Ghost Stalkers: Episode One – Whispers Estate : Notes and Thoughts

I am a great advocate of people having as much information as possible. With that said here are some notes and thoughts about the first episode of Ghost Stalkers. I’ll be posting a piece like this of every episode.

What you didn’t see on the episode.

  • Chad and I always do a daytime investigation. None of this was shown. We spent a significant amount of time in the house during the day and seemed to have some interaction with friendly energies.
  • Most of the night investigations. Chad and I are in the house all night. What you see on TV is only the most interesting parts of the night investigations.
  • Chad and I trying to duplicate my scratch. In the morning after my investigation Chad and I experimented to see how we could duplicate my scratches.
  • The moving of the cameras. Some of the cameras Chad and I use during our investigations stay in a specific locations but since we are in the location alone we sometimes move cameras around if we think there are better areas to film. Also, we have to move cameras to swap out batteries. There is a table inside every location with extra batteries and extra cameras just in case something breaks or ceases to work.
  • Chad and I both, yet at separate times, after our individual investigations visited the church down the street. Both Chad and I independent of each other walked down the street and tried to unwind at the church on the opposite corner of the street from the location.
  • Bathroom breaks. Obviously we have to go to the bathroom sometimes. Thankfully Whispers has working indoor toilets. Thankfully editors edited that out.
  • Sleepiness in the RV. I drink a lot of coffee to stay awake out in the RV. Investigating keeps you awake, sitting in an RV alone all night can be crazily tiring.
  • When doing the narration for the show I did a lengthy monologue about the folkloric nature of human-animal hybrids and therianthropy while I discussed what the half-man/half-goat entity might be. This long narrative about pre-Christian animal totems, and ancient tales of distant belief systems was edited down to what you heard in the episode which was only, “In some cultures a goatman can represent demons or even the devil himself” The full narration includes many different aspects of what creatures might be and how they have been represented throughout the world dating back to the earliest of human times. None of that made it into the episode.
  • Hugs. Before Chad or I go into any location for our individual investigations we hug each other. We always hug when we finish the investigation too.

Other things you might not have known

When I first met Gwen, the estates caretaker, she told me that sometimes one or more of the energies in the location will not interact unless they are provoked to do so. Everyone that knows me knows I am not a fan of provoking but after hours of being in the house and nothing happening I took Gwen’s advice. On the show you do not see the hours of investigation I did while not provoking but Gwen was right, and you see that on the show.

Whispers Estate holds tours of its location and so there are “spooky” items all over the house. Plastic skulls, Ouija board, etc. We brought nothing into the house to “set dress” it, everything you see was put there by the owners.

Have any other questions about the show? Let me know and I’ll answer them if I can! email john@weirdlectures.com

Don’t forget to check out all the Ghost Stalkers content
at the Destination America site
CLICK HERE

Also visit the Destination America Facebook page! CLICK HERE

Inside forever. A quick trip into infinity.

Where to begin?

Now that the first episode of Ghost Stalkers has premiered I have been contacted by a dizzying amount of people about the the nature of my near-death experience. This is something that I knew I would have to confront once the show was on but it is honestly is a daunting task.

Please understand that some of the words I use and the descriptions of my experience will fail to accurately explain what I remember. The memories I have of the event do not have words or descriptions which is part of why the experience was so horrific. Also, if I stray away and meander about while trying to explain the occurrence please remember that for decades my family choose not to speak about this event.

My mother and father, obviously, do not like to talk about when they almost lost their son. To this day it is something they would rather not think about. As an example, when I say my family doesn’t talk about it I mean; my 14 year-old nephew just learned about it a few weeks before the show premiered. Knowing he would see the show my sister and I discussed the experience so that he would not be frightened about it and so that he could revel in the fact that although his uncle died, he still has his uncle.

The meat and potatoes of the experience itself, the biological component, is secondary and plays little part in what I experienced when I died so let’s get right to what people want – the experience itself.

I could simply write, “Awareness inside of nothing …forever” and I would be fine with that description but you, the reader probably would not be satisfied.

A “traditional” NDE is usually talked about as “bright lights, a white tunnel, relatives who have passed away beckoning you into the light, warmth, happiness and eternal love”. My was very much the opposite of that.

At some point I became aware that I was aware.

It was dark, I felt blind, I tried to reach my hand up in front of my eyes and realized I didn’t have a hand, or an arm or eyes. I tried to scream but found I had no mouth. Indeed I was only awareness without physical form. My body no longer existed I was only a mind.

I was there forever. As strange as that sounds it’s true. There was no time where I was and therefore I was there forever, trapped in infinity, unable to scream, move, and also unable to be unaware of my awareness. I couldn’t shut it out because I was it. There was only me, my mind, alone inside of infinity.

Although aware that I could not scream I still tried, I tried for millions of years to scream and when it didn’t work, I tried for a million more, knowing that it would never work.

I wanted to cry, but again there can be no tears when your have no body to produce them.

I knew who I had been but at some point realized this was now who I was.
No one, nothing in the middle of nothing, forever.

I wanted anything, hope, happiness, sadness, pain, something that would let me feel because I knew if I could feel something it would mean that there was something other than nothing. Fear became a friend because it was something, still though it was fear.

Every now and then the fear would return. It was the only thing I knew. Since time doesn’t exist when the fear returned it returned constantly and forever and I would try screaming again, and again and again and again.

At some point, after forever an idea became me. The idea was, “stay nothing forever or become everything.”

I knew from being inside the nothing for infinity I had to choose “everything”

and I opened my eyes.

There it was, everything.

People, smells, sights, sounds, happiness, pain, fear, life. And it was beautiful.

 

The day I died was the most horrific part of my life, and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

HuffPo and Hauntings and Me

Recently I was asked by the Huffington Post to create a list which people could use to tell if their house was haunted. I of course told them, then such list that could not be made and instead wrote them a brief little letter they could use in lieu of such a list. The Huffington Post article is located here Haunted House Myths Confirmed And Debunked – The Huffington Post  | By Carly Ledbetter, and my original response is found below.

P.S. I liked the Huffinton Post piece but I thought my original response should be out there. Thanks!
—-
Re: How to tell if your house is haunted

Over the last 27 years, I have been asked by thousands of people how they could tell if their homes were “haunted.” My response is always tempered by the fact that, although anecdotal, people’s stories sometimes have similar characteristics, but each experience is unique.

The reality is that there are no “hard and fast” rules. It is actually quite a long and laborious process in researching and investigating what is thought to be a “haunted” location, and due to the transient qualities of the phenomena, real investigation is far more difficult than what most people believe it to be.

I jokingly tell people that if they need four really good signs, without doing any research, to know if their houses are haunted, here are four inarguable occurrences that something weird is going on.

1.Your furniture is constantly rearranging itself.

2.Your pets have started to speak multiple languages.

3.Your collection of antique dolls all have glowing red eyes.

4.Your bed doesn’t need a box spring or frame because it hovers three feet off the floor.

Of course, none of these events are actually happening in people’s homes, but that doesn’t mean something weird isn’t happening in some places. The experiences jokingly mentioned above are what people believe probably happen when they have a “ghost” in their home.

The truer nature of hauntings is that they are far more subtle and vary greatly. Sometimes the experience is as simple as smelling the perfume of a loved one who has passed away, or the feeling of a tap on your shoulder when no one is there. People believe that a death or tragic occurrence in a home means their house is haunted, but not even this has been a reliable indicator that strange manifestations must take place. Most homes have seen death or tragedy in some way and, indeed, they do not have what people call “hauntings.”

I have documented that most residents of homes that are believed to be haunted report strange sounds more commonly during the fall and spring seasons, and this is usually due to the temperature changes taking place inside and outside of the home, causing wood, steel, and other materials to shrink and expand.

Reports of frightening experiences taking place in a home are also mostly based around confining and dark locations such as attics, basements/crawl spaces, and closets. This again can be attributed to our own human psychological fear of dark and constrictive spaces.

A quick look back through my files over the last 27 years shows that close to 98% of the cases I’ve investigated have had normal, if not readily noticeable, explanations. Thankfully, we live in a world filled with experiences as yet still unexplained by the accepted scientific community, and there is room enough to speculate, theorize, and even still be a little jumpy when something goes bump in the night.

Ghost Stalkers : A Tenney Perspective

During paranormal investigations, I have seen people put a ball in the center of the floor and ask “spirits” to “Roll the ball.”

Last year the ball began to roll.

Over the last 27 years, I’ve been involved with innumerable projects—some succeeding, some failing—but they are always learning experiences. True to form, the biggest of my failures were my greatest learning experiences and therefore not failures at all. Early in 2014, I was contacted to be a part of a new paranormal television show. My history working in television has been a tumultuous one, which—on many occasions—has broken my heart. All I’ve ever wanted to do in my studies of paranormal/anomalistic phenomena is make people think more deeply and honestly about, what seems to be, this currently shared reality and what may lie beyond it. I agreed somewhat grudgingly at first to be involved with this new project because I felt it was time people tried to help elevate the public discourse regarding paranormal phenomena. I found that the more I stood for honesty and forthrightness, the more the doors popped open. This has rarely been the case over the last 27 years. Sensationalism and hyperbole are usually the name of the game when it comes to television, especially television and “ghosts.” Of course, I understand that television is entertainment; you have to make a show people will enjoy and engage with, etc. etc., but this was a true opportunity to take a baby step in what I feel is the right direction for paranormal television. The show has spooky moments, scary visuals, and building, driving music that raises the pulse of the viewer, but it is mostly a show about the investigators. This is a side of paranormal television rarely seen. My co-star Chad Lindberg and I allow everyone to see who we are and what we feel, and in every instance to share in our terror and joy. During the filming of the show, there are some very exciting and mind-boggling happenings that are captured on video. As an almost 30 year veteran in paranormal research, I couldn’t be happier and more excited to share those moments with the world. But there is something more amazing than “ghosts caught on tape” in these episodes. Viewers will see personal transformations: the growth of two people both spiritually and psychologically. Because Chad and I choose to investigate isolated from all outside human interference, we are forced not only to deal with any alleged inhuman/post-human entities; we are forced to confront ourselves. Ideas and beliefs, hopes and fears stripped away and evolved in front of a camera.

I know that people will criticise the “evidence,” that people will rip apart every word spoken to find some “flaw” in the show—that is what our culture has become. I’m fine with it. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the first in the room to call “bullshit” when it comes to shakey, poorly-lit video and tenuous experimentation procedures.  Don’t think for a moment I don’t want to hear the critics and the complaints; on the contrary, I beg to hear them. I have been on a 27+ year journey and I need to know what the machine I am inside of looks like. Viewers can see, with a clearer perspective, what I am too close to see. I need YOU to be my eyes and ears because together can we create and construct new ideas that individually may never come to pass.

A few words to the different aspects of our community:

To the believers: Enjoy the ride. At this point it’s probably the closest thing to actual investigations and non-tomfoolery you will ever see or have ever seen on TV, and I wait with bated breath to hear if you loved, liked, or hated it.

To the skeptics: Enjoy the ride. At this point it’s probably the closest thing to actual investigations and non-tomfoolery you will ever see or have ever seen on TV, and I wait with bated breath to hear if you loved, liked, or hated it.

To everyone else: Enjoy the ride.

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with hate, jealousy, intolerance, and a seemingly endless supply of negativity. I see nothing wrong with good people telling good stories that will make you laugh, scream, and then hold the hand of the person next to you and say, “Wow, what a ride.”

And the ball continues to roll.

john e.l. tenneyThanks for everything you do.
John

8 Old Tyme Paranormal Researchers Cooler than Hipsters & Smarter than You

I know you love being “hip” and you love your facial hair and you love researching weird stuff but all these gentleman have you beat.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle

8. Arthur Conan Doyle
Aside from being a doctor, being knighted AND creating Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur C. Doyle loved researching supernatural phenomena, until he didn’t.
Moustache Level: Sherlockian

Charles R. Richet

Charles R. Richet

7. Charles Robert Richet
Noble Prize winning physiologist, aviation pioneer and past President of Society for Psychical Research. Richet coined the term “ectoplasm”.
Moustache / Ascot Power Level: One Billion

Richard Hodgson

Richard Hodgson

6. Dr. Richard Hodgson
Austrailan lawyer and secretary for the American Society for Psychical Research. Hodgson exposed numerous fraudulent mediums and psychics including Helena Blavatsky.
Beard Trimming Maestro

William James

William James

5. William James
Physician, psychologist and, considered by many to be, The Father of Psychology.  He was a founding member and vice president of the American Society for Psychical Research.
Both-sides Beard & Reverse Goatee

Frank Podmore

Frank Podmore

4. Frank Podmore
English author and member of the Society for Psychical Research. Due to his rational explanations of supernatural phenomena and his debunking of psychics Podmore is one of the few psychical researchers who found acceptance by the “scientific community”.
More Handsome than most Modern Men

 Sir William Crookes

Sir William Crookes

3. William Crookes
British physicist, chemist and knighted in 1897 he identified the first known sample of helium. He faked some spirit photographs which outraged his colleagues but in all likelihood it was because he had been having an affair with the medium he was investigating…which didn’t outrage him.
Lord of the Rings Character

Camille Flammarion

Camille Flammarion

2. Camille Flammarion
French author and astronomer,  first president of the Société astronomique de France, and has two craters, one on Mars and one on the Moon, named after him.  He believed in telepathy, the stone tape theory, and the survival of the soul after death but thought most mediums were faking it.
Has seen the edge of forever.

Henry Sidgwick

Henry Sidgwick

1. Henry Sidgwick
English economist, founder of Newnham College in Cambridge and first president of the Society for Psychical Research. His book Methods of Ethics, is considered by some critics as the most noteworthy ethical work in English of the 19th century.
Kicking your hipster ass back to square one.

5 Terrible “paranormal” episodes of non paranormal shows.

Everyone, including the writers from television shows, get tired. As these “writer’s” days become fuzzy from working on horrible T.V. shows they will inevitably kick out a show that has some type of paranormal theme. These five only represent the thousands that exist, Happy Days had Mork, Larry from Three’s Company mentions seeing a sea monster, etc. but out of all the shows that weren’t supposed to be about paranormal experiences which one had your favorite or least favorite supernatural episode? Comment below.

Lassie & UFOs

Lassie & UFOs

Lassie: Timmy vs. The Martians – 1961
Timmy and his friends build a UFO detector in a rickety old shed. A military plane crashes nearby and the government shows up. Of course due to our government being completely inept only Lassie can solve the mystery surrounding the crash.

 

Arnie & Aliens

Arnie & Aliens

Roseanne: Aliens – 1992
Nancy, Roseanne’s sister, is heartbroken when Arnie leaves her because he claims he was abducted by aliens. I can only assume this episode was based on Tom Arnold’s real life drug abuse.

Wings & UFOs

Wings & UFOs

Wings: Plane Nine from Nantucket – 1991
A UFO is spotted and reluctantly reported to the FAA. A group of UFO researchers shows up and asks for a plane ride to see if they can spot it again. I hate Tony Shalhoub.

Close Encounters of The Nerd Kind

Close Encounters of The Nerd Kind

Saved by the Bell:  Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind – 1990
Zack fakes an alien encounter and of course the government shows up. Screech dresses like an alien and the government wants to dissect him. I’m sure Dustin Diamond wished he had been dissected.

Walker Texas Time Traveler

Walker Texas Time Traveler

Walker Texas Ranger: Way of the Warrior – 1999
An Indian shaman transports Walker back in time to the 19th century to prevent a recurrence of a 20th-century injustice. Wait…WHAT?

Sounds of the Weird: Volume One

418+1zL0BWL._SL500_AA280_Sounds of the Weird is a soundtrack of audio experiments meant to accompany research into unusual phenomena. Each volume of the collection is crafted using, in most instances, ambient sounds from the time periods and locations of specific anomalous experiences. Sometimes melodious, other times discordant Sounds of the Weird strives to be a new strange experience beyond those which prompted the creation of the collection. You can get your copy from Amazon buy clicking here.

This CD and the music contained on it are not meant to be a comprehensive study of the topic for which the volume was named but all sounds/songs were created specifically to be listened to while researching certain topics.

Michigan’s 10 Most Haunted Cities for 2013

ROYAL OAK, Mich. — Citizens who are easily scared or who are fascinated by the paranormal may be wondering where they can find — or hide from — the cities in Michigan where they’re most likely to encounter ghosts and paranormal phenomena. To help the communities enjoy their Halloween season, paranormal researcher John E.L. Tenney has once again identified Michigan’s Top 10 most haunted cities.

After losing the top spot on the list, four years ago, Detroit is back at number one.

“The top ten cities include places for believers and skeptics, living or otherwise,” says John E.L. Tenney, Tenney is a well-known veteran paranormal researcher, the founder of WeirdLectures.com, national lecturer and author. Tenney’s organization collects and compiles e-mails, news stories, letters, and historical documents to create the list. “People are not only interested in paranormal phenomena allegedly occurring in their community,” he says, “but they use those experiences to connect with neighbors and other residents and share in a new kind of oral history.” The real excitement in these haunted cities, Tenney says, comes from exploring them in person and absorbing their essence.

All the cities on Tenney’s list have incredible histories to share. Self-guided walking tours are a fun, relaxing, and healthy way to see these communities. Every year, some citizens worry needlessly about the list, which has become a “rite” of the Halloween season. But not to fear, Tenney says. “The only thing some residents are really afraid of is if this list will have an effect on the marketability and value of the homes in their community. The reality of the situation is that researchers and scientists would pay anything to get their hands on a truly haunted house.”

For more information, visit WeirdLectures.com.

The 2013 Top 10 Haunted Michigan Cities (2012 rankings in parentheses)

1. Detroit (4)*
2. Kalamazoo (3)
3. Jackson (1)
4. Mount Clemens (9)
5. Ann Arbor (8)
6. Flint (5)
7. Battle Creek (7)
8. Lansing (-)
9. Traverse City (6)
10. Grand Rapids (2)

*The five most commonly reported locations within Detroit:
5. The Whitney
4. Indian Village
3. Corktown
2. Historic Fort Wayne
1. Detroit Public Library

CBS Radio Workshop: A Report on ESP

The CBS Radio Workshop was a dramatic radio series that aired on CBS in the 1950′s. Subtitled “radio’s distinguished series to man’s imagination,” it blended fiction and non-fiction news accounts. In this episode from 1956 the concepts of ESP, Dowsing, Precognition and Telepathy are covered. Starring John McIntyre and Raymond Burr.

CBS Radio Workshop: A Report on ESP

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Unconventional Conventions – John Keel 1966

John Keel is regarded by many as a pioneer in the field of Fortean studies. He popularized, and indeed may have created, the terms “Men In Black” and “Ultraterrestrials” but Keel is most well-known as the main researcher and investigator of the Mothman experiences. He wrote a number of books including The Mothman Prophecies, Disneyland of the Gods, Our Haunted Planet and Jadoo. He challenged the commonly held belief that flying Saucers, cryptozoology and hauntings were unique and separate experiences. In an interview Keel stated that,”The objects and apparitions do not necessarily originate on another planet and may not even exist as permanent constructions of matter. It is more likely that we see what we want to see and interpret such visions according to our contemporary beliefs.”
Without Keel the “paranormal community” would be lacking in much of its insight and humor.

Here for you enjoyment is a lecture by John Keel recorded during a UFO convention in 1966.
John Keel, UFO Convention 1966

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.