With over thirty years of experience investigating the paranormal, Angelica Night has a deep understanding of all things that go bump in the night. In addition to investigating supernatural hotspots, she is also a prolific fiction author. Wanting to learn more about her background and her latest publication G.O.T.H. Paranormal: Goddesses on the Hunt, I was able to interview her for ScifiPulse.
Nicholas Yanes: Growing up, what were some stories you loved experiencing? Are there any you still enjoy revisiting?
Angelica Night: Regarding the paranormal, I think the one memory that constantly replays in my head are all the stories my mom and aunts would share about growing up at Conneaut Lake Park. Three girls, two of them twins, were born and raised at the park. My very first paranormal investigation was at the Hotel Conneaut, which sits adjacent to the amusement park where my family’s home was. My grandmother was killed in a kerosene explosion behind the hotel and my mother always said the hotel was where “Grandma Ruth” dwelled. I chose the hotel as my first location, for the obvious reason and walked away with validity that my grandmother was indeed still there. I was eleven that year when I saw my grandma sitting in the main lobby in a chair, looking out over the water. My grandmother’s story is what pushed me to investigate.
Another story that always intrigued me as a child was the legend of John Brown, the abolitionist’s ghost was still roaming in Titusville, which is only thirty minutes away from me. I visited this site as well and walked away with compelling photographic evidence and an EVP recording of a man whispering.
Yanes: You are from a small town in Pennsylvania. Given that Pennsylvania has a wide variety of landscapes and a rich history of paranormal legends, how did this state impact your approach to storytelling?
Angelica: Pennsylvania offers four of the most glorious seasons one could be blessed with. If I’m being honest, I could do without the cold, but the snow is beautiful, and I look at the Winter as a rebirthing. Hearing all the haunted PA legends growing up, it has provided inspiration for the surroundings and community feel in my fiction novels. Nature is usually a huge part in my work and when you’re surrounded by luscious greenery, wildlife, and the paranormal/supernatural, it presents itself as easy to write about.
Yanes: You are also a paranormal investigator. Is there a specific investigation that has stayed with you? Specifically, has one impacted your stories more than other investigations?
Angelica: I’ve investigated over 100 locations, they all have had an impact on my fiction and nonfiction titles. One that sticks out to me the most would be when I visited an abandoned nursing home in Pennsylvania. I somehow got locked inside a room and no one could get me free. I knew I wasn’t in any danger, other than being held captive by something I couldn’t see. That night, I was so overwhelmed by the spirit’s emotions that I was an emotional wreck for days after. The people I was with did eventually get me out of that room, but I’ll never forget the feeling of being completely helpless during an investigation. Needless to say, I don’t enter a room without looking for locks. This wasn’t the only time I had been held hostage by a ghost either!
At the Hotel Conneaut, the same one I mentioned earlier, I had to call the front desk to come let me out of my room! I was locked in from the inside and couldn’t get out. Bonny Jones, who manages the hotel, said she had to struggle with the lock with her master key from the outside. That most amazing thing about that incident was, just hours before while wrapping up a Q&A session, we got a message through our Phasma Box that answered my question of if they had any messages for me because I was going to bed. Two different voices came through loud and clear replying, “No, stay and investigate the whole day.” We captured this on audio and I get asked to play it all the time!
Yanes: Given your experience as a writer and investigator, what stories do you think most accurately represent paranormal investigations? Are there any common mistakes that annoy you?
Angelica: One of my titles, A Haunting Affair, is about a woman that inherits an old family home where her abusive uncle was forced to take his own life due to a vengeful spirit harassing him in the home. Ayla Sinn, the woman awarded the home, soon discovers it’s haunted. She has to call in paranormal teams to help her put the pieces of the story together and find out who is haunting her new home. I took the opportunity while writing that book to include what a real investigation can be like. You can sit in the dark for hours upon hours and have nothing happen. Through this work of fiction, I was able to explain how to properly investigate.
As for common mistakes…there are few that drive me bonkers! Provoking is a big one for me. As I look at it, we wouldn’t want someone invading our home or space and demanding we talk to them. We don’t like to be yelled at or insulted, so why would ghosts? I think the most disrespectful thing we as the living can do is treat a spirit like it’s beneath us or stupid. They had feelings, emotions, and memories when they were alive, why would that change just because they were dead? The lack of respect within the paranormal community surrounding ghost hunting and the people that do it is disheartening to say the least.
The last common act that people tend to do on hunts is allowing their religion to make them vulnerable. For instance, when Christians walk into a haunted location, demons and the “Devil,” are often on their minds, because of their religious beliefs. Ghosts will use that against you, in hopes of scaring you if they don’t want you around.
Yanes: You recently published G.O.T.H. Paranormal: Goddesses on the Hunt. What was the inspiration behind this story?
Angelica: Great story behind this! Last year, I had a team going with me to the Haunted Hinsdale House in NY and one of the team members posted on my Facebook page that they were excited because our hunt was approaching. I made the comment that we should call ourselves, “G.O.T.H. Goddesses on the Hunt,” which we were, as the team I put together to work with were all women. It just took off from there! People were hash-tagging it over social media. We then decided to call our team that when we worked together. That night, I had a dream about the three of us, but we were inside a story that someone was reading. When I woke up, the series “G.O.T.H. Goddesses on the Hunt” was created!
Yanes: Ruby, Sage, and Hallie are great characters. How did you create them? Are they based on people you know?
Angelica: Yes, as most of my fiction titles are based off people that I know or possibly just saw out in public and created a character from them. G.O.T.H. was created with my paranormal team in mind. Again, I used this series to teach people about the paranormal and investigating while bringing forth a fun, sexy story. Ruby Jenson is a character based off my friend Ruth, Sage Ward is based off my other team mate and friend, Pam. Hallie is loosely based off me and how I conduct myself during investigations.
Yanes: Personally, what do you think goes into making a captivating ghost story?
Angelica: Lovable and realistic characters, of course! Most of us like to escape reality, but as a writer, if I push the limits of being realistic, I lose interest. If I lose interest, then so will my readers! As for the story or plot itself, there has to be suspense, mystery, a little humor, because let’s face it, life can be funny even in the most dangerous of situations. Most people that investigate understand that there are typically untold stories and that ghosts just want their story told. That’s the key to writing a good ghost story, unfolding their story page by page for the reader.
Yanes: Reflecting on your career, what insights could you share in building one’s brand as a writer?
Angelica: Staying connected to your fans! I can’t express that enough! Never find yourself in the “I’m better than you,” mentality. It won’t matter how good of a writer you are if you don’t appreciate the fans that made you successful. Also, connecting with other authors and discussing ideas and issues that you may have can help too.
Yanes: When people finish reading G.O.T.H. Paranormal: Goddesses on the Hunt, what do you hope they take away from it?
Angelica: The main message I want people to receive is that women bring something extra to the hunt. Compassion, respect, empathy, and patience are often accompanied with a female investigator. The other message for my readers with this series is for women to claim their sexuality, love their bodies, and never settle for less than they deserve!
Yanes: Finally, what else are you working on that people can look forward to?
Angelica: The second and third installments of G.O.T.H. Paranormal will be released this year as well as several other books. I am currently working on another series titled Timeless Timbers Pleasure Island, The Women of the Paranormal, and Whispers from the Underground, which will be the focus of slavery and certain paths they traveled to find freedom. I will be investigating as many haunted locations tied to the underground railroad as possible and report my findings in the book. I write under two different pen names, Angel Rae and Angelica Night, so be sure to look up both author names!