Ghost Stalkers: Episode Two – Springfield Hospital : Notes and Thoughts

What you didn’t see, or might have missed, on the episode.

  • Again, Chad and I always do a daytime investigation of the location. Some of this was seen as we discovered the steam tunnels. Finding an entrance to the steam tunnels took awhile but once inside we found multiple ways in and out. You can see this in the episode by the fact that we discovered the tunnels as a covered hole in the ground, which thankfully became noticeable because the city had recently mowed the lawn, and we leave through an access door.
  • Cemetery Daytime investigation. When Chad and I visited the cemetery, where the unclaimed bodies had been moved to, we sat and did an EVP session and paid our respects. Only a brief moment of this was shown.
  • The crew freaking out. Although Chad and I investigate and are completely alone at night during the day there is a small camera crew helping set up cameras and doing “B-Roll” which includes time-lapse shots, shots of the location and helping with witness interviews. It was at Springfield that many of the crew, highly skeptical of paranormal phenomena, started freaking out and getting scared from strange happenings around the location.
  • Bathroom breaks. Springfield does not have running water but there is a porta-toilet on sight. It was gross.
  • My overly long, but interesting, narration about ions. In this episode you only get brief snippets of my overly long monologue about positive and negative ions. What you don’t hear is when I discuss how human physiology is affected by Negative ions, they reduce stress, lower blood pressure etc. while Positive ions, caused by “dirty” EMF fields, can cause headaches, nausea, etc. Someone experiencing these contrary conditions might feel as though they are experiencing something supernatural.
  • There is a larger monologue about water-filled places, not just the Bermuda Triangle, which have reported anomalistic phenomena. You only heard the Bermuda Triangle part.
  • Chad and I opening the Starr building. During the first day on site Chad and I had to literally pry boards off the door of the Starr building to get inside. It took forever.
  • Bats. When I was in the steam tunnels at night I went down a tunnel exploring and crawled into a portion that was inhabited by hundred of bats. That portion of the tunnel was so small I had to crawl backwards about 50 feet to get out. BATS!
  • The immensity of the location. This location was huge and the buildings were enormous. between all of the buildings, tunnels etc. It was really easy to get lost…especially at night in the dark.
  • Black Mold, Asbestos and Lead Paint. Chad and I carried around little face masks with us because the buildings were filled with toxicity. We chose to investigate most of the time without masks so that we could be understood when we talked to the camera.
  • I almost fell through a 2nd story floor. One of the buildings had a very sketchy floor, no one has been in the location in so long that no one knew about this. During my night investigation I realized I was standing on a 2nd story wood floor that was crumbling beneath my feet. I left before I plunged through it.

Other things you might not have known

  • The city had prepared to renovate the W building, where we experienced most of the activity. It wasn’t too difficult to seal the building again air leaks and drafts due to the fact that some prep work had already been done by the city since the building was filled with asbestos and mold.
  • Sykesville, the city that Springfield is located near, has legends of a bigfoot-like monster. Chad and I discussed this but none of it made it to the episode.
  • The Police. At least once on each night the local police showed up to check on whoever was in the RV.
  • The moving image caught by the check-in camera after Chad leaves the room was discovered the next day. My bad, I admit I missed it when it happened. Although I narrate as it happens, in the episode, Chad was the one who caught it while reviewing the video; this is why he shows it to me at the end of the episode. The image is really weird in the fact that not only does it block light from the laser grid but it also seems to reflect or create light. If you go back and watch the footage it looks like part of “it” shines or reflects light. hmmm.

 

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

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.

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

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?

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

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The World’s Most Haunted Location

I am very frequently asked by people, “Where is the most haunted place in the world?” My answer is always the same, “If any place is haunted, it’s the Earth.”

Now, although many people think that I am trying to be funny, which I am, I am also being serious. So, let’s try a little thought experiment.

If ghosts are what people generally believe them to be, the remaining energy/consciousness of a human being who has died, then each person could potentially become a ghost when they pass out of this realm.
I’m bad with math but I can make this easy on myself and you…so hold on.
Since human beings have been “human beings”, (we’ll just go with the genus Homo which will put us around 2 million years ago), estimates of population would show that approximately 75 to 105 billion have been born and died on planet Earth. Now, let’s say that some “ghosts” have passed on and or perhaps never became ghosts; I’ll be generous here and say that out of the 100 billion deaths 85% either never became ghosts or are ghosts that have moved into a different existence that doesn’t interact with us on Earth. That leaves us with approximately 15 billion ghosts still residing with us on this planet.
Now that we know we might have as many as 15 billion “ghostly” friends wandering around we need to look at where they could be. The total land surface area of Earth is about 57 million square miles, of which about 57% is uninhabitable leaving us with about 15 billion acres of land.

See why I was so generous by saying 85% of the ghosts are “gone”? I makes it easy for me to do the math.

So, 15 billion ghosts divided by 15 billion acres of land equals 1 ghost per acre… at least.
So why are people traveling all over to investigate ghosts?
Isn’t there at least one right next to you?

Haunted Hooey – Part Two: Hoaxing Haunts

In the first Haunted Hooey I described some tricks that people have employed during séances to create what would seem to be supernatural happenings. In this brief post I’ll describe what some people have done to convince others that a location is haunted.

Dry Ice:
Believe it or not dry ice not only makes cool looking fog and smoke but it is also used to help create the illusion of spectral denizens. In my original Haunted Hooey post I wrote about people using a mouth full of beans to spit out to create “rapping” sounds; well dry ice, which should not be put in your mouth, can create bumps and bangs in a much more sneaky manner. A person can carry around small chips of dry ice in their coat pocket and whenever they feel so inclined can throw or flick those chips around a room. Now after the “taps” have been heard the only thing they have to do is keep people away from the chip of dry ice until it evaporates. In some cases the evaporation of the dry ice chip will even catch the flash from a vigilant camera-person and create a spooky “mist” which, since coming from the same direction as the “tapping,” must have been the ghost! Another trick utilizing dry ice is performed by slightly compressing a plastic water bottle and placing a small chip inside. Tighten the cap and place the bottle somewhere; as the dry ice evaporates the bottle will start to inflate causing the plastic to snap and pop. In a dark location the sources of the sounds will almost never be found, especially since once the bottle fully expands the sounds will stop and if the bottle is discovered, well, it’s just an empty water bottle.

Invisible Thread:
For those of you, who have ever seen a magician “float” a small object or dollar bill the illusion is created by the use of a monofilament thread, usually made of nylon called “invisible thread”. Even up close and in a well-lit area invisible thread is difficult to see which makes it perfect for close-up illusions. In cases of “haunted” locations the string can be pre-attached to small objects, like a ball or a sheet of paper, to make them move. Once the string is broken or dis-attached from the item it almost completely undetectable. Although invisible thread tends to be very “breakable” if multiple threads are used they can move much larger objects, although only slightly, but sometimes slightly is enough to convince those looking to be convinced. I have also seen a person attach a long strand onto their fingers so that it will, when the arm is raised, brush against the face of someone standing near them creating the feeling of “cobwebs” touching their face.

Pre-recorded EVPS:
Believe it or not strange voices can sometimes be recorded on a digital recorder before they are recorded on a digital recorder! If that sounds confusing…it is. There have been two instances in which I found “investigators” faking EVPS, but playing EVPS. What?

The trick goes something like this. An “investigator” records weird whispering words into their recorder before anyone arrives then after others get to the location and during the EVP sessions the hoaxer plays their recordings while pretending to make recordings along with everyone else! Of course the sounds are sometimes heard as they are being played so people will check their devices and guess what? Some people will have recorded them! Boom! EVPs! Of course EVPS don’t show up on everyone’s recorders, including the person who originally recorded the voices which were played to hoax the EVP in the first place.

More to come in part 3: Cold Readings

Haunted Hooey – Part One: Shifty Seances

Throughout the course of the last 30 years I have on many occasions been invited to, and indeed have partaken in, séances, psychic readings, table turnings/liftings, and all other manner of so called spiritualistic or psychical events. In all of those instances I attended not only to hopefully witness some miracle of unexplainable origin but also satiate my curiosity as to how the phenomena would be made manifest. During the early years of my delving into the world of anomalistic phenomena I realized that I needed to know how I could be tricked. The mind is a complicated but easily fooled machine and with this realization I made the decision to join as many guilds of magic as I could. I threw myself into the study and practice of illusions, mentalism, stage hypnosis and all other manner of trickery which could fool the senses and even more importantly might alter my ideas about actual supernatural phenomena. Now, I’m sure that many of my former breather in the world of magic will be somewhat dismay at this article and details which it will reveal but it is more important, to me, to expose some of the ways which people have fooled so many for so long. I am in no way saying that all psychical experiences are some manner of trickery but I simply want to show how it was done so that those who might one day be introduced into “strange” situations may be able to truly discern if something is blatant hoaxing.

The original séances:
Beginning the late 1800’s séances and mediumistic parlor sittings were becoming a common experience in Europe and America. Traditionally these séances were held in rooms which, at some point of the séance, could be made totally dark. The stage magician F. Shields wrote:

“A dark room is necessary, and I do mean dark, dim or dusky will not do. If the séance is to succeed you must not be able to see the hand in front of the face.”

When it comes time for the “spirit” to make itself known it will be an absolute necessity to have a free hand. But how is this to be accomplished when hands are all on the table? Mentalist William Larson explains how to free your hand.

“Have each guest place his hands on the table in front of him. The fingers should be outstretched. The thumbs should be about three inches apart. The fourth, little finger of each hand should touch the fourth finger of the person next to them”.

By doing so a “psychic -circle” will be formed. Larson continues:

“If anyone of us tries to move a hand or hands, those next to him will know. When you are ready to “black out” the room you should request the guest at your right to do so. Have only one light in the room and make sure it is slightly behind you and to your right. The light is placed so that naturally when you make the request of your guest he will use his left hand. Now, however, instead of placing your right fourth finger on his left fourth finger, you span your left hand so that the left thumb is touching the left fourth finger of the guest at your right.”

Now, obviously all manner of trickery can happen in the dark since you have a free hand.

As early as 1900 “Tapping” had become all the rage at séances and it was commonly known throughout circles of practicing magicians that, as magician Stephen Trulow said, “five to six small beans placed in the mouth and blown one at a time to act as a response to a questioner can provide a variety of “taps” unequaled by spirits.”

Another “strange happening would be the appearance of small luminescent lights while the room was dark. The mentalist Dunninger talked about creating these spirit lights in his “Mystic Series” pamphlets.

“A piece of piece of black cardboard with a good daubing of luminous paint is placed under the medium’s shoe along the instep. Naturally this is kept towards the floor until the lights are turned off. The leg is then lifted and swung to and fro. The glowing object appears and responds to the mediums desires. The foot is of course returned to the floor when the lights are snapped back on.”

Now these are simply a few of the tricks that magicians, and some mediums, used in the deception of others. There are literally thousands more with many being very elaborate. The goal in revealing these “tricks” is so that a casual observer or even a well-versed researcher of the supernatural understands that in many instances deception is more easily created than you may think it is.

In part two of Haunted Hooey we’ll look at Dry Ice and Cold Readings. Stay Tuned.

5 ideas for new paranormal reality shows.

As the networks run out of ideas on how to make people wandering around in the dark interesting I have five new variations on the paranormal theme. How many more can you think of?

5. Lil’ S.C.R.E.A.M.E.R.S
Follow the adventures of Supernatural Coalition Researching Eerie Anomalous Matters Everyday Really Seriously as they run around in the dark, scream and run away from the things they don’t understand. This dark gritty reality show takes viewers inside the real world of children who are basically just afraid of the dark. No one on the team is over the age of eight.

4. The House
In an effort to document the strange phenomena occurring on one of America’s most haunted houses a camera will be set up in the living room to broadcast 24 hours a day for 2 years. Viewers are invited to spend hours of their lives staring at the live-feed in the hopes that something will happen. Will it happen? What will happen? Watch and wait and watch…and wait.

3. Paranormal Beach
All of the best looking paranormal investigators in the country descend on one of the world’s most exotic beaches to exchange the information they’ve uncovered… while uncovering each other. Night-Vision has never before revealed images so startling…and sexy.

2. ParaPets
Every week viewers will watch clips of dogs, cats, birds and other pets freaking out at what might be paranormal phenomena but in many cases will be fireworks and loud trucks.

1. X-Treme Ghost Fighting
It looks like only one person is in the ring but wait for the battles to begin! No really, it’s mostly just one guy in a ring yelling at nothing and swinging his arms around, but maybe something will eventually happen!