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HAUNTED ‘HOUSE’: The Native American Paranormal Project premieres latest doc tonight

Photo courtesy of Mark Williams.
Filmmaker, Mark Williams, while investigating paranormal activity in a basement in Tahlequah.
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OKLAHOMA CITY—Forget the latest slasher sequel playing down at the mall—the scariest film this Halloween weekend is being screened tonight at the Choctaw Alliance and, if that’s not enough, the most horrific thing about the flick is that it’s all true.

The brainchild of Choctaw filmmaker Mark Williams, the Native American Paranormal Project is a documentary series that he started in 2007. Little did he know that ten years later he’d be completing his sixth film in the highly successful run of docs showcasing supposedly haunted sites of Native American history in Oklahoma.

“As a filmmaker and storyteller I’m always challenging myself and taking on bigger roles in learning the art of filmmaking,” Williams said. “I’ve always been a fan of paranormal stories and a friend and I were talking about how interesting it would be to see Natives explore a location that has a Native history to it. Our very first investigation was the Concho Indian Boarding School in El Reno and we premiered it in Oklahoma City and the response was just crazy. We had to turn people away at the door.”

As people started giving Williams suggestions for more and more places to investigate, he said that what was supposed to be a “one-off film” suddenly became a series, currently at entry number six, all exploring not only places that have a paranormal history but strong ties to the Native community as well, uncovering the secret history of many of these places that Williams said “you won’t find out about in books or school.”

Williams believes that what separates his group of paranormal investigators from those that perhaps more flashy and definitely exploitative is that NAPP isn’t “trying to convince anyone to believe in anything”; instead, they just present their findings, say what they think and allow the audience to decide from the evidence presented.

 “Whenever I recruited this group, all I asked was that they be open-minded and be willing to talk about their experiences on camera and, of course, be Native American,” Williams said. “Historically, Native Americans are spiritual and I know from growing up anytime a bunch of us get together, we start telling ghost stories. I don’t know why that is, but with these films, we’re telling our own stories and presenting our own findings.”

Williams’ latest film, The Old School House, finds NAPP investigating the notoriously haunted Bacone House in Tahlequah, one of the oldest houses in the city that currently serves as Northeastern State University's Center for Tribal Studies. Nicknamed “the Old School House,” the film explores the original Native history of the house and the nearly constant reports of people hearing voices and feeling a “presence” watching them.

The Old School House will premiere tonight at the Choctaw Alliance, 5320 S. Youngs Blvd. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the film starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.00 but children 12 and under are free. Concessions will be available for sale.

“Filming The Old School House really reaffirmed many of my beliefs,” Williams said. “This is real footage and real stories; it’s not like what you see on TV. They are more about the ratings and the hype; we are more about the story and approaching it in a respectful way because we’re Natives telling Native stories from our history. We are a sincere paranormal group telling these stories in the honest way they should be told and I believe people who see The Old School House will be left questioning their own beliefs in the paranormal.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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