On Monday, the New York Times reported that Brett Talley, President Trump's nominee for Alabama's federal district judge, had failed to disclose that he was married to a White House lawyer. But aside from his potential conflicts of interest, and general lack of experience for the role, there was another detail about the 36-year-old lawyer that made headlines Monday—his work as a horror novelist and ghost hunter.
As Gizmodo points out, Talley first shared his supernatural interests in a 2014 Washington Post interview, where he talked about his novels of "true ghost" stories and going out with the Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group to hunt for the paranormal, armed with thermal cameras and digital voice recorders. According to its website, the group "uses a strictly scientific approach to determine the extent of the paranormal activity" and uploads photos and audio from some of its expeditions.
"I tend to believe there’s a good scientific explanation for the weird things people see and hear," Talley told the Post. "But I’m open to the idea, and it’s fun."
According to the Daily Beast, Talley even co-wrote a book with the founder of the group, David Higdon, called Haunted Tuscaloosa. It apparently explores "tales of haunted houses and shadows moving through university buildings."
"We will enter abandoned insane asylums, antebellum homes and ancient cemeteries," the authors write, according to the Beast. "We will review stories of long-dead Civil War soldiers, of women driven insane by the death of loves, and of some leading lights of Tuscaloosa who still walk in the massive homes they constructed."
It's not clear if Talley has ever actually come across a ghost, considering Higdon told the Beast the group usually doesn't find any paranormal activity and ends up sitting "in the dark and mostly wish[ing] something does happen."
Still, it doesn't look like Talley's ghost-hunting abilities will stand in the way of his judicial aspirations. According to the Times, he's already been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee even though the American Bar Association unanimously deemed him "not qualified."