Mary Barile is a writer and historian, and the author of fourteen books about antiques, history, and the paranormal. She is also an award-winning playwright, with readings and productions from The Kennedy Center to just-off-Broadway. Mary is dedicated to bringing the past to life. She has a PhD in theatre history and teaches playwriting, public speaking, and theatre history at the college level.
Mary trained as an appraiser, and has worked with antiques for 25 years. Her specialties are books, quilts, hooked rugs and 19th century American pottery and glass. She owned an antiques shop in the Catskill Mountains where she had hands-on experience with collectibles and antiques from the 17th century on.
She is an avid collector of books, maps and ephemera, and has appraised and authenticated books worth more than a million dollars. She has taught about collecting and appraising, and is often called on to locate and provide antiques for films and stage shows.
Mary never turns down a chance to crawl through an old barn or an ancient attic, and discover a hidden gem. She brings an historian's sense to collecting and enjoys finding the story behind each antique.
Mary is an active paranormal historian and author. As a trained ethnographer and folklorist, she believes that our superstitions and hauntings reach beyond our senses. She has written several books about hauntings and legends, and is often asked to provide the history of a haunting for paranormal investigators. Mary has participated in many investigations in the United States and Europe.
A lifelong knitter, crocheter and traditional rug hooker, Mary has designed and written for Rug Hooking, Early American Life, McCalls' Needlework, Ozark Handspun and other publications and websites. She teaches needlecrafts, natural and hand dyeing, and rug hooking, and is a founder of one of the Midwest's popular "hook ins" for rug artists. A craft historian, Mary has researched the traditions and methods of rural crafts, demonstrating knitting, crocheting and rug work at historic sites and preserving techniques for future artists.