Pairing her integrity and compassion with a genuine interest in the humanness of the spirit world, Amy Bruni might be best known for her time on the first incarnation of Ghost Hunters and Travel Channel's Kindred Spirits, but the paranormal investigator is taking a personable turn with her latest endeavor detailing unexplained experiences. As one of the most recognizable faces in the world of ghost hunting, Bruni is now celebrating the release of her debut memoir, Life With the Afterlife: 13 Truths I Learned About Ghosts, admitting to PopCulture.com exclusively that she is blown away by the fan reception.
"It's been great," Bruni told us in our series, PopCulture @ Home. "My biggest wish for the book and I can't stress this enough — is that people who aren't into the paranormal read it. I really want this to transcend just ghost fans. I want people to read it like it's an interesting memoir."
The 44-year-old investigator adds that while it's "weird" to talk about oneself in such a format, she admits her "life has been really strange," especially after having encountered her first paranormal experience at the age of 6. "I think this is the perfect kind of interspersing of the story and what we believe and why we believe it, and whether or not you're into ghosts, I think people will enjoy this. And then they'll also kind of hopefully gain a little respect for the field in general and not just think we're all kooky people in the dark talking to nothing."
With the book outlining some very intriguing and oftentimes, spooky paranormal experiences, Bruni organizes the moments in time alongside 13 truths that helped guide her approach to the supernatural. After wrapping up writing in April with the final chapter addressing the current coronavirus pandemic, Bruni admits the book's release came at the perfect time.
"If there was anything that could kind of keep our minds off of this [pandemic], it was writing a book," she said. "And so it was actually kind of a nice thing to get away for a minute because we spent — I know a lot of people did this — but we spent a good two or three months just in our house, just not doing anything and so we wrote the book. I wanted people to see the journey. I feel like I've been through so much, and I thought it was just time."
Bruni adds her friend who co-wrote the book with her, Julie Tremaine, encouraged her every step of the way. "She was just like, 'You need to write a book — I will help you, let's make this happen,'" she said, adding how it was time. "I feel like there's even more to tell, so who knows. But this, I felt like was an interesting retrospective on how I got to where I am."
Working to provide readers with insight on how paranormal investigators investigate, Bruni said she arrived at all these ideas with the help of others, like her peers, in the field. "We decided to kind of weave it together, so it's a memoir, also filled with lots of thoughts and theories, and then also filled with a lot of interviews and insight from people who I love and respect," she said. "So that was really how we made it happen and I think the way that worked is by dividing it chapter by chapter into a new truth that I learned about ghosts — and so that was the way we did it. We almost wrote every chapter like it was an individual book."
With the book seeing quotes from a long list of paranormal friends, she adds much like her fellow Ghost Hunters investigator, Grant Wilson, she too is a believer and a skeptic of the field, stressing its significance. "I feel like it's very important," Bruni said. "I think it's just as important to rule out a haunting or find an alternate explanation as to what's causing it, as it is to figure out if something is haunted or not."
Adding how it's "important to find the solution no matter what it may be," Bruni stresses how "confirmation bias" is a big problem in the paranormal field. "A lot of people walk in assuming that something is haunted," she said. "We always just — we don't walk in assuming it's not — but we do walk in with all of the information, and we try to take it all with a grain of salt and just kind of start fresh and I think that's very important. I don't think you can be successful at this without being skeptical on some level."
As for why among all her years of paranormal activity and experiences Bruni narrowed it down to just 13 truths, she admits it was a "good spooky number" and one that felt precise. "Thirteen sounded right," she said. "I'm hoping that we'll be able to go even further into it. I love — spoiler alert — that the last truth is don't believe everything that you read. It's like after everything I tell everyone, I still want them to go out and kind of forge their own path and make their own ideas and thoughts and theories. So this could be a series!"
Life With the Afterlife: 13 Truths I Learned About Ghosts is now available in stores and at online retailers. For more with Amy Bruni, Kindred Spirits and all things paranormal, stay tuned to PopCulture.com for the latest!