He sees dead people

He sees dead people
May 2011
Sarah A. Henderson
SA Underground

He’s also hunted the Florida Skunk Ape, heard footsteps ascend an empty staircase and could tell you all about the St. Augustine sea monster.

As a forensic death investigator for the St. Johns County medical examining department, you could say Kent Holloway has a quite a few stories to tell.

“On CSI, you have one guy doing everything,” Holloway said. “In the real world, everyone has their expertise. Mine just happens to be dead people.”

Holloway’s work stories are almost too fantastical, too surreal — like the one about the time he tried on a homicide victim’s skin for fingerprinting.

It’s no small wonder that this St. Augustine resident, paid to see dead people, also publishes and authors novels telling similar extraordinary tales.

In 2005, Holloway and a friend founded Seven Realms Publishing, a company that publishes books under seven different genres: mystery, suspense/thriller, action/adventure, sci-fi/fantasy, contemporary paranormal, children/young adult and Christian fiction.

Now running Seven Realms solo, Holloway has published nearly a dozen titles from a handful of authors, along with two titles he penned, Primal Thirst and Sirens’ Song.

While his day-job does provide some inspiration for his literary works, he said it’s television shows like Destination Truth and his own paranormal research that really get his creativity flowing.

Holloway was born in Kentucky and grew up in what he says was a haunted Victorian home — haunted by “a mean man with a sketchy past” and a 7-year-old girl.

While he never saw the figures’ apparitions, he said he often heard their footsteps and voices.

“It’s scary in that they surprise you,” he said of his encounters. “That initial shock is definitely frightening.”

When asked if he believes in ghosts — strictly defined as dead people’s spirits — Holloway has an interesting answer.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Theologically speaking, I have an issue with that. The Scripture doesn’t really talk about it.”

In an unexpected twist to his unusual interests, Holloway has also been known to preach a sermon or two. He holds a masters degree in Christian studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He cites anecdotes like Jesus walking on water as possible proof that ghosts exist, though he remains confounded.

“I’m not going to discount that they don’t exist,” Holloway said, “but I don’t think they are as abundant as people might think.”

What he strongly believes in is the phenomenon that is paranormal activity — residual haunts, time travel, hallucinations, etcetera.

“Just because you have paranormal activity doesn’t mean it’s a dead person’s spirit,” he explained.

When Holloway is not occupied with dead people, contemporary-literature, theology or the paranormal, you can find him hunting the Southeast for cryptids with a group of fellow cryptozoologists — people who study uncategorized animals like Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster.

While some might see Holloway’s interests as eccentric, the St. Augustine resident is passionate about each of them, always looking for truth or a good story to tell.

As the number of titles under his Seven Realms Publishing grows, Holloway would like to one day quit seeing dead people — which he admits he does only “to put food on the table” — and focus full-time on Seven Realms and its genres’ fans.

“I love connecting with people,” he said. “You don’t get to connect with dead people.”
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