July 22, 2019 was like any other day. My turtle, Watson, woke me up before my alarm went off. I picked up my phone to scroll through Facebook. The first post in my newsfeed was the Association of Paranormal Study announcing the sudden death of Rosemary Ellen Guiley on Thursday, July 18, 2019.
This was the last thing I expected to see. I remember sending her birthday wishes just the other week.
I originally met Rosemary back in 2016. We connected through one of my Facebook groups, The Art of Dying. It is a group where people can share anything to do with death. Most of the time you get strange articles and cemetery photos.
She joined the group, and I remember thinking her name was familiar. I mentioned her to Anthony, Vamped‘s Editor-in-Chief, and he explained that she was a well-known author.
I messaged her to introduce myself and we kept talking from there.
I realized I had a copy of one of her books. I picked up a copy of The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters (2005), while browsing a used bookstore in Texas back in 2015 with Anthony and J. Gordon Melton. We attended a vampire studies symposium together, and the three of us met for the first time in person.
Later that year, she came to the West Coast for a visit with her husband and they made a detour to Vancouver. We went for dinner at sushi place downtown.
I got her to autograph my book and we had such an interesting conversation about so many vampire-related things. Too many to list off. My partner and her husband joined us and it was a good time for everyone.
In 2017, we met again for dinner in North Vancouver at a little Indian place. On this visit, Rosemary was kind enough to bring me a necklace of Whitby Jet from her latest visit to Whitby Abbey in England. It was beautiful.
We tried to meet up the following year and it didn’t work out. We kept saying we would do dinner again on her next trip.
Rosemary was probably the most accomplished woman I have ever met. For those of you that don’t know, Rosemary wrote Vampires Among Us (1991) and released a revised edition of it it in 2016. She was so proud of this. She was kind enough to send me two signed copies; one for me and one for Anthony.
Besides being a writer, she started her own publishing company, Visionary Living. As a summary of her work, I am going to quote her “About the Author” page from the revised edition of Vampires Among Us:
Rosemary Ellen Guiley has had a fascination with vampires since she read Bram Stoker’s Dracula at age 12. She has had a life-long interest in the paranormal, and has worked full-time as a researcher, investigator and author since the early 1980s in the paranormal, ufology, and metaphysical fields.
She has written more than 60 books and hundreds of articles. Her books include nine single-volume encyclopedias, among them The Encyclopedia of Vampires and Werewolves, and The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology. In addition, she is a researcher and writer in the paranormal, UFO, and metaphysical fields.
Rosemary makes frequent media and public lecture appearances. She hosts a weekly radio show, Strange Dimensions, on KGRA, at www.kgraradio.com.
Her publishing company specialized in the supernatural. I mentioned to her that I had written a vampire novel and she was so eager to read it. I sent her the first couple of chapters late last year and she really liked it. She was interested in publishing it once I had edited it and made some needed changes.
I had never written a novel before and she was kind enough to offer advice and I looked at her as kind of a mentor. She was always encouraging me and it was amazing to have someone with her experience giving me pointers. She motivated me to keep editing and hopefully it will see the light of day for others to enjoy.
As a person, she was lovely. We had great conversations and even when my grandmother passed away on May 5, 2019, she offered kind words of encouragement and more advice. She always said I was in her prayers.
She was kind and warm and her passion for the supernatural was always inspiring. She did so many things and was always busy. Her legacy will live on through her books and I consider myself fortunate to have know this amazing woman. Now it is my turn to keep her in my prayers.
Thank you, Rosemary, for everything.
- the Association of Paranormal Study announcing the sudden death of Rosemary Ellen Guiley: Alex Matsuo, “Rosemary Ellen Guiley Passes Away at the Age of 69,” Association of Paranormal Study, July 22, 2019, accessed July 22, 2019, http://associationofparanormalstudy.com/2019/07/22/rosemary-ellen-guiley-passes-away-at-the-age-of-69/.
- I remember sending her birthday wishes just the other week: Guiley was born July 8, 1950.—Ed.
- The Art of Dying: https://www.facebook.com/groups/artofdying/.
- while browsing a used bookstore in Texas: Erin Chapman, “Trip to Texas: The Vampire Studies Symposium and More,” Vamped, April 16, 2016, accessed Oct. 26, 2016, https://vamped.org/2016/04/09/trip-to-texas-the-vampire-studies-symposium-and-more/.
- We attended a vampire studies symposium together: Erin Chapman, “Trip to Texas: The Vampire Studies Symposium and More,” Vamped, April 16, 2016, accessed Oct. 26, 2016, https://vamped.org/2016/04/09/trip-to-texas-the-vampire-studies-symposium-and-more/.
- We went for dinner at a sushi place downtown: Erin Chapman, “Sushi, Vampires and the Supernatural: Meeting Rosemary Ellen Guiley,” Vamped, February 18, 2017, accessed July 22, 2019, https://vamped.org/2017/02/18/sushi-vampires-supernatural-meeting-rosemary-ellen-guiley.
- “Rosemary Ellen Guiley has had a fascination with vampires”: Guiley, Vampires Among Us, rev. ed. (New Milford, CT: Visionary Living, 2016), 207.
From the team at Vamped, we offer our deepest sympathies to Rosemary’s loved ones. Long may she continue to inspire. Her books, Vampires Among Us and The Complete Vampire Companion (1994), were major influences on my own then-burgeoning vampire interest.—Ed.