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    With Halloween quickly approaching, the horror genre is undoubtedly on everyone’s radar this week. And if you’re anything like Louisville's David Domine, you haven’t been spending this Halloween season inside watching horror films, you’ve been checking out the scariest places in Louisville up close and personal.

    Local author of 12 books, including America’s Most Haunted Neighborhood,” David Domine has made a name for himself in Louisville’s paranormal culture. A former resident of Old Louisville and a current foreign language professor at Bellarmine University, Domine has always had an interest in the city and is striving to make more people aware of Louisville’s interesting history.

    One of his current literary projects, “The House in Old Louisville” details the gruesome 2009 murder of a local performer, in the heart of the Victorian neighborhood - in the now-infamous house at 1435 South Fourth Street.

    Yeah, he’s writing a book about that house. Here’s a peek at Domine’s progress with the project so far:

    Louisville.com: What caught your attention first about the house? Was it the news coverage on the murder, or the architecture of the building itself, perhaps?
    David Domine: “I lived in Old Louisville for many years and I was always looking for ways to promote the neighborhood and get the word out about it. It has spectacular Victorian architecture, beautiful public spaces and lots of eccentric charm. Many people don't know about it, though. In 2005, I wrote my first book, which was a collection of "true" ghost stories from the neighborhood. And, since then, I've had 11 books published. Many of them keep coming back to Old Louisville for their inspiration and, apart from ghostly legends in the area, I've also written about Old Louisville's architecture, history and recipes. In the back of my mind, I was always looking for a story that would allow me to do for Old Louisville what John Berendt did for Savannah in his book ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.’ This author wrote a book about a murder trial, but in the process he made the city famous, laying bare its eccentricities and wonders in such an entertaining and informative way that readers wanted to hop in their cars and head to Savannah as soon as they put the book down. When the story broke about the murder in the Mundt/Banis house in Old Louisville [featured in ‘The House in Old Louisville’], right around the corner from where I lived, I immediately thought about 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil' - and the idea came to write a book about it. As the details emerged, it became evident that there was a wealth of material for a fascinating story.”


    Image: Zillow

    L.com: Have you discovered anything interesting about the house while conducting research for your book? And, if so, can you share with our readers?
    DD: “Yes, it turns out the house has a very spooky past and it's been the location for a number of sad and traumatic events, aside from the horrible murder of Jamie Carroll in 2009 [detailed in ‘The House in Old Louisville’]. In the early 1900s, it was a well-known sanatorium where a doctor of questionable ethics was practicing; not surprising, there's a good deal of death and sadness associated with that period. In addition, the last owner of the house - before Jeffery Mundt purchased it and moved in - was brutally attacked in the house and never recovered. Aside from that, Jeffery Mundt and Joseph Banis had a somewhat dark side to their life in the house, one that included heavy drug use and rubber suits. It later came out that they had a counterfeit money operation set up on the second floor of the mansion and there were alleged ties to organized crime in Chicago - and even the CIA. Not only that, there's a drag queen element to the story. And I always say if you add a drag queen to the story, it's going to make it a whole lot more interesting. Just ask any fans of Lady Chablis, one of the stars of ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.’”

    L.com: In your opinion, is the house featured in "The House in Old Louisville" truly haunted?
    DD: “I can't say whether this house is truly haunted or not - I'm a skeptic in those matters, anyway - but it seems that all the strange activity is associated with the past of this house, not the present. The house has seen its fair share of suffering, that's for certain, but today it's been lovingly restored and is a beautiful, single-family residence. Thrill-seekers need to be aware that it is a private dwelling today and that people call it home. Don't go peeking through any windows or knocking on the front door - or else you're liable to get into trouble with the current occupants.”


    Image: Zillow

    L.com: As an active member of Louisville's haunted community, what would you say is the most haunted building in the city? What is your advice for people who would want to visit it?
    DD: “Well, many would definitely consider Waverly Hills Sanatorium the most haunted place in the city. It's famous world-wide and counts as the holy grail of American haunts. They're not lacking in interest or visitors, though, so if you want to take a tour there, you need to plan ahead. Of course, Old Louisville is known as the ‘most haunted neighborhood’ in the country and it's a great place to tour as well. For the last 10 years, since my first book came out, I've been actively working with neighborhood organizations to promote tourism to and within Old Louisville. Aside from daily history and architecture walks from March 15 - November 15, there are evening guided tours of Old Louisville and its haunted past at 7:30. The tour is known as the ‘America's Most Haunted Neighborhood’ walking tour and prospective visitors can get more information at its website.” 

    L.com: When is the expected release date of "The House in Old Louisville?"
    DD: “Right now, we're looking at 2017 at the earliest. One of the reasons that it will be a while before the book is out is that there is supposed to be another trial coming up, a federal one about the counterfeit money, and I want to sit in on that trial and include the details in the book. Also, since the gruesome details of the Jamie Carroll murder are still so fresh in many people's minds, I'd like to put a little distance between the murder and the release of the book.”

    For more information on David Domine and his current projects, visit his website

    Photo courtesy of Prime Meridian Realty

    Carly Garcia's picture

    About Carly Garcia

    Lover of vegetarian cuisine, Stephen King, puppies, camping and wine...lots of wine.

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