October 28, 2012

Hair-raising activity along Lake Champlain

BURLINGTON — Thea Lewis had no intentions of writing a book this year.

She was working on adult fiction for a change.

It’s the 10th anniversary of her popular Haunted Tours, Queen City Ghostwalk, and she wanted to focus on that and events such as the Green Halloween Costume Sale to benefit the Vermont Food Bank and two screenings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Later this year, she publishes a digital collection of haunted tales after the tours die down.

Fate dictated otherwise. The History Press wanted another book for its Haunted America series. Three years ago, the press published Lewis’s “Haunted Burlington: Spirits of Vermont’s Queen City,” now in its fourth printing.

The History Press contacted her in March. Her deadline was June.

“There I was again at the kitchen table in front of my laptop and going off to visit places to do research,” said Lewis, who was director of Creative Services for WCAX Channel 3 News for 22 years.

“I signed the contract in April and spent all of April and all of May writing.”

“Ghosts and Legends of Lake Champlain” was a gift. With the first book, she was told her subject matter. With this book, she was able to explore UFO abductions, Plattsburgh, Fort Ticonderoga and Big Foot.

“It’s astounding. Sasquatch is roaming the hills of Vermont and upstate New York. It went fast. It was a fun book to write,” she said.

Her first chapter, “Frighteners of the Fort,” chronicles paranormal activity at Fort Ticonderoga.

“I try to open the chapters with little anecdotal stories. I want to make history approachable,” she said.

In her high-school days, she disliked classes reduced to memorization of dates.

“It wasn’t all that exciting. I like a good story because I’m a storyteller at heart.”

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