‘Dirty Jobs’ star Mike Rowe recalls living in haunted mansion with 'friendly ghost' for free
'Dirty Jobs' star Mike Rowe recalls living in a haunted mansion with a 'friendly ghost' for free. The TV star also dishes on his new book, titled 'The Way I Heard It.'
Mike Rowe didn’t hesitate to live in a mansion for free — even if it meant his roommate would be a ghost.
In a new book titled “The Way I Heard It,” the former “Dirty Jobs” star recalled his “strange” time living in a haunted home, his late-night gig working for QVC, where he sold everything from Christmas dolls to cat toys, as well as how his membership in a barbershop quartet led to show business.
The book, a combination of a memoir, comical observations and surprising revelations, gives a new glimpse into the 57-year-old’s life and the many adventures he encountered along the way where he didn’t mind getting his hands dirty.
Rowe spoke to Fox News about moving into a spooky mansion on Halloween, his days at QVC, how we can thank our veterans and the possibility of a “Dirty Jobs” reboot.
Mike Rowe has penned a new book titled, 'The Way I Heard It.' (Michael Buckner/WireImage)
Fox News: You lived in a mansion for free at one point. How did you manage that?
Mike Rowe: Just lucky and weird. I was working for the QVC cable shopping channel in 1992 selling... strange devices in the middle of the night to a large, narcoleptic, interesting audience. And I needed a place to live. I had rented a small room from a guy who, as it turns out, didn't actually own the building I was living in. So I was suddenly homeless.
I answered an ad in the paper for a caretaker on a country estate, but the word caretaker was in quotes, which intrigued me. So I made a few calls, and long story short, a woman had inherited this giant mansion in the middle of a beautiful country estate, rolling hills, the whole thing, 300 acres.
And she was afraid to move into it because she believed the ghost of her father haunted the grounds. And so she hired me to live there instead of her for a while to see if I could work things out with the ghost. I said, "Sure." So I moved into this house. It was called Georgia Farm... Moved in on Halloween in fact, 1991. It was a strange time. Living in a haunted house by day and selling Hummels by night on QVC. Weird.
Fox News: How was the ghost?
Rowe: Let’s just say it was a friendly ghost. And over the course of the year, the two of us came to an understanding and I wound up living pretty comfortably on this estate. It was funny. People had no idea who I really was. I had just started working there and just moved up there and suddenly I'm occupying this incredible Gothic house, living there alone ostensibly. And yeah, looking back, it was a pretty good time. A weird time, but a good time.
Mike Rowe of the television series 'Dirty Jobs' talks with fan Lori Shepard of the Senate Intelligence Committee, before an event to kick of American Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) advocacy campaign 'I Make America,' held at the Reserve Officers Association. The campaign is a national grassroots effort to strengthen American manufacturing jobs in the U.S. to improve the economy and global competitiveness. (Michael Buckner/WireImage)
Fox News: What were some of the strangest things you tried to sell on television late at night?
Rowe: Well, there's no training program on QVC. Back in those days, anyway, if you could talk about a pencil for eight minutes, you were hired and put on a three-month probationary trial and you worked in the middle of the night. Usually from 3:00 to 6:00 AM and you tried to sell whatever they brought you. Sometimes it could be an electronic mosquito repeller or the Health Team Infrared Pain Reliever or the Amcor Negative Ion Generator or maybe some fake diamonds or maybe a collectible doll.
I mean all of it, and I remember, I think the first thing they brought me was the Health Team Infrared Pain Reliever. It was this weird — it looked like a flashlight and it emitted infrared light. I didn't know what it was, or how it worked, or if it was even real. I basically looked into the camera and said, "Hi America, I'm Mike. This is my first night here. I don't know what this thing is. If you do, call the number on the screen, the producer will put you through and maybe you can explain it to me." And people started calling and literally I sat there for three hours as fans of QVC sold the products for me. It was very strange.
Paul Harvey began his coast-to-coast news and commentary show on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Radio Network in 1951. He was elected to the National Association of Broadcasters' Radio Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame in Oklahoma. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
In the first chapter, I tell you about a famous person that you know. You get to guess and try and figure out who it is, and then I tell you a true story from my own misspent career that in some way rhymes with that person's life. That's how the book goes--35 chapters, a little mystery, a little memoir, a little biography, a little autobiography.