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.
"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.
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.