He sees dead people
He sees dead people
Sarah A. Henderson
Heâ€™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.
â€œOn CSI, you have one guy doing everything,â€ Holloway said. â€œIn the real world, everyone has their expertise. Mine just happens to be dead people.â€
Hollowayâ€™s work stories are almost too fantastical, too surreal â€” like the one about the time he tried on a homicide victimâ€™s skin for fingerprinting.
Itâ€™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 Sirensâ€™ Song.
While his day-job does provide some inspiration for his literary works, he said itâ€™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 â€” haunted by â€œa mean man with a sketchy pastâ€ and a 7-year-old girl.
While he never saw the figuresâ€™ apparitions, he said he often heard their footsteps and voices.
â€œItâ€™s scary in that they surprise you,â€ he said of his encounters. â€œThat initial shock is definitely frightening.â€
When asked if he believes in ghosts â€” strictly defined as dead peopleâ€™s spirits â€” Holloway has an interesting answer.
â€œI donâ€™t know,â€ he said. â€œTheologically speaking, I have an issue with that. The Scripture doesnâ€™t really talk about it.â€
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.
â€œIâ€™m not going to discount that they donâ€™t exist,â€ Holloway said, â€œbut I donâ€™t think they are as abundant as people might think.â€
What he strongly believes in is the phenomenon that is paranormal activity â€” residual haunts, time travel, hallucinations, etcetera.
â€œJust because you have paranormal activity doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s a dead personâ€™s spirit,â€ 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 â€” people who study uncategorized animals like Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster.
While some might see Hollowayâ€™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 â€” which he admits he does only â€œto put food on the tableâ€ â€” and focus full-time on Seven Realms and its genresâ€™ fans.
â€œI love connecting with people,â€ he said. â€œYou donâ€™t get to connect with dead people.â€