The R.I.D.G.E. Team (http://www.theridgeteam.ca) (Researching, Investigating and Debunking Ghostly Encounters Team) is a new ghost hunters and paranormal research group based in Hamilton, Ontario.
The team’s goal is “providing comfort, explanations and facts about the unknown” to folks who find themselves sharing their home, business or other site with spirits on the other side. Aside from investigating paranormal activity, the team’s mission is to “debunk unknown sounds, strange feelings and visions with other possibilities,” research past and present information, and give people who may be frightened by such events a new understanding of self-empowerment.
And the team will not limit its work to ghosts and hauntings.
“If anyone ever approached us to investigate a legitimate crop circle in the Golden Horseshoe, we would be there in a heartbeat,” team founder and lead investigator, Mike Denham said with a laugh.
Though excited about the group’s new undertaking, Denham said it has taken him quite a few years to face his own fear of the unknown. When he was only about 3 years old and living in Dundas, Ontario, now part of the City of Hamilton, he had his very first run in with a disincarnate spirit.
“All I can remember is seeing my mom or dad going into the washroom, which was just across the hall from the bedroom door,” the now 30-year-old explained. “Right after I had seen a shadow person walk and stand in the doorway to our bedroom. I called out to it thinking it was one of my parents and there was no answer. I even thought it was Santa Clause. I looked over to my sister who was in her crib to see her standing up looking at the person. When I looked back, it was gone.”
When his parents exited the washroom, he asked them about the person standing at the doorway but they had seen no one and had been watching television so they did not hear him call.
“I do remember that if it was one of my parents, I would have been able to recognize them and am pretty sure they would have answered my call. That moment will never leave my thoughts.”
Raised as a Christian, Denham said he was “a firm believer in Christ god until a series of events made me see things differently.” At 15, he said, he “did some soul searching,” talked with other kids his age and began to question what he had learned in church. Since he did not experience what others did in church, he decided to “think freely and decide for myself the true answers to the W5’s of life.”
With the Internet still a relatively new phenomenon, he began reading what he could about the supernatural world.
“What I did read just seemed to be stories, and I really didn’t want to base my beliefs on them,” he said. “Religion had made me feel so scared about ghosts and spirits. I had believed that they were not to be interacted with and that if I thought hard enough, I would not see them.” But he really “wanted to see to believe.”
Learned from TAPS the-atlantic-paranormal-society.com
Throughout his ‘20s, Denham had what he described as “rather frightening experiences with the unknown.” However, through such television shows as TAPS, he learned much more about ghosts and hauntings, as well as how to face his fears.
“I no longer dread going into a dark room or basement and I’ve learned to control my fearful thoughts. I had actually became excited to try to figure out whether the feelings I was getting were all just in my head, bad wiring giving off high electromagnetic fields or an actual spirit. With studying the methods of the TAPS members, I also felt the need to help others understand their feelings of the unknown. If I was to do this, it would have to be as professional as possible.”
Thus the R.I.D.G.E. Team was born, which will now investigate paranormal goings on anywhere in Ontario. That includes businesses, homes, landmarks, schools and wherever else unexplained phenomenon is found.
“Right now, I have two others who are in the group who have had experiences themselves and feel the same way about helping others understand.”
He added that Jeff V. and Jeff K. are currently learning about the tools the team will use during its investigations.
“With the personal experiences they’ve had with the paranormal, they are both eager to find explanations behind them.”
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