Photo of James A. Willis

In 1999, after spending more than 15 years chasing after ghosts and visiting crybaby bridges, Willis moved to Ohio and founded The Ghosts of Ohio (, a nationally recognized paranormal research organization. Willis has grown the organization to well over 35 members in three divisions throughout the state: Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

In 2004, in what seemed to be destiny, Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman, the brainchilds of the Weird US series of books, approached Willis and asked him to contribute to their latest volume, Weird US. To date, Willis has been involved with 6 books in the Weird US series. He is the co-author of Weird Ohio (2005) and Weird Indiana (2008) and was also a contributing author to Weird US (2004), Weird Hauntings (2006), Weird US II: The ODDyssey Continues (2008), and Weird Encounters (2010). 

Willis' unique and offbeat writing style was officially recognised in 2006 with his induction into the Grand Order of Weird Writers. In addition, Willis has been a contributing author to several books in the Armchair Reader series, including Weird, Scary & Unusual (2008), Armchair Reader Goes Hollywood (2010), and Haunted America (2011).

In 2012, Willis struck out on his own with the publication of Haunted Indiana.

For 2013's The Big Book Of Ohio Ghost Stories, Willis crisscrossed Ohio to bring readers over 75 of the Buckeye state's most famous (and infamous) ghosts.

In 2015, Willis released Ohio's Historic Haunts: Investigating the Paranormal in the Buckeye State. A joint effort with Kent State University Press, the book approached hauntings and ghost stories from a historical perspective and chronicled Willis' personal experiences when locked inside of some of Ohio's most haunted locations.

2017's Central Ohio Legends & Lore had Willis chasing down some of the Buckeye State's most legendary characters, including Johnny Appleseed, Annie Oakley, and Chief Leatherlips. Along the way, Willis took the time to explore some of central Ohio's stranger legends, such as the Ohio Grassman and even UFOs. Late 2022 will see the release of the new book in Willis' Legends & Lore series, Southern Ohio Legends & Lore.

A sought-after public speaker, Willis has given presentations throughout the United States, during which he has educated and entertained tens of thousands of people of all ages in crowd sizes ranging from 10 to well over 600. He has also been featured in close to 100 media sources, including CNN, USA Today, Columbus Business First, Midwest Living, The Canadian Press, the Astonishing Legends podcast, and even the Kuwait Times.

Willis currently resides in Galena, Ohio, with his wife and daughter and two narcoleptic cats.