Eric Wilder Author
About the Author
Eric Wilder grew up about a mile from Black Bayou in Louisiana. He is the author of the Wyatt Thomas French Quarter Mystery Series, and the Buck McDivit Mystery Series. Though he mainly writes mysteries, he is also the author of four best-selling regional cookbooks, including Southern Comfort Food Cookbook, sprinkled liberally with stories and tall tales. He now lives in Edmond, Oklahoma where he continues to pen mysteries while thinking about his next bowl of gumbo.
Born on a Louisiana bayou, Halloween night, beneath a full moon, Eric Wilder grew up escaping snakes and alligators, and listening to his grandmothers' tales of ghosts, voodoo, and political corruption. Author of eight novels, four cookbooks and many short stories, he now lives in Oklahoma, about a mile from historic Route 66, with his four dogs, one coyote, and cat, but not a single alligator.
Q&A from the author:
Interview with a Sensitive
It’s widely known that I consider Louisiana the nation’s most ghostly state and New Orleans perhaps the most haunted city on earth. Today my special guest is Louisiana psychic/paranormal investigator Paula Bergeron. Paula is more than an investigator; much more. Check out these twenty questions and you will see, as I have, that she is a very special individual. Enjoy!
Q: Tell us where you were raised and a little about yourself.
A: I was raised in the little country town of Branch, Louisiana where everyone knew everyone else.
Q: Were you fascinated by ghosts, spirits and paranormal tales as a youngster? What piqued your interest at an early age?
A: I was always interested in the paranormal, even before I knew what it meant. I have been able to sense and see spirits since I was around 7 years old.
Q: What was your first paranormal experience?
A: My first paranormal experience was in an old house that we lived in when I was a child. I heard a noise coming from my closet and there was a man standing there, but he wasn't scary to me. He told me not to be afraid and that I was going to be safe. He would visit me often and I would read books to him and color pages with him watching over me.
Q: For our readers, a highly sensitive person, HSP, is someone that has an increased awareness of feelings, noise, emotions, mental, and paranormal intrusion. Are you a sensitive?
A: I am a sensitive, some people call me a medium, I prefer sensitive because I don't always see the spirits as much as I can feel them. I can also hear and smell some of them. By smelling them I mean that sometimes I associate a certain smell to them. Like sometimes when my Grandmother is around me, I can smell Ivory soap because that was all she could use because of her allergies. Sometimes it's the scent of a cologne or cigar or cigarette smoke, if they were a smoker.
Q: Do you work alone, or with a group?
A: I usually work alone, but people have learned of my cleansing abilities and call me when someone has a real "ghost" problem.
Q: How do you prepare for a paranormal investigation?
A: I usually meditate before an investigation and ground myself. If the area is known for paranormal activity then I also say a prayer of protection.
Q: Do you truly believe ghosts and spirits are real, or is part of your purpose as a paranormal investigator to try and prove that they are not real?
A: I know that spirits are real because I have seen them many times. My job as a sensitive/medium is to pass on their message and send them to heaven where they were meant to go in the first place.
Q: Does religion play a part in your investigations?
A: I am religious. I believe God gave me these abilities for a purpose and he allows me to do these things. I don't really believe that you have to be religious to have an experience with the paranormal. I think that a skeptic can usually see more because spirits sometimes like to show off to people who don't believe in them.
Q: Most of us think of ghosts and spirits when speaking of paranormal activity. Louisiana is rich in tales of other paranormal beings and beliefs: rougarous, sasquatches, black panthers, crop circles, American Indian mysticism, voodoo, aliens, etc. Do you believe in any of these other supernatural beings and events, and have you had any personal experiences you’d like to relate?
A: The cleansing that I do was taught to me by a Native American Shaman, so I would say yes I do believe in some other parts of the supernatural circle.
Q: Tell us about the most haunted place in Louisiana you have ever visited.
A: It was a cemetery here in Branch that has been reported by the natives to be haunted. I went there with my then boyfriend and another friend. When we reached the cemetery there was a man sitting in a chair at the entrance. Only my boyfriend and I could see him. My friend couldn't see him.
Q: Which cemetery in Louisiana do you consider the rifest in paranormal activity?
A: I have only been to a few cemeteries, but the one that always comes to my mind is "Hookman's" near Robert's Cove. It has been known to be haunted and some devil worship has taken place there.
Q: Many fortune tellers, tarot card readers, mediums, etc. claim the ability to see into the past, and the future. Are these people charlatans, or do some truly have psychic abilities?
A: Being able to see the past or the future would depend on the person. Sometimes the spirits that I connect with will show me a mental picture of how things used to be and sometimes they will give me a picture of how things will be. I would say that some people are truly blessed with the gift and some are not.
Q: What frightens you most about paranormal investigating?
A: I have seen a lot so not much scares me. I think my biggest "fear" is to have a spirit follow me home, but then again I know how to remove them.
Q: In your opinion, what is the most haunted town or city in Louisiana and why?
A: I think the most haunted city would be New Orleans, only because of the devastation and deaths that NOLA has seen and been affected by. There are many other cities with their fair share of paranormal activity though not as much documentation has been done on them.
Q: What is the question people ask you most when they learn you are a paranormal investigator?
A: When people find out that I am a sensitive they usually say "cool" or "really". Most of them don't understand what that means so I usually have to explain that I can sense "ghosts" or as I like to refer to them "spirits”. Most people nowadays know all about the paranormal from TV or movies, so when I talk to someone like that, they usually think it's cool.
Q: Is there a paranormal investigation you wouldn’t consider doing?
A: I would try anything at least once. I don't scare easily so there is no place I would not investigate.
Q: What would you consider the most definitive proof that ghosts and spirits are real?
A: I think the fact that you have seen a ghost or spirit gives you enough proof, but you can't make people believe in what they don't want to believe.
Q: Speaking only of Louisiana, what would be your dream investigation?
A: That's easy, the LaLaurie Mansion or the old State Capitol building. I have been to New Orleans, but it was a very long time ago. I would love to go back.
Q: Do you have any other thoughts about ghosts, spirits, and paranormal investigation you’d like to share?
A: I would just like to say that if you are interested in paranormal investigation, try to remember that if it is a home you are investigating, put yourself in that person's place and see how it would feel if these things were happening at your house and you tried to tell someone about it and that you needed help. Treat each person and "spirit" with respect and help those in need.
Thanks, Paula. Our conversation has enlightened me, and I’ll know who to call when I have questions, or problems concerning the paranormal and supernatural.