3 Feb 2012
Strange sightings prompt paranormal investigation at the Bailey
By Laurie Callsen / Camrose Canadian
The energy of performers, patrons and staff from the 100 years of the Bailey Theatre’s existence may still be lingering for one more encore, some theatre staff and patrons believe.
Paranormal activity has been reported at the theatre, prompting Bailey architect David Roth to invite a group of paranormal investigators called Entity Seeker to tour the theatre to determine what may be going on. The Canadian joined the group for an exclusive look at Entity Seeker’s work inside the Bailey.
Lee Hanson does maintenance at the Bailey and has had one paranormal sighting himself. One Saturday morning last fall he was alone in the theatre when he took the elevator down to the basement. The basement was dark, but by the light of the elevator Hanson saw a glowing figure pass in front of him before disappearing.
“All I can say is that it was five-foot-four and had long hair. That’s all I could make out,” Hanson said, adding that he said hello to the figure, who turned at the sound of his voice before disappearing.
Hanson’s coworker’s three-year-old daughter has also seen someone in the basement in the same area by the elevators. She told her father that the old lady in the basement was nice to her.
There have also been sightings of a man in the auditorium of the theatre. A cleaning crew member taking photos of the theatre discovered they snapped a photo of a large man in a wide-brimmed hat walking across the stage.
Hanson said a performer at the Bailey a few weeks ago saw a man with a wide-brim hat continually stand up in the middle of the audience during his performance.
Roth was unsurprised at the reports of these sightings, saying he always felt a positive presence in the theatre.
“It always seemed to make things happen, creatively, positively, constructively through the whole process. We’d run in problems, but solutions always presented themselves. It’s not like there was somebody trying to stop us. If anything, it was the other way around. You can’t put your finger on it,” he said.
“I believe that buildings acquire the energy of the people who have been involved. Everybody who comes through here tells of great experiences over the decades, like their parents, them, their kids having good times and fond memories.”
After getting a tour of the theatre from Roth, Entity Seeker started their investigation. The checked the basement near the elevator, where Hanson saw the figure, with electromagnetic field readers to determine if a high-level of electromagnetic radiation could have caused hallucinations, prompting Hanson or the young girl to see a specter in that specific area.
The EMF readings, not only in that area but in the entire theatre, were incredibly low for a facility of the Bailey’s size and more like the readings one would find in a house.
“High electromagnetic fields are a biggie, especially in Edmonton it seems,” said Entity Seeker co-founder Morgan Knudsen.
“That radiation really mess with your mind and cause a lot of the symptoms associate with hauntings, like smelling things, hearing things or seeing things. Sometimes, something small will happen they attribute to paranormal, but then everything becomes paranormal (to them).”
She emphasized that the group’s goal is to help people figure out what they are seeing, and if it is paranormal, deal with it in a positive way.
Something is deemed supernatural only after all other possible causes have been ruled out.
The investigations and resulting work can take a long time, because they teach the living to change their energy to be more positive and to become more open to the paranormal, instead of doing a “band-aid fix,”
“If someone has lost a loved one, they go to depression, they go to grief, sadness, unempowered – all those negative emotions. What we do is try to get them to raise their vibration and emotional state. When they do that, then they have a better experience,” said Cathy Knudsen, Morgan’s mother.
Morgan founded Entity Seeker nine years ago with her friend Stephanie Wertz after the two realized they both had paranormal experiences and wanted to learn about about what they saw. Wertz passed away last year, but Morgan now works Doug Bewick, Matt Spearin and Cathy, doing paranormal investigations, workshops and tours in Edmonton.
The team calls Spearin their intuitive, someone who is very open to energy and can sense supernatural hotspots.
“When I was a kid, I was extremely sensitive to this stuff, to the point where my mom (who was a teacher) would mark her papers outside of my bedroom, because I was so terrified of the stuff I was seeing in my room. It was going beyond a child’s imagination. These things were real and now I still see them in the same way,” said Spearin.
Bewick, who grew up in Scotland, has his first supernatural encounter when he was fishing near an old abandoned castle. He heard laughter coming from the ruins.
For the Knudsens, their supernatural perception is genetic.
Cathy was 10 when she first saw an orb of energy shoot through her bedroom wall and hover at the end of her bed. Her daughter Morgan had her first experience at seven, when heard sounds in the kitchen of her family home.
“I went to turn the living room light on, but the light would not turn on. The noises in the kitchen just quit, and at that moment I knew it wasn’t (my parents). I thought something was just off; all my warning bells went off. I heard footsteps come out of the kitchen, but at the time I couldn’t see anything. Then as it turned, it turned into a transparent, opaque shape, then it just came running at me and I just lost it,” Morgan recalled.
“It’s a noise that no parent wants to hear come out of their child. I heard this blood-curdling scream come from her. You were just shaking so bad,” Cathy said.
The two later found out their ancestor A.D. Watson formed one of the first paranormal research societies in Toronto in the 1920s and wrote two books on the subject.
“This has been the best journey ever. We found that it’s been far more of an internal journey in understanding self than it has been external,” said Morgan.
Entity Seeker will be back on April 17 at the Bailey Theatre to discuss their findings of the investigation. More information on the group can be found at EntitySeeker.com