What Lurks Beyond: The Paranormal in Your Backyard

Jason Offutt


Jason Offutt investigates true tales of these and other paranormal events that happened within 100 miles of his home.

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Ghosts, aliens, a time traveler, and a mind-reading dog could be fiction, but Jason Offutt investigates true tales of these and other paranormal events that happened within 100 miles of his home. Offutt introduces ordinary folks who have encountered unexplained phenomena in everyday places and presents engaging accounts of their experiences. Getting a glimpse of this hidden world around us may prompt us to look—really look—in our own backyard.

Jason Offutt’s new book, What Lurks Beyond, is a study of strange and otherworldly phenomena of a truly varied, fascinating, disturbing, and ominous nature that have occurred within 100 miles of Jason’s home. Encompassing engrossing tales of time travel; encounters with aliens from far-off realms; shadowy entities that lurk in the darkened corners of our world; near-death experiences; and much more, this is a book that takes a fresh, new approach to its subject matter. And it’s one that will definitely have you looking over your shoulder as you read it!

—Nick Redfern, author of
There’s Something in the Woods

Unearthing fresh information about classic cases and all-new tales of paranormal happenings, Jason Offutt has done a masterful job of peeling back the otherworldly veneer from the esoteric and bringing it much closer to home. He dispels the notion that high strangeness is “somewhere out there” and shows that it exists all around us, in small towns, big cities, and, more often than not, right around the corner. A fun and entertaining read that serves as a veritable grab bag of paranormal genres, What Lurks Beyond is a worthwhile addition to any esoteric enthusiast’s library.

—Tim Binnall, host of Binnall of America:
Audio paranormal podcast




Introduction: Outside Your Back Door

Chapter 1 They Call it David...Maryville, Missouri
Chapter 2 A Haunted Campus...Maryville, Missouri
Chapter 3 Something Fell from the Sky...Skidmore, Missouri
Chapter 4 Workman Chapel...Rural Nodaway County, Missouri
Chapter 5 The Christian House...Maitland, Missouri
Chapter 6 Mike Marcum's Time Machine...Stanberry, Missouri
Chapter 7 The Possession of Travis White...Fairfax, Missouri
Chapter 8 A Life I Never Lived...Clarinda, Iowa
Chapter 9 Footprints in the Carpet...Tarkio, Missouri
Chapter 10 Big Monkey in My Backyard...St. Joseph, Missouri
Chapter 11 The Axe Murder House...Villisca, Iowa
Chapter 12 Entity in the Fire...Maysville, Missouri
Chapter 13 A Haunted City...Atchison, Kansas
Chapter 14 Ridgley Cemetery and Hell Town...Ridgley, Missouri
Chapter 15 O’Malley’s 1842 Irish Pub...Weston, Missouri
Chapter 16 An Encounter with a Black-Eyed Kid...Lawson, Missouri
Chapter 17 The Jesse James Farm and Museum...Kearney, Missouri
Chapter 18 Oujia Boards...Independence and Kansas City, Missouri
Chapter 19 Fairview Cemetary and the Black Angel...Council Bluffs, Iowa
Chapter 20 Attacks in the Dark...Independence, Missouri
Chapter 21 It Fell from the Sky...Council Bluffs, Iowa
Chapter 22 Joslyn Castle...Omaha, Nebraska
Chapter 23 The Crying House...Kansas City, Missouri
Chapter 24 The Hotel Savoy...Kansas City, Missouri
Chapter 25 The Ford House...Richmond, Missouri
Chapter 26 UFOs and Cowtown, USA...Kansas City, Missouri
Chapter 27 1859 Jail, Marshal's Home and Museum...Independence, Missouri
Chapter 28 The Schirmer UFO Encounter...Ashland, Nebraska
Chapter 29 Near-Death Experiences...Raytown, Missouri
Chapter 30 Haunted by Helpful Spirits....Seward, Nebraska
Chapter 31 Something at the Bedroom Door...South Kansas City, Missouri
Chapter 32 Jim the Wonder Dog...Marshall, Missouri
Chapter 33 Epilogue: Adventures in Ghost Hunting...Cummings, Kansas

Afterword: What I’ve Learned

About the Author


Jason Offutt is a journalism instructor at Northwest Missouri State University and a syndicated humor and paranormal columnist. He is author of Haunted Missouri, On Being Dad, and A Small Town.


What Lurks Beyond studies the otherworldly phenomena that has occurred within 100 miles of his own home. From time travel and encounters with aliens to more, this blends new tales of the paranormal with new perspectives on old cases to show how strangeness exists all around us and not just in high-energy places. Readers fascinated by the paranormal will find this involving.

Midwest Book Review, February 2011

What Jason Offutt sets out to demonstrate in What Lurks Beyond is that unexplained phenomena can occur in your own backyard, wherever you live. Offutt lives in Maryville, Missouri, and he has assembled records of 32 paranormal events that have taken place within 100 miles of his home.

Nexus Magazine, February–March 2011

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