Skip to content

Do you believe in ghost stories?

100 Mile Free Press reporter Fiona Grisswell investigates 108 Heritage Site for paranormal activity

I was in the same room as a ghost a couple of weeks ago.

Now, before you laugh and write me off as a crackpot, take a moment to think about it.

In my 59 years, I have spoken to several level-headed rational people who have seen things, felt things, and heard things for which there is no reasonable scientific explanation.

Consider the reaction of ancient people if they were confronted with a voice coming from a cellphone, words magically appearing on a computer screen, or people moving in a digital frame. Might these things be seen as supernatural to the people of the day? Simply not believable based on their knowledge.

So why should spirits and ghosts be impossible?

Thinking of that, I decided to go on one of the 108 Mile Heritage Site Ghost Tours.

While I believe in the possibilities I was prepared to be disappointed when I walked through the door of the main house. The group was expecting me and I was ushered into the office where the team of paranormal investigators were gathered.

“Well, here we go,” I thought.

When asked what participants could expect, ghost tour guide Dave Scott said anything can happen.

“You can go into a room and it can be really active or it can be nothing at all,” he said. “One thing about the tour is there’s no strings, there’s no people hiding behind doors, whatever happens, happens.”

The group emphasized that the tour is about the experience of those who attend. The guides simply encourage them to take photos, ask questions and fully participate.

This is one of the reasons why none of the guides handle any of the detection equipment such as cat balls and K-IIs. Cat balls are LED motion-activated balls while the K-II picks up electromagnetic frequencies.

But it was the dowsing rods that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Marc Spender, my guide for the night, is a confirmed skeptic. His first reaction to any out-of-the-ordinary happenings is to find a way to debunk it. Our tour started in the men’s room in the main house. Two spirits are known to frequent the building, five or six-year-old Emily and Lady Evelyn.

Three cat balls and a K-II meter were laid on the bear skin rug in hopes Emily would come to play with one of the balls.

“Emily are you in the room with us now?” Spender asked. “Can you touch one of the green lights on the bear hide for us just to say hi?”

After several minutes we determined Emily did not appear to be in the mood to play and moved over to the lady’s lounge. The spirit known to inhabit it, Lady Evelyn, for some reason seemed upset at our guide.

Spender began to get a headache which he said is when he knows he is getting an attachment to a ghost. He asked Lady Evelyn if she was giving him a headache. The dowsing rods crossed to indicate yes. He moved around the room and each time he asked where she was in the room, the rod immediately swung in his direction.

“I’m the skeptic but when I can do that five or six times with somebody else controlling it - it would be different if I had the dowsing rods,” Spender said.

I decided it was time to step up and take an active role in the night’s investigation so I volunteered to be next to use the rods.

Grasping them in my hands I willed my body to freeze, to the point where I realized I was holding my breath lest an inadvertent body movement caused the rods to swing.

“Are you still in the room Lady Evelyn?” Spender asked.

One rod slowly slid over to cross the other.

“What the hell?”

Even though I had watched another tour member handle the rods, I looked up, startled, as I really didn’t expect anything to happen.

I’d been eyeballing my hands so intently my eyes began to sting. I know I did not cause the rod to move. A few questions later and I did not know what to think.

Making the trek from the main house down to the Clydesdale barn had the feel of a bunch of kids who have snuck out after dark. I took dozens of photos once we entered, none of which showed anything of interest.

Before we headed up to the second level of the barn Spender cautioned us on things not to do while we were up there. A spirit named Jim lives up on the mezzanine reached by another set of stairs. The rules were simple - don’t take any photos of the mezzanine and do not go up the stairs because it makes Jim angry.

The hair on the back of my neck instantly stood at attention as I reached the second floor, however.

“I don’t want to be here.”

Maybe I was just spooked, wandering around a haunted site in the dark but the room felt unwelcoming.

Spender asked if anyone could see Jim. Expecting to see a human-shaped form I searched the darkness but all I saw was a smudge just to the left of where the two railings running along the mezzanine connect. My feelings of unease grew when Spender identified that as the spot where Jim was standing.

“When I look at it, it’s almost a whitey kind of a haze,” said Spender. “And he’s not happy. Somebody has done something.”

The group moved further into the room and I went with them.

I glanced back over my shoulder and caught a glimpse of the smudge further along the railing.

“It’s watching us.”

My imagination went into overdrive and I decided it was time to leave. I did not feel any of the symptoms that Spender had cautioned could indicate a spirit had attached itself to a person but I definitely did not feel like we were wanted there.

Leaving the barn I recited the mantra Marc told me earlier in the evening.

“You cannot follow me” I concluded, eagerly stepping over the threshold.

I freely admit I have an overactive imagination but I also have a need for things to make sense. Before Spender said anything about the rooms we entered, I can’t explain why some of them immediately felt empty and had no response to our presence while others felt different and contained spirits.

I can’t find rational explanations for some of the stories Spender about things that happened on other tours. In my own mind, I believe the heritage site is a genuine location of paranormal activity.

Go on a tour then tell me…do you believe?

Fiona Grisswell

About the Author: Fiona Grisswell

I graduated from the Writing and New Media Program at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George in 2004.
Read more