14:48 PM

Paranormal investigators bring haunted objects, bone-chilling tales to the Bayou Theater


Award-winning producers and full-time paranormal investigators Greg and Dana Newkirk just want to manifest a bit of weird, slightly bone-chilling fun at their upcoming event, “Greg and Dana’s Haunted Objects LIVE!” at University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Bayou Theater on Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

The Newkirks, also noted for being executive producer of Amazon Prime’s “Hellier, ” and featured on William Shatner’s “UnXplained,” and Discovery+’s “Kindred Spirits,” said their presentation at the Bayou Theater would include storytelling, evidence video clips, and a few ‘haunted’ objects.

“There is a lot of storytelling around our objects, and because we have been doing this for a long time, we have evidence gathered from our own investigations,” said Greg. “It’s not our intention to convince anyone that something is haunted. Our message is to promote curiosity over fear when presented with a choice. There is so much related to the paranormal that is fear related; it does a disservice to people’s sense of wonder and curiosity about things we don’t understand.”

Dana said that through their shows, they hoped to bring people in by simply presenting other ways of thinking about phenomena. “It’s about being openminded, but not so open that you stop being rational,” she said.

“The paranormal comes with its own set of negative connotations, so you don’t know if you want to share it if something strange happens because of the way you might be looked at,” she explained. “But what if you wanted to say you think you saw a ghost, and make it more normal? We just want to have a conversation about things that are weird, without feeling like we are the ones who are weird.”

Greg said that ghost stories, or unexplainable events, are part of the human experience. “Ghost stories are important to our culture, and I’m not thrilled about the way we have been telling those stories,” he said. “We aren’t getting anything out of them except learning to fear everything we don’t understand, and that is antithetical to what we do.”

As a man who comes from a long line of Baptist ministers and was expected to be one as well, Greg said that his family is not too excited about his chosen career path. His interest in all things weird and unusual started as a child in rural Pennsylvania. “I was hanging out in abandoned houses that were supposed to be haunted, and in cemeteries,” he said. “Weird things were happening.”

He said that when he was about 14, he was in a cemetery with some friends. “While we were there, I kept getting hit with tiny pieces of coal, coming out of nowhere,” he remembered. “We were in a really isolated place with nothing for miles, which is why we went there in the first place.”

Shortly thereafter, Greg said he saw a full-body apparition of a very modern-looking man who looked like a hunter. “I didn’t want to scare him, and I actually spoke to him,” he said. “He looked directly at me and turned and walked away through the brush—without making any noise. That is the experience that made me believe in ghosts, and I have been involved in some form of paranormal research ever since.”

Dana said that many unusual things happened throughout her childhood in her home in Canada.

“We didn’t have anything as big as an apparition, but I certainly have one experience I remember,” she said. “My mother had a cabinet for fancy crystal plates. Once, I was alone in the dining room and a stack of different-sized crystal plates about a foot high suddenly moved out of a drawer and into the middle of the dining room floor. I heard the distinct sound of glass being gently set down, stacked on top of each other. There are a lot of things I could have explained away, but this I could not.”

Things in her house seemed to move from one place and were found in another, strange place, or perhaps the upstairs bathroom faucet turned on by itself. “Just growing up in an environment like that, you see things that you can’t logically explain and that became the initial jumping-off point for me wanting to know more,” she said.

“We never thought we’d do this for a living, but that’s what happens when you get obsessed,” Greg said.

“In our show, we talk about how to be curious instead of frightened. The key is not to look at the strange experience itself, but at the change it brings about,” he said. “When the things you believe are challenged and you experience something that your culture says is not real, you have to come to the point where you accept that what happened is real. It’s just that you don’t know the reason why.”

Their show, he explained, isn’t trying to prove the existence of ghosts or convince skeptics.

“That place where you have had an experience and you don’t know why—we are trying to normalize that place and let people share it without judgment,” he said. “We are living out our ‘X Files/Ghostbusters’ fantasy. In the end, don’t look to someone else for a supernatural experience. You can find them on  your own.”

For more information about upcoming Bayou Theater events, or to purchase tickets, visit www.uhcl.edu/bayou-theater/