A NIGHT OF GHOST HUNTING with the Bytown Paranormal team…..
Ghosts do exist! Without the shadow of a doubt, Sandra Lepage is thoroughly convinced of the fact and it must be said that she is not by any means the only one to share that point of view. The investigation team of Bytown Paranormal of which she is the Quebec Liaison, travel widely throughout the region-from Eastern Ontario to the west of Quebec- searching for tangible proof of their very existence.
January 2014, meeting scheduled at Pine Lodge, a fair-sized 2 star hotel located just a stone throw away from the Ottawa River, in Bristol, Pontiac County. In this small village boasting a mere 1200 souls, rumor has it that the local hotel which was built in the 1930s would be inhabited by spirits. One of the rooms would be consistently colder than the others. The founder’s son’s body was exposed inside the hotel after a tragic car accident years prior. Also, odd noises are sometimes being heard. Ms. Lepage, who speaks several languages and whose parents were diplomates is extremely determined to get to the truth of it all. “There are many stories circulating about Pine Lodge,” she stresses. One of the bedrooms would be inhabited by an entity. A choice destination for festive events organized by local bourgeois, the lodge has now become a more modest establishment run by the Thompson family….a popular stop-over in winter with skidooers looking for a decent place to grab a good but quick meal, as well as with the cyclists and golfers come summer.
The operation begins at around 9 pm. Four large metal cases are spread over several tables. Thousands of dollars worth of equipment are inside. The bulk of the instruments, purchased by Paul, one of the group founders, on a US internet site. As it stands, Canada lags a bit behind in this field, he explains. One instrument measures temperature in real time, another one the strength of the electromagnetic field. Night vision cameras are positioned in strategic locations: bedrooms, corridors, dining room. Will, a young man with a passion for computers, takes care of all the connection work. Cindy for her part, is in charge of the base reads of the specific rooms/area to be investigated. She measures the temperatures as well as the strength of the magnetic fields. Everybody has a specific task to perform with a corresponding title. Thus, Cindy is junior investigator in charge of studying probant data. Everything is in place. The only thing left, to wait for the arrival of James, who is suspected to be more sensitive than most to the presence of wandering spirits. He does look tired when he finally appears at around 10:30pm. He has been on the road for an hour, braving a fierce snow storm, without taking the time to change from his airline uniform after a 16 hour work shift.
THE <HUNT> BEGINS …..
Two distinct teams are formed. We follow the one wich will head for the suspect room on the upper floor. Digital recorders, cameras as well as instruments used to measure static electricity are switched on. While lights, are switched off. No crystal ball, amulets or talismans. We look for proof which is tangible, measurable, quantifiable, with the help of modern and state of the art equipment. Indeed, these ghost-hunters are determined to adhere to a strictly <scientific> approach. The questions being asked are directed straight at the <entity>.
Great care is being taken to induce an atmosphere of trust so that spirits are not scared away by 20th century technology. “Should there be anybody here in this room….can you give a sign by knocking,” suggests Ms. Lepage…..with her eyes fixed on her instruments. “We mean no disrespect. We are here to help you. We can relay a message to someone if you wish”….she adds. But only silence prevails. She continues….”Do not hesitate to make a noise in order to communicate with us or to touch us….gently, of course.” “You may also approach our instruments and make them react to your presence. They will not harm you in any way. “ The small room is furnished with a bed, a chest of drawers and a dressing table. Instruments will remain switched on all night. Audio and video recordings will be thoroughly reviewed. “Most of the time, one cannot hear anything to the audible ear after questions are asked. It is when the recordings are later checked that elements of responses may be picked up,” adds Ms. Lepage. Questions continue for some twenty more minutes, followed each time by a further silence. Le Droit leaves at around midnight, too early to be witness to an extremely odd manifestation. During the night, the Bytown Paranormal team carries on its investigation when a strange phenomenon suddenly takes place. The ambient temperature in one of the rooms on the third floor, suddenly drops from +15 degrees to a mere -2 degrees in a matter of minutes. A sudden spike in the electromagnetic field is also recorded to 21 MG…let it be noted that on the floor in question, there is no power at all. “I could not feel my fingers anymore,” will relate Ms. Lepage to Le Droit a few days later. “There was a reaction in our equipment each time James was asking a question.”
To BELIEVE OR NOT TO BELIEVE…….
Indeed, if some ghost hunters have an unshakable belief in the presence of spirits, others equally display some degree of skepticism. All of them however are haunted by the same recurring question: « Is there another form of life after death? » When they spend whole nights trying to catch the attention of spirits in complete darkness, trying to bring to light unexplained phenomena, often come across a wall of utter silence which can play havoc with their original belief , says Paul, one of the group founders..For me, what we do is comparable to going fishing. Sometimes the whole exercise is long and boring. You may spend eight hours just taking to a wall. But on other occasions we get a response to our questions, at times even in a loud voice ., which is even rarer. This happened to us twice this year. » Paul has now been conducting investigations for several years. He spends a good deal of time and money in the pursuit of his hobby. And after all that time, does he still believe in spirits ? « Probably I still don’t have enough experience to prove it, but enough to keep myself interested in the subject., he says….
If I had failed to find anything for a period of over five years, I probably would have grown tired. Yet, now and then, we get lucky and hear a voice responding directly to a question. » Ghost hunting is much more than a game. Distressed « clients » sometimes ask that their homes be inspected., but hunters of supernatural creatures have a sense of ethics. Paul went as far as confessing, that some clients go as far as inventing their fears. Illusions are sustained by very ordinary causes: old plumbing in need of repairs, inquisitive rodents ….In some cases, taking adequate medicine is the only known remedy. » We prove the falsehood (of some unexplained phenomena) probably more often than we can prove existence of life after death.stresses Paul. Cody Macleod is also waiting for the confirmation that his own doubts are well founded with regards to the existence of life after death. But in the meantime, he finds personal satisfaction in visiting parts of our heritage and believing it all on a 50% basis in the hope of hitting a clean 100 % one of these days.. » There are places and buildings I never would have visited if I was not interested in ghosts, he explains with a smile on his face.