Born in Vienna, Austria in 1920, Hans Holzer was destined to become a world famous TV host, Author, Researcher, Parapsychologist and Paranormal Investigator. Credited with writing over 100 books on the paranormal and occult topics, Hans would also write plays and musicals.
Hans starred as host of the TV show “Ghost Hunter” (not to be confused with the current Ghost Hunters television show) and was also seen on “In Search of” starring Leonard Nemoy, the “Today” show, “History's Mysteries” and the more modern “A Haunting”.
Hans interest in the paranormal was sparked by his uncle Henry, who told him ghost stories as a child. Hans, who is became a strict vegan at age 11, went on to study Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Vienna, but as war was closing in on 1938, the family fled to New York City to avoid the oncoming conflict.
After his arrival in America, Hans went on to learn the Japanese language, and studied religion and parapsychology at Columbia University. Later Hans went on to teach parapsychology classes at the New York Institute of Technology
Hans Holzer is often credited for coining the term “Ghost Hunter” after his first book in 1963, but, Harry Price (who we profiled in a previous story) had already used the term in the title of one of his books “Confessions of a Ghost Hunter” in 1936.
Hans is also often credited for coining other phrases and terminology still used today in the paranormal community such as “The Other Side (of Life)”.
Hans Holzer believed that ghosts were imprints left on the physical planes environment that people, who were sensitive enough, could perceive, or “pick-up”. He believed Spirits were intelligent beings, able to communicate and interact with the living, whilst “Stay behinds” were souls bound to Earth after death (for reasons not yet known).
Holzer also believed in “levels of consciousness” and reincarnation.
Many of today’s theories regarding paranormal investigation, particularly those involving sprits, or ghosts, are directly influenced by Hans Holzer's body of work and case studies.
The case with the widest notoriety for Hans Holzer would have to be the infamous Amityville Haunting in Suffolk County, New York. Amityville came to the fore after Ronald Defeo Jr. shot and killed 6 members of his family in 1975. Then again in 1977 when the Lutz family claimed the house to be haunted, of which there has been much conjecture to the validity of the haunting since.
Hans wrote a non-fiction book about the Amityville murders entitled “Murder in Amityville” which was released in 1979, he later wrote two novel titles “The Amityville Curse” and “The Secret Of Amityville” released in 1981 and 1985 respectively.
The book “Murder in Amityville” would later be the basis for the screenplay of a movie released in 1982 titled “Amityville II: the Possession”
During an interview about the goings on at Amityville Hans Holzer made a statement that rang true with us here at Eidolon Paranormal. When asked by the interviewer;
“Can you tell us your first impressions of the house when you arrived?”
Hans replied with;
“I don't get impressions as I am not a medium. My job is to investigate the facts”
Obtaining a PhD from the London College of Applied Science, Hans travelled the word extensively in search of first hand reports and interviews on phenomena, interviewing paranormal researchers everywhere he went.
Hans Holzer referred to himself as “A scientific investigator of the paranormal”, he disliked the words “supernatural” and “belief” because supernatural implied that phenomena was not in the reach of explanation by science, and belief suggested irrational adherence to doctrines and ideas not support by facts.
He had a dislike of electronic gadgets that are the core of paranormal investigations today, instead using psychic mediums for direct contact with any spirits present
In an interview with Leonard Nemoy for the series “ In Search Of”, Hans is quoted as stating
“In all my years of Ghost Hunting I have never been afraid, after all, a ghost is only a fellow human being in trouble”
Hans Holzer died on April 26 2009 aged 89, he is survived by his two daughters and many grandchildren. One of Hans daughters, Alexandra Holzer, author of “Growing Up Haunted” will be the subject of a future presentation
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