Alexander Holzer: Woman in the Paranormal (Part I of 5)
Alexander Holzer: Woman in the Paranormal (Originally in 5 parts)
November 6, 2009
by Charles Gardner Strong
n April of this year, the paranormal community received the news that the Father of Paranormal Research, Hans Holzer, passed away. Holzer earned other monikers during his lifetime, like â€œFather of the Paranormalâ€ and â€œFather of Ghost Hunting.â€ Holzer wrote more than 140 books on the paranormal. He served as a consultant to the 1970â€™s hit show â€œIn Search ofâ€¦â€, hosted by Leonard Nimoy. He even had his own television show called â€œGhost Hunter.â€ In the paranormal world, the news of the passing of Hans Holzer gave cause for everyone to pause for a moment, and reflect on his accomplishments. Dan Aykroyd communicated it best, when he said recently that Hans Holzer was â€œprobably the worldâ€™s most credible and respected ghostbuster.â€
Holzerâ€™s lifelong work in the paranormal cemented a foundation on which future generations could build. The research in the paranormal continues worldwide. The Holzer torch has been passed to his daughter, and she is off and running with it.
Alexandra Holzer, 38, hails from a family of paranormal royalty in more ways than one. Holzerâ€™s mother is Countess Catherine Buxhoeveden, Countess to the Baron side of the Royal Russian Family. The lineage includes Catherine the Great. Holzerâ€™s 2008 memoir Growing Up Haunted: A Ghostly Memoir tells what it was like to grow up as a â€œhauntedâ€ Holzer. The book also provides details of her family lineage, including the collision between the paranormal and royalty, when her father met her mother.
Holzer does not live the life of a princess. In fact, her daily life is busy and hectic. She is married with four children under the age of 11. She writes sci-fi fantasy novels, horror thrillers, childrenâ€™s short stories, poetry, and screenplays. She regularly guests on the paranormal talk radio circuit. She has a growing list of projects including reality television shows in development, as well as a movie.
Between all of this, she made time to chat with Paranormal Old Pueblo.
Question 1: I read that you have four children who keep you very busy and close to home. Can you already sense that one of them might follow in the Holzer footsteps?
I most certainly do. The eldest is only ten but is quite aware of her grandfatherâ€™s books and mine. She would more than likely follow as already an avid reader and writer who has the creative side in the arts for music, art and literature. She likes ghosts and witches, and making up fantasy lands. â€œTwilightâ€ is her new thing now. Oy vey.
Question 2: What upcoming shows or projects would you like to share?
I am working on a new screenplay, as one is already in the process as we speak of â€˜interestâ€™ as I canâ€™t say much more about that. But my producer and I are very excited and hopeful.
I began two new books and am looking to get back on air with a partner friend of mine whoâ€™s a veteran DJ of twenty-five years. I created a show for a station in Berks County, Pennsylvania for Y102 Rock FM where he works. Weâ€™re working on doing that again.
I get invitations for many lectures at many venues. However, as you know, I rarely venture away from New York. But, as we move along, coping with the obstacles and learning to live with Type 1 diabetes for our six-year old daughter, now on the insulin pump. We need to live and accept nothing is perfect. So, I am slowly taking on some venues and weâ€™ll see how it goes.
I am not big on these conferences, you know, as the few I have done didnâ€™t do much for me. I like talking to people but the book selling/vendor part isnâ€™t for me. I am not a salesman and cannot lie. I ended up giving away more books then I sold one year. I have to work on that. I am also in talks for my TV shows I have written and continue to write as I work with my agent and management team.
A lot is happening, slowly at times, but it is moving. I am able to connect with some good souls and industry professionals who believe in me and respect my back story and life. The rest will flow. And who knows what will come down the pike for me as I work very hard to let others know I exist and have something positive to say. Period. I wonâ€™t give up and I donâ€™t mind who thinks what as long as I help and make a difference.
I am also active in helping some local animal rescue services that have given us two of our own; and as a Vegan now, feel even more â€™spiritedâ€™, if you will, to lead that pack and promote adoption and rescue versus breeding and selling.
Of course the nearest and dearest to my heart is the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) for childrenâ€™s diabetes, and weâ€™re hoping and praying they find a cure to revive the pancreas. There are talks about using the thirty-year old TB vaccine as it has many uses so weâ€™re hopeful.
Question 3: Fathers and daughters donâ€™t always agree about everything. Do you have specific views and beliefs about the paranormal that donâ€™t align with your fatherâ€™s? If so, what are they?
No they do not. The only ones I feel to mention are on the topic of orbs and demons. On orbs, he felt they had many explanations to them and not a strong argument for spirit appearing whereas I feel the opposite. In many of my photos over the decades I have gone back and have found apparitions, orbs and strings of electrical light varying in size, color and shape for no apparent reason. That was when I was not aware of my abilities and didnâ€™t really care. I thought it would be interesting to go back and see if â€˜theyâ€™ had been there all along.
Second area of disagreement is on demons. He felt that there were no angels or demons and that we had negatives and positives. The negative is attracted to the negative souls therefore producing an evil atmosphere and environment for that person. Like attracts like. I feel that as I see all these books coming out as of late on the topics of shadow people, demonic possessions growing again and so forth am not quite sold on it, as well. However, as I have not had a bad experience with such an entity it is not fair for me to say. But, I do believe there are bad souls that linger festering and can act like a demon. They are also called in-laws. JUST kidding. Seriously though, I have yet to encounter such claims and thatâ€™s what they are for me right now, claims. I hear the stories and read them which are quite frightening and so perhaps I am not too interested in bumping into one would you?
No, I am not interested in bumping into one either!
Question 4: What challenges have you faced as a woman in the paranormal?
I am finding more and more that it looks more appealing to have men as the leaders versus woman. Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with either but just seems from the up-springs of more paranormal cable television shows men seem to lead the pack. It feels a bit cavemanish to me.
Now, interesting enough on major networks for the shows â€˜Mediumâ€™ and â€˜Ghost Whispererâ€™, they use a woman as the lead because the role is of being a medium. Funny. I feel like the perception perhaps could be women are only to be at the forefront and used as mediums and the men do the rest of the investigative work. I have had to and still am fighting tooth, nail and ghost to get my voice heard on many different levels. I bring a lot of different things to the table as a woman as a result of gender challenges.
Itâ€™s not just the fact of my fatherâ€™s legacy which in itself is a huge torch to carry on and still too close to my heart. I am still grieving and have yet to place his ashes properly, as there have been family issues. But, I have them with me and Iâ€™ll leave it at that.
I am also a mother, nurturer, caregiver, writer, conceptual thinker, radio persona, and on it goes. I am not just focused on one particular area for the field. I am just too darn curious to learn about more than spirit activity and demons. I am looking for the meat, you know? I always can do whatâ€™s right for me as a woman and human being, and whatever work I do and associations I keep reflect upon my family; so I need to choose wisely and cautiously as the field itself has become quite a danger zone at times. I am referring to the human kind rather than the unknown.
Question 5: What paranormal experience have you had that truly stands out in your memory? During your upbringing with the prevalence of ghosts, has anything surprised you?
One in particular was when I was with my Parisian grandmother, Rosine Claire. She is my motherâ€™s mother and still of the living aged ninety-nine. I would frequent Long Island, New York often to visit her and in one place she resided had some activity that went unexplained.
I was around the age of eight, same as my second daughter and it would just be my Nana and I. Upon my visit, after we settled in and had a meal, it was very quiet. She lived in a gated community by the bay in a town called Patchogue. It was deafening, the silence, especially coming from the city with all the cars whizzing by below your window.
Suddenly, we both heard faint singing from downstairs. Nana had been anxiously awaiting my arrival to share this experience as she was like a kid in a para-candy shop.
Now, the way these apartments were set up, you either live on the upstairs part with a balcony or choose the downstairs walk in with patio. She was the upstairs apartment.
The faint female voice would stop, then as Nana and I held our breaths to hear again, sheâ€™d start up again. Nanaâ€™s eyes were wide and she told me this has been happening for some time.
I donâ€™t know what â€˜possessedâ€™ me, ahem, but I threw myself down on the floor and placed my ear on her yellow shag carpeting to get a better listen. Burnt my face in the process. The sound vibrated into my ear and I heard a voice whisper my name. That was it. I jumped up and said, â€œGame over!â€ I was so scared yet excited at what I had just experienced.
Of course, the apartment below had been vacant for months as no-one had been renting for a while. The people next door were at work as Nana knew everyone and their schedules.
Nana is psychic and had so many stories sheâ€™d tell me growing up and she felt this was the spirit of a woman that was passing by. I couldnâ€™t get to sleep that night. I wanted to know more. Also I wanted to stick around for her next show. She could certainly carry a tune.
Alexandra, I am attending the TusCon 36 Sci-Fi, Horror and Fantasy Literary Convention, November 13th through the 15th here in Tucson. Do you have any advice for aspiring Tucson writers in this genre?
Just write and write some more. Get it out and then go back to it with edits and donâ€™t over work your work. If you find yourself doing too many rewrites you are doomed and will go mad.
Seriously, trust yourself, first and foremost, and trustthat your desire to write comes from within. The rest will happen. Writing is a slow, torturous process and you need to be strong to keep at it.
Your mind writes quicker than thy fingers to the keyboard. I remember watching my father type away on his Smith-Corona and using white-out and cursing a bit off and on as he smacked the carriage return lever to get to the next line. Ding. If you have distractions like children, chores, etc. in life, it takes longer but youâ€™ll get there.
On publishing there are two routes you can go. Back in the day all there was, was the traditional route in which the publisher did all the work from editing to promoting. They paid an advanced fee if what they felt the book would sell in a certain amount of time. The author would embark on speaking engagements and book signings at reputable stores.
Today, traditional still exists, but unless [the author is] well-known or up there in ranks, advances donâ€™t exist and the author has to work very hard to tell the world about your new title.
The second route is self-publishing like a Lulu.com or Amazon.com in which you pay to have your own work published, distributed and sold. It all depends on what you can afford and what option suits you best in. I have done both and I prefer traditional.
Question 7: I married a skeptic. Is your husband a believer in the paranormal?
He became more [of a believer] when I had my awakening over six-years ago. His uncle came through and I started rambling off to him about this gold cross that was from his confirmation and his uncle was yelling at me to him where he lost it and how reckless he was. Youth. What can you do? Many others for him and his friends started crowding my living room and it became a great big spirit party.
You know he has such great respect for my late father and those two were history buffs. So every year my father would get excited in gifting these huge coffee table books on the Civil War, Presidents, Nostradamus, Dracula and Castles. It was a love affair for literature and history. The spirit side came from me once I awoke back to my roots and all my childhood experiences having to deal with all that I didnâ€™t want to when young. The main reason of that awakening was to get me back into my first love, writing. It was a spirit push and today I look back and am amazed how it works over there. I am lucky because some people never awaken and finish out their life path missing out on so much life. Thatâ€™s how I see it anyway.
Thank you, Alexandra for chatting with me. I had so many more questions. Fortunately, thereâ€™s an opportunity for fans to ask more questions this weekend!