Friday, August 17, 2012

Paranormal Profile: Joshua P. Warren

Joshua P. Warren
Editor's Note: In an effort to get to know some of the recognized and respected people within Paranormal Pop Culture, we're launching the frequent column "Paranormal Profile," which allows these folks the opportunity to introduce themselves to you, in their own words.

To launch the feature, we've decided to begin with Joshua P. Warren, a friend and accomplished author who is also one of the reporters on Travel Channel's Paranormal Paparazzi - premiering Sept. 28, 7 p.m.

The Legend of Joshua P. Warren
(One of the Top 5 Most Beautiful Men in the Paranormal)

OK, I'm joking. When Aaron Sagers asked me to write something about myself, as an introduction to you, I figured I may as well give it a title that has never been used before!

Obviously, if you want to truly appreciate the paranormal, you must appreciate the inherent absurdity of it all. Don't get me wrong, I take my work in the paranormal extremely seriously. I've eaten, drank, breathed and snuggled with it all of my adult life. But that's because I love it. I have fun. And if you love what you're doing - it makes you smile and laugh - you'll do amazing work.

The paranormal is all about curiosity, adventure and those freaky little moments when the hair stands up on the back of your neck. But it can, and should, also be about the purest form of scientific research. After all, the very goal of science is to explain the unexplained. At its best, the scientific process is a paranormal

I was born in Asheville, N.C., heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some people call it the "New Age capital of the world," yet Asheville is a little eclectic gem surrounded by thick woods and
valleys teeming with old-timers and rugged mystery. Though I've traveled widely, I have called Asheville my home my entire life. My family first came to this area in the early 1700s due to a military
land grant. I was born into generations of weird tales, legends and myths. But what happened to my great uncle, Claude Calloway, is no myth. It's true . . .

During the Great Depression, my grandmother, Virginia, then a teenager, took a picture of her older brother, Claude, and their father, Jack, when they returned from a small game hunting trip. It was a classic photo of two haggard mountain men posed by the bush with handfuls of rabbits and squirrels. However, when the photo developed, Claude did not have a head! They knew this was weird, but didn't understand photography enough to realize just how odd it was. One month later, on a lazy summer afternoon, Claude was on the porch reading a copy of his favorite periodical, Western Magazine (old gunslinger tales). Jack was in the kitchen fixing lunch, and the two conversed through an open window. Jack spoke to Claude. No response.

Jack repeated. No response. When lunch was ready, Jack found Claude's magazine on the porch, but Claude was gone. Claude was never seen nor heard from again. He had vanished in mid-conversation, as if he'd been spirited away to some other dimension. This was a great tragedy in my family. They never got over the weird confusion of their beloved Claude disappearing this way; his fate foretold in a phantasmal photograph. That story, among many others, fired my imagination and curiosity. Is there another realm; another dimension that we can slip into at any time? What the hell is going on here?

When I was 15, I published my first book of strange stories. Now I'm almost 36. I've published 13 books, including Simon & Schuster's How to Hunt Ghosts. I own the Asheville Mystery Museum. I've appeared on all the major TV channels, host a nationally-syndicated radio show called Speaking of Strange, am a correspondent for Coast to Coast AM, made the cover of a science journal in 2004 for my and my team's scientific lab work on the Brown Mountain Lights, served as a Tech Consultant for Warner Brothers' horror movie, The Apparition, and travel around the world each year conducting experiments (at crazy places like Transylvania) to learn about real paranormal phenomena.

After all these years, I've discovered that ghosts, UFOs, cryptids, angels, demons, etc are all connected. As Charles Fort said, you can measure a circle beginning anywhere. Sometimes I think I'm the luckiest guy on the planet. Boy. do I have some new surprises in store for you soon ...