Although we share a last name and both grew up in Michigan, Roxanne Rhoads and I are not related. I’m not even sure we’ve met, although we are both fascinated by cemetery, history, and ghosts. All that means is that I am dying to get my hands on her newest book.
Roxanne Rhoads is an author, book publicist, mixed media crafter, and lover of all things spooky. She is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours, a virtual book tour and social media marketing company, and she runs a blog called A Bewitching Guide to All Things Halloween. Roxanne’s sells handcrafted jewelry, art, and home decor through The Bewitching Cauldron on Etsy.
Her newest book is Haunted Flint, cowritten with Joe Schipani:
Sinister Secrets in Flint’s History
Home to ancient burial grounds, unsolved murders, economic depression, and a water crisis, Flint emits an unholy energy rife with ghostly encounters.
Colonel Thomas Stockton’s ever-vigilant ghost keeps a watchful eye over his family home at Spring Grove, where guests occasionally hear the thump of his heavy boots.
Restless spirits long separated from their graves lurk among the ancient stones in Avondale Cemetery.
Carriage maker W.A. Paterson’s spirit continuously wanders the halls of the Dryden Building, while something sinister and unnamed resides in a Knob Hill mansion waiting to prey on impressionable young men.
Join authors Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani on a chilling tour of Flint’s most haunted locations.
Did something in the real world inspire Haunted Flint?
I have always had an interest in all things spooky: ghost stories, haunted places, Halloween. Ghosts, spirits, magic…I think that’s always just been “normal” in my life. Maybe it started after my dad passed away when I was 4. Strange things would happen and my mom would attribute them to his spirit trying to reach us. She’s always spoken of the “other” as if it were normal. My psychic aunt, weird stories, witches: these were my norm.
I have always loved the spookier things in life from Scooby-Doo, The Munsters, and The Addams Family when I was little to The Lost Boys, Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Craft, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I was a teen, to the plethora of creepy, spooky options in books, television, and movies that exist now.
But I think the ghostly elements tied to history really connected when I started researching the house I live in — it was my grandmother’s — the history of where a piece of it came from, why I might have so many ghosts in one small house. It connected me, my family, and Flint history in ways I didn’t expect.
What is your favorite story in the book?
One of my favorite locations in the book is the Stockton House. It is such a gorgeous place and has so much spirit activity. Every week there’s a new story someone tells me — something weird that happened to them — or I have a new experience of my own.
The most interesting chapter is the one connected to my own house. I learned so much about the old Amusement Park in Flint Park and about my own family history. It’s amazing what you can learn when you take the time to listen to your elders.
What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?
Research, research, research followed by compiling all the research into a timeline, creating readable chapters out of all the history and tales of hauntings, and then condensing it to stay within the required word count of the publisher.
My co-author Joe compiled tons of historical data on locations: when they were built, weird things that happened. I compiled ghost stories and filled in missing puzzle pieces throughout the historical timeline. It was very much like being a detective, trying to connect dots and timelines to create a book where everything had a thread tying it all together. Flint is such a unique place that the thread turned into a tapestry.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
Community support. We have been blown away by the Flint community and their interest in our book. Our release party was a huge success and we sell out at all of our signings. It is incredible. We never expected this.
What do you have planned next?
We are currently collecting more haunting stories and branching out to gather ghost stories from not just Flint, but from all over Genesee County (Grand Blanc, Fenton, Linden, Swartz Creek, Clio, Montrose, Mt Morris, Flushing, etc.). If all goes well, we’ll have another book in the works. If you have a Michigan ghost story you’d like to share, please use this form: https://forms.gle/ACk7CHDDmF62PT2t7
Pick up your copy of Haunted Flint from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ls3FeC
Keep up to date on ghost tours and other events at https://www.facebook.com/HauntedFlint/.