by Martha Jette
James Kliiger, Dave Gibb, Shannon Gibb of CHAPS
Imagine stepping into a huge theatre like Hamilton Place in Hamilton, Ontario at night – in the dark – alone. Then imagine being in an even larger venue under the same circumstances. It would be eerie to say the least!
Recently, members of the Canadian Haunting and Paranormal Society (CHAPS) undertook just such a challenge to investigate reports of paranormal activity inside Toronto’s Great Hall and Theatre Centre. The team, led by director, David Gibb, covered the huge site with a variety of camera, recorders, EMFs (electro-magnetic meters), and other equipment to determine if there was any basis to claims of unusual activity after hours in the popular downtown site.
During their investigation, Gibb noted that the EMF and thermal readings showed some spikes and even spiked on command.
The team also experienced a variety of physical sensations, including being grabbed and having their hair pulled. Gibb said investigator Shannon Gibb had her hair pulled and veteran investigator, Rob Divenanzo, saw many unexplainable shadows that really freaked him out.
“He is a Lear jet pilot so he is pretty tough of nerve, so I take him pretty seriously when he feels something is up,” David said. “It seemed the physical activity in this place was so obvious. Seasoned veterans of the ‘hunt’ were shaken at times.”
A couple of members investigated the room where musicians once slept or at least tried to, since they were often frightened by a little boy spirit there. One of the EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon – disincarnate spirit voices on tape) said, “Mom.” Was the little boy looking for his mother? One can only wonder.
As team entered the theatre a loud humming was captured on tape but David said no one heard it.
“There was no knowledge of the humming at the time. We tried our best to recreate the humming as well with those who were present once we heard it. Also, comparing those recreated hums with sound waves and they didn't match either.”
Inside the expansive site, they heard something very heavy and loud being dragged across the floor.
“The smash that occurred, though not translated well on video, was something else to experience first hand,” said David. “Like a ships anchor being dropped and dragged along the trackway above us.”
The entire investigation was enough to rattle the most experienced ghost hunters, he added.
“Most of the people there are experienced. We have been thru a number of shaky situations in the past, (but) this was one of the few times that we had to take a moment to collect ourselves.”
One of the team members noted that the activity seemed to be more than just residual energy and an EVP captured showed the response to this as: “It’s more.” Then as they were leaving the theatre, the humming was again captured on tape.
A highlight of the investigation was reviewing the five EVPs that were captured. You will find the EVPs at www.chapsparanormal.ca along with a video taken that night. The video begins with David advising the team on the layout of the site and how they should proceed.
Due to the paranormal activity experienced and the evidence gathered, CHAPS deemed the site officially haunted but wanted to explore it further. This past weekend, they returned for an overnight investigation to gather more information. You can see some intriguing photos taken from that night HERE.
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