By GLENN TOLLE
When my little sister was a wee tyke she took a copy of the Peterson Field Guide to North American Birds everywhere she went. I had my own fave read and it was CEMETERY STORIES by Katherine Ramsland. According to her Twitter bio, Ramsland is “author of 58 books, blogger at Psychology Today, TV crime commentator, professor of forensic psychology; expertise: serial killers.”
I credit her CEMETERY STORIES, along with other books she has written, as a major influence in my development as a creator and commentator on the macabre. She showed me that it is okay to be interested in things that go bump in the night, and that writing non-fiction is just as cool as writing fiction.
When I was 14, I was diagnosed with OCD, anxiety, depression, and a mild form of PTSD. This chapter of my life is still a painful memory. I remember drifting in a sea of fear on the tattered raft of mental illness, and would have succumbed to the disease had I not inoculated myself with Ramsland’s antibody of work. Through her writings, I had a chance to get close to my toxic fears and turn them into healthy fascinations.
There was a time in my life, for about 8 months, when the things I write about here repelled me. I was 14 and in the middle of a breakdown, in which my mental illness latched on to the same things that my imagination latched onto, corrupting all the things that I once found fascinating. I was forced me to rebuild a relationship with those things, from scratch, in order to survive. And I did that with the aid of Katherine Ramsland’s books.
So thank you Katherine Ramsland. this column has been a long time coming.