14 May 2011
Investigating the possible paranormal
The Point After
By Bobby Roy
With dark and rain bearing clouds encompassing the landscape en route to my first "paranormal investigation" at Buck-A-Boo Acres, located about 80 kilometres west of Leduc, I thought it might have been a sign of things to come during my little over a day stay at the acres. I arrived on May 7 to the guest lodge at Buck-A-Boo-Acres.
As I exited my car, Jennie Ogilvie, the psychic/medium of Talking to Spirits who set up the weekend paranormal investigation getaway, greeted me with a nickname only close friends call me by.
'She must be a psychic to know this about me,' I thought to myself, but as I entered the old, wooden guest lodge, to my surprise, one of my friends was sitting on the floor with a smile on her face.
That friend, Nicole Christensen, was one of the people in the group who signed up for the weekend of paranormal investigations at the secluded, scenic Buck-A-Boo Acres
The chances of seeing a neighbourhood (LaPerle Community) friend at an event like this seemed impossible when I signed up for it, but I guess stranger things have happened before. I hoped this was the first of many random and unexplainable events to come.
I contacted Ogilvie via email prior to coming to Buck-A-Boo, but I wasn't sure what I was in store for.
Meeting, interacting and seeing Ogilvie in action showed me she is like any regular person, but has a unique, warm personality that allowed me to open up even more during the day I was there.
"Even if you don't feel anything from this weekend, being with each other and the fun we've had is something in itself," said Ogilvie.
Ogilvie wasn't pushing anyone to believe in spirits or paranormal activity, but to be open, which was exactly what I was hoping from her. Ogilvie has plenty of experience investigating the paranormal and an abundance of research, photos and recordings to back up her investigations, which gave me plenty of confidence in her.
Looking at her website, talkingtospirits.ca, prior to my own personal investigations, it was interesting to see what she stood for and what her goals are regarding paranormal occurrences.
Personally, my beliefs about paranormal activity, ghosts and the afterlife are skeptical at best, because I'm the kind of person who needs to see and feel something to believe it. That doesn't mean I'm not open to experiencing paranormal activity. I've never experienced anything paranormal in my life and I'm not sure if anything like that really exists, but that doesn't mean they don't. My thoughts those who say they have "seen ghosts" or experienced "weird, unexplainable happenings" is skeptical, because our minds are very active.
I believe if we are presented with a situation like the one I had at Buck-A-Boo Acres, our minds prepare us to want to see, feel and experience something. This could explain an instant feeling of something touching us, seeing something one second and not the next or being totally freaked for an unexplainable reason. But the opposite could be true too.
I don't know and I don't think I will ever be one hundred percent certain. This is the exact mind set I went into the event on May 7.
I was open to learning what exactly a paranormal investigation was, how does one communicate with a spirit, if some people can truly interact with spirits and if such "scary" things exist.
The agenda for the evening was to "investigate" the guest lodge, the owner's cabin, and the "vortex" located near the river valley, east into the woods.
We were split up into three groups, so each group could investigate each property separately and report on what they experienced in each investigation. Those who attended the weekend event were a mix of those who have gone on paranormal investigations before and are believers of the paranormal and those who have never done anything like this and came into the weekend open, but not sure if the paranormal exists.
For me, it was the perfect mix of people. Before I recount the investigations of the evening I'll fill you on some history.
Joan Sommer, who was a cook at Lucy Baker School for girls, which was located on the property Buck-A-Boo is on, told a story involving a certain, teenage girl who possibly committed suicide while attending the school. A young girl, "Lydia Weber" went down the wrong path, got into drugs and did the unthinkable. She apparently committed suicide for an unknown reason. Sommer also told the group she may have been pregnant at the time of her suicide, but it is uncertain whether that is true or not.
Sommer and others who have visited, lived on the acres said they have come in contact with "Lydia's" spirit. There was also a youth offender's facility located on the property where stories have circulated of young boys being murdered while at the facility.
Andrea Giesbrecht also spoke about past, unexplainable experiences she had there. She claims, one night while staying at the owner's house, Gloria Bullerwell, she awoke in the middle of the night and had a force holding her down on the bed for exactly one hour before she could finally get up. She also said on another night she and her daughter were staying in the same room and her daughter saw an "angel" outside the window as the sun was rising. The daughter described the "angel" with long, red hair, but no wings. It is believed the "angel" could possibly be "Lydia".
With some history of what could inhabit Buck-A-Boo Acres, my group's investigation began in the basement of the guest lodge.
Armed with cameras, an EMF (electromagnetic fields) meter, EVP (electric voice phenomena) recording, temperature reader, and curious minds, we ventured into the basement. With Ogilvie as the leader of our group, we asked several questions to invoke the "spirits" to connect with us, took temperature readings, pictures, and recorded anything that went on.
We did this throughout parts of the guest lodge, Gloria's house and near the "vortex" in the woods east of the guest lodge.
Personally, I didn't feel anything unusual happen to me during any of the investigations. No weird voices, feelings, sightings or noises you wouldn't see anywhere else during the night in a secluded place. For others in my group and the other two groups, some recounted they heard weird voices, felt uneasy, felt unwell at certain times and for one group and one person, they actually came in contact with an 11-year-old boy who identified himself as "Gord", who didn't believe he was dead.
Apart from creepy atmosphere of the dark woods and old wooden houses, the night did not change my views or beliefs of paranormal experiences or what happens when you die. Conversing with the group of people during the day, they said the night before was much more active. Active enough video captured Jennie being picked up and thrown while in Gloria's house with no one around her.
Maybe I missed the boat on paranormal activity the night before.
It's hard to base all your views on just one night of investigating possible paranormal happenings, so I haven't discounted spirits or ghosts do exist just yet.
One of the ways Ogilvie and the group monitored those who have never gone on a paranormal investigation was what I like to call a "believer scale." At certain points, members of the group asked Holt, who also came into the weekend a bit of a skeptic, and I, from a scale of 0-10 of what our belief level was.
By the end of the weekend Holt said he went from a zero to a six, because of what he experienced in the woods on the night of May 7, but for myself, I went into the weekend as a number one and came out the same. To be fair, I was at number two after Ogilvie did a reading of me, but after nothing happened to me during the investigations my number dropped back to a one.
Although I didn't get to experience any paranormal activity, it was a very interesting, fun day/night with a great group of people.
I also spoke to two of the people who attended the investigations, Nicole Christensen and Sarah Gullacher, a Calgary resident, who both had varying experiences during their weekend. Both came into the weekend near the bottom of the believer scale.
"I came here because my friend Emily needed a ride and Jennie told me to come. I didn't believe in it at all, but after the first night I started to believe in it," explained Christensen, who came in at a zero and left as a four.
"I've never really seen or believed in anything before, but I felt like there was something here. I think the 'ghost box' was the clearest indicator," added Gullacher, who entered the weekend as a two, but left as a seven.
The atmosphere of the houses, the woods, the stories, people and the acres of itself may have played a part in what Gullacher and Christensen felt, but it will never be certain as to what created those feelings.
"You don't go camping and think I can't sleep out here because there are ghosts, but for something like this you do come in with a different mind set, because we're not necessarily waiting for it to happen, but we're becoming more aware of what is around us."
Christensen's connection with Ogilvie is one of the reasons her views on the unexplainable have changed.
"When I first met Jennie, within five minutes of meeting her she told me something no one in my life knew. She can't make that up."
One of the group members, Fiona De Assis, said during an interview May 8, of what the weekend event like this should be all about.
"If you're a skeptic and you don't want to believe, you never will.
"You won't go looking for proof, but if you're open minded person there is a whole new opportunity to learn and explore the paranormal," stated De Assis, whose interest in the paranormal began in her mid 20s.
"And at the very least this is such a great group of people and you know you're going to have a great time no matter what."