Jacob ‘Jake’ Rice grew up in a little town along a river and lake in the northern forests of Wisconsin. When he got old enough, he left for the bright lights of the big city, and went to college in Chicago. Now, he’s based in Seattle and actively hunts ghosts, but takes the arm-chair approach to monsters. You can learn more about ghost hunting at GhostlyActivities.com.
How did you get interested in monsters?
I grew up with tall tales and ghost stories as a kid. My parents were into scary stories, though my father focused on monsters and my mother told ghost stories. It sticks with a kid. Plus, my dad loved monster movies. Especially the creature features shown on Saturday matinees.
Do you have a specific kind of monster you like to research and write about?
I’ve got two, fearsome critters and aquatic monsters. Fearsome critters are the forest monsters from lumberjack stories. The hodag would be a good example. Aquatic monsters are sea, lake and river monsters. So, those would be the kraken, Pepi (Lake Pepin monster) and giant snapping turtles. I really love sea monsters.
What is an arm-chair monster hunter versus a cryptozoologist?
Well, to be honest, I like to read books, terrifying tales, scary stories and dig up the history about monsters rather than go out in the field. I guess you could say I’m an amateur monster historian or folklorist. I do my field work for ghost hunting. Cryptozoologists do field work and scientific testing to prove a cryptid exists.
Monsters On The Web (MOTW) is written with humor in mind. Why did you take that approach versus the more serious tone on Ghostly Activities?
Because we have a lot of real-life monsters to worry about. I wanted to make a fun site about these fantastical–and scary–monsters. Don’t get me wrong: I love Wikipedia and a lot of other encyclopedic sites. I’m cool with reading straight information, but I wanted to have fun with it all. I hope the readers can tell and it takes them out of life’s monotony for a few minutes.