An Interview with Dr. Hans Holzer
The Original Ghost Hunter
by Brent Raynes
Professor Hans Holzer, the original Ghost Hunter, has authored over a 100 titles. Such famous titles include the newest Amityville book, The Amityville Curse: Fact or Fiction, Ghosts, and Houses of Horror. He has had hundreds of national and regional talk show appearances, co-hosting/hosting programs such as “Ghost Hunter” on channel 2 in Boston, “In Search Of” with Leonard Nemoy on NBC (Alan Landsburg productions), “Murder in Amityville,” “Beyond The Five Senses” in Louisville, KY., “Explorations” with Brownville Productions in Ohio, Radio, Films such as “Murder in Amityville,” “The Amityville Curse” and “Mars in the House” (an original) and Stage and Music. Holzer is a leading authority in the field of the paranormal. Having earned his Ph.D. from the London College of Applied Science, he has spent over four decades traveling the world to obtain first hand accounts of paranormal experiences, interviewing expert researchers, and developing para-psychological protocols. He has taught parapsychology at the New York Institute of Technology for eight years. He currently resides in New York City.
Editor: It’s an honor and a pleasure to get to speak with you. I’ve been interested in paranormal phenomena and UFOs going back to 1967, and over the years I’ve seen quite a few magazine articles and books that you’ve written. I have a book on psychic photography that you wrote, back around the 1970s.
Dr. Hans Holzer: Oh yes, that was a very good one.
Editor: It gets loaned out occasionally. I also have a book that you wrote on the UFO phenomenon.
Dr. Hans Holzer: Yes, The Ufonauts.
Editor: Alexandra had said that you had written over a hundred books.
Dr. Hans Holzer: 145.
Editor: I guess that you go back some five decades of writing and researching.
Dr. Hans Holzer: My first book appeared in 1964, so that should give you an idea.
Editor: What was that book entitled?
Dr. Hans Holzer: Ghost Hunter, and whenever I see some amateurs calling themselves ghost hunters I wonder because I was the first one and only one who used that title. That was the title of the book.
Editor: Right, and now ghost hunters are all over the place, aren’t they?
Dr. Hans Holzer: Yeah, and they don’t know what they’re doing. But that’s okay. They’re having fun.
Editor: Well, what would you say to ghost hunters today to really bring things into perspective for them?
Dr. Hans Holzer: Well, I have a very simple thing. I tell them put away all the gimmicks like the Geiger counters and the things you measure the temperature and all of this nonsense. If you go into a house that is allegedly haunted first of all you should have a good medium with you, preferably a trance medium. The first thing you do is you sit the medium in another room and then you ask if there are any witnesses to phenomena, people who have seen or heard anything, and you ask them who they are, their names, their professions. You become an interrogator, an investigator, and find out what they have experienced. When you’ve finished with that then you bring in the medium and you ask her (it’s usually a woman) ‘do you feel anything here?’ If she’s only a psychic reader, a trance medium, then she will pick up some of the things about the house.
Whatever you do you don’t volunteer any information. You just say, “do you know anything?” You say, “This house is of interest to us. Do you feel anything about it?” Of course, you record all of that, and then after you’re finished you check it out in the library and see if these names and such make sense.
Editor: After all of these years, how many haunted houses or psychics do you think that you have investigated?
Dr. Hans Holzer: Oh my God. Listen I’m 87 years old. That’s a silly question. I don’t count them. I publish them. Whenever I go to the trouble to investigate something, whether it is directly by going there or by talking to witnesses, I usually publish it in one of my books.
Editor: You’ve traveled quite extensively researching and investigating these situations, here in the US and over in Europe too.
Dr. Hans Holzer: Of course, I’ve written a book about Haunted Europe too.
Editor: For those who may not be familiar with your background and accomplishments, could you summarize for us some about yourself and your work?
Dr. Hans Holzer: I am Professor Hans Holzer. I used to teach parapsychology for eight years at New York Tech. Now I lecture, and I only go into haunted places when the people there ask me to help them, or when their case is so interesting that I do it on my own.
Editor: What sort of projects are you working on at the present time?
Dr. Hans Holzer: I’m always working on new and interesting problems. I have a new book that I’m looking for a publisher for. This book is extremely controversial, like most of them of mine. The book is called The Fantasy World of Religion. Subtitled: Living the Spiritual Way is Much Better.
Editor: Will this be a review of all religions.
Dr. Hans Holzer: Well, the fantasy world of religion means that I am not particularly and positively positioned towards religion. I think religion is fantasy. I am a member of the Episcopal Church, I just don’t go there anymore. I think that religion is man-made. People need it, and so I guess I have no objection to it, but I’m telling you that there are no angels, old man on the throne, God, none of this exists. People created these things, either through organized religion or individual religion, because they felt that they needed it.
Editor: In your investigations of mediums and haunted houses you do feel that there is a survival of personality after physical death, so you do see an afterlife.
Dr. Hans Holzer: Hell yes. Now I have also, in my book, explained how spirit apparitions, all ghosts, are very real. We have witnesses for them. The only thing is that what is different between me and shall we say other people who have experienced apparitions, ghosts and spirits is that for each of them I have scientific explanations that doesn’t require belief or disbelief or faith, and certainly not religious belief.
Editor: So you feel basically that religion holds back a lot of people from actually looking at the facts. Rather than investigating these things they make assumptions?
Dr. Hans Holzer: I think that religion leads people to the wrong conclusions. Organized or individual religion always involves money and it involves power. I don’t think that there is any need for that.
That’s what my book is about.
Editor: Where do you see, or where do you hope that your life time of work is evolving to?
Dr. Hans Holzer: My work is about things that need explanations of a scientific nature not based on belief or disbelief or faith. Religious faith especially.
Editor: You wrote the book, The Ufonauts, back in the 1970s. Have you done anymore research or evolved to any further conclusions about the UFOs? Are they interconnected with the spirit world?
Dr. Hans Holzer: No, no. That’s nonsense. The UFOs are airships that come from planets that are very far away. But I happen to know that in one case exactly where they come from. You know the book, The Interrupted Journey?
Editor: Right, the Betty and Barney Hill story.
Dr. Hans Holzer: Thanks to that book we know that there was a UFO coming from system called Zeta Reticular II. We know that it is thirty seven and a half light years from us. So we have at least one case where we can pin point where these people come from.
They always look like people. They don’t look like monsters.
Editor: Okay then. Well, thank you very much Dr. Holzer for doing this interview with me. It has been very interesting.
Dr. Hans Holzer: I wish you good luck with your work. Just don’t get any gimmicks. Just get a good medium to work with.