Book shows haunted side of county

Greene County, founded back in 1796, is well-known for its bridges and coal and mining industries. They have become a part of the land’s history. There is one other important aspect that defines Greene County, however. One that is left out of historical textbooks and residents do not speak often of.

Greene County, recently named “The Most Haunted County in America” by authors Kevin Paul and Rosemary Ellen Guiley, holds a history of paranormal and supernatural activity.

Paul, who is a descendant of the original European settlers of this valley grew up about a mile from the Greene County Historical Society Museum.

“Starting at five years old, I would see things that weren’t necessarily human,” Paul said … I see a lot of shadows and shapes and things that really defy explanation.”

Throughout his years growing up in Greene County, Paul has witnessed many supernatural and paranormal instances that he cannot explain. These experiences led him to contact Rosemary Ellen Guiley, a writer and expert in paranormal activity, and later co-write the book Haunted Hills and Hollows: What Lurks in Greene County, Pennsylvania with Guiley.

“[I was] asked by an acquaintance to take a look at a property in Wayne Township … [they were] experiencing some unusual events and asked me to come out because he knew I had an interest in it,” Paul said. “I heard Rosemary one night on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory … I sort of on a whim sent her an email [about this paranormal activity in Greene County] thinking I would never hear a reply from her.”

Little did Paul know that Guiley and he would become close friends and work together for, “about seven to ten years,” until her passing in July 2019. 

Paul said the idea of the book they co-authored, Haunted Hills and Hollows: What Lurks in Greene County, Pennsylvania, can be attributed to Guiley. Paul said they were eating at Bob Evans in Waynesburg and Guiley brought up the idea. 

“She said ‘you know, you know all these stories, you should write a book,’” Paul said. 

Guily, having a background in journalism and paranormal activity, assisted Paul with making this vision come alive. After extensive research, along with writing and editing, the book was published in 2018. 

It talks about the history of Greene County and goes into detail about seventeen different accounts of paranormal/supernatural activity in Greene County.

These accounts did not happen “out of the blue.” Paul explained that all of these events were linked to something that happened in the past.

“Think of it in terms of emotional trauma. So, murder, suicide, heartbreak, tragic illness, combat. There’s a school of thought which I’m pretty much in agreement with … ‘what happens to the people, happens to the land’ and vice versa.” Paul said, using the Greene County Historical Museum as an example to explain this concept, “it started out as a Rinehart homestead, it became the county poor farm. Then there was some mistreatments of the inmates and so on. The emotional energy that was released as part of the lives of the people here was imprinted on the building.” 

Paul used the museum as an example because as Paul stated “it is quite haunted,” which made it the perfect location for an event explaining why Greene County is “The Most Haunted County in America.”

The event was hosted Thursday, Oct. 31, at 6:30 p.m. in the barn on the museum grounds. Paul presented an in-depth lecture on why Greene County is “The Most Haunted County in America.” There was also a book signing, a question and answer session, a tribute to Guiley and a sneak peak at the sequel. 

The event was $10 for admission, which helped benefit the 2nd Annual Southwestern Pennsylvania Haunted Conference on May 16, 2020. 

Paul said the event went very well. There were 23 people in attendance without counting the seven staff members who helped run the event. 

“All in all, it went quite well,” Paul said.

His next book will be published this upcoming year and will include more accounts of hauntings in Greene County. 

“I’ve got some new haunting material,” Paul said, “and I’m going to try to go into a little further explanation as to why the county is haunted.”