Karen Frazier, Interview by Michelle M. Pillow
edited: Saturday, September 08, 2012
By Michelle M Pillow
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, September 08, 2012
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Karen Frazier, Interview by Michelle M. Pillow (Originally published in Paranormal Underground Magazine)
Karen Frazier, Interview
By Michelle M. Pillow, www.michellepillow.com
Those of you who’ve read more than one issue of Paranormal Underground Magazine, or have hung around the PUG forums, will undoubtedly recognize the name of managing editor, Karen Frazier. Her paranormal journey began 20 years ago when unexplainable things happened to her while living in a WWII-era apartment. Since then, she has searched for answers.
Now working as a journalist and author (amongst other things) in the paranormal field, Karen recently released her newest book, Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington. Part historical account, part ghost story, and part personal memoir, the book explores the March 1, 1910 disaster when an avalanche fell onto two trains in Wellington, Washington. At least 96 people died that day in 1910, and many believe that they’ve been living there ever since.
In addition to Avalanche of Spirits, Karen has written Lessons of Many Lives, co-written with Melissa Watts; and Supernatural! Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe.
Q: Your book, Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington, seems to be a project close to you heart. Tell us a little about the book.
Karen:The book is part history, part ghost story and part personal memoir. In it, I tell the story of the 1910 avalanche disaster in tiny town of Wellington, which sat in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. It was the worst avalanche disaster in terms of human life lost in the history of the United States.
I spent a great deal of the summer of 2009 at Wellington and really got to know and understand what is going on there. I have come to believe that Wellington is haunted – not just by victims of the avalanche, but also by people who watched their town die in the wake of the avalanche.
It’s an amazing place and an amazing story.
Q: What is it about Wellington that first piqued your interest and inspired you to write this book?
Karen:It all started with a picture and an EVP. I was interviewing a local paranormal team – APART of WA – for Paranormal Underground. When I asked for their best evidence, they shared the picture and EVP with me. From the first I heard of it, I was drawn to Wellington. Unfortunately, I had to wait several months for the snow and avalanche danger to clear, but as soon as I had the opportunity, I visited Wellington. It changed my belief in ghosts, and it changed my life.
Q: How many spirits do you think reside in Wellington? Why do you think so many remained?
Karen:That’s a really good question. I would say more than 10 and less than 100. There certainly seems to be a rather large cast of characters up there, including at least one or two children. I also think that there is probably a combination of residual and active haunting. Some of the spirits there are extremely interactive, which makes for a pretty cool experience.
If I decided to become a ghost when I died, I might choose to haunt Wellington. It is a beautiful and peaceful place.
Wellington was this hearty little town carved out around the turn of the century in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. In the winter, they were effectively cut off from the rest of the world except by railroad. I get the feeling that the people there were proud of the town that they built, and when it so unceremoniously disappeared off of the face of the earth in the name of railroad progress, that had to be difficult for them.
Then there’s the issue of how much death took place at Wellington – most associated with the railroad. The old Cascade Tunnel, which has its Western terminus at Wellington, saw a large number of asphyxiation deaths when the trains ran through there. Working on the railroad was difficult and dangerous work. A number of employees died building the railroad, building tunnels, working on trains and more. And then there were the deaths in avalanches. Not just in 1910, but throughout the years that there was a town there – there were slides that came down the hill and killed people. It was kind of a fact of life.
Q: What types of hauntings do people experience while they’re there?
Karen:On the residual end, there is a party that starts up. You’ll hear lots of voices and music – banjos, accordions, pianos. On occasion, the smell of malt liquor accompanies the sounds of the party.
On the active end – there are a lot of really interesting things that happen. Disembodied voices, touches, apparitions and shadows, whispers in your ear. It runs the gamut from very intangible – like maybe just having a feeling of apprehension, itchiness or the hair rising on the back of your arms all the way up to seeing full bodied apparitions and hearing voices that just aren’t there.
Q: What do you hope readers will take away with them after reading Avalanche of Spirits?
Karen:I hope that they will get a sense of what a wonderful place it is and how much those of us who return time and time again love the ghosts there. I also hope that if they choose to visit, they will understand that these spirits – and the location – are deserving of respect and care instead of rudeness and provocation. Then there’s the wild animal element. I hope beyond all hope that people who visit Wellington will be aware that they are in the wilds of nature and elect to move forward as safely as possible.
Q: You’re latest release, Supernatural! Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe, covers a broad range of supernatural topics. Can you tell us a little about the project?
Karen:Actually, Supernatural was written long before I wrote Avalanche of Spirits. It was really written from a different viewpoint than I have now. I was more of an agnostic about the existence of ghosts when I wrote the book. Wellington, obviously, changed all of that.
Recently, I sat back down with Supernatural! thinking that I was going to have to do a total rewrite based on my new point of view. Wellington changed me so fundamentally that I was certain I’d have to scrap what I’d written and start anew.
I was surprised at how much I didn’t change. The primary difference between when I originally wrote it and now is that I now believe in ghosts, where before I wasn’t sure what I believed about them. But the information in the book has a lot of journalistic content to it, and that research remains the same. In spite of my belief about how much I feel I’ve changed in the past year, I find that many of the conclusions I reached a year ago when I wrote the book remain the same.
In Supernatural, I look at all types of unexplained phenomena. I did a lot of research about a large number of topics that fall into the realm of the supernatural – from ghosts, cryptids and crop circles to the mysteries of death like near-death experiences and reincarnation to the mysteries of God and religion. While I do draw a few conclusions in the book, mostly it is up to readers to arrive at their own conclusions. I’m not about telling others what they should think. Instead, the book is about taking an in depth look at unexplained phenomena so that people can arrive at their own opinions – or in my case – arrive back where I usually seem to wind up – saying “I don’t know.”
Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal?
Karen:The unexplained is always fascinating, isn’t it? Looking into the paranormal seems like exploring some undiscovered territory. In this day and age, it feels like there is very little unexplored territory left – so the element of discovery is cool for a lot of people.
From a more philosophical perspective, I truly think that we seek out the paranormal because we’re searching for information about what happens after we die. Death is scary. Looking for the paranormal may just give us an indication that we go on after we die and there isn’t just nothingness.
Q: Have you ever had a personal paranormal experience?
Karen:I’ve had a lot of paranormal experiences. Before going to Wellington, I had a few. The most significant – and the thing that got me started on my interest in the paranormal – was living in a really spooky WWII-era apartment when I was in my early 20s. It was my first apartment, and all sorts of odd things happened – odd noises, latched cupboards that would latch and unlatch, faucets that would turn on and off, and some kind of invisible something that would sit down on the bed next to me and whisper “I love you” in my ear.
Since then, I’ve had paranormal experiences because I’ve sought them out. I plan to continue to seek them out. I’ve become a junkie.
Q: What kind of paranormal creatures do you wish you could meet?
Karen:This may raise a few eyebrows, but I’d like to meet a demon. I have a lot of questions about that aspect of the paranormal. It would have to be in a controlled situation just in case I’m wrong and demons don’t come from the heart of man but actually are truly evil entities. What I’d truly like to know is if evil has some kind of Divine (universal) origins, or if it is a manmade construct.
I’d also love to run across all of the little magical creatures – elves, faeries, leprechauns, etc. I think it would be really amazing to discover that there actually are such magical little critters. How cool would it be to discover that magic was real and not just a part of overactive imaginations? I’d love knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I lived in a universe where magic was possible.
In both cases, I’d want to interview them and then write an article about it. It would make a great story to tell, and I’m all about sharing a great story.
Q: What kinds of popular paranormal phenomena do you think is real and what do you think is discreditable?
Karen:I do believe in ghosts – although I don’t think that they are as common and prevalent as many believe. I believe they exist, but I don’t necessarily think that every anomalous experience is evidence of a haunting. I believe in life on other planets because it would be arrogant to believe that we are all alone given the vastness of our universe. I also believe in reincarnation.
As far as discreditable – that’s a tough one. It is pretty difficult to prove a negative, so to say that something absolutely doesn’t exist – I can’t do it. What I can say is that I do have doubts about some of the cryptids and the little elementals like faeries. I haven’t seen evidence that I found convincing so far. But then, I used to say that about ghosts as well, and look what happened!
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
Karen:I’m currently writing a book about my experience with The Namaste Project, called My 100 Days of Namaste: A Soccer Mom Takes on the Namaste Project. We’re also going to have another go at the Wellington documentary this summer so that people who can’t experience it firsthand can see why I love it so much through film. I have a few other projects in the works with Ghost Knight Media.
I also have another documentary in the pipeline that came as a huge surprise to me. At its heart it is about faith and religion – and my faith has been lapsed for years. But the subject fascinated me, so I’m excited to tell the story. I feel like right now I’m throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. Whenever I get an idea, I turn it into something and see where it goes. Since the ideas keep coming, I keep going.
Then of course there are the ongoing projects with Ghost Knight Media and PUG. The Namaste Project. My blogs on both www.namasteproject.org and www.paranormalunderground.net. Our Paranormal Underground Presents podcasts. Paranormal Underground Magazine. That type of thing. Keep your eyes on PUG and Ghost Knight Media – I truly believe we’re going places and we plan to have more terrific content and projects in the near future to keep our readers informed and entertained.
Thank you for joining me, Karen!
Karen Frazier is the Managing Editor and a journalist for Paranormal Underground magazine where she writes articles about a number of paranormal topics, including UFOs, ghosts, paranormal investigation, reincarnation, and many others. She is the cofounder and director of Productions and Public Relations for Ghost Knight Media, LLC.; the creator of The Namasté Project; and the moderator of Paranormal Underground’s podcast, Paranormal Underground Presents. For more information about Karen and her books, visit her website at www.karenfrazier.com. Or you can find out more about the books at, www.avalancheofspirits.com and www.supernaturalbook.com.
Interview by Michelle M. Pillow, www.michellepillow.com
Web Site: Michelle Pillow, Author Site
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