November 2009

Mysteries Magazine Interview with SpookHunter Owen

The SpookHunters are featured in this quarter's Mysteries Magazine. Mysteries Magazine is North America's leading magazine about mysteries and unexplained phenomena. Mysteries Magazine sits down with SpookHunter Owen for a 3 page interview.

Text is blurred & images shrunk due to copyrights, but you can order Mysteries Magazine online at the Shadows in the Dark webstore:


Or DEMAND it at your local bookstore!


WFI Community Network
Lynne Gilbert
December 26, 2008

Two Florida Samaritans Play Santa with Bike Giveaway

Orlando, Florida. For the past two years Charlie Carlson, a Florida author and producer, has given away dozens of new bicycles to needy kids who would otherwise miss out on Christmas. This year he joined holiday forces with his friend, Owen Sliter of, in donating a record fifty bicycles to less fortunate kids across the state. When Sliter found out what Carlson was doing, he offered to partake in the generousity. "When I told him I was giving away 25 bikes this year," said Carlson, "he said he would match the number bike for bike." Together the two wannabee Santas bought and shipped fifty bikes, that's twenty-five for boys and twenty-five for girls, each sporting a big red bow, and all in time for Christmas morning. The holiday bike project was announced and administered through several charitable organizations. Requests came from all over the state with each application being screened for financial need. The first stipulation was that applicants had to be single mothers with children in the nine to fourteen year age range.
"We wanted to do something for single mothers," explained Sliter, as he was loading the last of the bikes in his pickup, destined for Palatka. "With the economy like it is, single moms are struggling to make ends meet and otherwise might not be able to get their kids something for Christmas."

"Basically, it really didn't cost us that much," explained Carlson, who arranged through a wholesale distributor to purchase the bikes at a discount in large quantity. "We probably spent about 3000 bucks if you include what it cost to ship them." Carlson and Sliter say they don't expect any tax write-offs, their joy is in knowing that their holiday spirit has brought pleasure to all these single mothers and has helped those who are experiencing hard times. "Often these women, single moms...just need to be recognized for the tough job they have in raising kids while trying to pay the bills," remarked Sliter, "and if me and Charlie have in some way helped out...then it makes us feel good." Veronica Tasbem, a Jacksonville single mom of two, commented, "These are two of the most humblest men I've ever met. Truly servants of the good Lord, himself."
Carlson and Sliter are already ironing out details for a Thanksgiving project in 2009. They would like to give away hams and turkeys...and yes, probably fifty more bikes next Christmas.


Vol 12, Iss 52

I, SpookHunter Owen, was mentioned in Indie Slate, the Bible of indie movies, in a write up about the "Henry Blackhart is DEAD" film.

They guy on the cover is NOT me. I am uglier.





Strange Florida II
Author: Charlie Carlson
2007 Paper Back, 124 Pages

Strange Florida II is the highly anticipated sequel to the 1997 smash hit Strange Florida. Prepare yourself as "Florida's Master of the Weird" is at it again exposing more Sunshine State weirdness from the past to the present, including a 3 page spread featuring the SpookHunters!


Weird Hauntings
Author: Various
2006 Hard Cover, 320 Pages

The SpookHunters have been featured in another book! This one is called "Weird Hauntings" and is a collection of stories from all over the US.

Our SpookHunt at the Apollo launch pad is featured in a three page color spread in the middle of this book!!! You can check this book out at any barnes & Nobels nationwide, or buy it online at Amazon!


GHOST! Magazine
Winter Issue 2005

Charlie Carlson, an Author , Historian, and Honorary SpookHunter, was interviewed recently for GHOST! magazine. He mentioned numerous times throughout the interview as he talked about his Weird Florida Book.

Many of Charlie Carlson's books can be bought at the SpookHunter's Store!
For ordering & subscription information to GHOST! magazine, please go to their website @!

Click on the images below to read the article.


Ashley's Shadow
Author: Charlie Carlson
2005 Soft Cover, 182 Pages

Based on true events, and the Ashley's Restaurant SpookHunt, this fictional story is a Romantic Murder Mystery Ghost Story sprinkled with Humor. The SpookHunters are mentioned, and SpookHunter Owen has a role, in this wonderfully written book. This book is available in the SpookHunters Store!


Eyewitness News

Channel Six news, a CBS affiliate out of Tallahassee, ran a story on the Weird Florida Book. While interviewing the author, Charlie Carlson, he mentioned SpookHunters and talked about the Castillo De San Marcus Hunt.

Weird Florida: Part 1

We've all seen them: odd buildings, strange signs, things that give sleepy little towns tons of character. We met up with the author of "Weird Florida," Charlie Carlson. He's an oddity himself!

It's not too often that you get to meet a tenth generation Floridian. We sat down with him in St. Augustine, our country's oldest city and Charlie's favorite place for the weird and unexplained.

The Castillo de San Marcos is one of our country's only medieval structures. The Spanish began the 23-year construction of the fort in 1672, and over the centuries it's been known for its tales of the unexplained.

The place where ghosts are said to roam is what inspired Charlie Carlson to write "Weird Florida." He first heard about the old Spanish fort as a child and says his seventh great grandfather was captured here by the Spanish, and lucky for him, he could play a mean fiddle.

Charlie Carlson says, "He was invited to play the fiddle for the Spanish governor, and in the process all the Spaniards got drunk and my grandfather was able to make his escape."

His ancestor's great escape got Charlie hooked on history. He accepted an offer from the authors of “Weird USA” and set out on a year-long journey throughout Florida in search of the weird.

"Most things are found off the beaten path, you have to get out into the small towns to learn about the legends and ghost stories."

During his journey, Charlie returned to the Castillo San Marcos with a group called the Spook Hunters. The story about his so-called ghostly encounter is in his book. Armed with only a flash camera, he ventured into the dungeon area.

"In that flash, I saw I was standing face to face with a British soldier."

But what he thought what could've been a ghostly encounter may not have been so paranormal.

"We went back in and with a flashlight. Sure enough, there was my British soldier. It was a mannequin."

Carlson calls himself an open minded skeptic and collector of the weird, and by writing "Weird Florida," he says he hopes to remind you that Florida is more than just sunshine and orange juice.

"A lot of people think the only thing to Florida is beaches and theme parks, and I'm saying hey folks, there's a lot more to this state than you realize."

The publishers of "Weird Florida" are also working with an author to write "Weird Georgia." That's expected to come out in the spring of next year.

Click Here to go to the original article.


SBK Live!
Radio Talk Show
Real Radio 104.1

The SpookHunters were invited to sit in on SBK Live, an FM Radio Talk Show on WTKS Real Radio 104.1 Saturdays from 7-10pm! SpookHunters Owen & Randy went on air as SpookHunters Christyn, Greg & Ellen documented everything for future review.

Also, Susan Thompson (the Medium of Choice for was on air to give Owen a live reading, and to take some phone calls.

Charlie Carlson, Florida's Man-in-Black & honorary SpookHunter, was in attendance as well to talk about everything and anything that is weird! Including his best selling Barnes & Nobel book, Weird Florida!


1. SBK Live & The SpookHunters Part 1

2. SBK Live & The SpookHunters Part 2

3. SBK Live & The SpookHunters Part 3


La Floridian
William Moriaty

William Moriaty, an author, attended the Weird Florida: Unleashed event, and then wrote about it in La Floridian, his regularly updated website!

Charlie Carlson’s "Weird Florida" Unleashed! Book Signing Party

At approximately 6:50 P.M. on Saturday April 30, 2005, F-Bod Studios artist and proprietor Lisa Clardy and I pulled into a parking space on an old brick street in downtown Sanford, Florida to attend "Charlie Carlson's "Weird Florida: Unleashed!" book signing party.

We walked northward along East First Street in the historic section of this Seminole County town searching for the Blue Dahlia, where the event was slated to be held at 7:00 P.M. There were several tables along the sidewalk where patrons were being served dinner, as well as an indoor portion in an old brick building that was a former department store.

I had noticed several dignified looking people sitting in groups inside a courtyard next to the Blue Dahlia building. I asked Jolene (sp?) a waitress at the Blue Dahlia where the book-signing event was being held, and sure enough, she pointed to the courtyard. Before Lisa could amble there, our dear friends Steve and Scotti met us at the front door of the Blue Dahlia. We then ambled toward the courtyard where the primary star of the show, Mr. Charlie Carlson, Florida's own Man-In-Black and a Florida Folk Hero extraordinaire was enjoying a scrumptious Blue Dahlia dinner with several friends.

I did not have the heart (or lack of courtesy) to barge in during Mr. Carlson's dinner in order to get a book signed or swap stories, so I went up to the table where Owen, a Spook Hunter superb was selling copies of Mr. Carlson's first book on the paranormal, "Strange Florida, the Unexplained and Unusual", amongst other items, such as another Carlson book "The True Story of Magician Harry Wise, A Wizard's Tux and Tales", as well as showcasing door prizes available later that evening. Copies of Charlie's three major books mentioned in this article can be found by simply logging on to the SpookHunters web site and ordering from their web store.

Then the Sanford paparazzi showed up, and before you can say "abra kadabra", Mister Carlson, magician supreme Harry Wise, and medium Susan Thompson were surrounded by photographers. It appeared that I'd have to wait just a little longer to converse with Mr. Carlson, so I began to talk to SpookHunters Owen and Greg, of "If I can't eat it, I can't believe it" fame. Their next investigation into the paranormal is slated for what I recall they referred to as the "Devil's School" in Jacksonville - - hmmmm, jump back Mr. Kotter this sounds like some serious stuff!

Finally Mr. Carlson had a free moment and we began to settle in to a most enjoyable conversation. A tall man, Charlie Carlson has a very warm and engaging personality which bespeaks of his long lineage in the South. A native of Sanford, Charlie is a tenth generation Floridian! He was in the Army for 26 years and retired at the rank of sergeant major. In addition to writing, Mr. Carlson is an artist and animal rights activist.

In addition to the books mentioned above, Carlson has also written "When Celery Was King", a history of celery farming in the Sanford area; "From Fort Mellon to Baghdad"; "The First Florida Cavalry Regiment, C.S.A."; "Swedish History of Seminole County, Florida"; "Curious Files of Seminole County, Florida"; "Bookertown, A journey to the past"; "I Got My Dress-Tail Wet in Soda Water Creek"; "History of Monroe"; "Sanford As You Never Knew It", and "Memories of Seminole County Families", along of course, with his most recent release "Weird Florida".

Charlie next introduced me to the elegant and gracious Susan Thompson, a medium extraordinaire who conducts ghost tours in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and is a member of the Volusia Investigators of the Paranormal (or V.I.P.), and we began to trade tales (foremost in the discussion was the "Hauntings at 3016 Villa Rosa Park" story in La Floridiana, PCR # 188, and my French Huguenot heritage).

Lastly I introduced myself to a dashing-looking gentleman seated at one of the courtyard tables. He had a shocking white beard and hair to match. He was decked out in a seamless black and white tuxedo. He was none other than Mr. Harry Wise, a native of Sanford who practiced parlor magic at the Ritz Theater in Sanford as a teenager, and went on to perform throughout the nation with ghost shows, circuses, armories, public schools, theaters and night clubs. He did ghost shows as "Dr. Jekyl And His Weird Show", and was television magician "Mr. Magic" for Orlando, Florida's WDBO afternoon feature, "Uncle Walt's Adventures" from 1960 to 1965.

In his fifty-plus years as a magician and showman superb he was also "The Amazing Darkvale (or Darkveil)" and "Voglar" the mentalist. Charlie Carlson's book "The True Story of Magician Harry Wise, A Wizard's Tux and Tales", details a superb accounting of Wise's professional life, complete with incredible promotional advertisements that Wise saved of "Dr. Jekyll And His Weird Show", and that of other ghost shows from the 1950s. It is a heart-warming and enchanting read and comes highly recommended.

After a rather heady exchange at the book signing, Lisa and Steve and Scotti and I went nearby to Sanford's classic car show held near the marina on Lake Monroe. Along the way we passed a 5' 5" Florida Skunk Ape being brought through the alley to the party in chains. Two young men told me they found the creature down by the banks of Lake Monroe. I'm interested to know if Mr. Carlson gave these two good ol boys the $10,000 reward, but I kinda doubt it. That Skunk Ape didn't look no 8' tall to me! From the car show we went back to the Blue Dahlia where we had a delicious dinner in an incredibly historic downtown Sanford atmosphere - - it reminded me of a visit a quarter of a century earlier to a warehouse nearby that Lake Helen resident Mark Shuttleworth used to amass parts from old victorian houses - - it was sooooo cool!

It was a delightful and memorable evening thanks to Charlie Carlson's "Weird Florida: Unleashed!

Click Here to go to the original article.


Weird Florida: UNLEASHED
Book Release Party

Click above to see what happend!


Weird Florida
Author: Charlie Carlson
2005 Hard Cover, 240 Pages

For the first time in Spookhunters history, the group has been written about in a book that will be featured in Barnes & Nobels across the United States.

From the critically acclaimed Weird US series, comes Weird Florida! This book is a collection of the most odd, strange & unusual that Florida has to offer. That includes the SpookHunters featured more than once in this book!

To order a copy visit your local Barnes & Nobel bookstore, or buy one from the SpookHunters Store!