Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 29th, 2009
Hans Holzer in 1969.
The renowned parapsychologist and author is now exploring The Other Side.
Hans Holzer, 89, an Austrian-born American, who was well-known as a pioneering paranormal researcher and author, died Sunday, April 26, 2009, at his Manhattan (New York) home after a long illness.
Hans Holzer was born January 26, 1920, in Vienna, Austria. He earned his doctorate from the London College of Applied Science, and spent more than 50 years traveling the world to obtain first hand accounts of paranormal experiences.
During his life, Hans Holzer wrote 146 books on the supernatural and occult for the popular market as well as several plays, musicals, films, and documentaries.
His extensive involvement in researching the unknown included investigating the infamous “Amityville Horror,” discussed through his book Murder In Amityville (1979), which was the basis for the 1982 film, Amityville II: The Possession.
He visited some of the most prominent haunted locations around the world. He also worked with well-known trance mediums such as Ethel Johnson-Meyers, Sybil Leek, and Marisa Anderson.
Holzer was famous for creating the term “The Other Side,” or more fully stated, “The Other Side of Life.” He is also credited with having coined the term “ghost hunter,” which was the title of his first book on the paranormal published in 1963. He furthermore invented and fine-tuned terminology such as “beings of light” and “sensitive.”
Holzer appeared on hundreds of national and regional talk shows. He was a host, co-host, or interviewee on programs such as “Ghost Hunter,” “In Search Of,” “Beyond The Five Senses,” and “Explorations.” Such modern television series as TAPS’ “Ghost Hunters” owe much to Holzer’s legacy for their success.
As the New York Times obituary also added:
Mr. Holzer called himself “a scientific investigator of the paranormal.” He disliked the word “supernatural,” since it implied phenomena beyond the reach of science, and did not believe in the word “belief,” which suggests an irrational adherence to ideas not supported by fact. Nevertheless, he held in contempt electronic gadgetry for detecting cold spots, magnetic anomalies and the like, preferring direct communication through a medium.
He did believe in reincarnation and past lives (he vividly recalled the Battle of Glencoe in 1692 in one of his Scottish lifetimes) and was a Wiccan high priest, as well as a vegan.
Holzer was also interested in coin collecting, and tried his hand in this area early on by writing Collectors’ Guidebook to Coins: How and why to collect, stories behind famous, valuable coins of the world, all American denominations, in 1965. We should all be thankful that his ghost books were the better sellers and not this coin book, or things might have been much different.
One of the last books to which he contributed was perhaps the most personal; Growing Up Haunted: A Ghostly Memoir by Alexandra Holzer (his daughter) with input from Countess Catherine Buxhoveden (Holzer’s ex-wife), had an introduction by Hans Holzer, and was published in February 2008.
Some of his nonfiction books he will be remembered for include,
Ghost Hunter (1963)
Ghosts I’ve Met (1965)
Yankee Ghosts (1966)
The Lively Ghosts of Ireland (1967)
ESP and You (1968)
The Truth about Witchcraft (1969)
Window to the Past: Exploring History Through ESP (1969)
The Aquarian Age: Is There Intelligent Life on Earth? (1971)
The New Pagans: An Inside Report On the Mystery Cults of Today (1972)
Beyond Medicine (1973)
Great British Ghost Hunt (1975)
The UFO-NAUTS: New Facts on Extraterrestrial Landings (1976)
The Psychic Side of Dreams (1976)
Murder In Amityville (1979)
Inside Witchcraft (1980)
In the Terrifying Tradition of the Amityville Horror: Houses of Horror (1983)
Where the Ghosts Are: The Ultimate Guide to Haunted Houses (Library of the Mystic Arts) (1984)
Ghosts of New England: True Stories of Encounters With the Phantoms of New England and New York (1989)
Haunted House Album: A Ghostly Register of the World’s Most *Frightening Haunted Houses (1992)
America’s Mysterious Places (1992)
Love Beyond the Grave (1992)
Life Beyond: Compelling Evidence for Past Lives and Existence After Death (1994)
The Directory of Psychics: How to Find, Evaluate, and Communicate with Professional Psychics and Mediums (1995)
The Secret of Healing: The Healing Powers of Ze’Ev Kolman (1996)
Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond (1997)
Are You Psychic?: Unlocking the Power Within (1997)
Hans Holzer’s Travel Guide to Haunted Houses (1998)
More Where The Ghosts Are: The Ultimate Guide to Haunted Houses (2001)
Beyond Death (2001) (with Phillip Solomon)
Hans Holzer’s Psychic Yellow Pages: The Very Best Psychics, Card Readers, Mediums, Astrologers, and Numberologists (2001)
Hans Holzer’s The Supernatural: Explaining The Unexplained (2003)
Hypnosis: Controlling the Inner You (2007)
Growing Up Haunted: A Ghostly Memoir (by Alexandra Holzer and Countess Buxhoveden Catherine – with an introduction by Hans Holzer) (2008).