If we've learned one thing from Lisa Livingston-Martin, it's that history can give us goosebumps.

If we've learned one thing from Lisa Livingston-Martin, it's that history can give us goosebumps.

Last year, Livingston-Martin's first book, “Civil War Ghost Stories of Southwest Missouri,” was published by Haunted America, a division of History Press. This year, just in time for Halloween, her second book, “Haunted Joplin,” will be striking chills down readers' spines. She says both publications have derived from her work with the Paranormal Science Lab, based out of the Kendrick House in Carthage. The group of eight full-time investigators, ages ranging from late teens to mid-40s, focuses on historical sites throughout the region and shares documentation with the community through historic, haunted tours year round.

“We're history buffs, so we lean that way,” Livingston-Martin said. “We've learned a lot, particularly with the Kendrick House in the first book, and this is the next step.”
“Haunted Joplin” takes readers around the local area's most historic landmarks, and tells the not-so-pretty stories from the past.

“I hope the message that readers get is that history is important to understanding where we are, and where we're going – otherwise we are doomed to repeat it,” Livingston-Martin said. “Also – if a reader feels they are experiencing paranormal activity, there may be a valid reason why.”

Locals will read familiar names like Bonnie and Clyde, and the notorious Billy Cook.

“There is more detail than people know about Billy Cook,” Livingston-Martin said. “His childhood was very tragic, which might have led him to do some of the things he did. And there are also details in there of run-in's with Billy Cook in California, and the urban legend that Billy Cook inspired some of the lyrics in The Doors' 'Riders on the Storm.'”

“As far as I'm concerned that's what makes it interesting – the why – why things are happening.”

Like Livingston-Martin's first book, “Haunted Joplin” also touches on the careful process of documenting paranormal evidence; such as, determining possible paranormal spots in pictures could be bugs or dust. Livingston-Martin said the PSL group's evidence isn't easily captured: it was a year before the group was able to document suspicious light balls in the Kendick House.

PSL gives tours and showcases the paranormal evidence they have documented on the site year round.

Those in the community who are fans of  Livingston-Martin's work will be pleased to know a third book is scheduled this spring. The working title is “Missouri's Wicked Route 66,” which will focus more on the Mother Road's infamous crimes and gangsters.

For more information on this group, the author, or to find when the next tour is, visit Facebook.

Livingston-Martin's publications may be found on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.