When I was a teenager, I was drawn to creepy things – whether it was paranormal events such as ghosts or hauntings, or unexplained phenomenon like UFOs or Bigfoot, my reading interests always leaned to the stranger side. As the years went by and I began, as an adult, looking at topics I could offer my library clients, I was delighted that subject of a macabre nature were of interest to YAs and teens.
The more I researched my topic, the more excited I became…but I wanted this to be so much more than just a lecture or a collection of stories. Teens have their fill of lectures in school. No, to really draw them in, I had to give them something they crave: Mystery. Spooky. A hint of horror.The result of my research led to the creation of the perfect YA/Teen program: “Tales From Beyond!”
“Tales From Beyond!” is a presentation Young Adults will love. Here’s the BEST part: this is not some dry lecture that will bore your audience to tears. To really captivate your young patrons, I bring a series of unusual and spooky artifacts with me. Your guests will jump in shock when an ancient machine called the Re-Animator brings the corpse of a bat back to life for a few moments. Patrons will examine an old box of keys from an insane asylum. The Diary of Jack the Ripper gives guests a chance to figure out the identity of Jack The Ripper. Teens will see strange artifacts, learn about mentalist powers and hear stories of unbelievable events. There’s more too:
• By sharing an old letter, listeners will discover evidence from the 1892 murder of Lizzie Borden’s parents in Fall River, Massachusetts.
• From a collection of turn-of-the-century portrait photographs, someone from the audience will determine who lived and who died on the Titanic.
• With pins in hand, several audience members will seek the truth about a 1920s era Louisiana voodoo doll and its victim.
• Someone will determine which of three shrunken heads from Ecuador must be returned to the British Museum.
• Part Pseudo-Psychometry, part Mystic Mentalism, part Bizarre Storytelling, and part just plain all-out creepy fun, “Tales From Beyond!” is just what this age needs to give their minds (and their goosebumps) an exciting trip into experiencing the unknown!
Let’s be honest: How many strong, professional programs are there being offered to the Young Adults and teens in libraries? If you have searched hard, you may have found a couple. Most presenters do not cater to Young Adults because they do not know what YAs want to see or what they are interested in. After presenting programs in 36 states (so far) across the country for the last 20 years, I’ve got the background and the experience in education and libraries to know exactly how to appeal to this group. The “Tales From Beyond!” program is ideal for teen audiences. It will not only attract them to non-fiction and classic literature but encourage them to use the library to find out more about topics which really appeal to them.
Important Information About This Young Adult / Middle School Show…
– Geared for ages 11 to 17!
– Poster and customized press release available to publicize the event!
– State-Of-The-Art Sound System included for larger groups at no additional fee!
– Stories of the strange and unusual that really appeal to young adult crowds!
– Exhibits of curious artifacts!
– Interactive Audience participation!
– Memorable surprises!
– Suitable for nearly any setting or size of audience!
Call me at (716) 940-8963 (that’s my cell phone) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to book your preferred date.
“I loved the Reanimator! This was creepy fun!”
Larry Schultz, Library Staff Member
Hulbert Library of the Town of Concord
“Let me preface my statement in that I’ve been a Teen Services Librarian for the entirety of my career in librarianship. During that time I’ve hosted a variety of programs and events for my teens run by outside vendors and presenters. Cris Johnson’s Tales from Beyond has to be.
“If you have teens that like the supernatural, history, magic, horror, humor or any or all of the above then they will love Tales from Beyond. Part interactive lecture series, part magic show, part ghost story, this program had me entertained and laughing along with my teens. Cris Johnson kept them engaged throughout and my teens actually loved the interactive portions of the presentation.
“For a final feather in Mr Johnson’s hat, my teens have already asked to have him back again, and we will definitely be booking another of his programs soon.”
Jacob Bigelow, Teen Services Librarian
Sully Branch Library
“The tweens and teens definitely thought the act was creepy and cool! This show featured a lot of historical mysteries that a lot of kids did not already know, so they got a LOT out of it! The kids LOVED the creepy artifacts and the Reanimator was a big hit!”
Merrie Haumann, Library Staff Member
Ahira Hall Memorial Library
“The teens enjoyed the weaving of historic accounts in with the illusions! Very entertaining and good visual program use of the artifacts!”
West Elmira Library
“Everyone enjoyed your presentation of ‘Tales from Beyond‘ at our Tween & Teen Summer Challenge last Friday! I noticed even the adults were very attentive and the teens were on the edge of their seats! Everyone had a great time! They have requested that you come back and do your hypnotism presentation. Looking forward to you coming again!”
Telce Varee, Director
Linesville Community Public Library
“Cris is a great story teller! The artifacts he brought were great, and we loved the history behind the artifacts.”
Kimberely Graham, Librarian
Wimodaughsian Free Library of Canisteo
“Cris Johnson’s ‘Tales From Beyond’ show had the teens riveted from the start. The stories and audience interaction with artifacts such as shrunken heads and old photos of passengers of the Titan had the teens talking long afterwards. I recommend this program!”
Doris Jean Metzger, Teen Librarian
Steele Memorial Library
“Our show was AWESOME! My group had such a great time listening to and participating with all the different stories. A guaranteed awesome, spooky time! Highly recommended!”
Katie Smith, Teen Services Librarian
“‘Tales From Beyond’ is fun and exciting, a very lively and interesting program! The show features a good blend of storytelling and facts. Best of all, Cris is very easy to work with!”
Theresa Streb, Lyons Library Director
“The guests really enjoyed the whole show–the stories, the paranormal coincidences, the presentation, and the presenter! Cris was great to work with, very professionals and personable. I liked that he plugged librarians and books! I’d recommend his show to any libraries–and will! I hope we can have him back again soon.”
Tina Dalton, Youth Services Librarian
Cuba Circulating Library
“WOW! Totally awesome show–our audience was blown away! Also learned quite a bit about some historical facts. I recommend for libraries to have Cris Johnson come and present a show.”
Kate Puehn, Librarian
“Fantastic program! One of the BEST young adult programs we have ever had at the Sully Branch Library. ALL of the teens were extremely engaged and fascinated with Cris’ combination of storytelling, historical knowledge, and unique set of artifacts. Not only did our teens have fun, they learned a lot of important historical and cultural facts. Every teen who attended the program wants Cris to come back as soon as possible! The teens really enjoyed the stories and artifacts relating to voodoo, the Titanic, Lizzie, Borden, and many others.”
Tim Ryan, Young Adult Services Librarian
Sully Branch Library