Meridian Star

Local News

October 4, 2009

Star of The Week: Dr. Alan Brown

Meridian resident Dr. Alan Brown is a professor of English at the University of West Alabama in Livingston, but his career includes more than just teaching the classics. 

Since the mid-1990s, Dr. Brown has been writing books on haunted places across the United States, interviewing people who believe they have had experiences with spirits of some kind. 

His interest in these kinds of stories began after he wrote his first published book in 1992. The book was a collection of interviews that had been performed in Livingston in the 1930s, and some of what was related in those interviews were ghost stories. 

Those stories inspired Dr. Brown to write his next book, "The Face in the Window and other Alabama Ghost Lore," which was published in 1996, and contained only accounts of ghost stories. 

"I decided that was what I wanted to do was interview people who had real ghost stories," Dr. Brown said. 

In 2002, he published Haunted Places of the American South, the first book in which he went beyond just interviews, researching the places that were alleged to be haunted. 

"I like going to these places and in the past four or five years I've actually been taking ghost hunting equipment and seeing if I get anything in these haunted hotels. It's fun," he said, but added, "I try to be objective." 

Dr. Brown said he has seen a trend since he began publishing his books on haunted places. "Interest has really grown (in haunted places). And I think the popularity of these shows like Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters have removed some of the stigma of believing in ghosts." 

In researching his books, Dr. Brown has traveled to a number of haunted places, and said "the scariest thing that ever happened to me" occurred at the Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Louisville. 

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