Interviews, Black Fairy Wings, and Debates

It’s difficult trying to find a relatively quiet place to conduct an interview in Hollywood, but I was willing to try in order to secure another great interview for “Hotel Camarillo.”

On October 6th, I waited for Paul Major at a small park (Hollywood Rec Center on Santa Monica Blvd) and began wondering if it was possible to do an uninterrupted interview here. There were several homeless people sleeping and “conducting business” here, along with a ball game being played in one field. A woman with black fairy wings on her back sat at my table and began speaking loudly into her cell phone. Soon after Paul arrived, and we fond a more subtle venue to record the interview.

Paul Major was co-founder and director of the former SCSPR; another early invstigator at Cam. I lost the first 10 minutes of the interview due to my Sony camcorder finally biting the dust. I switched to the Kodak, and captured another unique addition to the doc. Paul was SCSPR’s resident skeptic, so it was a very easy interview speaking to a like minded investigator. As with me, there were still some things at Cam even a skeptic can’t explain, and we explored those instances. I gave Paul a copy of “Night Stalkers” as we ended the interview.

I have since taken down “The First 16 Minutes: Hotel Camarillo” until I clear a few copyrights that have nothing to do with Frank Beruecos’ footage. Very good news in that I’ll be able to use some great significant footage as soon as I save up the cash to pay for the licensing fee.

Ricard Carradine from GHOULA had told me he and his sister rented one of the abandoned buildings at Camarillo for several years to put on alternative plays and other shows. He viewed “The First 16 Minutes: Hotel Camarillo” and expressed concerns about the trespassing issue and local ghost hunters. I saw an opportunity and asked if he’d like to debate the issue with 3AM Paranormal’s Joe Mendoza. He readily agreed, and an awesome debate ensued on Sunday the 19th, after Richard’s “Haunted L.A. Redline Tour.”

The Thick Plottens…

“All Warfare Is Based On Deception.”

Sun Tzu
The Art of War

It certainly has been a while since I’ve updated this blog! In truth, the documentary, “Hotel Camarillo” was shelved for a while; it’s future uncertain as participants backed out of the project. I’m happy to report that we are back on track, and it’s more exciting than ever. Of course, it’s still not without it’s controversy.

In consulting with Joe Mendoza of 3AM Paranormal, and Frank Beruecos of Beyond Paranormal Investigations, we agreed that to tell a complete and accurate history of the paranormal investigations of Camarillo State Hospital, we would need to reach out to every old-school investigator who has walked those abandoned corridors over the past 20 years and ask them to participate. This included Frank’s former collegue Louis Gonzales, the former Founder of the now defunct “Southern California Society for Paranormal Research”.

This was against the wishes of several people. They reminded us that Louis is a polarizing figure, and is shunned by the legitimate paranormal community for purposely driving wedges between people. One college suggested I watch “Dangerous Liaisons” and keep Louis in mind. But out of respect, and again, a drive to tell the complete story of haunted Cam, I sent him the following email:

Wayne Poe Sep 24

Hi Louis;

I know a lot of negative things have happened over the past couple years on both sides, but I would like to talk to you about a comprehensive documentary about the paranormal Camarillo investigations.

As you may know, I am currently working on “Hotel Camarillo”, and want to make it as accurate as possible with all the research done there in the past 10 years. I have spoken to Joe, and he said despite the state of things between everyone, an accurate documentary couldn’t be told without including you. Frank also agrees with this. So far I am currently working with Frank, Syd, Joe, Rebecca, and Tom Durant on the documentary.

I told Joe this morning that I would love to film a roundtable discussion on the Camarillo investigations with You, Syd, Frank, and Joe all at the same time, but it probably wouldn’t happen. Frank suggested that I email you and ask. I’ve filmed sit down interviews with Frank, Joe, Rebecca, Tom, and Syd already, and if you’d like to do one of those as well, that would be great.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope you consider it.

This was Louis’ response, and my reply. (He seems to have dropped the “o” in his first name these days):

Luis Gonzalez Sep 26

I DO NOT GIVE yourself or anyone else involved in this project any permission whatsoever to include my name, likeness, voice, commentary, or video footage showing myself to be included in this documentary or any related project. Any failure to remove me or mention of myself in this project will be dealt with through legal means. As of this writing, I already see my likeness and data collected through the auspices of SCSPR that should never have been included. without my consent.

Further, Mr. Poe, I gave NO PERMISSION or did I sign ANY WAIVER for me to be included in your first attempt at doing this, so I am now formally requesting for you remove my image or likeness on that earlier video as well.

Luis A. Gonzalez

Wayne Poe Sep 26

Understood, Mr. Gonzalez. Your likeness nor voice will not appear in this documentary.

Wayne A. Poe

“Luis” is referring to the video I put up on September 25; a rough cut of the first 16 minutes of “Hotel Camarillo”

I can only guess “Luis” reference to the ‘first attempt at doing this’ must be referring to the original teaser for “Hotel Camarillo”, which was then titled, “Haunted Asylums.” “Luis” was blurred out of a 7 second scene in that trailer. And, said trailer has been offline for close to a year.

On Sunday, September 29th, I returned to Cam to film more interviews. Joining me there was Frank, Scottie Megelin, Richard Senate and his wife Debra, and Stephen Franco, another long time Cam investigator. We had a great time walking the campus, and filming interviews in various courtyards, and at the Bell Tower.

Me with Mr. Richard Senate in front of the Broome Library 09-29-2013

Later that night I visited Joe Mendoza of 3AM Paranormal. Frank and Scottie had already uploaded some pictures of the interview shoot to Facebook, and apparently when “Luis” saw that Stephen was participating in the documentary, be blew his stack. “Luis” send desperate PMs out, and posted the following on his Facebook wall:

Recently, a few individuals – without my consent – posted a short 15 minute documentary teaser with video and / or other image(s) and voice. After an initial request of the producer to remove my images in this video, it has yet to be done and this is misleading to people who – because of it – erroneously believe I’m involved in this endeavor.

Tonight, I formally asked a second time that any and all image(s), video, or sound files featuring myself be removed from these 15 minute teasers…

So… tonight, this post is two-fold, to advise those directly and even remotely affiliated with this project that ANY video captured under the auspices of SCSPR is – STILL – sole property of myself and SCSPR.

A signed waiver of ownership of anything recorded by former members of SCSPR, and under the auspices of SCSPR are STILL on file with myself and are legally binding…

In addition, I also have several years of DBA Business Tax Filings in the City of Los Angeles under SCSPR listing myself the sole owner and proprietor. These documents, as well as the aforementioned signature of Mr. Beruecos can and will be presented for any and all legal purposes should this 2nd formal request go ignored.

Any claim that these videos, images, or sound files are “property” of anyone but myself is not only misleading and false, but also prosecutable. Anyone wishing to contest their own signature on these waivers or the business tax filings for the City of Los Angeles for which I’m listed as the sole owner…I DARE YOU.


Luis A. Gonzalez

It looks like some should have been committed to Cam rather than looking for ghosts there…

After laughing on the phone with Frank, I sent this letter to “Luis”:

Dear Mr. Gonzales;

Your likeness in the rough cut of the First 16 Minutes: “Hotel Camarillo” Youtube video has been effectively eliminated. As to your claim that any video included in First 16 Minutes: “Hotel Camarillo”s is in any way, shape, or form your property has no factual basis.

My college, (typo; should have been ‘colleague’) Mr Frank Beruecos, of Beyond Paranormal Investigations, who has provided the archival investigation videos of Camarillo did so on video tape he purchased himself, and utilized on a camera he owns. He is in physical custody of these tapes which are not watermarked or otherwise identified as anyone else’s property other than Mr Frank Beruecos, of Beyond Paranormal Investigations.

Mr. Beruecos has now publically stated that he did not sign any waiver, stating his property has been signed over to any other individual. The aforementioned videos exist on Youtube in various forms as of this writing. Even if Mr. Beruecos didn’t own one centimeter of videotape, the footage used in “Hotel Camarillo” would still be protected under the Fair Use provisions of copyright law. (Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.)

Fortunately, we have no need to invoke Fair Use, since Mr Frank Beruecos, of Beyond Paranormal Investigations is the sole owner of the aforementioned footage. If you have such a signed waiver, please present a digital copy to me and I will have my legal counsel peruse this alleged document. I will also provide Mr. Beruecos with this alleged document so that he can confirm or deny that his signature appeared on such a document.

So in closing, the “Hotel Camarillo” documentary will be making full use of any and all archival investigation footage of Camarillo Mr. Beruecos sees fit to provide. Please present the alleged signed document at your earliest convenience.

Wayne A Poe

So yeah, buddy. We’ll take that dare. Better Call Saul.

Let’s put on our hip-high waders and navigate through the river of bull feces Mr SCSPR has regurgitated our way.

So… tonight, this post is two-fold, to advise those directly and even remotely affiliated with this project that ANY video captured under the auspices of SCSPR is – STILL – sole property of myself and SCSPR.

A signed waiver of ownership of anything recorded by former members of SCSPR, and under the auspices of SCSPR are STILL on file with myself and are legally binding…

“Luis” is claiming anything Frank captured on his own camera, and recorded onto Hi-8 tapes he bought himself, as well as any EVP caught with a digital recorder he also bought himself…belongs to him (Luis).

“Luis” is also claiming that his non-profit ghost busting social club was a “business”. (DBA filings = “Doing Business As. Gotta love self-important acronyms.)

First of all, as stated in a webcrawl snapshot of of November 21, 2011, SCSPR is:

…a non-profit organization whose aim is to foster a greater understanding of paranormal phenonmena with special emphasis on ghostly phenomena

So why is “Luis” stating SCSPR was a business? Don’t businesses have employees? Was Frank an employee, toiling under the thumb of “Luis”? An…UNPAID employee? I’m sure if that’s the case, Mr. Beruecos has a LOT of back pay coming his way…

And that is the end result, folks, if Mr. “I DARE YOU” wants to claim any media captured by Frank is his while Frank was an alleged “employee” of SCSPR. Copyright law clearly states that Frank and ONLY Frank owns those videos and audio files. UNLESS Frank was a paid employee of “Luis” working for SCSPR. If that were the case, “Luis” would own that media, because of a clause unique to copyright law called work for hire

I think I just heard someone choke at Dupar’s…

August Update

August Update

Just a quick note: “Night Stalkers” is no longer available for purchase online. I’ll still sell copies of it a para-cons and other live venues.

We did a bit more filming on the new documentary last Friday. A small segment at Casa del Mexicano, and at another location. We captured many EPs during filming, and had a couple creepy experiences. Below is a behind the scenes encounter we had between filming!

Disembodied Voices In The Asylum

Filming for the second documentary continues. Wednesday, we were on location, and all of us heard a disembodied voice say, “Yes….?” ┬áIt was captured on three seperate recorders, as well as on camera. Also a loud knock emanated frm a door right in front of us. Interesting stuff, and we’re still at the beginning stages of the project!

Long Overdue Updates, and New Documentary News!

Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve updated the 7PP blog. So without further adieu…

Before 2011 was over, I edited “Night Stalkers” down from one hour, 45 minutes to just 62 minutes. I researched film festivals, and most documentaries are about an hour. Plus, I could see the points where the audience was zoning out. The biggest reason for the editing came from my longtime friend Ray Montes. He took a critical look at the doc and told me I forgot how to be ruthless in my editing. Basically he said I should get to the meat, or important points a lot faster than I was. And so I did.

On Saturday, March 10 2012, “Night Stalkers” had it’s second public screening at the CPPI 2nd Annual Paranormal Filmfest for Charity Watching it with an audience seated in pews in a still-operating church was a unique experience! The audience seemed to enjoy
it, and I didn’t see anyone tuning out from this stripped down 62 minute version of the doc. I participated in a short Q & A session afterward.

Making the documentary fueled my interest and curiosity in the paranormal. Whenever my schedule provides, I still go out with investigators to capture EVPS, and participate in ITC sessions in various haunted places like cemeteries. On one occasion, I thought I had captured a truly paranormal event! I had taken a picture of fellow paranormal investigator Crystal Ketcham in the Long Beach Municipal Cemetery, and found two ghostly green streaks near her head.

I immediately tried to debunk it, as she was holing a K2 meter in her hand at the time. However, it was out of frame, and near her knees, so I still questioned whether the streaks I was seeing near her head were any kind of manifestation. Luckily, the paranormal investigators that I have a lot of respect for quickly debunked it for me. They’ve seen this kind of thing for years labeled incorrectly as a paranormal event. The ghostly streaks were actually a result of a long shutter speed setting, and Crystal moving the K2 meter seconds before.

January first of this year, I joined Crystal again at the Redondo Beach Pier. Years before, she told me she captured “faces” in the fog at the pier. On this trip, I captured an EVP calling out Crystal’s name.

On a later trip, we captured several interesting ITC interactions.

On Thursday, April 12, 2012, I attended the 1st Annual East Los Angeles Paranormal Conference at East L.A College. For this occasion, I put together a 5 minute “Night Stalkers” trailer. I also did my third Q&A on stage.

Last month I began speaking to Frank Beruecos and Dawn Gomez about a possible documentary on Camarillo State Mental Hospital. Frank has been investigating the former mental services facility for over 10 years. I also have a possible second documentary in the works. This past weekend, we drove up to Camarillo and filmed a few scenes. We’re off and running on a new doc! Stay tuned!

Night Stalkers Screening At The Steve Allen Theater

On Wednesday, September 28th, “Night Stalkers” had its second public screening at the Center For Inquiry in the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, CA. Unlike the last screening, the entrance to Steve’s theater wasn’t blocked off, so there was an actual audience this time.

This audience was made up of skeptics from IIG, or the Independent Investigations Group. Mark Edward, who appears in Night Stalkers, set up the screening and invited me to do a Q&A session afterward. The screening went over very well. The audience laughed at most of the claims, like I knew they would, but they were generally quiet through it. Louis Gonzalez was applauded for stating investigators should be prepared to accept that what they are investigating may not be proof of anything. Sarah Troop got a big laugh when she pointed out that the skeptics at 2010’s Para Con handing out suckers to all the attendees was the purest form of irony.

Joe and Rebecca Mendoza from 3am Paranormal were another highlight with the audience. While they generally scoffed at references to the entity known as “Pipes”, the audience really enjoyed the banter between the two. They laughed when Rebecca revealed that she uses the “after death” code word between her and Joe on numerous passwords. Joe’s reactions to being singled out as the first to die between them also got a big laugh. And of course, he brought the house down with the “banana bush” analogy. Rebecca received applause when she declared that she didn’t believe in Sylvia Brown.

During the Q&A; they seemed generally curious about the investigators and my adventures with them. One theme that kept coming up was that the skeptics wanted a dialogue with the paranormal investigators. Perhaps in the future, they could meet at a convention setting and discuss their sides of supernatural phenomena. Mark Edward said this was his second viewing, and he liked it much better than the first, because he appreciaated how it focused on the investigators’ character. That was good to hear!

Premiere of “Night Stalkers”

On Saturday, August 6th, “Night Stalkers” premiered at haunted Linda
Vista hospital in Los Angeles. It was held in the chapel “set” of the
hospital, which used to be a cafeteria next to the kitchens. We had
very sparse traffic due to poor planning, and truthfully, no one who
did brave the labyrinthine blockades stayed to watch the whole thing.

I had DVDs available for sale at 3am Paranormal’s table. Those that
found their table hidden away toward the back of the vendor’s row in a
windowless corner of a back room didn’t purchase any DVDs. So I still
have plenty left over!

This entire event was for STU-CON II, the second annual celebration of
Scott Gruenwald’s internet show “The Stu.” I attended last year’s
first “STU-CON” in Porterville, CA, which was a lot more fun due to it
being planned and run entirely by Scott’s Stu-crew without any malice
toward anyone or delusions of false entitlement.

From the beginning, I had asked Scott months ago if there was any room
for showing “Night Stalkers” at this STU-CON. I suggested a room off
from the main event area, to avoid the same thing that happened at the
last big event at LVH.

Disastrous planning resulted in a 2 hour movie being shown, which was
shoe-horned in the middle of the program at the last minute. It bogged
the proceedings down to a standstill, and affected attendance for all
the other speakers after it. I didn’t want that to occur again.

Scott seemed all for the idea, and got on the phone to make it happen.
The plan was to turn the chapel into the “Wayne Poe Theatre”, which I
thought was a bit much, but welcomed the idea of the doc being shown
at all, and thanked him. A full month and a half before the event, I took my
friend Mike down to LVH to see what we would need to make the
screening happen. I met with The Event Planner, who assured me that
the chapel would be decorated and worked on to make it look like a run
down haunted theatre. My main concern were the five six feet tall
windows, casting too much light into the room to see the screen.

The Event Planner assured me that special wooden window blockers with
red fabric would be put in place, so the light wouldn’t be an issue.
My next concern was where to hang the heavy screen. The space in front
of the chapel would have been fine, but as Mike pointed out, we’d
need some kind of chain to distribute the weight properly and to reach
both screws in either side of the wall. The Event Planner said the
chain or something similar could be provided, or even offered to
provide a screen if ours couldn’t be hung. Everything seemed to be
taken care of, and I got regular updates as the weeks progressed on
how well the decorating of the theatre was going.

When we got there Saturday, the chapel was… completely bare bones. The
window blockers were not in place, but stacked outside the chapel. The
fabric that covered them were now over the windows, billowing in the
breeze. We had to duct tape those down. Challenge 2: no power. The
only working outlet in the chapel…wasn’t. I also heard there was no
power in the main hall as well. I don’t know…if it were me, I would
have made certain these things were addressed weeks before, and double
checked the night before. But then again I’m not an Event Planner.
That delayed us about an hour, but we had yet another challenge to
pass the time with.

The screen lacked a chain, rope, or anything else to help hang it. Ray
and I had to improvise, and dragged two unused shelving units from
an adjoining room into the chapel and used them to hang the screen on.

The event began, and we planned on having the first screening of “Night
Stalkers” at 1:00pm. During the entire two months leading up to the
event, no itinerary was presented to the public. I made a very rough
screening schedule up out of thin air because of this. I received a
phone call days before the event asking if “overflow” events could be
put in the theatre. I said absolutely, and I’d call back about the
details. I did call back, but got no answer. I left a message, and I’m
still waiting for it to be returned. The only time I saw a schedule of
events was when I picked it up at the admissions desk. There was no
mention whatsoever of a “Wayne Poe Theatre”. There were no signs
directing anyone to it, or signs even alerting the attendees of its
very existence. I knew it would be a fun day from that point on…

A movie production was filming at the same time STU-CON was happening,
and a “hot set” down the hallway leading into the hospital west of the
chapel was taped off. I’ve never met a film production crew who wasn’t
pushy, and this one was no exception. I left the chapel to attend Joe
Mendoza’s talk on ITC at 12:00. When it concluded about 30 minutes
later, I went downstairs to the chapel only to find that the entrance
to the hallway was blocked off by a table. I moved it, wondering why
it was there.

After our first showing, which was very sparsely attended, I left again
to seek out a bathroom. I asked one of the attendees where it was,
since no signs or anything else designated its location. The attendee
told me she was told that she’d have to use the one across the street
at Hollenbeck Park. I thought for sure she was kidding, but she
wasn’t. I asked one of the STU-Crew, and they directed me to one
toward the front entrance of the hospital.

When I returned to enter the chapel, the table that was blocking the
hallway was replaced by a large door sitting on two plastic sawhorses.
As I moved that blockade and returned to the chapel, I wasn’t
surprised to find it empty. A couple hours later after having no one
coming in to the chapel, I ventured out again to find that a SECOND
blockade of a large door sitting on two sawhorses joined its
counterpart, but this one was right at the very entrance to the
chapel! This made it nearly impossible for anyone to get to the
“theatre”, even it they knew it existed in the first place.

The highlight of this very trying day was having Reina show up for a
screening. She is the woman featured at the beginning of “Night
Stalkers”, who had Psy Paranormal show up at her house to investigate.

Ray and I packed up and left shortly after 6:30pm, which was a good
thing. Numerous reports came in of more friends of mine being treated
rudely, and even confrontational encounters which was really uncalled
for. The entire event soured me on anything further to do with Linda
Vista Hospital.

DVDs and World Premiere

A couple weeks ago I settled on a final edit of “Night Stalkers.” I had a few early versions peer reviewed, and I’m glad I took the advice offered. I’m really proud of the final product.

I went to a local cemetery along with 3am Paranormal and a couple friends to shoot the cover art for the DVD. That was a lot of fun, and turned out great.

I found a great service online for DVD duplication and packaging, I ordered 60 copies, knowing I’d have to give away at least 13 to various groups and people that participated in the documentary.

I received the DVDs a week ago, and they look great. “Night Stalkers” is going to have it’s premiere at one of the most haunted locations in California: Linda Vista Hospital. This will be during Scott Gruenwald’s second annual ‘STU-Con” convention. They even re-named the chapel the “Wayne Poe Theatre”!

It’s going to be a lot of fun. “Night Stalkers” DVDs will be sold at the 3am Paranormal vendor table.


First Test Screening

I had a small screening of “Night Stalkers” on Saturday. It was projected via a digital projector on a white wall. Tough room of my closest skeptical friends, but they enjoyed it!

While everyone else was watching it, I was cringing at the pixelation, poor lighting, scenes that ran too long, etc. There’s one scene in particular I’d like to re-do, if the person I interviewed is up for it. Based on Saturday’s screening, I’m doing a third “final” edit of the doc, tightening up some scenes, removing the “sharpen” video effect that just makes everything grainy, fixing some sound issues, replacing a couple captions, and just general tweaking all over.

There was one scene that a few people I consulted agreed may be misleading, so I’m going to replace it. There’s two sections where EVPs are played that I may drop. Laymen in the audience heard nothing at all. The one EVP presented by investigator Louis Gonzalez was quite clear, and impressed the most hard line skeptics in the room.

On August 6th, 2011, “Night Stalkers” will have its first public viewing at STU-CON 2, at Linda Vista hospital! Scott Gruenwald and Boyle Heights Paranormal Project are converting the old chapel into the Wayne Poe Theater! Too funny!