Call this the blog entry that should have been. More than two and a half years ago we filmed for My Ghost Story, covering our haunted experiences at Black Bear church and cemetery in Oklahoma. This came on the heels of our episode on The Haunted, so there was a lot to talk about and I had promised to blog about it. Well, life kind of blew up at the same time and the blog was never written. Now that the Ghosts and Legends episodes are being released under Haunted Road Media, it’s giving me a chance to explore this experience one last time.
The church and cemetery at Black Bear has given us a plethora of paranormal evidence to sift through. Thank you to Logan Corelli for introducing us to the location. We’ve captured some fantastic EVPs, brilliant self-illuminated balls of light on camera, and we’ve had personal paranormal experiences we’ll be telling people about for years to come. The Ghosts and Legends episode below, “Black Bear Church and Cemetery”, is a culmination of those experiences, along with a little history, that has given others a glimpse of what we’ve experienced there. And it gave the producers of My Ghost Story a glimpse of a TV episode they would later title “Church of Darkness”.
Cathy Nance and I arrived in Los Angeles on April 19, 2012 with shooting for the studio footage to take place the following day. This was a bit different than The Haunted which had filmed all the “studio” footage in a hotel in Oklahoma. Both were just as effective for the presentation, but it was quite a deal to get inside of a studio, be on a sound stage, and even get a bit of a make-up treatment. Wine and refreshments were available — and everyone knows how I love my wine! There were a couple others there from Ohio filming before us, so we hung out and chatted with them for a while in the green room while the crew was in and out.
What was filmed was really just a conversation. I got to sit in the big archaic chair that those who followed the show would easily recognize and answered question after question from one of the associate producers. Looking back at the footage, I wish I would have gotten a little more sleep. I think I look a little bleary-eyed, but I’m told I was fine and my approach to the paranormal activity at Black Bear was professional. Soon, we were headed back to the hotel — but we weren’t done.
B-Roll shooting for the episode took place about two months later. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to secure the Black Bear church location for shooting since the owners stumbled across the Ghosts and Legends episode and didn’t like the mention of possible cult rituals being performed there. Just to clarify, I never suggested that occult acts were performed there while it was an active church. The evidence we found at the site, however, suggested that there was that sort of activity going on within the church structure long after it had been abandoned. For an alternate location we used the 101 Ranch (which is G&L Episode 6), and it worked well for the basement footage. The “Inside Paranormal Shows” vlog below shows how they look rather similar. It didn’t work out as well, however, for the cemetery footage, and My Ghost Story asked to use some stills from the Black Bear Church and Cemetery documentary for the show. Not a problem!
After filming for the 101 Ranch episode of Ghosts and Legends, we made a little side trip to Black Bear since it was on the way back. For those wondering about the odd middle of the night cows on the road footage from the Haunted Roads of the Paranormal video, this is where it came from. We didn’t spend a lot of time there that night, and it didn’t seem very active at the time, but review of the footage from the basement afterward revealed an anomaly that reinforces the presence of paranormal activity down there. As we came around one of the poles, this ball of light made a bee line for the stairs.
There really isn’t enough I can say about this location and the unusual things that happen there. It has found its way into my other works such as Mysteries of the Church of Darkness and the forthcoming Campfire Tales: Midwest, and it has been a treat to revisit it with the re-release of the Ghosts and Legends documentary by Haunted Road Media. Hopefully, the next such opportunity won’t take me two and a half years to blog about it!