Tennessee’s Paranormal Palace:
Ghosts, Aliens, UFOs – Oh my!
by: Brent Raynes
Aerial view of large ancient glyph of Stick Man type figure.
Artistic illustration of mysterious tall thin "Stick Man" figure Sandy Nichols says he has witnessed.
Sandy Nichols at his desk, facing French door where "Tall Grey" appeared.
Sandy Nichols stands outside French door showing where "Tall Grey" stood and where his head came up to
John Keel (Audio)
John Keel (Audio)
John Keel, Brent (Audio)
Back in 2004, in the country on the outskirts of Thompson Station, Tennessee, Sandy Nichols and his wife Sherrie had constructed the home of their dreams. A large mansion of a home, I’ve joked that a mini conference could be held there. As it is, many have gathered there to conduct UFO skywatches and paranormal investigations, as numerous unexplained phenomena have been reported at this location. A few years ago, it got the nickname from one frequent attendee “Paranormal Palace.” The name has stuck.
From the beginning, strange things began to happen. Sandy even notified me of a local resident, age 38, a landscape developer, who had been seeing strange fast-moving blue lights maneuvering through the night skies over the community where Sandy’s home was being built, as well as surrounding areas. I interviewed this man about his sightings as well.
Sandy, an admitted “alien abductee,” describes recurrent ghostly and even alien visitations in and around his home. A night owl who does a lot of his reading and writing late at night and into the wee hours of the morning, that’s when many of his experiences occur. “At exactly 1:24 a.m., I just looked up and saw a Tall Grey, brown in color,” Sandy explained in an email to us just minutes after his sighting on February 28th of this year (2014). “I was at my desk in my home office on the computer. I have the curtains opened on the set of French doors right in front of me overlooking the pool area.” Sandy explained that the Grey was “outside in the cold, staring at me at my desk.” He added, “He saw me look up and see him. Then he just glided (not walked) to his right. My curtains are closed on the second set of French doors so I lost sight of him. I then arose from my desk, stepped outside and looked left, and said, ‘Hey! I saw you.’” Sandy tried to determine the height of the “Tall Grey” soon afterwards. He wrote: “I grabbed my tape measure and went outside to measure. The very tip top of his head was hidden by the top, last mullion (wood trim) on the French door. I measured 8 feet from the pool deck to the middle of this last mullion. This means he was either 8 feet tall, or standard 7 feet tall and floating a bit above the pool deck. Him floating would explain the gliding motion I witnessed when he moved to his right. It was very smooth.”
More recently, on April 26, at 3 a.m., Sandy was preparing to get in his hot tub. He then noticed a small entity. It disappeared quickly from his sight behind a square pillar on the back porch nearby. “Color was grayish-white,” Sandy noted. “Right side profile. Body no more than around 6 inches thick. About 3 ½ feet tall. Did not move its legs when it went behind the square pillar. It floated…very smooth.” He guessed that he watched it “a good 4 to 5 seconds.”
Sandy’s experiences even include “out of body” excursions. Sandy had one out-of-body experience wherein he projected to the home of a friend and fellow investigator in Arkansas. This person expressed with certainty that Sandy had appeared to her “astrally” during sleep. “I felt his presence in my room,” this friend wrote me. “It was a surprise to see him.” “A couple of days later she sent me an email and shared with me a dream,” Sandy explained. “Her dream was this OBE experience.” The details matched very precisely.
It even seemed as though some sort of mysterious form of prophecy or precognition may have been involved with the Paranormal Palace’s coming into being. One day a few years ago, Sandy led my wife Joan and I out to a nearby clearing on a hillside to view the landscape. Sandy explained:
“It was on a Sunday afternoon about nine months into the construction process of our home. We were living in a rental home in Spring Hill during this time. I drove over to the construction site with our black lab, Hogan, to let him run, play and explore while I walked around checking on recent progress of construction. We had bought the first lot, and were building the first house in this new neighborhood. In this early phase of the development of this neighborhood, one had to enter at the front entrance and turn right at the stop sign, then proceed around a curve and up a small hill to the top of the small hill. My road was located on the right where the main road ended at the time. Our road was a cul-de-sac, and we were building our home at the very end of this road on the left.”
“Hogan and I were there for about 2 hours and then began our drive back to the rental home. After turning left off of the main neighborhood road, and right before this road began its decent back toward the front entrance, I suddenly slammed on my brakes. There before me, which I had not noticed before, was the exact valley, the exact same geographical location that was depicted in my three, recurrent dreams that I had experienced every month, on the exact same dates, that began January 1992 and lasted until July 1996. “
“We have always experienced a plethora of paranormal experiences at the Paranormal Palace,” paranormal investigator Gina Oldham remarked. “We have caught EVPs there on numerous occasions,” added her husband Bret Oldham, also a paranormal investigator and an alien abductee himself. “The attic, and the foyer where the spirit box sessions are conducted, seem to be the most active for EVPs.”
“Once, while we were doing a spirit box session in the foyer, I was leading the session, sitting in my usual chair which faces the back door when I happened to notice someone looking though the pane of the French door leading out to the patio,” Bret stated. “It looked like a real person, a young man about 17 to 18 years old. When he saw me looking at him, he vanished. I immediately said something to everyone about it. Sandy believed it was the spirit of the young man who favors hanging out in the backyard area. Gina and I have caught EVPs in that area from someone who sounds about that age.”
Bret recalls another apparition he saw at Sandy’s one summer night, while standing out by the backyard swimming pool. “I was standing out in front of the pool house when out of the corner of my eye I saw movement through the den windows of the house,” Bret recalled. “There was one lamp on in the den so there was some light but not much since it is a large room. I thought we had woken Sandy’s wife Sherri, which I felt bad about. I quickly looked over towards the movement fully expecting to see Sherrie but instead I saw the figure of a very tall man dressed in a Civil War uniform. He did not look at me. He was looking straight ahead. He took about three steps across the den and then suddenly vanished.”
Gina remembered what for her was an especially memorable “spirit box” session at Sandy’s Palace: “One evening while we were having a spirit box session at the Paranormal Palace, like we had done a hundred times before, sat in the same chairs in the same foyer every time; right before we started the spirit box session on this evening, my chair kept rolling backwards as if someone was behind me pulling the chair backwards. I would then inch the chair back up where it was in the beginning and once again the chair would roll backwards again feeling like someone was behind me pulling the chair. I remember I commented to Bret, something keeps pulling my chair and making me roll backwards. Now like I said, we had done this same thing a hundred times before using the same chair in the same location. This did not make sense to me and I really felt that this was something paranormal. Thank goodness we had the recorders going before the spirit box session because on the recording you can hear me tell Bret that something was pulling my chair backwards and you hear an EVP that says ‘That’s my chair.’ The EVP was very clear and it was cool because it provided validation that what was happening with my chair was clearly paranormal.”
Strange lights also appear around the Paranormal Palace grounds. “Bret and I were standing outside in front of the pool,” Gina states. “It was night time and I looked up to see a large, perfectly round bright orb of light just under the moon. I was trying to process what I was seeing. At that moment, Bret saw me looking up and looked up to see what I was staring at and at that moment this large orb of light collapsed upon itself. He only saw the collapsing of this bright orb of light. I cannot explain what this light anomaly was. Not sure if this was a craft or something else. Unfortunately, it happened quickly, but I do remember thinking it was just as bright as the moon and appeared large and it did seem to collapse in on itself as it disappeared.”
“I could talk for hours about the paranormal experiences we have had there,” Gina confesses. “Bret and I have always felt that there is a portal or possibly multiple portals on the property, and maybe the property is even on ley lines. The energy and environment always feels different and paranormally charged while you’re there.”
Even skeptics may have an experience at the Palace, as happened recently on Saturday, March 8th, when at approximately 7:25 p.m., someone we’ve known for years and who is very skeptical of all things related to UFOs and the paranormal, described to us how he was in the garage and looking outside, a short distance away, briefly saw a square pattern of white light just slightly behind a nearby tree about two feet above the ground. It appeared to be perhaps 2 feet wide, 2-2.5 feet high, hazy like top and bottom, but a clear straight line on the sides. He told me, “You know me, I don’t believe in this stuff. If I say I saw it you know I saw something!” Before the evening was over, he began to speculate that maybe he had seen something like how some people see spots before their eyes, to which Sandy’s wife Sherrie responded, “Yeah spots, but I’ve never heard of a big square of light like that!”
On Saturday, February 22nd, we had a farewell gathering at the Paranormal Palace to say our good-byes to Bret and Gina as they were moving to Las Vegas, Nevada. Cathy Brockway, a member of our paranormal team, recalled how she believes that she and her teenaged daughter saw an apparition that night. She stated: “My daughter Corinne was in attendance with me, and we were standing in the kitchen deep in animated conversation with Bret, Gina, Sandy and Shirley, facing the living room area.”
“I happened to notice a person in grey, walking from right to left across the living room. This was a tall individual, a man, and he looked as though he was going to open the doors that lead out to the patio. I saw my daughter’s head turn slightly as she also noticed him passing. Because there were a lot of people present, I really didn’t think much about it – just noted that someone was going outside. But after a second or two, I realized that I never saw or heard the patio door open or close and that I also never saw the person enter the kitchen area. Those were the only two possible places this person could have gone.”
“Immediately, I told everyone what I had just witnessed and hurried over to look out the patio doors and around the vicinity to see where and who this man was. Corinne also confirmed she had seen a man walk across the living room.”
“No one else had seen anything. Sandy, Bret, Gina and Shirley (Martin) were facing away from the living room….”
“This was definitely a full-body apparition; nothing ghostly or misty about it. I still have a hard time believing it wasn’t an actual in-the-flesh person as it appeared very solid.” My daughter Chandra Harrison recalls how one dark moonless night she walked down the driveway to her vehicle parked in the cul-de-sac below. When she reached the bottom of the driveway she noticed what she thought was Sandy’s two large and playful black labs coming down the hill from the house. From the dark mass she could hear sounds that made her think it was the dogs playing (i.e., the sound of paws and what sounded like their bodies bumping into each other). She soon pressed up against her Suburban as a collision with them seemed inevitable. She cried out, but then nothing – they just weren’t there. When she returned to the house up the driveway the two labs were in the garage peacefully laying on their mattes. She realized that whatever it was, it hadn’t been them!
Not long after our latest visit to the Palace (May 10th) Chandra shared with our paranormal group the following email dated May 12th, sent out at 4:53 a.m.: “Just wanted to document something that has just happened. I woke up probably about an hour ago and like I normally do I try to doze. The morning light was shining through my bedroom window. As I lay there I heard the sound of a happy child singing. Which is a wonderful way of waking up! I was unsure at first if it was Autumn or Conner singing. As I laid there I remembered it was Monday and I still have to get children ready for school. I looked at my phone which said 4:02 a.m. I thought to myself, "Wow, the sun is up already?" The child was still singing on and off for about another 5-10 minutes. Then something strange happened(of course). The sunlight outside my window FADED! I got up and looked outside and of course there was nothing there. There was an eerie silence that fell on the house. I checked on everyone who were all still asleep. No music playing, no child singing, no sunshine. It hit me when I was a little girl dad had a similar occurrence.”
“Very interesting Chan,” I replied. “As I was reading over your account I was thinking of my experience so many years ago, when you were a little girl and I heard the sound of a child-like voice singing outside your bedroom window. The light was normal, but it was early morning and I found you and your mom still asleep. It lasted maybe a minute, as I recall. Hmmm.”
“Awakening from time to time in the middle of the night and light streaming in is not all that strange to me since it has happened so many times to me,” Sandy replied, adding, “Has anyone noticed that someone in the group seems to have some type of strange experience within a day or two after gatherings at the Palace.” This seems to be a pattern noted in other paranormal situations. For example, people have reported noticing that when visiting active sites like Sedona they for awhile seem to become psychically charged, and the same has been reported with researchers working with psychics like Uri Geller who themselves temporarily become telepathic. When we were heavily engaged in Native American sweat lodges a few years back, participants remarked on this sort of thing as well. We talk about how we seem to have opened portals or chakras, as we try in vain to give a name to something mainstream science fails yet to acknowledge.
Researcher and psychic Shirley Martin recalled this memorable experience that she had at the Palace:
“On June 1, 2013, I attended my first ever investigation at the Paranormal Palace by its owner Sandy Nichols. I was so excited to be investigating along side some of the best researchers in the field of paranormal phenomenon and in such a lovely setting. This house was reported to be very active and I couldn't wait to sink my investigative teeth into it.”
“It was dubbed Ladies Night by Sandy and we were given full run of the house and grounds. Vallie Rojas, Earthbound Spirit Hunters, Joan Raynes (wife of much respected editor and researcher, Brent Raynes), and myself formed a team while Sandy, Brent, Bret Oldham and Mike Rojas returned to Sandy's office outside of the house. We ladies were completely alone inside this huge, very active home. We started upstairs in the attic, sweeping each room with K2 meters and with recorders running. Camera flashes were going off pretty steadily as well.”
“As we came downstairs after getting a few positive hits with Val's Spirit Box (Jacob, the little boy spirit, was the most prominent), Val was pushed at the bottom of the stairs and fell hard, actually making a small dent in the wall with her elbow. I was above her about 6 or 7 risers and saw her plant both feet on the ground then turn to face me when suddenly it looked as if someone placed a hand flat palmed on her chest and shoved. I along with Joan, who was behind me, rushed down to reach Val. Thankfully she was okay, but did have a pretty nasty looking bruise forming quickly. She stood up and snapped a photo with her full spectrum camera up the stairs as I was standing facing them, demanding to know who pushed her. I was able to determine psychically that an entity that was attracted to Val was responsible and had followed her to the Palace. Between the three of us we were able to send this female spirit to the Light and we continued our investigation. Later, as Val was reviewing her photos, she brought our attention to a very strange image. On the wall of the staircase was a black, whispy-looking tendril with what looks like plasma energy around it. At first it could be mistaken for hair. But none of us ladies, nor the men, have long black hair.”
“Val was running the Spirit Box again and after a bit I decided to break off from the other two ladies, as I felt drawn to one particular room. I entered the master bedroom and stood quietly for a moment, getting a feel for the energies I was certain were there. After only a few seconds I felt unsteady on my feet, as if a great magnetic force was pushing against me and I started feeling pressure around my head. I quickly called to Joan and Val to come into the room. My recorder was running continuously.”
“As we stood speaking out loud to the energy we all were feeling, coaxing it to come forward, I broke out into chill bumps. Suddenly Joan and I heard what sounded like a growl come from near or under the bed. We quickly discussed if one of Sandy Nichols' dogs were in the house, then discovered that they were outside. Upon inspection it was also discovered the bed was too low to the floor to accommodate one of Sandy's full grown Labradors. There was absolutely nothing seen under the bed, not so much as a dust bunny. We attempted to get a repeat sound but we were not successful.”
“Once I got home and uploaded the file, Val ran that one particular moment through a voice editing program to isolate it, then filter some of the white noise out. I listened again and clearly heard a noise so low in frequency as to register to our ears as a growl. But in fact it was a voice sounding as if it was yelling loudly but came out as a low, husky whisper. What the voice said was, "I AM RIGHT HEEEEERRREE". This was in answer to our repeated questions of "Who is here?" and "Where are you?"
“By far one of the best EVPs I've ever captured. That evening will forever stand out in my mind as one of the most unique experiences I've had while on investigation. And it happened at the Paranormal Palace, where strangeness is right at home!”
Initially I wasn’t sure about the “spirit box” and the capture of alleged EVP messages, but it was in the front foyer of the Palace (underneath which Sandy had a large amysthest crystal buried when the house was constructed, for the purpose of inviting in positive psychic energies) that I had my first overwhelming and for me convincing “spirit box” series of experiences. It was the night of July 3, 2010, which also happened to be the one year anniversary of the late John A. Keel’s death (Keel was a well-known UFO and paranormal investigator and author who wrote The Mothman Prophecies). We not only got him (or somebody) to say his first and last name, but we got some dramatic interactive responses too, like when Bret Oldham asked what Keel now thought about Bigfoot, a male voice said “Smuck Bigfoot. See?” (audio files of these recordings are attached with this article) After this, we continued to get “John Keel” at other times, as well as interactive responses. We would write a word, a name or something on a paper or index card, and ask for the word to be spoken, and we would often hear it soon afterwards.
All of us who have investigated and experienced the paranormal in Sandy’s home would have to agree with Shirley Martin’s sentiment that “strangeness is right at home” at the Paranormal Palace.
For anyone interested, Sandy Nichols maintains a website at: www.alienresearchgroup.com. Besides paranormal and alien abduction memories, on the website you can read about how Sandy also has seen a “Mothman” type creature here in Tennessee. Also in Brad and Sherry Steiger’s Real Encounters, Different Dimensions, and Otherworldly Beings (2014) read about Sandy’s bizarre “Stick Man” encounters. (See artistic rendering of Stick Man)
Also see picture of large ancient glyph photographed in California. Read below what a Native American friend and experiencer had shared as a possible explanation for Sandy’s Stick Man. Khat Hansen, a healer and experiencer of Choctaw ancestry, had written me in 2013 the following:
There is actually an old, old legend about these creatures. These creatures were created so long before humans that they are ancient ancients. These strange creatures have no real body torso or arms, just a head and long, long legs. They are an enormous being that walks the forests at night and has done so since before humanity came into existence. It is said it only appears at night, never in the daytime and that it’s very hard to see. Of course there are exceptions to this...people who are psychic or are allowed by the beings to see them.
They will only allow you to see them or connect with them if they sense that you have respect for their forest.
In 1931 in Blythe, California an archaeologist discovered huge glyphs that could be only really be seen from the air. They show a huge being with long legs and arms with a small head. You could only see these glyphs from the air. The glyph was about 160 feet long from head to toe. When these glyphs were created is unknown but they can be heard in oral legends from ancient native American’s stories.
These creatures are spirit beings that are given charge over a specific area of forest. As their forests are destroyed and decimated they each cease to exist in our realm. For this very reason we do not see them any longer.
Enum'k'a Lu' ushka