The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


September 12, 2011

Haunted history: Ghost hunts in Civil War mansion lead to book

JOPLIN, Mo. — Written by a local woman who knows a thing or two about things that go bump in the night, a new book detailing area Civil War ghosts is part Southwest Missouri history lesson and part spine-tingling shivers.

Many folks may recognize Lisa Livingston-Martin as a Webb City-based attorney. Others may know her as co-team leader of one of the area’s premier paranormal investigation groups, the Paranormal Science Lab.

She can now add “author” to her resume, with the June publication of her first book, “Civil War Ghosts of Southwest Missouri,” published by Haunted America, a division of History Press.

Writing has always been a first love for this mother of three.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “I ended up going to law school and it’s funny because my pre-law adviser, after college, said, ‘You need to write.’ He could see that. And then in college I had an English professor at (Missouri State University) who would follow me around in the student union at different times, begging me to switch my major.”

So to see her name on the cover of her own book, she said, has been a dream come true. Even better, the book’s contents are close to her heart Ñ the American Civil War and ghosts.

Which is why Carthage’s Kendrick House has been so important in her life. It’s long been the centerpiece of Jasper County’s existing participation in the Civil War.

The two-story brick building, the oldest standing structure found in the county, hosted soldiers wearing both the blue and gray. On top of that, the house has long been recognized as one of the most haunted places found in the Joplin area.

The concept of the book grew out of her interaction at the Kendrick House.

“I’ve always been a fan of history,” she said. To try to explain some of the paranormal activities she and other group members had recorded over the years, “we ended up doing so much in-depth research.”

They’ve captured “shadow people” on film, disembodied voices on audio recorders and other unexplained and strange phenomenon.

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