Tag Archives: tv

Recap of the 2018 Michigan ParaCon

This post originally came out a week ago in our free paranormal newsletter.  Sign up for that right here on our site at this link.

For the second straight year I headed to the Michigan ParaCon with a motley crew of paranormal nerds (Allison Journlin of Milwaukee Ghosts, Lisa Van Buskirk of Madison Ghost Walks, and two-thirds of the paranormal band, Sunspot and the hosts of the “See You on the Other Side” podcast, Mike Huberty and Wendy Lynn Staats) to hear the latest news from the biggest names in the game.  Feel free to check out our preview video, which we recorded on Facebook live while stuck in construction traffic.   If you’ve never been to an event like this, in some ways it’s like any other trade show.  New products and merch are available in the vendor area (usually in the form of books, DVD releases and clothes) while the main hall features constant programming consisting of panel discussions and lectures.

It’s a wonderful way to connect with fascinating people who share our somewhat unorthodox interests and to meet people we’d otherwise not have easy access to.  Of course, one of the real treat is the exchange of ideas, experiences and theories.  Naturally, a lot of the great first-hand chats happen after hours in the hotel bar (this is often worth the price of admission itself).  Last year, among other amazing stories, we had a conversation with John Tenney, who had been asked to observe an exorcism.  Talk about an amazing and unique (and damn, right – horrifying) story to hear straight from the horse’s mouth!

Sometimes you start to see a shift in ideas when you attend these events.  That concepts and methodology changes is exciting in and of itself.  The latest theory that almost became a theme this year is perhaps easiest explained in conversation rather than written out.  So, enjoy my attempt to throw a fascinating concept your way in the video here.

At a glance, here we some of the highlights this year:

  • John E.L. Tenney, as you may be picking up on, is a great storyteller and a wealth of information. In his lecture, he talked about some of his more recent fascinating investigations, along with a message of oneness and appreciating everything in our world.  Later, at the bar, John dropped some knowledge on us in the form of the incredible story of Ted Serios, a Chicago bellhop who had the ability to psychically imprint images of locations onto Polaroid film simply by touching the camera.  Challenged, he was even able to do this on live TV by touching the broadcast camera.  Oddly, most video of his work on YouTube is in German or Spanish.  It’s peculiar that an astonishing American is remembered more in other countries than our own today.  However, a full conversation on the man can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vFNVpUhiyk
  • Katrina Weidman and I talked at length about shadow people, individual stories and theories. I hope she’s working on a project on the topic as she seems very intrigued.  Wendy and I were both very impressed by the “Paranormal Lockdown” star who we first met two years earlier in Milwaukee.  Her memory of our meeting was so sharp, you would’ve thought we hang out all the time.
  • Finding myself in an elevator ride with Jeff Mudgett, HH Holmes descendant and subject of the recent series “American Ripper.” Jeff and I have known each other for several years at this point and it’s always exciting to hear the latest news in the quest to find out all there is to know about his infamous ancestor.  Meanwhile, Allison found herself sharing an elevator with Josh Gates of “Expedition Unknown,” which allowed her husband to gush to him directly over the phone.
  • Getting to see Sunspot play live. Okay, I’m biased here, but take a look below for a recent live performance about staying the night in haunted locations.  Let’s just say, they’re an ideal booking for a paranormal conference!

  • Though I can’t really say I was a big follower of the show, “Ghost Hunters,” I was still excited to meet Grant Wilson, who is still very interested in learning about the mysteries of the unknown world and is reaching out to audiences directly with a new YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGrantwilson
  • Of course, it’s also always a blast hearing the latest from Greg and Dana Newkirk and the Traveling Museum of the Haunted and Occult.

The next newsletter will come out very soon with some podcasts, haunted sites in Sault Ste Marie (where the MI ParaCon was held), and a look at the movie based on the Bell Witch, “An American Haunting.” 

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Flashback: Haunted Bucktown Pub, Fort Sheridan & Robinson Woods.

Waaaay back when I was in college I interned just about everywhere I would get accepted.  I had the pleasure of working at HBO Films, and even got some of my first on-set experience on “Daddy Daycare” and the seriously underrated “Hollywood Homicide” with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett when I worked at Revolution Studios.  However, one of the best experiences was right here in sweet home, Chicago working for CLTV.  The show was a weekly entertainment series called “Metromix.”  Even after finishing up my internship there, they brought me back on to help produce three “Haunted Chicago” segments for the weeks leading up to Halloween.

It’s insanely difficult to tell a ghost story, involving a location’s rich history, in two to two and a half minutes, so some of the segments feel disjointed (if you ask me), but it’s still fun to look back at what these locations looked and felt like in 2002 when these bits were shot:

Paranormal Activity at Robinson Woods Burial Grounds, Norridge, IL

The top YouTube comments on this video are

  • “This is where John Wayne Gacy killed the Peterson-Schuessler boys” (oy!)
  • “The deer aren’t possessed, they’re following you because people feed them.”

First thing’s first, those bodies were actually found at Robinson South. I should make a video pointing out these two different locations. They are close, but aren’t the same exact same place. It does get misreported quite a bit though. The location where the bodies were discovered is about 700 yards away and is south of Lawrence Ave. Also, those poor boys were killed in 1955 while Gacy was active from 1972-78. Totally understandable why there’s confusion as Gacy did do his killings not far from here. His house is almost exactly a mile from the Robinson Stone, to the Northeast.

As for the deer comment… well, the commenters are right.  The deer are definitely not possessed.  There was the issue of trying to tell a long, detailed story that got cut down to two minutes – most of the story was cut. Not hearing most of it, a lot gets lost.  I have an incredible story about how the deer reacted once activity started picking up on my first visit here.  I also share the native American belief that a chief may be reincarnated into a mighty buck, which I find fascinating (I’m into learning diverse cultural beliefs).  I spend a lot of time on this location in my book, of course mentioning the Peterson-Shuessler case and telling Alexander Robinson’s story. We include an interview with one of his descendants while also presenting evidence through a Pulitzer-nominated investigative reporter, that Hansen (the man believed to be the killer), was a bad guy, but possibly not the killer.

And shout out to Mary Czerwinski, my research partner on the first edition of my book, who gets some screen time!

Paranormal Activity at the Bucktown Pub

The top YouTube comments on this one are all suggestions on other haunted places in Bucktown.  Keep ’em coming!

I re-visited this location just recently and a bartender that was there when I first visited back in 2000 or 2001 (not pictured) has been working there since before the owners in the video took over.  He has spanned multiple owners and said that Tom & Piper, while nice people, chose not to see the paranormal events happening around them.  Today the location isn’t as active as it was in the years right after Wally’s death, but activity is ongoing.

Ghosts of the Haunted Fort Sheridan in Highwood

Top YouTube Comments on this video include:

  • “I’m in this neighborhood all the time – it’s not haunted”
  • As well as people telling their personal stories of paranormal activity sighted here…
  • …including, confusingly, both types of comments from the same user (huh?)

A Ghost Hunter Watches – Supernatural – Episode 1

Just in time to start season 11, Connor takes you all the way back to the pilot of Supernatural!

Follow along as Connor watches Supernatural and then discusses the real life paranormal concepts behind each story!