Who doesn't love a good ghost story around the campfire? It's a summer camp tradition to share your most frightening story that "happened to a friend of a friend..." We wanted to bring this back to camp so we called up some people who would have some really great ghost stories, Bytown Paranormal. And if just talking about ghosts isn't enough for some campers, Bytown are taking a select group out to do a professional paranormal Investigation at camp. Bring your camera, an open mind and an extra set of undies, we're going on a ghost hunt!
Who are you?
Cindy Elford, Investigator, Researcher, Evidence Reviewer, Bytown Paranormal, Paranormal investigations of private residences, businesses and historical locations.
Where did Bytown Paranormal start?
We’re located in Ottawa but have travelled as far east as Montreal and west as Toronto. The team was established in 2010, we have 11 team members. We are a non-profit organization and the most active paranormal team in the area. We have been the subject of many local newspaper articles and have been approached numerous times to participate in various TV productions.
What type of charity work is Bytown Paranormal involved in?
We are proud to be able to provide some local organizations with fund raising opportunities. This summer we will be returning to The Lost Villages Museum in Long Sault for our 4th annual public ghost hunting events. This helps provide the museum with some much-needed funds and gives the public a peek into what it’s like to be a ghost hunter. We also have done a few public reveals as fund raising for various organizations like the Allan MacPherson house in Nappanee. This year we will be doing one for Highjinx which is a store in Ottawa whose proceeds go towards assisting the homeless in the area.
What would people be surprised to know about Bytown Paranormal?
Probably that we are a bunch of (relatively) normal people that just happen to be interested in the paranormal and most of us are skeptics. We don’t go into an investigation automatically thinking it’s haunted. We look for possible benign causes for things and rule that out before we look to the paranormal. That being said, we still find it fascinating when we come across something that is unexplainable and possibly paranormal.
How come some people have spirit encounters while others do not?
We aren’t sure why this is. One theory is that some people are just more open to it, while others have closed that part of themselves off. For example, there are lots of stories of children being able to see spirits but then as they grow up, they no longer see them. The theory is that society influences us all to believe that ghosts don’t exist so some of us close off that ability to be open to them.
Why do you think spirits linger in certain places?
They could linger in a certain place because it meant something to them when they were alive. Maybe it was their favourite place, or maybe it’s where their living family is and they just want to check in on them. Sometimes, spirits linger because they can’t accept that they’ve died, or they may be afraid for what comes after death, whatever that may be and therefore refuse to move on. It’s not only locations that can be haunted… it’s also items. There are countless stories of spirits being connected to some sort of item that was important to them, maybe a favourite doll, a brush, a piece of furniture, anything that was special to them while they were alive.
Do you think they have something to tell us mere mortals?
If they do, we’ve been listening!
What are some of the telltale signs that you’re dealing with paranormal activity?
When we investigate a location, we do a baseline EMF (Electro-Magnetic Field) and temperature reading throughout, so that if, during an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) session, if either or both of those change, we could be dealing with something paranormal. If we think there may be a spirit present, we will use an EMF detector called a K2 that’s a little more sensitive and has a series of different colored lights. We’ll ask the spirit to light it up to a certain colored light to indicate a yes or no response.
Mel Meter – EMF
Can you walk in a room and detect a ghost with no equipment?
Some people can, they are sensitive to their environment and the subtle changes within it.
Casper or Slimer?
Have you ever investigated a summer camp before?
This will be our first time and we’re very excited!
Did you ever go to summer camp in your youth?
I never got the chance to go to summer camp but my family went camping a lot! My favourite memories were of sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and having a good laugh.
Why did Bytown Paranormal want to be part of TIW?
We honestly didn’t know that adult summer camps were a thing. Tracy approached us to possibly come out and provide campers with a fun and exciting (at least to us!) activity and we thought it was an excellent idea! Who doesn’t love to sit around a campfire and hear spooky stories? The difference is… these ones will be true cause they’ll be personal stories/experiences from our team members!
Our camp mantra is Eat. Drink. Play...what’s your camp mantra?
Laugh. Share. Hunt (Ghosts)
What can campers learn from Bytown Paranormal?
Well, a paranormal investigation isn’t always like it’s portrayed on TV. We sit in the dark and talk to ourselves. Sometimes we are lucky to review our evidence and find something and sometimes, if we’re REALLY lucky, we’ll hear a voice out loud or see something during the investigation but those are rare occurrences.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We’d like to thank you for this opportunity to share something we love to do. We are very excited to bring something new and hopefully thrilling to the campers and we look forward to having a great time with everyone.
Where can we find you?
Describe the Bytown Paranormal experience in 5 emojis.
🌃 📹 👻 😮 👏
Have a great ghost story? Share it in the comments below!