5 Places That Go Bump in the Night in Royal Oak

Resident and paranormal expert extraordinaire John E.L. Tenney shares his list of boos who in Royal Oak.

Ghosts. Spirits. Specters. Presences.

Those who wonder who or what may be lurking in the dark go to Royal Oak resident John E. L. Tenney, 41. He has been investigating conspiracy theories and haunted houses since he was a teenager.

Tenney—a researcher, archivist, and author—is best known for his "Weird Lecture Series," delivered at public and private schools, universities, private organizations.  

Michigan, where testimony abounds of Big Foot, Red Dwarf and UFO sightings, is a great place to have a weird experience, according to Tenney.

"More boats have disappeared in the Great Lakes than in the Bermuda Triangle," he said. 

So what are the five top five places to have a Twilight Zone moment in Royal Oak? Here are the places Tenney gets the most questions about.

The Boos Who of Royal Oak

1. St. Mary Cemetery

"I get calls all year round about St. Mary Cemetery," Tenney said.

Researchers note that places that have a large outpouring of emotion attract a lot of ghost sightings, according to Tenney. It could be that ghosts are drawn to that energy, he said.

2. Overpass on Normandy between Coolidge and Crooks

"I get a lot of reports of a blue woman walking along the tracks," Tenney said.

3. Train tracks between Fourth and Lincoln

Many businesses along the tracks have reported paranormal activity, Tenney said. It's an area where many lives have been taken, both accidentally and intentionally, by trains. 

4. Indian Trail Monument

Many people have reported seeing figures on the Native American trail that is still visible on the lawn of the Almon Starr House (currently the offices of the Chisholm and Shuttie law firm) on Crooks Road. A monument was placed on the site on May 17, 1987.

"People report seeing aboriginal figures still walking the path," Tenney said.

5. Baldwin Theatre

There are numerous juicy stories of paranormal activity at the Baldwin Theatre, once named the grandest vaudeville house in the Midwest. Tenney has heard stories it may be haunted by an actress or a former custodian.

Theaters often are reported to be haunted, Tenney said. They tend to be older structures that were built to collect, gather and repeat sound, he said.

"If you find yourself alone in a big empty theater it can be a weird experience. They often have a eerie atmosphere and energy to them," he said.

Paranormal Muster

You can hear Tenney speak at an event called Paranormal Muster at the historic Fort Wayne in Detroit on May 4. Admission is $25 for the all day and night event. Click here for more information.

Tenney has many books available at Amazon.com.

And, here's a weird fact: Tenney, a third generation Royal Oaker, ran for Mayor in 2001 at age 30.

Have you experienced paranormal activity in Royal Oak? Tell us about it in the comments.

Judy Davids (Editor) March 27, 2013 at 01:07 PM
I'll just throw in that I believe my Royal Oak house has a friendly female ghost and we love her. I guess she's more of an angel than a ghost. Anyhow, go ahead and call me crazy. :)
Casper March 27, 2013 at 03:23 PM
What's the difference between an angel and a friendly ghost?
Royal Jokester March 27, 2013 at 04:12 PM
There are a number of "haunted houses" in Royal Oak. There was an old farm house on Rochester Rd north of 13 Mile that was believed haunted when I was a kid. I think it became a realtor's office. Then, there was an Adams Family type house on Main St north of 13 Mile, , directly across from a small city park. There was somebody's family cemetary in a wooded area that is now Edmund St. It was located near Edmund and Main.There was another wooded area over by what was then Kimball HS, where, back in the '60s, a boy was murdered by a glue-sniffer. the boy's ghost was said to still inhabit those woods years later. That is now a fenced-in park.
Royal Jokester March 27, 2013 at 04:13 PM
And who could forget the Adams Rd cemetary, or the spooky, crumbling cottage off Trowbridge Rd!
Rob Staszek March 27, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Man, I would love to do an investigation of ANY of these places! That would be so amazing to do a local haunting paranormal investigation...
Doggie Latchkey, LLC March 28, 2013 at 03:11 AM
Ghosts are all around us much of the time. You just have to be open minded, not fearful, & not trying to start fist fights with them (ala Ghost Adventures) to have an experience, tho some will surely take you by surprise.
Bob March 28, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Yes, there are no "doors" to open. Just "awareness" of your surroundings.
Paul Maxon March 29, 2013 at 10:57 PM
I used to work in an address in Washington Plaza. In four years, I honestly had at least six encounters. Mostly, just got the feeling that someone was waiting for me to leave their area undisturbed. I don't care what anyone may try to say to pooh-pooh. These things happened, and i was wide awake and stone sober. I later found out that the whole building used to be a hospital/asylum, which explains a LOT
Joe Chavez March 30, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Facepalm. This is all pseudo science nonsense. How about Goblins hiding in the shadows? A bunch of people get a reading on over-tweaked meters with zero credibility in the real world scientific community and it's a paranormal event. To believe in such things like ghosts, or angels, or demons, or gods, is a throwback to our past ignorance of the natural world and detrimental to the progress of the human species. Oh look. This person just so happens to be promoting a book or a tshirt, or some other gear..
PJ April 01, 2013 at 12:49 PM
We always have someone visiting us here ! Never a dull moment !
John E.L. Tenney April 02, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Unfortunately many people have the idea, due to popular media, that all individuals interested and dedicated to the investigation of "paranormal phenomena" and the folkloric circumstances which weave around it are stumbling through dark houses with EMF detectors. Of course in many instances this is true and is highly problematic for those who have made the choice to seriously research and investigate that which the "accepted" scientific circles have chosen to leave unexplored. Also, sometimes it is fun to stretch the imagination if only to spend a few brief minutes in a world less mean-spirited than this one can sometimes be.
Debrasunshine April 06, 2013 at 03:08 AM
My house in Royal Oak. It's near the cemetery but we think our particular ghost is a former resident of our house.
Kelly McDonald May 01, 2013 at 01:40 AM
Www.ghsparanormal.com. Check it out


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