Dakota Laden, Tanner Wiseman, and Alex Schroeder of ‘Destination Fear’: The Conskipper Interview

There is no shortage of paranormal programming on the Travel Channel, especially in the month of October, or as they call it around the Travel Channel offices: Ghostober!

One of the main attractions on the Ghostober schedule is the return of Destination Fear. The program, featuring a group composed of siblings Dakota and Chelsea Laden and childhood friends Tanner Wiseman and Alex Schroeder, bring a excitement and camaraderie to the field of paranormal exploring that is rarely seen, and it is clear that they enjoy doing it together, even when they are terrified.

The group sat down for another interview session with us and shared some tantalizing details about their upcoming episodes and what life is like on the road and in the RV.

For this set of locations, did you again follow the surprise format that you have been using on Destination Fear, where the individuals in the group pick the spots to visit? 

Dakota Laden:  Yes, we stuck to the same format where only one member of the group knows where we are headed.  The biggest difference this time around was that we all picked the locations equally.  In the first season, I was the only one who knew where we were going, so this season was a lot more confusing for me.  And we were always driving so much this time!

Tanner Wiseman:  This was absolutely the most driving we have done so far in the RV.  Because we were all picking locations, sometimes we’d start in Virginia, drive across the country, and then drive right back to Virginia. 

Alex Schroeder:  It was a lot of driving, but it was also a lot of fun scaring your friends with your choice.   

Last time, you filmed the majority of the episodes in the dead of winter.  What season is it this time around? 

Laden:  This time we filmed them in the summer, which offers a different set of challenges.  The heat was an issue and in many of the buildings, we couldn’t get the windows open, so if it was hot outside, it was 10 to 20 degrees hotter inside.  

We also had problems with wildlife.  Wait until you see it; it was crazy.  

Wiseman:  We went from the freezing cold and ice to sweating the whole time.  You end up asking yourself: which one is worse? 

Alex, Tanner mentioned in a past interview that you have really good ears and are able to pick up sounds that others in the group miss.  Why do you think this is? 

Schroeder:  In person, my hearing is hyper sensitive and I’m at peak performance because I am always so terrified when we are investigating a location.

Laden:  Alex also has it harder than the rest of us because he’s the guy with the camera and has to get the wide coverage shots, so he is always farther away from us and is picking up on sounds that we can’t hear.  

Schroeder:  Every time we go up or down a level in a building, I am there with the camera with my back to everything, and I’m the last to leave the locations.  

Wiseman:  I do wait for you though.

Schroder:  That’s right, you do.  And I usually come running!

The first episode up is your visit to the Saratoga County Homestead, correct?

Laden: Yes, it was a sanatorium that was abandoned for over 50 years.

Wiseman:  And it looked like it was abandoned for 100 years. 

Laden:  It was the scariest night of our lives.  Since then, we continue to have a debate over whether someone, or a group of people, were actually at the facility, or if what we encountered was paranormal.  It defied logic.  A real mind trip and what we captured on camera was unbelievable. Months later, we still debate over what really happened there. 

Wiseman: What we caught on camera; it still confuses us.  And we have the technology to slow the footage down and zoom in, and we still don’t know what we are seeing.  

Schroeder: I’ve never screamed like I did at the place. 

Laden:  It was terrifying.  Not only was the building falling apart, but it was also in the middle of the woods, and nobody should be there.  

You also visited a distillery this time around. 

Laden: Yes, we wanted to try something new and the place just looked very cool, like something out of a Tim Burton movie.  It was a place where there were a lot of sudden, violent deaths, and those locations usually have aggressive hauntings.  

The group returned to the Randolph County Infirmary, which was a place where you had a frightening experience, right Tanner?  

Wiseman: We’ve gone back to a lot of locations at this point such as Parkhurst, St. Albans, and now Randolph and you go in with a different set of information the second time. 

The first time, something happened that we didn’t see at the moment.  When we reviewed the footage, when I was asleep, I didn’t realize that a door swung open very close to me, so we always talked about going back.  You want to return and find out why it happened or what makes it happen.  Randolph is in the middle of nowhere and is one of our favorite locations. 

Laden:  When we initially went to Randolph, we had no knowledge of the history of the place or the stories that were being told about.  After researching it for our return trip, we realized that the location where we got all of the activity, happened in the hallway that everyone talks about.  

My sister Chelsea had a terrifying experience there and she got very upset about it.  It was super scary.

Wiseman:  If it happened to any of us, we would have all had the same reaction. 

You travel across the country on Destination Fear.  Do any of you have any favorite food stops?

Laden:  Due to COVID-19, we always got take-out and ate in the RV, but we like to try each region’s speciality, and we aren’t picky when it comes to food.  So when we are in the south we eat BBQ, etc. 

Wiseman:  I’m fine with a box of Cheez-Its,  Just eating them out of the box.

Schroeder: There are always a lot of snacks on the RV and a lot of energy drinks. 

Since it is the Halloween season, what were your favorite costumes as kids?  

Laden:  Mine was Batman.  I was probably Batman for at least three years. 

Wiseman:  In elementary school, I dressed up as the Blues Brothers with a friend of mine and we would sing and dance together at every candy stop.  Do the whole routine. 

Schroeder:  I would have to say Freddy Krueger, including the glove with the knife fingers. 

Destination Fear returns on Saturday, October 24 at 10 PM ET. You can also catch up with some recent episodes starting at noon and running until 6:00 PM ET on that same Saturday. The team will also be featured on a special episode of Shock Docs: This is Halloween on Monday, October 26 at 9:00 PM ET.

If you are interested in learning more about Destination Fear, check out our previous two interviews with the group (including Chelsea Laden), right here and here.

One comment

  1. Nice interview, it’s refreshing to see something on television so fresh and unique and get a sense of the group and their strong bond with one another. I wish I had that because I’ve witnessed a lot of things by myself even when I was with someone. And I get what their feeling when you have your own experiences you want to look further into it to see who or what was making that sound; why and sometimes how. I learned it doesn’t even have to be an old spot and the building per se, but the land and the environment. I’ve witnessed that through my own experiences and it’s got me questioning and wondering about not only the paranormal or things that go bump into the night, but cryptids… since I also love animals. And just like there may be other beings out there in the universe there may be other creatures and things lurking in the shadows.

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