I have always been pretty interested in the paranormal, and since there are so many fans of shows like Ghost Hunters, Haunted Collector, and many others it is obvious that I am not alone. Mackenzie Knight is a paranormal researcher/investigator, host of her own celebrity paranormal radio show called “Unearthly Encounters Live!” on Blog Talk Radio, and an author. Needless to say she is a pretty busy woman these days so I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with her about the supernatural, her new book, and horror in general.
Todd Martin: Tell us a little bit about your paranormal radio show, Unearthly Encounters Live!
Mackenzie Knight: Unearthly Encounters Live! is one of my dreams come true. To be able to interview all kinds of people who are experts on this subject, I love. I feel blessed to have talked to these amazing people I otherwise would have never met. I’ve hand-picked most, and they are fantastic guests. I’ve had paranormal investigators, parapsychologists, Bigfoot researchers and hunters, famous people who talk about the Occult, witches, warlocks, world famous psychics, my favorite Horror movie actress, UFO hunters, and authors of ghostly tales, and even a real vampire. I put my heart into this. I read all their books. I like that the show is live because whatever happens, happens. I want people who are interested in this subject to know we are there, so they can enjoy what these people have to offer. My co-host Beth Shelby is an amazing psychic.
TM: How old were you when you realized that you had an interest in the paranormal?
MK: It all started when I was 4, and it has not let up since.
TM: You’ve stated that you grew up in a haunted house. Can you give us some details regarding why the house was haunted?
MK: My grandparents’ house was very dark, strange and haunted. There were many antiques everywhere in the home, and it was built near a Native American burial ground way out on Long Island. The piano (which was just a very old piano and not a player piano) played itself. At the time I was just a little girl and I would go in there to practice, only I was not alone. I would be on the piano seat on the right and whoever was in the seat on the left played the notes to “Mary had a Little Lamb.” I always felt like I was being watched and followed. I would run so fast through that house and could feel them behind me no matter how quickly I ran. There were knockings and footsteps, as well as shadows that could not be explained. I know my grandparents knew it was a strange place too.
What was really bizarre was the strange shadow of a woman that was on my ceiling for years- when I was older I realized she was there to protect me for some reason. My Dolls were strange too, they would always be moved to my little tea table, sitting there waiting even if I made sure I put them elsewhere. At night I always latched them in the closet but somehow the door was open in the morning. One day I saw a Native American woman sitting in a chair on the enclosed porch. She was beautiful and very sad. I went up to her and asked her what was wrong and she pointed to the window and vanished in thin air. Later that day my grandmother -who was an artist- showed me a picture she just painted, and it was the very same woman I had seen on the porch. My grandmother said she had come in a dream.
TM: What sort of experiences did you have when it came to the paranormal while you were living in the house? What was the scariest thing that happened to you?
MK: When I was 4 I had a friend named Susan, who would wait for me daily on the antique phone bench. She would come in my room and play tea party with me and my dolls. We would go play in the garden, and have pretend picnics. One day I asked my grandfather why he never said hello to Susan and showed him where she waited for me every day. I told him that she wore a white dress and black patent leather shoes and that her hair was in pig tails and bows. Grandpa then showed me a picture, and said that Susan was my sister who died 6 years before I was born, when she was just 6. He said they didn’t think I was old enough to understand it at the time, but some of her toys were in my room. What was even scarier, I thought, was the fact that she looked like she could be my twin. At that point my Grandfather realized Susan was still there with us the house. There were no other children for miles as we lived deep in the country.
The scariest thing that happened had to be when my grandpa painted the entire kitchen red. I walked in there and just saw blood, I screamed and wouldn’t stop. Needless to say he painted over it right away in a calm color. When I was older I realized I could see ghosts, I guess I thought most people could do the same. I was gifted, and I do wish there was help in those days for children like me. Later in life I was told my aunt was born with a call, and was a psychic. I inherited the gift of seeing the dead. I was too frightened, as I got older and ignored my gift. I do not see the dead like I did as a child, but I am sensitive, if we walked into a haunted house, I could tell you who was there and if the spirit was good or evil.
TM: Who are some of the guests that you’ve had on your radio show, and who would you like to have on it in the future?
MK: Wow! On My show I’ve had Lloyd Auerbach, or “Professor Paranormal,” as he is called. Psychic medium Annette Martin, who sadly passed away shortly after appearing on the show. Psychic medium Jane Doherty from the Dead Tenants TV show, who also talked about her Crystal Skulls. My favorite horror actress, Dee Wallace, and world famous parapsychologist Dr. Barry Taff, who worked on The Entity case. Debra and Tony Pickman who lived in the notorious Sallie House, Judika Illes, Dorothy Morrison, and Father Sebastian who is a living vampyre. Jeff Walmsley from Point Pleasant and the Moth man Museum appeared once, as well as Alexandra Holzer, daughter of Hans Holzer, who is a pioneering paranormal researcher and author.
I would love to have John Zaffis on my show, as well as John Carpenter. Also the guys from Supernatural- Jared Padelecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins- just to talk about the show and how they feel about the supernatural/paranormal.
TM: Tell us about your new eBook Cypress Hill. What is it about and how did you come up with the idea for it?
MK: My eBook Cypress Hill was born when someone I once knew who worked at this beautiful park- like cemetery, told me that they’d like to see me write a book about the cemetery, so I did just that. Cypress Hill is a fast paced Horror Novella. Mary Rielly went in for a routine tonsillectomy, not knowing that her surgeon was not who he appeared to be. He injects her with a serum. In the meantime, Jack starts his new job at Olympus Lawn Cemetery. He is told by Old Mac (his new boss) the horrors on Cypress Hill, a burial mound there. Mary lies in the mortuary, her inner eyes open, but she cannot move or speak. She begins to remember what happened to her at the hands of the strange surgeon. She is told by a spirit that a man in the cemetery will help her, but she must leave her body. Mary thinks that if he cannot see, or hear her that he can’t help her, so she knows at that point that she is a ghost of sorts. Jack does help her once she leaves her body, and they go on a quest to stop a vampire who caused her plight. The only problem is that Mary is without a body. They have less than 24 hours to stop the unstoppable, and get her back in her body before the serum wears off. They go on a desperate journey and many obstacles stand in their way, but you have to read it to find out what happens. It’s a lot of fun and excitement in one very unique tale.
TM: What is your opinion of the current paranormal shows (such as “Ghost Hunters,” “Paranormal State,” etc) that many people tune in to watch each week? Do you think that their findings are legit or are they scripted to make things more interesting for the viewers?
MK: -I used to watch all those shows when they first came on. I think some parts of the show may be legit, but after talking with Lloyd Auerbach, and Barry Taff, it makes you wonder what is really going on there. I must say I do watch the Haunted Collector right now and enjoy it.
TM: If you could work with any of the current paranormal research teams that appear on television which one would it be and why?
MK: I would love to work with John Zaffis and his team from The Haunted Collector. Since I have dealt with haunted objects myself I know they can have attachments. I like how they remove the objects so the people are free from the activity.
TM: What is your favorite scary movie of all time? Has there ever been a movie that just really scared you that you had to sleep with the lights on for a while?
MK: My favorite scary movie has to be John Carpenter’s Halloween, and the original Fog. The scariest movie for me was the Exorcist. It was just horrid, not just because of the spinning of her head and the green vomit, but the fact that the premise of the movie could happen.
TM: What would be your dream location to perform a paranormal investigation?
MK: I would like to go to the Winchester House as well as a castle in Ireland.
TM: What is your take on the whole Amityville case? Do you think all the things that supposedly happened to the Lutz family are true or did they just make it all up?
MK: Well this is amazing that you asked this question! One of my brother’s former bosses lived in this house after all the so-called events that took place. He said that nothing happened to his family, yet many people are not sensitive. I really do not quite know what to think of this house without having been in it. I feel there must be a huge amount of negative energy in there because of what happened, and it is quite possible the house is haunted because of the murders that took place there, but as far as the Lutzs are concerned I do not think much of their story. Now the Sallie House is different, I believe the Pickmans’ (the family that lived there) story.
TM: Do you have any projects you are working on that you would like to talk about?
MK: Right now I am busy with my radio show trying to line up some fascinating guests for 2013. I would love to have a syndicated paranormal radio show and some sponsors. I am working on parts 2 and 3 for Cypress Hill, as well as a story about all of my haunted experiences that I have gone through during my life. I would also love to see Cypress Hill made into a movie, one can still dream (laughs).
TM: Is there anything you’d like to add or anyone you would like to give a shout out to?
MK: I would like to shout out to John Zaffis. Please join us on our radio show!
Thanks to Mackenzie Knight for taking the time to speak to me!