Friday, January 4, 2019

Review of Haunted Hills and Hollows: What Lurks in Greene County, Pennsylvania, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Kevin Paul

(New Milford, CT: Visionary Living, Inc., 2018). ISBN: 9781942157311
As a reviewer, this book is a perfect storm for me. I have been fortunate to have been mentored by the lead author, and she has recently become my publisher for the paranormal research I do with my wife and other investigators.
The methods and experiences in this book are things that I know firsthand.
I am also familiar with Greene County, PA, having friends who live there. I can attest to its remoteness, feeling of being out-of-time (including a certain road we used to travel where—especially at night—it felt like time stretched and we were on it way longer than we should be), and I have heard stories for many years about their encounters with ghosts, UFOs, and possible parallel dimensions.
Kevin Paul is a life-long resident of Greene County and his family goes back to the earliest European settlers in the area. This gives him intimate knowledge and a level of trust with the locals.
Greene County’s story, similar to the larger western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, eastern Ohio story, is one of pioneer settlers in struggle with Native Americans for land and resources. Lord Dunmore’s war was not far away, in an area that is another paranormal hotspot—Point Pleasant, WV on the Ohio River, famous for the winged cryptid known as the Mothman. It is also an area known for phantom black panthers, UFOs, Men in Black, and other high strangeness. It is an area that some believe was cursed by Chief Cornstalk before his death.
Greene County has many of these same anomalies, with dogmen and Bigfoot substituting for Mothman.
What might be going on? In my work, I am now focusing on portals and parallel dimensions. These phenomena used to be treated as outlandish ideas, but with NASA mapping portals and ultra-hi-tech companies like D-Wave making quantum computers for NASA, Google, and Stanford with the goal of reaching parallel dimensions, we have to make them a core part of the conversation.
So perhaps Greene County is a portal, or has several. It is near the Monongahela River, which, like the Ohio, could increase activity. It is striking the array of phenomena on which Guiley and Paul report.
Greene County also has its share of hollows—bowl-like depressions that usually have houses spaced out by several acres and ringed around the lip of the bowl. Hollows (or “hollers”) are cauldrons for paranormal activity. I lived in one in West Virginia for seven years and we experienced similar phenomena to that related in this book, as well as gathering evidence of at least one portal.
Guiley and Paul have been thorough in their data-gathering approach, from interviews with locals, to historical society and other research, to on-site investigation. Photos of key areas and pencil illustrations by John Weaver of various creatures seen in the area bring us close to the action.
The first part of the book is devoted to the Indian massacres and disturbances of burial mounds. Greene County, like many counties in America, has a history soaked in blood and desecration.
Although I have encountered a wide variety of phenomena, I was surprised by some of the entities described. There are a lobster-thing, lizard men, frog men, mole-things… All seen by seemingly credible witnesses who have nothing to gain by lying. If the area is a portal, then we have much to learn about the beings coming through. Throughout history there have been civilizations reporting anthropomorphic beings like these—too many to dismiss as myths or hallucinations.
One of the more frightening chapters is the ninth, titled “Mystery People and Black-Eyed People.” These entities, which many researchers and experiencers have reported on, are sinister in nature. They include black-eyed kids, Men and Women in Black, shadow figures, and other entities that seem to exist solely to intrude upon and mess with people.
As I have experienced in my decade of investigation, these entities will also do their best to make sure that hard evidence of the paranormal does not get out. They cause mechanical malfunctions, illness, make emails and photos go missing… These sabotage phenomena are reported by a considerable number of researchers, and Guiley and Paul were not immune. The more you investigate, the worse it gets.
For UFO enthusiasts, be sure to read chapter 14. Chapter 15 is “Night Howlers and Forest Prowlers” and chapter 16 takes as its subject “Winged Humans and Dogmen,” which are perfect for the cryptid enthusiast. Mothman aficionados will be interested to learn that Greene County has its own winged humanoid.
The final chapter, “Angry Spirits of the Land,” is a detailed case study highlighting the investigative methods of the authors and the power that hauntings and other phenomena can have over us. Relating the events at a farm where the contractors revitalizing it experienced all manner of phenomena, the story ends with the farm being abandoned, as it had been in the past. Is the ancient, offended being that claims ownership of that land a djinn? Sounds like one. But it might be something else. Something that may be, like the djinn, a part of the worldwide fairy lore.
The authors give us lots to think about.
Haunted Hills and Hollows provides more of what the field of paranormal research needs: credible investigative methods, thorough contextual research, and a respect for both the experiencers and what they are experiencing.

The stakes in the field are high, and one should expect no less.

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