FAIRMONT - Dr. Adrian Lee holds a variety of titles: historian, ordained minister for the Church of England, psychic, paranormal investigator, and now author.
Moving to Minnesota from England three years ago, Lee began researching some allegedly haunted sites in Minnesota, and has written a book about what he discovered.
"So far, my book has sold 3,000 copies in Minnesota alone," he said.
Dr. Adrian Lee
The book, "Mysterious Minnesota," chronicles Lee's investigations into 13 haunted locations. A book-signing, along with a book reading and question-and-answer session, will be held 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Happy Owl book store on West First Street in Fairmont.
"When I realized I have a gift, I wanted to help people," Lee said of when he became aware of his psychic ability. "I think everyone has this ability, but I began progressively working on it more and more. Like anything, if you practice it, you can develop it."
Lee's interest in history led him to investigating the paranormal.
"I have a Ph.D. in history, and as a historian, what better way to learn than talking to the dead people who were alive during that time," Lee asked. "As a historian, we're left to guess what happened back then based on things that are found. But this way you can interact with people who lived during that time period."
Lee, who currently lives in Trimont, realizes there is a great deal of skepticism when it comes to clairvoyance and paranormal investigation, and even some hostility.
"I've been called a devil worshiper; I've been threatened," he says. "But being a religious man myself, at the end of the day I leave it all to God because he knows every hair on my head."
Lee uses his skills as a historian to do research to confirm what he learns on his investigations. One example was his investigation of Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul, which is featured in the book.
"I made contact with a spirit named Matthew, and he identified himself as a fireman," Lee recalled. "I spent two years researching fires that happened at the brewery, and couldn't find anything."
But Lee later learned of a man who caught fire by accident in 1904, who was identified as Matthew Kohler, a "fireman" in charge of keeping the furnaces fired and for lighting the oil lamps. Articles in the St. Paul Daily Globe confirmed this, concluding with a short article titled, "Fireman Dies From His Burns."
"What I achieved in those few sad sentences was a complete vindication of the psychic process - to corroborate information given to me on an investigation some considerable time after the event," Lee wrote. "Only my own dedication and research skills, applied over hundreds of hours spent searching through dusty old newspapers in dark vaults of historical societies could have provided me with such information."
Lee does not do his investigations solo. Since he arrived in Minnesota, he founded "The International Paranormal Society," as a non-profit group. The group has members from all over the Midwest.
Lee's paranormal investigating does not rely as heavily on technology as other North American investigators, such as the paranormal hunters seen on reality TV shows.
"The difference is a reflection of the personalities of the two countries," Lee observed. "In England, investigators are more quiet and just listen, while Americans are more rhetorical. I don't think there's a right or wrong, I like to interact; if you don't ask, you don't get any answers."
But Lee believes that the spirits he encounters deserve as much respect as the living.
"I don't antagonize, I talk to them just as I would to my grandmother," he said. "Respect is the key."
Lee is still researching other sites in Minnesota, and has completed other books.
"I would like to do a book on southwest Minnesota," he said. "I think this book is a stepping stone to other things, and it's giving people more access to me."
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