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Interview with Kat Klockow, Paranormal Author and Creator of Miss Grey

A paranormal enthusiast and lover of history, Kat Klockow is the author of Haunted Hoosier Halls: Indiana University and the upcoming book Ohio’s Haunted Crime, which are both published by Schiffer Publishing. Since a wee age she has been interested in the paranormal and began collecting local folklore and haunted history books in middle school. Kat is also a comic book writer and illustrator, whose works include the supernatural adventure comic Miss Grey, which ran from 2006-2014, and the upcoming fantasy adventure comic Jinxed, which will appear on digital bookshelves in January of 2015. Since 2012, Kat has been a co-host on the Paranormal View Radio Show on the Para-X Radio Network, which can be heard every Saturday night from 8-10PM Eastern time.

Please tell our readers a little about your background. How did you come to live in Ohio, and what appeals to you about Midwestern folklore and ghost stories?

Although I lived in Indiana for many years and have become known for being the source of Hoosier Folklore in the paranormal community since my first book Haunted Hoosier Halls: Indiana University came out, I’m actually a Buckeye! I was born in Ohio, and moved back to the state a few years ago. American folklore is fascinating, but in the Midwest we seem to have two interesting things going on simultaneously: the creation of new folklore stories and the evolution of old ones. For example, the legend of summoning the mirror witch evolved into the story of Bloody Mary that we know today outside of Indianapolis, Indiana in the 1960s. From there it spread, and today there are thousands of variations across the world about summoning the mirror witch. The Roommate’s Death urban legend evolved to the story we know around Chicago after the Richard Speck murders of 1966. Speck raped, tortured, and murdered eight nursing students from South Community Hospital on July 14, 1966. Only one student nurse living with the others, Cora Amurao, survived after hiding under her bed until morning.

What is your favorite Ohio legend? Have you ever encountered anything unusual yourself while you were researching a location?

My favorite Ohio legend surprisingly has nothing to do with hauntings, but instead is a cryptid sighting! It is the Loveland Frogman, a humanoid frog that is said to live along the banks of the Little Miami River in Loveland, Ohio. It has been witnessed by police officers in the 1970s, and no one really knows what it is. There are a lot of strange situations I’ve encountered while in the field, from run-ins with raccoons and bats to seeing the truly bizarre realms of the paranormal. In the summer of 2013 I was staying at Rider’s Inn Bed and Breakfast in Painesville, Ohio, when I was woken in the middle of the night by an icy hand gripping my ankle at the end of the bed. Initially I thought I had just rubbed up against the brass bedframe, but my ankle was a good six inches from the footboard! After a second, the hand let go. I was visiting Rider’s Inn because in 1834 inn owner Suzanne Rider died in the building. It is suspected it was foul play by her husband, Joseph Rider.

You are the author of a supernatural-themed comic called Miss Grey. Tell our readers a little about the plot, how you came up with the character of Miss Grey, and what the response has been to the comic.

Kat Klockow, author of Ohio’s Haunted Crime and co-host of the Paranormal View Radio Show

Kat Klockow, author of Ohio’s Haunted Crime and co-host of the Paranormal View Radio Show

The initial concept for Miss Grey came to me in a dream on Christmas Day 2004 while visiting Tokyo, Japan. The original run of Miss Grey ran from 2006 until 2009, but I had to put it on hiatus due to a family illness. It was brought back in 2011 and ran until earlier this year. The first run of the comic was far more popular than the second run, and I think the reason was timing. Back in 2006 the SyFy show Ghost Hunters was in its second season, the television show Supernatural had just debuted with great ratings, in other words, it was a high time for paranormal themed entertainment. By 2011 the entertainment atmosphere had changed, and readers just didn’t get into the series, which is why it ended in February of this year. Eventually it may come back, but currently I am working on a new fantasy graphic novel which will debut January of 2015.

What do you think the medium of comics can add to our interest in the paranormal that traditional books or documentaries cannot?

The medium of comics/ graphic novels/ manga is vast and has been referred to as writing with pictures because of the seamless flow of narrative with sequential illustrations. The art goes beyond just superhero comics by Marvel or DC too. Graphic novels and comics can cover so many different topics and genres, and address topics that mainstream media isn’t always able to cover on a frequent basis. For example, With the Light, a graphic novel by Keiko Tabe, talks about living with a child with autism. My Darling is a Foreigner, a manga about a Japanese wife and her American husband and the experiences they’ve had dealing with society cultural barriers between them and society’s stereotype of foreigners in Japan. I’ve always wanted to write an autobiographical graphic novel about paranormal experiences I’ve had in the field, stuff that I haven’t been able to include in my books yet.

Comics also reach a different audience than books and movies can, and that audience is growing in both age bracket and number. Using myself as an example, I have dyslexia and reading full written prose is a tedious thing that ends up frustrating me. However, graphic novels marry illustration to narrative, so I can see what is going on in addition to reading it. In the end, each person has a preferred medium, mine just happens to be comics.

Your book Haunted Hoosier Halls focused on the ghostlore of Indiana University, where you got your degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures. What are some of your favorite stories from IU?

Yep, I hold duel degrees in East Asian Language and Culture Studies (Japanese language and culture) and in Cultural Anthropology, which I use when writing my haunted history books. There is a lot of ghostlore coming out of IU, but my favorite is that of the Hell Hound of the Indiana Memorial Union. It is a true ghost story, since there is no basis in fact for this haunting, but students, faculty, and university staff have claimed for decades to hear a large dog walking around the lower floors of the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) building. The IMU is the university’s large student building which houses everything from cafes to the school bookstore, to even a bowling alley and a movie theater. Over the decades the building has been expanded, such as adding the Biddle Hotel and the East Tower. People have been known to commit suicide from jumping off the tall West Tower, and perhaps that is why our Hell Hound haunts the building. Beck Chapel is also located next to the east side of the building along with the Dunn Family cemetery, the Hell Hound has also been seen lurking in there.

Your most recent project, Ohio’s Haunted Crime, is nearly ready to be sent to the publisher. Why did you decide to focus on this subject, and have you found a link between crime and the paranormal? 

I grew up with watching Murder, She Wrote and reading Agatha Christie mysteries, so crime mysteries have always been an interest of mine. Ohio’s Haunted Crime is my way of blending two interests of mine: the love of ghost lore, and my knack for researching and the curiosity of looking into haunted crime scenes. The real stories of some of the people who perpetrated these crimes is stranger than fiction as well as the haunted locations such as the Mansfield Reformatory and Old Licking County Jail.

One of the interesting patterns revealed through doing the fieldwork and research for this book was the fact that in some communities, people remember past tragedies through ghost lore. A good example made in the book is that of the urban legend of Amy of Lick Road in Cincinnati, Ohio. The urban legend is that a young female ghost named Amy will write her name on your car after you’ve parked it for a few minutes on Lick Road. Legend trippers have reported hearing screams and seeing shadow people at the location too. The interesting thing is, the urban legend has grown around the murder of L.Dryer who was murdered and her body dumped at that site in 1976. Her case is still unsolved, and thus the hauntings still occur.

How can our readers get in touch with you if they are interested in learning more about you and your work?

Readers can always find me on Facebook and join the Kat Klockow author page https://www.facebook.com/katklockowfanpage, which I suggest doing instead of friending me. There readers get all the news about comic conventions, library lectures, and other projects that I’m involved with. I can be followed on Twitter @katklockow and on Tumblr @vegapunkprime, which I use mostly for comics. I also have two websites: www.katklockow.com is my paranormal author website while www.huntforghosts.com is my comics website. You can also listen to the Paranormal View Radio Show, which I co-host, every Saturday night from 8-10PM (EST) at www.para-x.com.

Sorry guys, this page is copyright MysteriousHeartland.com, 2014. You do not have permission to copy this for any reason. Please learn how to cite your work. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are courtesy of Robbin Terry.

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  1. […] seated at a table next to Jeff Mudgett, author of Bloodstains. I also had the privilege of meeting Kat Klockow and Jeff Belanger of Ghostvillage.com. Though I was unable to stay for the evening events, I had a […]

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