I am well know amongst close family and friends for claiming to have a well-honed 6th sense; I “feel” and am susceptible to certain atmospheres in/or surrounding places or things.
That being said, have never had a personal physical paranormal experience – one that I can “own”
I have never seen a spirit,
I have never been touched by a spirit entity, witnessed orbs or shadows and I HAD never heard anything contextually inexplicable.
Until that is, I did my “ghost hunting” tour round Casa Loma on 1 November, (appropriately day of the dead ).
If you want to enhance your anticipated paranormal experience, you might as well do it in a spooky gothic castle.
And, if you want to increase your chances of experiencing anything at all, you might as well do it with an “experienced” Paranormal expert.
A ghost “hunting” tour at Casa Loma with the “Canada’s Most Haunted” team ticks both boxes.
With gadgets and voice recordings in tow, Michelle Desrochers of “Canada’s Most Haunted” eloquently walked us through the history of Casa Loma in general and the recorded (and researched) paranormal events in particular. It turns out that Michelle (Associate Director; Ghost Researcher, Sensitive Tour Guide, Event/Ghost Walk Tour Coordinator, Photographer, TV-Radio Host and chief bottle washer at CMH.) is a bit of a raconteur.
She resisted the opportunity to switch on the drama and recounted stories of myriad paranormal activities in a very matter of fact and rational way – which of course made it all the more believable! We were also talked through an amazing array of “equipment” explaining functionality, degree of “bullshit”, effectiveness and cost.
Although an avid voyeur of Britains television series “Most Haunted” where they appear to use nothing more complicated than night vision camcorders and flashlights, I hadn’t really given much thought to the fact that spirits don’t have voiceboxes do they? So, they either have to change the environment around them to formulate words/phrazes OR they can “speak” through a vehicle such as an “Ovilus”. This nifty piece of equipment -a sort of electronic medium – is your passport to the past. It converts environmental readings into real words and phonetic responses to questions. Blurb for something called the “Ovilus X “goes like this: “Theories suggest that spirits and other paranormal entities may be able to alter our environment and electromagnet frequencies and temperature. The Ovilus X takes advantage of this by using these frequencies to choose a response from a preset database of 2,048 words.
The idea behind this, is that an intelligent entity will be able to alter the environment in such a way that forces the Ovilus to “speak” a response appropriately”
Though less than 150 yrs old – Casa Loma has all the ingredients any self respecting spirit would “die for”
It has colorful history:
Aside from the family and staff, it housed a platoon of British redcoats.
Was a refuge for groups of Scottish orphan kids.
“Witnessed” it’s owner lose his fortune. It became a hotel and then degenerated through neglect for many years before being rescued by The City of Toronto and eventually opened to the public.
It has myriad nooks, crannies, unexplained walled-up spaces and secret passageways.
It has a maze of accessible turrets in the “attic”and rattling clanking plumbing in the basement.
It has in fact, gothic atmosphere in spades.
So it is fair to say that I and my buddy were pretty psyched (sorry) as we joined the two-part tour of this castle. The smallish (about 40) group was split into two and either started in the tunnels or the house and then swapped after about an hour – which included a guided anecdotal-filled trek around the designated areas with stop-offs in spirit “hot-spots” and 10 minutes or so in darkened rooms or tunnels doing impromptu Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) sessions.
Word to the wise / sit with your back against something impenetrable when doing EVP’s (doubt that’ll make much difference to a spirit ) to decrease vulnerability – ha!
So to my/our “weird” experience:
After a conducted group wander through the tunnels, stables and Gardners quarters we all had about 15 minutes to revisit areas of interest by ourselves. We ambled slowly back alone along the tunnel laughing at our own heightened and somewhat dampened expectations.
Then out of nowhere we heard what could only be described as a huge explosion! Laughing nervously – the words rabbit and headlights come to mind – we hi-tailed it out of the tunnel into the well lit environs of the basement area.
Arriving back at “base camp” aka The Great Hall, nobody else mentioned having heard anything even though there must have been at least 20 people in the vicinity.
So feeling rather foolish we kept it to ourselves. We probably deprived a lot of spirit-hungry folk the opportunity to get really excited about the smallest thing!
We know what we both heard and my pal is an eminently sensible non drama-Queen type so I know it wasn’t just my imagination.
So for the sake of argument let me just put this out there:
Given that Casa Loma had briefly been home to a platoon of British redcoats; had we – for a nano second – witnessed an opening of a paranormal portal to a parallel universe (try saying that really fast!).
Had we heard a single sound from a distant battle so terrifying that a long dead soldier’s memory of it is forever imprinted in the very fabric of the castle itself!
We’ll never know