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Otherworld North East
Studies in the Unexplained

Website design and content © Otherworld North East 2003-2015
unless otherwise stated

The opinions expressed on this website belong to the individual authors, who also retain copyright of their own material

North East Paranormal | Newcastle Paranormal | Durham Paranormal | Northumberland Paranormal

Otherworld North East
Studies in the Unexplained

Website design and content © Otherworld North East 2003-2016
unless otherwise stated.

The opinions expressed on this website belong to the individual authors, who also retain copyright of their own material.

North East Paranormal | Newcastle Paranormal | Durham Paranormal | Northumberland Paranormal


An Interview with John E.L. Tenney

Interview by Lee D. MunroJohn E.L. TenneyJohn E.L. Tenney is a writer, researcher, and lecturer with a broad span of interests across the anomalistic and paranormal spectrum.  His writing and lectures cover but are by no means limited to topics such as conspiracies, UFOs, ghosts, parapsychology, and cryptozoology.

With over two decades researching, writing and thinking about these subjects, John is a respected individual with an open but objective perspective on the subject.

John E.L. Tenney’s “Weird Lectures” have been attended by over 40,000 over the years and he is also the producer the award winning “Realm of the Weird” podcast, which delves into the case files of Mr Tenney’s own research.

OWNE welcomes and introduces…John E.L. Tenney

First John, thanks for taking the time to do this interview, we appreciate it.  From what I’ve read in your articles and heard from your interviews, you typify the open minded but sceptical and informed approach.  Twenty plus years researching, investigating, writing and taking about the paranormal is impressive, especially considering most investing that amount of time end up being either a confirmed believer or hardened non-believer.  What maintains your open mindedness and scepticism (used in its true sense) and what still fuels your motivation?

I was very lucky to grow up not only with open-minded parents but also with great mentors. When I started actually investigating and researching strange and anomalous occurrences I had already adopted and was refining my investigative practices. I didn’t start out in the field of “paranormal” research, my specialty was historical/ governmental research and my mentors in that field stressed that we were trying to set down as un-biased an account of history as possible. When my interests began to shift toward the high strangeness individuals were/have experiencing I couldn’t help but bring a rational, common sense, unbiased process with me. It’s a struggle to live without a concreted belief system but if I am being honest,not only to myself but others as well, I have to focus on the data and not a personal judgement on these experiences.


I think you mentioned in an interview that you started out as a researcher for the TV show “Unsolved Mysteries”, though please correct me if I’m wrong.  You also said how invaluable this experience was in terms of your own independent research.  I’m always looking to expand my knowledge and research methods.  So in terms of the more journalistic/archivist elements of research what advice, techniques or literature can you suggest or point people in the direction of?

My first solo “professional” research job was doing investigative and historical work for some episodes of Unsolved Mysteries back in the 1990’s and it was an experience that I feel everyone should have in the sense that you really get to see from an insider’s perspective how entertainment works even when it’s meant to entertain. TV, Movies and any other popular culture media are designed to make money, that is the main goal. If you happen to educate people along the way, and I’m not speaking of independent outlets, at least not most,  than educating is fine as well. Knowing that money is behind the choices made not only opens your eyes to the real “fake” reality which is portrayed on TV and in films but it can act to solidify your integrity. I’ve walked away from multiple shows due to the influence of producers trying to manipulate evidence in order to drum up more viewers. Trashing 25 years of research for 22 minutes of fame is a poor decision for anyone.


I know you’re an advocate for the awareness of the history of paranormal and psychical research, and have commented on the lack of it amongst amateur paranormal groups.  Why do you feel this aspect of paranormal research is both essential and beneficial?

JOHN:  The smartest (and dumbest) people in the world have written books and in doing so have given us the opportunity of experiencing their wisdom, or lack of it. The history and research done by those who have come before us are as relevant now as ever. I truly believe that the paranormal “community” should know where it has been so we don’t waste a lot of time rehashing what has already been done. So many of the “greats” of psychical research, Gurney, Myers, Podmore, etc. have left us the most helpful of clews with which we can unwind to perhaps discover new and better means of investigating.

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