In a time when Halloween parties are largely out of the question, how can people get into the spooky spirit? Nebraska native and paranormal investigator Tayden Bundy may have the answer. With his recently released book “Beyond Lincoln: A History of Nebraska Hauntings,” he tells the origin of many popular Nebraska-based ghost stories.
Bundy said he began the book during an independent study course in college. Having majored in English and studied history, Bundy said he thought the novel was the perfect opportunity to combine both passions.
“I love writing and telling ghost stories and learning about history, so I really started to look at the origins of the ghost stories that I had been hearing from Nebraska,” Bundy said. “ … I decided that from that, that I was going to just start really looking into where these stories began. And I started realizing that some of these ghost stories, although vague, have very strong histories behind them.”
According to Jason Faust, founder of Heartland Paranormal and a friend of Bundy, Bundy’s book is different from other Lincoln-based novels. Bundy researches the stories instead of retelling unproven legends of ghosts, Faust said.
“When Tayden did his book, he revealed the reality behind some of the stories, which was amazing,” Faust said. “Then he confirmed the ones that were actually just like urban legends or legends that just had been told over the years … That's what was so awesome, was the factual content.”
Faust said knowing the history behind the ghost stories is important because these stories can be about real-life people who have relatives around today. To Faust, it’s important to respect these people and to make sure their stories are told correctly.
“In this field ... we are dealing with the other side, the realm of the dead,” Faust said. ”So spirits, wraiths, energies, whatever you want to call them, ghosts, they were once people too. And so they deserve respect.”
Bundy said he thinks the stories are important for the real-life families and towns involved because the stories can educate about how the towns were established.
“You're getting the history as well,” Bundy said. “I think it's important to preserve that, especially in the name of people involved in these towns and involved in these incidents that occurred. Sharing their stories and their names is very important.”
Bundy said anyone interested in murder-mystery books would enjoy his book. Not only would they get spooked, they’d get a history lesson in an entertaining way — the perfect combination for students to read before Halloween, he said.
“The true-crime element is there, and the mysterious factor, and you're going to get spooked, but you're also going to learn about the history,” Bundy said.
While he’s too busy to write it now, Bundy said there is a possibility that a second edition of the book could be written.
“I have a pretty solid list for possibly a second edition,” Bundy said. “I have been very busy recently so it's kind of been put on the backburner.”
Bundy’s book can be purchased on his website, where he also does a blog about his latest paranormal adventures.