Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Dallas author explores ghosts in scary new book
Just in time for Halloweeeeen, cackle cackle.
"Nate Riddle is a native Texan fascinated with ghosts," says the author profile on the back of his new book, Lone Star Spooks: Searching for Ghosts in Texas.
Nate Riddle also happens to be a former employee at Pan Local Media, where Pegasus News resides. Who knew that the guy in the cubicle next door was writing about ghosts in his spare time?
Lone Star Spooks covers some of the more popular ghost legends in Texas, such as Catfish Plantation in Waxahachie, Menger Hotel in San Antonio, and the Ghost Named Wanda who haunts Bruce Hall at UNT. In its impartial exploration of the paranormal, the book provides testimony from "experts" including academics, psychic mediums, research groups, skeptics, and owners of well-known ghost haunts.
Riddle, who will do a book signing on Saturday at the Barnes & Noble in Hurst, is not one of those guys who goes around trying to find them, but is drawn to the topic because it's a question that ultimately cannot be answered.
"I'm fascinated because it's one of the last mysteries out there," he says. "You can go Google anything and get the answer, but with paranormal phenomena like ghosts, you have the skeptics who can't say for sure it doesn't exist, and the believers who can't prove it does."
There've been plenty of books written from a travel guide perspective, listing top ghost attractions in the state and the nearest bed-and-breakfast. But Riddle was more curious about the philosophical aspect of ghosts.
"One of my favorite chapters is the one that explores why ghosts interest people," he says. "Why is Halloween so popular? I tried to delve into that side -- what attracts people to it."
Dallas' most famous ghost gets her own chapter: White Rock Lake's famed Lady of the Lake, supposedly a vanishing hitchhiker. Riddle offers a timeline of how the story began in the 1900s and she went on to become a local legend.
Riddle was unable to find an actual ghost to go on the record, and also had trouble getting some business owners to open up.
"I encountered some people who were very guarded," he says. "When their business depends on the place being haunted, they were nervous that someone might come out and says there’s nothing to it."
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