California’s Creepiest Ghost Story: Barry Conrad on the San Pedro Haunting

[I]t’s one thing to hear these stories…but I wanted to see something for myself, and I also wanted to document it from a cameraman stand-point.
— Barry Conrad, Interview Extract
 The front cover of Barry's book detailing the experiences of the Jackie Hernandez/San Pedro Haunting.

The front cover of Barry's book detailing the experiences of the Jackie Hernandez/San Pedro Haunting.

Barry Conrad: film-maker and ghost-hunter extraordinaire. Few men have ventured where he has ventured, and even fewer have come back with any supporting evidence. Mainly known for the TV shows, “California's Most Haunted (2003)”, “Monsters of the UFO (2005),” and, “Valentino's Ghost (2012),” Barry commenced his broadcast career with Nick Clooney (George Clooney's father) in Ohio back in the Seventies. His credits span countless titles as cameraman, director-of-photography, and producer, including several feature documentaries under the banner of his own BARCON VIDEO PRODUCTIONS.

 One of the photos taken at the Hernandez house, capturing Jeff Wheatcraft just moments after a cord was wrapped around his neck in the attic and hung from the rafters. Photo by Larry Brooks, courtesy of BarCon Productions.

One of the photos taken at the Hernandez house, capturing Jeff Wheatcraft just moments after a cord was wrapped around his neck in the attic and hung from the rafters. Photo by Larry Brooks, courtesy of BarCon Productions.

What we really came to sink our teeth into, however, is the notorious San Pedro Haunting: surely one of his most well-known paranormal cases to date, Barry has also written a book about said haunting, under the title of, “An Unknown Encounter: A True Account Of The San Pedro Haunting.” This popular case focuses on the haunting of Jackie Hernandez, which began during the Summer of 1989, in a peaceful neighbourhood of San Pedro, California. A single mother-of-two, Jackie was a hard-working lady trying to make ends meet; the poltergeist activity was certainly the last thing she needed. It commenced when she first saw a vision of a ghoulish old man, sitting in her children’s bedroom on one of their beds. The paranormal activity that ensued after this was unimaginable, often going beyond mere poltergeist activity and resulting in actual physical harm. On certain occasions, there would be unidentified puss-like liquid oozing from the walls and ceilings; other times, Jackie reported violently vivid dreams, often finding herself being beaten to death in San Pedro Harbor; during one particular incident, an unseen force even held her down to the floor for several minutes, almost smothering her. The oozing liquid, quite amazingly, was captured on camera by Barry Conrad, during his time filming and investigating the household. The team managed to capture samples of the liquid, and had these sent off to a lab for further investigating. The results left them all speechless: according to the lab, the oozing liquid was, in fact, human blood plasma. As for the violent dreams, there’s a whole other story related to that, involving the dead body of a man found in San Pedro Harbor. However, we won’t give too much away here, lest we ruin the interview for you!

I remember many nights sleeping on the floor by the front door, thinking I’m gonna have to make a quick escape, you know.
— Barry Conrad, interview extract
 One of the photos captured on that fatal night of 1984; the unusual light striations are particularly noticeable here. "The Ghost That Screamed," taken from facebook.com/Casefiles-Unknown.

One of the photos captured on that fatal night of 1984; the unusual light striations are particularly noticeable here. "The Ghost That Screamed," taken from facebook.com/Casefiles-Unknown.

Of course, there are plenty of us that have our doubts; there’ll always be those of us that believe a haunting to be fake, whilst others may see the various ghostly activities as mere freak accidents and coincidences. It’s not our job to convince you one way or the other, we’re just here to present the information, and to make it as interesting as possible while we’re at it. One thing we can say in favour of this case, though, is that there were an unusually large number of witnesses, including neighbours, other tenants of the house, and, of course, the entire production crew during filming. The fear in their voices and faces is completely palpable, and I think it’s fair to say that something creepy happened, whether of a human or ghostly nature. (Check out a summary video of, “An Unknown Encounter,” right here; for a great eye-witness account of the Hernandez haunting, see here.)

I will not put out anything unless I think it’s got some kind of substance.
— Barry Conrad, Interview Extract

We talk to Barry about various aspects of paranormal film-making, including the difficulties concerning recording equipment (e.g. camera batteries dying during production, despite having been fully charged prior to the event); the dangers regarding physical harm; and the frightening possibility of “entities” following you home and haunting you. We also touch on the bizarre case of, “The Ghost That Screamed,” which was recently featured on Barry’s new TV show, “Casefiles Unknown” (first aired September 2015 on Destination America) – presenting photos taken shortly after a car crash involving four teenagers, the images are nothing short of fascinating. You can check some of them out for yourself on the Casefiles Unknown Facebook page.

Now for the interview – Enjoy!

Over and Out, Spread the Word About!

Posted on March 9, 2016 and filed under SUM2.