Hans Holzer

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Hans Holzer
Born (1920-01-26)26 January 1920
Vienna, Austria
Died 26 April 2009(2009-04-26) (aged 89)
New York City, New York, United States of America
Occupation Paranormal researcher, Author
Spouse(s) Countess Catherine Geneviève Buxhoeveden
Children Alexandra Holzer

Hans Holzer (26 January 1920 – 26 April 2009)[1] was an American paranormal researcher and author. He wrote well over 100 books on supernatural and occult subjects for the popular market as well as several plays, musicals, films, and documentaries, and hosted a television show, "Ghost Hunter" (not to be confused with Ghost Hunters, a separate show).


Holzer was born in Vienna, Austria. His interest in the supernatural was sparked at a young age by stories told to him by his uncle Henry. He went on to study archaeology and ancient history at the University of Vienna but sensing that war was imminent, his family decided it was unsafe to stay in Austria and left the country for New York City in 1938. He studied Japanese at Columbia University and, after studying comparative religion and parapsychology, claimed to have obtained a Ph.D. at a school called the London College of Applied Science. He went on to teach parapsychology at the New York Institute of Technology. Holzer wrote more than 120 books on ghosts and the afterlife.[2]

His extensive involvement in researching the supernatural included investigating The Amityville Horror and some of the most prominent haunted locations around the world.[3] He also worked with well-known trance mediums such as Ethel Johnson-Meyers, Sybil Leek, and Marisa Anderson. Holzer has been credited with creating the term "The Other Side" (already in use, however, in nineteenth century spiritualism) or in full "The Other Side of Life". He is also sometimes credited with having coined the term ghost hunter, which was the title of his first book on the paranormal published in 1963. However, an earlier book by Harry Price published in 1936 was titled Confessions of a Ghost Hunter.

Holzer believed in life after death and the existence of ghosts, spirits, and "stay behinds". Ghosts were, according to him, imprints left in the environment which could be "picked up" by sensitive people. Spirits were intelligent beings who could interact with the living; while "stay behinds" were those who found themselves earth-bound after death. He also believed in reincarnation and the existence of "levels of consciousness".[4]

The Amityville Horror

Holzer's most famous investigation was into The Amityville Horror case. In January 1977, Holzer and spiritual medium Ethel Meyers entered 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. Meyers claimed that the house had been built over an ancient Native American burial ground and the angry spirit of a Shinnecock Indian Chief - "Rolling Thunder" - had possessed the previous occupant, Ronald Defeo Jr., driving him to murder his family. Photographs taken at the scene revealed curious anomalies such as the halos which appeared in the supposed images of bullet marks made in the original 1974 murders. Holzer's claim that the house was built on Indian sacred land was, however, denied by the local Amityville Historical Society and it was pointed out that it was the Montaukett Indians, and not the Shinnecocks, who had been the original settlers in the area. However, Indian burial sites have been found all over Long Island, including Amityville, so no one has been able to confirm or deny the burial of an Indian chief on or near the 108 Ocean Avenue property. Holzer went on to write several books about the subject, both fiction and non-fiction.


The skeptical investigator Joe Nickell has written that Holzer did not provide verification for some of his claims and he credulously accepted spirit photographs, anecdotal reports, and other doubtful evidence.[5] Nickell also wrote that the mediums Holzer endorsed Ethel Meyers and Sybil Leek offered "unsubstantiated, even unverifiable claims, or information that can be gleaned from research sources or from knowledgeable persons by “cold reading” (an artful method of fishing for information)."[6]


Holzer was mentioned in Nathan Fielder's television show, Nathan For You. A Psychic in the show claimed his mother was deemed the 'Queen of the Psychics' by Holzer himself.


  • — (1963). Ghost Hunter.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1965). Ghosts I've Met.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1966). ESP and You.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1966). Yankee Ghosts.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1967). The Lively Ghosts of Ireland.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1968). Ghosts of the Golden West.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1968). Predictions: Fact or Fallacy?.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1968). Psychic Investigator.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1968). Star in the East.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1969). The Truth About Witchcraft.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1969). Window to the Past: Exploring History Through ESP.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1970). Born Again: The Truth About Reincarnation.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1970). Life After Death: The Challenge and the Evidence.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1970). Psychic Photography: Threshold of a New Science?.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1970). The Psychic World of Bishop Pike.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1970). The Red Chindvit Conspiracy.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1970). The Zodiac Affairs.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1971). The Aquarian Age: Is There Intelligent Life on Earth?.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1971). Charismatics: How to Make Things Happen.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1971). The Ghosts That Walk in Washington.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1971). Hans Holzer's Haunted Houses: A Pictorial Register of the World's Most Interesting Ghost Houses.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1971). The Prophets Speak.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1971). Psycho-ecstasy: How to Awaken the Secret Powers of Your Inner Self.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1972). Gothic Ghosts.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1972). The Handbook of Parapsychology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1972). The New Pagans: An Inside Report On the Mystery Cults of Today.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1972). The Phantoms of Dixie.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1973). The Alchemy Deception.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1973). The Habsburg Curse.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1973). Possessed!.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1973). The Power of Hypnosis: How Mind-to-Mind Communication Works.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1973). Victorian Ghosts.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1974). Beyond Medicine.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1974). Haunted Hollywood.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1974). Patterns of Destiny: A Primer on Reincarnation.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1974). The Truth About ESP: What It Is, How It Works and How You Develop It.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1975). Astrology: What It Can Do For You.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1975). The Great British Ghost Hunt.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1976). The Clairvoyant.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1976). The Psychic Side of Dreams.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1976). The Spirits of '76.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1976). The UFO-NAUTS: New Facts on Extraterrestrial Landings.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1976). The Unicorn.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1977). Beyond This Life: A Factual Report on Survival After Death.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1979). Elvis Presley Speaks.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1979). Murder In Amityville.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1979). Psychic Healing: The Alternate Way to Well-being.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1979). Star Ghosts.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1979). White House Ghosts.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1979). Wicca: The Way of the Witches.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1980). How to Win at Life.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1980). Inside Witchcraft.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1980). Westghosts: The Psychic World of California.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1981). The Amityville Curse.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1981). The Entry.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1981). Star of Destiny.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1982). Amityville II: The Possession.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1984). Where the Ghosts Are: The Ultimate Guide to Haunted Houses.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1985). The Alchemist.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1985). Life Beyond Life: The Evidence of Reincarnation.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1985). The Secret of Amityville.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1989). Ghosts of New England: True Stories of Encounters With the Phantoms of New England and New York.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1990). Great American Ghost Stories.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1991). America's Haunted Houses: Public and Private.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1992). America's Mysterious Places.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1992). Ghosts of Old Europe.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1992). Hans Holzer's Haunted House Album: A Ghostly Register of the World's Most Frightening Haunted Houses.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1993). Elvis Speaks From the Beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1993). In Quest of Ghosts.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1993). Love Beyond the Grave: True Cases of Ghostly Lovers.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1994). Life Beyond: Compelling Evidence for Past Lives and Existence After Death.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1994). Tales at Midnight.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1995). The Directory of Psychics: How to Find, Evaluate, and Communicate with Professional Psychics and Mediums.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1995). Prophecies: Visions of the World's Fate- Truths, Possibilities, or Fallacies?.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1996). The Secret of Healing: The Healing Powers of Ze'ev Kolman.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1997). Are You Psychic? Unlocking the Power Within.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1997). Ghosts: True Encounters with the World beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1997). Southern Ghosts.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1999). Hans Holzer's Travel Guide to Haunted Houses.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1999). Psychic: True Paranormal Experiences.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2000). The Psychic Yellow Pages.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2000). Who Killed Curt Cobain?.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • —; Solomon, Philip (2001). Beyond Death: Conditions in the Afterlife.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2001). Hans Holzer's Psychic Yellow Pages: The Very Best Psychics, Card Readers, Mediums, Astrologers,and Numerologists.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2001). True Ghost Stories.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2002). More Where The Ghosts Are: The Ultimate Guide to Haunted Houses.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2002). Real Hauntings: True American Ghost Stories.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2002). Witches: True Encounters with Wicca, Wizards, Covens, Cults and Magick.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2005). The Journey of the Magi.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2006). The Ghost Hunter's Strangest Cases.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2008). The Spirit Connection: How the Other Side Intervenes in Our Lives.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • —; Silva, Antonio (2008). Commanding the Light: A Conversation about Paranormal Healing Between Antonio Silva and Hans Holzer.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2012). Famous Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2012). Ghosts That Aren't: True Encounters with the World Beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2012). Haunted People: True Encounters with the World Beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2012). Haunted Places: True Encounters with the World Beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2012). Hypnosis: Controlling the Inner You.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2012). An Introduction to Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2012). Poltergeists: True Encounters with the World Beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2012). Stay-Behinds: True Encounters with the World Beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (2012). This House Is Haunted: True Encounters with the World Beyond.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  1. Grimes, William (April 29, 2009). "Hans Holzer, Ghost Hunter, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Hans Holzer Obituary in The Guardian
  3. Gale Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology: Hanz Holzer
  4. Hans Holzer Obituary in The Telegraph
  5. Haunted Inns: Tales of Spectral Guest by Joe Nickell
  6. Ghost Hunters by Joe Nickell

External links