Australia's Syndey Morning Herald published an obituary of numismatist and Ghost Hunter Hans Holzer this week, based on the Telegraph version. It's the first I've seen to include an image of Holzer, shown here. -Editor Hans Holzer, who has passed over to the other side, was a celebrated ghost hunter and author of many books about the paranormal, including Murder At Amityville (1979) - the basis for the low-budget sequel film to The Amityville Horror. Holzer described himself as an academic parapsychologist and took his calling seriously.
He dismissed the existence of angels and regarded religions as corporations that make large profits out of scaring the hell out of their followers. He gave up celebrating Christmas after establishing "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that Jesus was born on October 3, 7BC, and stopped attending church when the minister declined his offer to contribute to a seminar on religions.
But he was firm in his belief in ghosts and was convinced that extraterrestrials abduct humans to learn about life on Earth. He believed in reincarnation and was a Wiccan high priest.
Hans Holzer, who has died aged 89, was born in Vienna, studied archaeology, ancient history and numismatics at the University of Vienna but left Austria with his family in 1938. After studying Japanese, he tried to make a living in showbusiness, writing for a short-lived comedy revue and musical.
To read the complete article, see: Writer hunted ghosts but never felt afraid (www.smh.com.au/national/obituaries/writer-hunted-ghosts-but-never-felt-afraid-20090511-b0id.html)
Ken Bressett writes:
I corresponded briefly with Hans Holzer back in the late 1960's when I told him about a numismatic error in an article that he had published in Family Weekly magazine. The article was about coins of the three Wise Men as told in the story of Christmas. His response was that he was an expert in such things and I was impertinent to challenge his information!
We never really got along very well after that although our paths did cross occasionally. I missed an opportunity to meet with him in Chicago one time when we were both invited to a party for Sybil Leek, the famous English witch. The gathering was cancelled because of a winter storm (or perhaps mystical intervention) which I very much regretted, as I considered them both bizarre characters.
His book Star in the East (Harper & Row 1968) has a chapter on what he terms the oldest Christian Coins.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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