TOMS RIVER — The founder of the New Jersey Ghost Hunters Society, a group that has grown to more than 900 people worldwide, will be at this branch of the Ocean County library this weekend to share updates on her experiences with the supernatural.

L'Aura Hladik Hoffman is an author of books including Ghosthunting: New Jersey and Ghosthunting: New York, and will expand on those previous findings in a presentation she said will include photos and new information from more recent interviews.

"You will be hearing stories and encounters and EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) and things that were never related in the books, because these have happened since the books were issued," Hoffman said. "It's fun because it involves the history, it's not just here's a picture of an orb, here's a picture of a ghost. These are certain places that I've picked out of the books."

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In New Jersey, those places include The Pattenburg House in Asbury, Hunterdon County, The Hermitage in Ho-Ho-Kus, and the Burlington County Prison Museum in Mount Holly.

At The Hermitage, Hoffman said, a full-body apparition of a little girl has been spotted.

Each of the presentation's featured locations can be checked out in person, save for a former New York City restaurant that closed since Hoffman's NYC book was first published, and has reopened as a clothing store.

"All the other places that I talk about are open to the public, either as still an operational tavern, like Pattenburg House, and the other places are museums that you can visit," she said.

L'Aura Hladik Hoffman
Author L'Aura Hladik Hoffman (Courtesy Ocean County Library)

NJGHS members, meanwhile, are busy conducting year-round ghost investigations free of charge.

Ghost hunting can happen any time, Hoffman said, but is easier at night because relative lack of cell phone activity "opens up the channel a little better."

Those who want to know if their residence may be haunted should expect a report back in about two weeks, and then Hoffman said they get to decide how to proceed.

"Some people want to coexist with their ghost, some people want it eradicated, and other people just put the 'For Sale' sign up and leave," she said with a chuckle.

As for Hoffman, she'll also be speaking at other libraries in New Jersey this month, in Gibbstown, Middletown, Parsippany, Spring Lake, Old Bridge, and New Egypt.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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