Ghost stalker calls community home, reveals local haunts

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published October 29, 2014

 Royal Oak resident John E.L. Tenney has devoted nearly three decades of his life to researching paranormal activity. He stars in the TV show “Ghost Stalkers” airing at 10 p.m. Sundays on Destination America.

Royal Oak resident John E.L. Tenney has devoted nearly three decades of his life to researching paranormal activity. He stars in the TV show “Ghost Stalkers” airing at 10 p.m. Sundays on Destination America.

Photo courtesy of Destination America

Advertisement
Advertisement

ROYAL OAK — This is the week resident John E.L. Tenney blends in with the macabre backdrop of horror flicks, ghost sightings and instantaneous looks of horror on faces young and old.

“I’m the weird guy in the neighborhood who passes out candy and watches classic horror movies,” Tenney said.

But the intriguing notion of this guy is that, come Nov. 1, when everyone else puts their costumes away, the realm of paranormal activity remains Tenney’s reality.

A third-generation Royal Oak resident, Tenney has made a name for himself as a national lecturer, paranormal expert, author, blogger, actor, host of the paranormal podcast “Realm of the Weird,” and star of the new TV show “Ghost Stalkers” airing at 10 p.m. Sundays on Destination America.

For the show, Tenney travels throughout the country investigating paranormal activity with co-star Chad Lindberg, who is best known for his roles in the “Fast and the Furious” and “Supernatural.” But, Tenney explains, you don’t have to go far to seek out the unexplained.

“The most calls I get from Royal Oak residents are for St. Mary’s Cemetery,” Tenney said. “People see the whole spectrum of things.”

Another site Tenney receives calls about is the Normandy Road overpass, between Coolidge and Crooks. Many different people have told Tenney about seeing a blue person standing on the bridge. Tenney said people throughout the years have been so compelled by what they saw, they have stopped their cars to get out and investigate.

“People say the Baldwin Theatre is haunted, too,” he said.

And although everyone else amps up their fear factor for Halloween, Tenney said this isn’t actually the best time to ghost hunt. 

“It’s very hard to investigate in Michigan in the fall and winter,” he said, saying the changing temperatures lead to many explainable creaks and groans.

But in the 27 years Tenney has spent as a paranormal investigator, he has encountered a number of strange things.

“It’s a weird experience to have a conversation with someone who isn’t there,” Tenney said.

Strange isn’t a new notion for Tenney.

“I was always a weird kid,” he said of growing up in Royal Oak during the 1980s. He said he had a near-death experience at 17 after his heart stopped for 2 1/2 minutes. The experience changed his life forever. His perception of reality became what most find unreal.

“It drove me to find out what this world is,” he said.

He since has dedicated his life to other beings, and whether you call them ghosts, spirits or apparitions, Tenney is interested.

His process is not always exciting, as every good hunt begins with a lot of research. After receiving a call, Tenney begins the arduous process of researching the history, environmental makeup and genealogy of the subject.

It isn’t until all environmental factors have been ruled out that he goes to the destination to begin the hunt for the unexplained.

Advertisement
Advertisement