Linda Zimmermann
October 11, 2008
About Linda Zimmermann

Earning a B.S. in Chemistry and a Master’s in English
Literature made it obvious early on that Linda had wide
ranging interests. After working as a research scientist
throughout the 1980s, she decided to pursue her real
passion—writing.

Today, Linda is the author of 14 books, is a popular speaker,
and has made numerous appearances on television and
radio. She has received honors and awards for her books on
American history, and has lectured at the Smithsonian, West
Point and Gettysburg. Astronomy and the space program are
also favorite topics for her books, articles and lectures. In
addition, Linda has appeared at major science fiction
conventions for her two novels. So, with all these varied
achievements, how on earth did she ever start writing about
ghosts?

Several years ago, Linda was giving a series of history
lectures for the bicentennial of Rockland County, in southern
New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley. One evening, someone
asked about local ghosts and legends, so Linda told the one
ghost story she knew. A few days later, she received a call.
The excited voice on the other end of the line said, "I hear
you give ghost talks!" Linda then added a few more ghost
stories to her lectures, word spread, and by the end of the
series, more people were showing up to hear about the
ghosts than the history.

"From that point, my research into ghosts took on a life of its
own," Linda explains (pun most definitely intended). "At first
I just interviewed people who thought they had seen a
ghost, but then the scientist in me wanted to personally
conduct investigations."

Her experience in historical research has also been valuable
in trying to find out about the events and people in a place’s
past, which might help to explain current unusual events.

While she plans to continue investigating all things haunted,
she also has several history and science book projects in
mind. She also enjoys kayaking, swimming, and painting,
whenever she has the time. But then, it’s all just a matter of
time--just ask any ghost…


Visit her website at:
www.ghostinvestigator.com
Post Meeting Write-up

We had a special treat for Saturday's Face the Fiction.  Not
only did we have the creepy location of the Bergen Museum
(
Sandy said just being in the vicinity of the place creeps her
out - the place has a certain 'atmosphere'), but our October
guest,
Linda Zimmermann scared the pants off of us!

The evening began with
Todd and Craig heading off to 'direct
traffic' at one entry door, while
Jo, Aubrey and Mike P
guarded the other.  I went downstairs to borrow
Aubrey to
help with set-up, and while standing there,
Mike P starts
telling us this is the perfect location for a vampire attack and
looked like something from
Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Great,
and here we are trapped like rats in a cage - thanks Mike for
that horrific visual - lol.  
Aubrey and I had no problem quickly
vacating and leaving
Jo and Mike to their fate.

Upstairs things got the finishing touch - we had an
abundance of food and drink - we got
Todd and company to
head up and let
Linda have the floor.  Floor us she did!  

Linda has an all-new power-point presentation with all new
stories, locations and a few truly startling photos and even
had audio clips - beyond disturbing.  
Linda chose several
local 'haunts' and nearby haunts.  Rockland County was
prominent in her presentation.  In 1908, a facility was to be
built by the State of New York for the "feeble minded", called
the Eastern N.Y. State Custodial Asylum. One year later, it
was renamed Letchworth Village Home for the Feeble
Minded and Epileptics after William Pryor Letchworth, a
noted humanitarian who advocated the creation of the
institution. The center was built in a college style layout
nestled among beautiful hills, and the buildings are adorned
with Greek porticoes and tall arched windows. Closed in
1996, some of the buildings have been re-used, and others
remain vacant, or are they?  The photos alone were creepy.  
Another Rockland location was a private home in Pomona.  
Linda was able to get a very frightening photo there - the
malevolence of the apparition caught was palpable.  It still
freaks her out now, it freaked me out and I wasn't there.

The Castle Tavern in Greenwood Lake not only was part of
the
Linda's presentation, but Sandy can see it from her
deck!  
Linda's version of the legend surrounding the location
matched
Sandy's, and both declared the location 'not quite
right.'

Fort Montgomery, the Shanley (Shanley not Stanley) Hotel,
an abandoned resort upstate all gave us the creeps and
shivers.  Then there was the Ulster County Jail and its audio
clip - eeewwww.  A voice and what sounded like cell doors
being closed or maybe opened?!  We took a short
intermission, purchased books, snacked, and then
Linda
took questions.  

I wanted to know what it felt like to be in a location and
then after leaving see or hear evidence that you weren't
ALONE.  
Linda confirmed it's unsettling but that she refuses
to allow the truly frightening to get the best of her.  This was
clearly demonstrated when she felt 'attacked' at the asylum
but returned to let Mr. Not-so-friendly-ghost know she
wouldn't be deterred.  
Mike P, Bill, Sandy, Paul and several
others asked questions that
Linda provided great answers
to.  It was approaching 11p,
Linda and her husband had to
head out - she had another presentation Sunday.  Some
people headed home, while some of us had to wait for the
museum volunteer to return to lock up.  Let me tell you, it is
scary being in a dark place - we were the only ones up there
- waiting.  And that creepy elevator!!  Very good meeting,
very good time only enhanced by the location.