuck me across the room

Now, I’m sure those of you who have seen me live are probably chuckling as those descriptions, but it’s true: that’s what people who have yet to experience my Strange & Spooky World expect. That’s probably why most people walk away from one of my presentations muttering “I’m not sure what just happened, but it was fun.” Allow me to throw modesty to the wind here and state that since I first starting giving presentations in Ohio some 15 years ago, the only complaint I have ever heard was “it was too short.” Well, ok, one woman wrote to me and told me my stories gave her nightmares, but I take that as a compliment. I have always felt that my job, once I take that stage, is to entertain each and every member of the audience and to have them all smiling, laughing, and perhaps shrieking, by the time I’m finished with them.

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Preparing to unleash the video of my infamous Blue Flash video on Kenwood Elementary School. The kids with their hands up are the ones who said they’d be willing to ride the Blue Flash with me!

But while people walk away happy after the presentation, there’s still some confusion among the general public about what to expect going into one of my presentations. So I have my work cut out for me, especially since I’m planning on upping my game in 2015. If you thought my presentations were over the top before, just you wait! 2015 is going to bring all-new topics, bigger and better photos, audio, and videos, and even special guests! I’m even looking into the logistics (and legalities) of incorporating lasers, t-shirt guns, and confetti cannons. Yes, I’m serious.

So please, get out there and enjoy the Halloween season this year. You’ll be fine without me, I promise! Just know that I’m busy stocking up on Monster drinks and Boo Berry cereal in preparation for next year!

2014's Box #1

2014’s Box #1

My Q&A Article From Findlay Times

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Taken from the October 2013 issue of Findlay Times. It’s from the group that publishes Tiffin Times, so they used the same photos and layout for this article as they did for the Tiffin Times one. The content is totally unique, though, as it’s a different interview.

And yes, you can click on the images to view/read them in hi-res.

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My Interview With Tiffin Life Magazine

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2-page article from the October 2013 edition of Tiffin Life, featuring your favorite strange and spooky guy!

Click on the images to view/read them in hi-res.

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Ghosts In Oxford, Ohio? Yes, Please!

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Have I told you lately how much I love my inquisitive fans?

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Not sure when the article hit online, but this morning’s edition of the Oxford Press carried an interview I did with them about my upcoming appearance in Oxford on Sunday, October 29th. The article was entitled “Ghosts In Oxford? Author To Share Spooky Stories Sunday.” However, as many of you are pointing out via your e-mails to me, the article does not mention a single ghost story associated with Oxford, leaving you all wondering if I will be talking about Oxford ghosts or not.

The short answer is “yes”, I will most certainly be talking about some of the more popular Oxford-area ghost stories and legends. Not to give everything away, but some of the stories will include:

  • Reid Hall–I was given permission to conduct an overnight investigation inside the building prior to it being torn down
  • Ronald Tammen disappearance–does his ghost still remain where his dorm room once stood?
  • The Oxford Rider–my personal encounters with the mysterious “ghost light”

Oh yeah, and if you’re looking for more than just ghosts, there will be plenty of giant roadside oddities, mummified cats, and pickled fingers to go around. And if you’re really nice to me, you might get to see the infamous Blue Flash video. No promises, though!

If you’re interested in coming to this event, click here to reserve your tickets. If there are any left, they will be available for purchase at the door the day of the event. But I wouldn’t chance it if I were you as there’s only a couple of seats left!

Click here to read the Oxford Press article in its entirety.

My Strange & Spooky World Is Coming To Oxford, Ohio

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You’d think with all the years I’ve spent chasing the Oxford Motorcycle Ghost (not to mention the fact that I have relatives in Oxford and have been allowed to participate in the legendary Townie Nights), that my Strange & Spooky World would have made several appearances in Oxford, Ohio. Not so. But all that’s going to change on Sunday, September 29th, with a very special appearance.

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For this appearance, I will be sharing audio, video, and photos from all sorts of strange and spooky things I have encountered while writing some of my books, including the soon-to-be-released The Big Book Of Ohio Ghost Stories. It will also include a Q&A session and a book signing reception, complete with tasty refreshments!

It all gets started at 2:00 pm at the Oxford Community Arts Center Ballroom. Tickets are $15.00 a person.

Seating for this unique event is very limited, so don’t wait to get your tickets. Call (513) 280-6115 or e-mail margimoul@gmail.com to reserve your seats today!

It’s Still With The Editor, But At Least It Has A Cover!

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Feast your eyes upon the cover for my latest labor of love, The Big Book of Ohio Ghost Stories, from Stackpole Books.

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It’s currently going through the initial editing phase and is scheduled for a September 1st, 2013 release. It will be available at all Ohio bookstores and on all the usual online book sites. In fact, it’s currently available for pre-sale (at a substantial discount) on Amazon.  If you’re interested, click here to be taken directly to the Amazon pre-order page.

After September 1st, copies will also be available for purchase at all my presentations and appearances. I’ll even deface the book by scrawling my name across it at no additional cost to you!

Keep it here for all the exciting updates as we get closer to the September 1st release date. I’m sure there will be a couple of strange and spooky surprises in store for you!

Happy 2013! What A Strange & Spooky Year It Will Be!

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Happy New Year!

Despite rumors that my disappearance over the holidays was due to my getting stuck inside the Tunnel of Death in Rocky River, the simple fact was I was bogged down with some strange & spooky projects. But in between sips of egg nog and nibbles of figgy pudding, I was able to get things in some semblance of order so that I can now give you a couple of teasers as to what I’ve been up to. And man, am I excited!

You see, whenever I am out and about, especially at book signings and presentations, the question I get asked most often is “when are you going to do something about Ohio again?” I guess since all my recent books were about non-Ohio things like Hollywood, America, and Indiana, people started thought I forgot about spooky stuff in Ohio. I even got an e-mail asking me if I’d “forgotten about my Ohio roots”, which I find touching and amusing since I’m not originally from Ohio. Guess that means the Buckeye State’s finally accepted me!

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Speaking of (and at) Paranormal Conventions

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In the 13 years that I have lived in Ohio, I’ve given presentations and talks at locations ranging from elementary schools to nursing homes and everywhere in between. And yet, on May 4th through the 6th of this year, I will be speaking at a somewhat unique venue for me; a paranormal convention.

That’s right, a paranormal convention. The Great Appalachian Spook Show, to be exact. You’d think that since I have been wandering through the land of the dead for so long, paranormal conventions would be one of the main places I’m asked to speak at. Well, you’d be wrong. In fact, while every year I receive lots of requests to come and speak at libraries, schools, and a wide assortment of social gatherings and functions, invites to speak at paranormal conventions are few and far between.

Not sure why that is, especially since I’ve spent over 26 years actively conducting ghost research. Several people have told me that there’s a bit of a preconceived notion that my presentations are “out there” (one person even said they were “wacky”) and that it’s hard to know what to expect.  If that’s the case, I couldn’t be happier.

You see, I don’t care if the topic is ghosts, the paranormal, or how to make a million dollars flipping houses. If I’m sitting in the audience, I want to feel something. Anything. Make me laugh, cry, or clench my fists in anger. Just make me feel. And if I don’t have any idea what’s coming next, all the better. Keeps me on my toes and interested.

And that’s really all I’m looking to do whenever I give a presentation: keep people interested. Usually, that entails me downing gallons of Monster Energy Drink and then wandering through the audience spouting off anecdotes about headless motorcycle ghosts, playing Beatles’ records backwards to see if Paul McCartney is really dead, and the dangers of riding homemade roller coasters. But at the end of the day, if I see people leaving my presentation with smiles on their faces, I know I’ve done my job.

So if you find yourself in McConnelsville, Ohio, the weekend of May 4th and you’re dying to know what the fuss is all about, swing by the McConnelsville Opera House and check out my presentation on weird stuff in Ohio. I promise I’ll do my best to keep you entertained.

The Ghosts of Ohio T-Shirt Contest!

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It’s that time of year again: I’m gearing up to hit the road with The Ghosts of Ohio on our fall tour—giving presentations and making appearances all across the state. If you’re planning on coming out to one of our gatherings, don’t forget to bring along your camera. That’s because all you need to do is snap a photo of The Ghosts of Ohio and you might win a limited-edition shirt!


To enter, here’s all you need to do:
• Come on out and see The Ghosts of Ohio at any of their fall presentations and appearances (visit ghostsofohio.org for a full list of dates and times).

• Take some pictures of The Ghosts of Ohio. These can be posed or action shots. Heck, we don’t even need to be in the picture—snap a shot of our booth or logo. Be as creative as you want! Just please don’t go hunting us down in our hotel rooms!

• Go to The Ghosts Of Ohio’s Facebook page and “like” us:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ghosts-of-Ohio/60704381381

• Upload your photos to The Ghosts of Ohio’s Facebook Wall, making sure to name the event in the caption and, above all, tag yourself in the photo to ensure we know it’s yours!

• You can post as many photos as you’d like, but only 5 photos per venue/appearance will be entered in the contest.

• Cross your fingers that you are one of the 5 lucky winners chosen at random to receive your very own limited-edition “I see people who see dead people” shirt!

And now for all the fun disclaimer stuff: Contest opens at 12:01 am on Monday, October 3, 2011, and closes at 12:01 am on Monday, November 7, 2011. Winners will be chosen at random on Saturday, November 12, 2011, and their names posted the week of November 14, 2011. Shirts will be mailed out at that time.

Any questions? Send them to info@ghostsofohio.org.

THE GHOSTS OF OHIO 2011 SCHEDULED APPEARANCES
Unless otherwise noted (by a $ symbol), all presentations are free and open to the general public. Seating is often limited, so please call the venue beforehand to reserve your seats.

Saturday, October 8th, 2011
Rotary Ghost Walk: Tales and Tombstones $
Bowling Green, OH
http://www.woodcountyhistory.org/pr_halloween.html

Saturday, October 14th, 2011
Dinner & Spirits with The Ghosts of Ohio $
Michael Anthony’s at the Inn of Versailles
Versailles, OH
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-Anthonys-at-the-Inn-of-Versailles/113263002025635

Saturday, October 15th, 2011
Delaware Ghost Walk 2011 $
Delaware, OH
http://www.delawarenna.org/ghostwalk2011.html

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
Meet The Ghosts of Ohio presentation
Marion Public Library: Main Library
Marion, OH
http://www.marion.lib.oh.us/

Friday & Saturday, October 21st & 22nd, 2011
Lima Lantern Tours $
Lima, OH
http://www.limalanterntour.com/

Saturday, October 29th, 2011
The Strange & Spooky World of James A. Willis presentation $
Riverbend Recreational Area: Brugeman Lodge
Findlay, OH
http://hancockparks.com/

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
Just How Weird is Ohio presentation
Southern State Community College: South Campus
Sardenia, OH
http://www.sscc.edu/visitors/news/2011/september/2011-fall-quarter-events-south-campus.html