I was recently asked to speak at the local Upper Dublin High School to talk to students about writing, publishing and sharing of my current books.. Two session were held in their beautiful library with a group of great students. Their theme week was "Seeking the Unknown."
Ghosts of Mayflower: A Pennhurst Haunting fit very well into their topic and the teens liked discussing the paranormal aspects of ghost hunting. We also discussed Pennhurst State School and Mental Hospital's tainted past. Many of the kids had never heard of Pennhurst so it was awesome to answer many of their questions.
Working at the Pennhurst Haunt these past three years, I, myself am always learning more about the previous Pennhurst State School, which opened and closed its doors 1908 -1986. I have met a lot of prior staff and have heard tales both good and bad from people with hands on experience. Though some of what I have learned is clearly speculative, people love to share their knowledge or opinions. Whatever the reason, Pennhurst has a way of sparking interest in the local area and from the many visitors that travel long distances to take a peek at the complex.
Pennhurst was once called The Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic. It was initially meant to run as a community in itself, separating the mentally and physically handicapped from the rest of society. It once housed children of all ages, children that grew to adulthood. But many were neglected and failed to progress. Over the years in operation, 10,000 children came through Pennhurst's door. The institute was underfunded, understaffed and poorly organized.
Today parts of Pennhurst have been turned into a Halloween Attraction. The Mayflower Hall Building offers a Ghost Hunt - where you can tour the building and look for real ghosts. Come visit me on the second floor. Already this season, I have met fans of Ghosts of Mayflower and would like to thank them for their support.
***I would like to note there was a lot of great staff in Pennhurst's later years that were not only underpaid, but often worked for free because they did care about the residents and tried to make a difference.
If you would like further information about Ghosts of Mayflower, please feel free to check out a writing sample through Amazon.com
My webpage is http://www.outskirtspress.com/GhostsofMayflower
My other books include the following:
Before I Wake
The Pond 1st Place award winning mystery (Reader's Favorite)
The Serpent's Kiss (Young adult paranormal series) --- Coming 2014
Ghosts of Mayflower: A Pennhurst Haunting (Reader's Favorite Finalists)