Luke Naliborski has been with Slackers for 14 years.  He currently manages the Slackers store in South County Mall, he’s the Marketing and Promotions Director and he handles the toy buying for the company.  In his free time, Luke is one of the tour guides for the Alton Hauntings Ghost Tours, a speaker, an author and a paranormal investigator.  Luke’s first full book is called “The Lighter Side of Darkness”.  He has also contributed stories in “So There I Was” by Troy Taylor and Len Adams, and in “Illinois Hauntings” by Troy Taylor.  In 2002 Luke was on a paranormal tv show aired on The Learning Channel called America’s Ghost Hunters.  Through the years Luke has done numerous radio shows, speaking engagements and has been featured in several articles.  To contact Luke, please use [email protected] or via www.myspace.com/polishghosthunter. We sat down with Luke to discuss his ghost hunting adventures.

What sparked your curiosity into the paranormal?

When I was a kid, I used to read those really cool “Scary Stories” books that were available at the book fairs that would come to my school..  I think there were several volumes.  They were great stories and had incredible sketches.  These books started my interest along with watching The Shining when I was six.

Is there a reportedly haunted place that you haven’t checked out yet, but would like to?

I am a huge Civil War history buff.  Civil War Ghost stories are my favorite.  So with that in mind, I’d love to someday go to either Gettysburg or Antietam. There’s plenty of haunted places to go to at those sites.  If I’d have to pick one building in particular, it would be Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia.

What will people learn from reading your books?

People will learn that when you get into paranormal investigations, you have to have a sense of humor.  If you don’t, you won’t last.  We tend to have fun when we do our investigations.  Don’t get me wrong, we are very serious when we conduct investigations.  We just try to keep it lively on nights where the spirits aren’t cooperating.  One thing’s for sure though, unlike what you see on tv, we never disrespect the spirits to get them agitated enough to do something.  You wouldn’t speak to someone like that when they are alive, so you should respect them the same after they’ve passed.  In my book, I make you laugh one sec and then scare the you know what out of you the next.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened during one of your tours?

Wow, this will be tough one.  I’d say for me it was when we were in the last stop of the night.  I was regrouping everyone and realized that one person had wondered off on their own.  When I went to get them, they were coming up from the basement.  They took several steps towards me, when all of a sudden a dark shadow in the shape of a person came out from the hallway that leads to the basement and stood in the hall behind the person.  So as the tour goer was coming towards me, this shadow was standing in the hall making sure they were leaving.  I didn’t feel threatened, but I knew it was definitely time to get out.  There are a lot of other stories, but this was one of my favorites.

There are plenty of skeptics out there who don’t believe in spirits or ghosts. What do you say to these skeptics who think that investigating the paranormal is a waste of time?

The only way to persuade these skeptics into believing in the possibility of ghosts is by showing them concrete evidence.  That evidence will never come to fruition if people aren’t looking for it.  I am skeptical myself, but I have seen things that I can’t explain.  That’s the whole idea of paranormal.  It’s only normal if you can explain it, when you can’t explain it, then it’s paranormal.  Skeptics seem to be very proud though and hate to change their views, so it’s definitely an uphill battle for the paranormal investigators.

If you are interested in purchasing a copies of “The Lighter Side of Darkness” and “Illinois Hauntings”, you can visit your local Slackers or purchase them online here. To meet Luke in person, you can visit the O’Fallon 15 Cine theater in O’Fallon, IL. Ghostbusters is being shown on Thursdays during the month of October and Luke will be there from 5 – 7 to let people see his photographic evidence of the paranormal and for people to check out the equipment he uses during his investigations. We hope to see you there!

For more info on “The Lighter Side of Darkness”, check out www.prairieghosts.com.