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Hamptons Life

Sep 29, 2008 11:00 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Haunted Holzers in East Hampton

Sep 29, 2008 11:00 AM

Paranormal investigator Alexandra Holzer and her mother, Southampton resident Countess Catherine Buxhoeveden, are together again and ushering in the spooky season on Saturday with an art show and book signing at East End Books in East Hampton.

Ms. Holzer, 37—the daughter of famed ghost hunter and author of 140 books on the subject Hans Holzer—dove headfirst into the family business. In February, Ms. Holzer published “Growing Up Haunted,” a memoir chronicling her experiences as the child of the famous ghost hunter and Ms. Buxhoeveden, who joined Mr. Holzer in his travels and illustrated many of his books. Ms. Buxhoeveden, 68, and Mr. Holzer are now divorced, but the countess remains connected to the paranormal world, which often turns up in her paintings and drawings.

For the past year, while getting the word out about her book, Ms. Holzer has been continuing her serious research of the last five years into the world of the afterlife and those who dwell there, she explained. She has joined the list of in-demand paranormal celebrities and her sense of humor and keen insight have made Ms. Holzer a favorite guest on radio shows and the increasingly popular paranormal conference circuit.

While she continues to speak about her famous family, Ms. Holzer has become a serious investigator and researcher who enjoys sharing ideas and stands out for her own work, rather than simply depending on her father’s name.

She won’t be lecturing on Saturday, but Ms. Holzer is accessible and enjoys talking to people. She said she and her mother will both be present to discuss “Growing Up Haunted,” Ms. Buxhoeveden’s artwork, and the paranormal world. The pair last appeared together in April at the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor, where they held a similar event and Ms. Holzer said she sold most of her books. “It was nice to talk to people face to face” at that event, she said.

A mother of four young children, Ms. Holzer said her family comes first and she’s able to attend only events within a certain distance of her home in Chester, New York, which is why she does so many radio and podcast interviews. “I never say no because I feel that’s snobby,” Ms. Holzer said, adding, “A lot of para-celebs will say no because [a show] is not big enough and I think that’s horrible.” Recently, she’s been doing 20 minutes on Pennsylvania radio station Rock Y102 at 5:40 a.m. every Thursday morning, and Ms. Holzer hopes to parlay that segment into another show on a bigger station.

“I have always been allowed to be funny,” she said, explaining one reason she loves doing radio, though she noted that she’s quite serious about the paranormal field and making sure her father’s legacy is remembered and respected. Ms. Holzer said that along with her radio plans, she’s started four books and a television show.

Though she could share few details, last weekend Ms. Holzer said she shot the pilot episode for a television show featuring her all-female paranormal investigation group, New York City Pretty Paranormals. The NYCPP focus on “intuitive” investigation techniques, rather than the gadget-heavy, pseudo-scientific methods used by groups such as The Atlantic Paranormal Society, or TAPS, of the Sci-Fi Channel’s hit show, “Ghost Hunters.”

If the show gets picked up, Ms. Holzer said she plans to film investigations on the East End. “I already talked to my producer about bringing my mother,” she said, explaining that her producer loved the idea of Ms. Buxhoeveden returning to ghost hunting after so many years. The countess shares Ms. Holzer’s humanistic approach to ghost hunting, which is perhaps inherited from Mr. Holzer, and while they have similar views, on-screen bickering would likely make for comedy gold.

Ms. Holzer said her lectures are most popular among young women in the paranormal field and she hopes her television show will draw that audience. “They look to me as a role model,” she said, noting that “Growing Up Haunted” holds nothing back about her family—good, bad or ugly—and her fans appreciate her courage in publishing it.

Ms. Holzer will continue to speak about her father and his work to ensure that his contributions to the paranormal field are remembered, but today her goal is to discover “the reality of what happens when we die” and to take care of her family.

“I have to publish, I have to produce, I have to write, I have to nurture and protect,” she said, explaining what drives her. “I’m like a beautiful mess.”

Alexandra Holzer and Countess Catherine Buxhoeveden will be appearing at East End Books, 53 The Circle, behind Citibank in East Hampton, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

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