Home is where the haunt is ...

A StarMetro re­porter joins a para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tion and spir­ited dis­cus­sions on ghosts

StarMetro Calgary - - CALGARY - OMAR MOSLEH

A bright, crack­ling bon­fire is the only light il­lu­mi­nat­ing an un­kempt ru­ral prop­erty tucked away on the side of a town­ship road in Leduc County. The shells of vin­tage ve­hi­cles lit­ter the front yard, as do ap­pli­ances for­got­ten by time and a promi­nent sign ad­ver­tis­ing the sale of beef jerky.

A res­i­dent is de­lighted as he no­tices vis­i­tors.

“Hey, is that the ghost­busters?” he says ex­cit­edly.

Greg Pocha, a para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tor who has ar­rived at the prop­erty to in­ves­ti­gate an al­leged haunted house, shiv­ers with an­noy­ance.

“I hate the term ghost­buster.”

For about 20 years, Pocha has led the Ei­dolon Project, an Al­berta out­fit that in­ves­ti­gates cases of re­ported haunt­ings at prop­er­ties in and around Ed­mon­ton, with branches in Cal­gary and Red Deer. The or­ga­ni­za­tion op­er­ates pro bono, even though Pocha’s team has spent a small for­tune on the voice recorders, video cam­eras and elec­tro­mag­netic field de­tec­tors that make up their arse­nal.

As their founder and direc­tor of para­psy­chol­ogy, after­life and para­nor­mal stud­ies, Pocha takes his role se­ri­ously.

“We don’t use gad­gets or gim­micks and we’re not search­ing for false pos­i­tives,” Pocha says. “We’re out there do­ing our best to help, to find out what’s ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing.”

He takes a dim view of so­called “ghost hunters,” say­ing they’re des­per­ate to find ev­i­dence to prove a pre­con­ceived be­lief.

Paul Kings­bury, a ge­og­ra­phy pro­fes­sor at Si­mon Fraser Univer­sity, is con­duct­ing a four-year re­search project where he fol­lows para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tors in Canada, the United States, Ger­many and the United King­dom.

He says not only are peo­ple more open-minded about the para­nor­mal, but so­cial me­dia and the pop­u­lar­ity of “ghost hunter” shows have made them more will­ing to share ex­pe­ri­ences. There’s also a thirst to con­nect with other peo­ple who have had brushes with the su­per­nat­u­ral.

Omar Mosleh’s ex­pe­ri­ence at thes­tar.com/ed­mon­ton

SUP­PLIED

A Leduc man called the Ei­dolon Project, a group that looks into para­nor­mal ac­tiv­ity, when he heard voices in this house. StarMetro Omar Mosleh joined the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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