Jami Attenberg is a novelist who saw her first ghost about eight years ago in an inn in New England, and loves to tell the story to anyone she meets. (Ask her! She'll tell you.) She now lives in the most haunted place in the world, New Orleans, where she feels at peace being surrounded by all those ghosts.
Dave Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National and as a child was too scared of the Oompa Loompas to be able to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Angela Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times notable book of the year. The novel was also a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and an NAACP Image Award. She was a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Honoree for 2015.
Writer Roxane Gay lives in a cornfield in a run down building haunted by the wandering spirits of former residents. In the garage, there are outlines of fallen bodies, and a strange, constant lingering smell. True story.
Kiese Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon was also the lead mentor and wrote the foreword to Big Class’s 2017 Young Authors Book Project, History Between These Folds. He has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy and a novel called And So On, which can be expected in 2017 and 2018.
Native New Orleanian Walter Isaacson is a biographer, so he’s not great at writing ghost stories. He sticks to real people. But he loves kids who write ghost stories, so he’s happy to read one written by a Big Class student and to talk about how Ben Franklin also liked ghost stories.
Novelist Lauren Groff grew up in Cooperstown, New York, where her childhood bedroom was haunted by a ghost who came to visit in the form of a beam of bluish light that slowly crawled across the ceiling. Sometimes Lauren has an eerie feeling that her five books hadn't come from her at all, but had instead been whispered into her ear in the dead of the night.
Novelist, short story writer, and New Orleanian Maurice Carlos Ruffin lives in a 100-year old house haunted by the ghosts of all the animals that used to live there. Some nights he hears a spooky dog under the bed, despite the fact that he owns no dog. An invisible canary tweets at all hours. There's also a bunch of chimps who live in his attic and eat all the cookies.
Kelly Link is the author of four collections, all of which have at least one ghost story in them. She is the co-founder of Small Beer Press, and lives in Northampton, MA. One day she hopes to be a ghost herself.
Writer George Saunders believes in ghosts but they don't seem to believe in him. He's only seen one ghost, long ago, but it turned out to be just some dog hair floating up from a heat vent. But he can tell the heck out of a ghost story, via the technique of trying to sound like Bela Lugosi and then suddenly SHOUTING OUT some random word. And then talking very softly again, but this time like Boris Karloff.
Glynn Washington is the host and executive producer of the celebrated podcast Snap Judgment. He is also an educator, spoken word poet, and community activist, to name a few. His new podcast, Spooked, features true-life supernatural stories told firsthand by people who can barely believe it happened themselves.
Isaac Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and was once given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. Formerly of The Rumpus and McSweeney’s and most recently the founding editor of BuzzFeed Books, Isaac is now the co-host of BuzzFeed News’ Twitter Morning Show, #AMtoDM.
Avery Trufelman is a producer with 99% Invisible, a podcast about architecture and design. She's told the stories of many different abandoned and ruined buildings, which are her favorite to haunt.