Pamela K. Kinney is the author of Haunted Richmond, Virginia, and her newest release, Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths, and True Tales. I dared to contact her about whether she’d be interested in being interviewed and to my delight she said she would!
Below is the result of our Q&A session. I hope you’ll get as big a kick out of it as I did…not to mention some insight into some very awesome sounding Virginia Haunt Jaunts!
COURTNEY MROCH: What inspired you to write both Haunted Richmond, Virginia and Haunted Virginia?
PAMELA K. KINNEY: I’ve read these kinds of books since I was young–Hans Holzer andf later L. B. Taylor with his books on hauntings in Virginia are two authors I read a lot. When my editor, Dinah Roseberry, posted on the forum at Mid-Atlantic Horror Professionals if any of us horror authors liked to write real ghost stories I took the chance and submitted a proposal for Haunted Richmond, Virginia.Schiffer Publishing accepted it, I wrote it and it got published and the rest was history. One thing about writing these books, I learn things I never knew before, whether history or legends. So I am learning as I am doing them. Good things for a fiction writer to know.
CM: What will readers find in Haunted Virginia that they won’t in Haunted Richmond? (Or what will they notice that’s different between the two?)
PKK: Though there are some true ghost stories in it, it is more myths, legends, urban legends and true stories that sound like legends, but are not. If a myth has the true ghost story that I can find, then I add that–like Natural Bridge Hotel and Natural Bridge Caverns. And finding that Professor Cline’s Haunted Monster Museum is actually haunted when I got there was my bonus and is in the part about that place.
Haunted Richmond, Virginia has not only myths and legends, but mostly true ghost stories. Both books have history when the haunting or legends have that behind them.
I also do myths of famous Virginians, like Edgar Allan Poe, George Washington and others, plus myths and legends of Civil War in Haunted Virginia, that is not in Haunted Richmond.
CM: Do you feature any Spooky Stays or Eerie Eateries & Pubs in your books?
PKK: Spooky Stays: Haunted Richmond Virginia – None in this book.
Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales – Natural Bridge Hotel, North Bend Plantation in Charles City, Piney Grove Plantationin Charles City, Martha Washington Inn in Staunton, and on Chincoteague Island where the legendary Chincoteague ponies live, there’s Manor House Bed and Breakfast (it is haunted). (Hopefully if the fourth book I want to do is accepted, I will find places for people to stay at that is haunted. I can tell you there will be some spooky stays in my third book I am working on now.)
Eerie Eateries and Pubs: In Haunted Richmond, Virginia only – Crab Louie’s Seafood Tavern, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Byrd Theater(while watching second run movies, eat popcorn voted best in Richmond), and the bars, pubs and restaurants with ghosts in Shockoe Bottom that are in my book.
In Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales – Natural Bridge Hotel has a restaurant that is good and has buffets too.
CM: If someone was interested in Haunt Jaunting in Virginia, what would you suggest they make it a priority to see? Any nifty Apparition Attractions (museums, theaters, or even haunted-themed tourist places qualify) or Historic Haunts (battlegrounds, historic sights) you’d recommend?
PKK:The battlefields are a definite since Virginia has loads of them. The Civil War is cause of many hauntings in the state. Same for the Revolutionary War and Colonial era. Heck, I am finding many ghostly tales to do with Historic Jamestowne, the first English colony in the U.S. Colonial Williamsburg (part of my next contracted book) has loads of hauntings and you can even take the Colonial Williamsburg’s Tavern Ghost Walks (www.ColonialWillaimsburg.com).
Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond is so cool–not just for the ghost stories and legends. Ferry Plantationin Virginia Beach is a museum and has tours, even a ghost one October 24th there at night. The head docent is the expert on the Witch of Pungo and is who I got all my info on that real-live woman charged as a witch.
Byrd Theater in Carytown in Richmond is a great place, not just for the hauntings by the first manager–it’s popcorn is freshly made and good.
The Old Stone House that houses the Edgar Allan Poe Museumis haunted by children of first owners and also has the musum on Poe. So two things in one!
There’s so many places, best thing is to get the books and read them, bring them when you do come to Virginia.
CM: That sounds like a plan to me! But I’m curious…what’s your favorite Haunt Jaunt in Richmond? In Virginia? (If you can pick from something that would be accessible to the public and not require special permission from the owner of a private property that would be a bonus. I like to try and feature places that anyone could go to, like restaurants, bars, museums, etc. Basically, anywhere a tourist or traveler might find themselves.)
PKK: Hard to pick faves. In Richmond, where people can go to, Centre Hill Mansionin Petersburg (it’s a museum and tours are $5–though no photographs allowed–writing a book, I was allowed), Cold Harbor Battlefield(any battlefield is a National Park so people can visit these), Hollywood cemetery (it’s free to go into this neat place–they’re open seven days a week), and of course, Shockoe Bottom. Also a great place to eat and is haunted and in my book, Crab Louie’s Seafood Tavern.
For Virginia…gosh, Natural Bridge has the bridge, Professor Clines Haunted Monster Museum (which the house is also actually haunted), Natural Bridge Caverns and the Natural Bridge Hotel–all haunted places, Ferry Plantation in Virginia Beach (though not in my book, as last one has legends and the ghosts haunting this place is true ghosty tales, but done paranormal investigating there and it is very haunted. It’s a museum too), and there’s many places in Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales that I think are cool. If a place does not allow someone, generally I put it in the book. Like the house made of Civil War tombstones in Petersburg is privately owned. But you can see it.
CM: Do you have any other “Haunted” books planned?
PKK: Working on (tentative title–they always meet in meeting to decide if what author suggests stays): Haunted Historic Triangle and Charles City(Historic Triangle is Williamsburg, James City (Jamestowne) and Yorktown). It’ll also be in other areas in this area, but not these places. Like West Point is where a spooklight was seen for years and people would go to wait at the train tracks on Church Road to catch sight of it. I also have an idea for Haunted Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts of Virginia plan to submit later this fall. I have places from before and getting even now and visiting.
CM: Both sound great! I love these kinds of books and it’s been a real treat to get to talk to the author of some. Thanks so much again for agreeing to be interviewed!
Here’s the promo video for Haunted Richmond, Virginia.