On Friday, October 26th, 2018 I attended a paranormal investigation event at the historic Point Ellice House in Victoria, BC. The investigation was organized and led by Beyond Belief Paranormal Events, a paranormal research team specializing in helping people who are experiencing paranormal and unexplained occurrences. My best friend Bri and I signed up for this event weeks in advance to do something fun for Halloween… and boy, did we get our money’s worth!
Here’s a recap of some of my favourite moments from the investigation.
Point Ellice House was built between 1861 and 1862 right on the Gorge waterway. At the time, it must have been a beautiful residential area… now, the heritage property is located in the middle of a commercial neighbourhood by the Bay Street Bridge.
When Bri and I walked into the house with the investigation group at about 8:00pm, it didn’t feel ominous or haunted; rather, it felt like we were walking into a museum or stepping back in time.
Communicating with Frank
To get started, everyone in our group gathered in the main hallway of the house and sat down on the floor. The investigator, Blake, set out voice recorders, a temperature sensor, and some other cool ghost-hunting equipment with blinking lights. With the recorders running, Blake started to ask questions aloud in an attempt to record a response from spirit. While Blake talked, the rest of us sat in silence and waited for something spooky to happen.
It was during this session that I began to get the mental impression of a tall man standing among us. I “saw” specific clothes: trousers with a high waist, suspenders, and a white button-down shirt with a collar that stood straight up. As Blake asked questions out loud, I “heard” responses in my mind and I wrote them down. In response to the question, “whose house is this?” I heard “my father’s house.” In response to “how many people are in the room?” I heard “14” quick as a flash. From my vantage point I couldn’t see the whole group, so I asked Blake to confirm… and yes, there were 14 of us! The temperature sensor picked up an unusual cold spot right around the place where I felt the spirit man was standing.
#FunFact: You might be surprised to know that when it comes to talking to dead people, I have absolutely zero cool: when a message from spirit comes through me and is proven to be true, I can never hide the fact that I am JUST as surprised as everyone else. 😉
The Point Ellice House historian that was with our group told me afterwards that the impressions I had received of the man were a good fit for Francis Joseph “Frank” O’Reilly (1866-1941). She then showed me an old photo of Frank to verify that the style of clothing in the photo matched my impression, especially the upward-turned shirt collar.
Communicating with Kathleen
Next, the investigator tried a different approach and directly addressed the spirit of Charlotte Kathleen O’Reilly (1867-1945). Again, as he asked questions, I “heard” responses and wrote them down. In response to the question, “do you visit often?” I heard “I’m always here.” In response to the question, “What is your favourite thing to do here?” I heard “walk in the garden, especially my father’s roses.”
This message about father’s roses was validated later that evening while our group was walking around outside. The staff historian told us that Kathleen had loved spending time in a heart-shaped rose garden that was planted for her by her father, Peter O’Reilly!
Breaking the spirit box instrument with Sara
The most intense experience of the night for me happened down by the water. I was hesitant to write about this on the blog because it kind of freaked me out… normally, communication with spirits for me is a quiet, internal-only experience; meaning images and words pop into my mind with no real external “proof” of what is happening. This was different.
We had all assembled down by the water after exploring the gardens, stopping just a short distance from the edge (we didn’t actually walk out onto the dock because it was dark, slippery, etc.). Given the narrow space we were standing in, everyone was sort of lined up in front of Blake, who reached into his bag and brought out a spirit box instrument.
The spirit box works by sweeping radio stations quickly and making an unsettling CHH-CHH-CHH-CHH white noise as it scans, the idea being that a spirit may be able to harness the sound energy of the instrument to form words that the investigator(s) can hear.
Bri and I were standing at the far end of the line as Blake asked questions aloud to any spirits that may be listening. Historically, a lot of tragic stuff has gone down on the Gorge Waterway (like the Point Ellice Bridge collapse in 1896), so I’m sure that there is no shortage of ghosts hanging around there.
As Blake asked questions aloud, I was having my own internal conversation with a spirit named Sara – a young girl with red hair who told me that she had died in the water when she was 12. Sara asked me where her mother was. I don’t know, I thought.
My ears perked up when Blake said that he thought he heard a female voice on the spirit box… he then asked the spirit if she wanted to talk to anyone in our group.
We heard an audible “yes” between the CHH-CHH-CHH noise. Blake started to walk along the line of people, and told the spirit that they should say “stop” when he arrived in front of the person they wished to talk to.
As he slowly walked up the line of people, we heard the spirit box say, “CHH-CHH-keep going-CHH-CHH”… Bri leaned towards me and whispered, “he’s totally coming to you.”
Aaaaand he was. My heart started to beat faster.
As soon as he was standing directly in front of me, spirit box blaring, the instrument volume increased and the CHH-CHH-CHH noise sped up like crazy. When this happened, my heart felt like it might jump right out of my mouth. The box then emitted some loud, low tones – definitely not the noise it is designed to make – and then it died.
Blake told us that he had never had a spirit box make that sound before, and after switching it on and off a few times, he confirmed that the instrument had stopped working.
Maybe the noise was a fluke and the instrument just malfunctioned… or maybe it was Sara attempting to communicate.
I told Blake about the little spirit girl looking for her mom.
Before we left the dock, I told Sara to call out directly for her grandmother to come and get her. I said this because I had read somewhere that asking an earthbound spirit to call out to their deceased family members can help them understand that they are in fact dead themselves (the rationale being how else could they see their loved one if they are not also dead?). Understanding that they have died can help the spirit cross over.
I got the mental impression of the word “okay” and then… nothing. I didn’t sense anything else.
The group filed up the path back towards the house.
The event ended at 11:00pm and as Bri and I headed back to the reception area, we could hardly believe that so many hours had passed.
After the event, one of the organizers told us that a few days earlier their team medium had actually helped a woman spirit cross over in the same spot that we had been communicating with Sara.
Apparently the spirit’s daughter had died down by the water, and in despair over the loss of her child, she had taken her own life.
Was this a coincidence? Did the investigators help the spirit of Sara’s mother cross over, leaving Sara behind, only for me to come by a few days later and help Sara follow? There’s no way to know for sure, but it is my hope that they are reunited now on the other side and are finally at peace.
What. A. Night.
Thanks so much to Beyond Belief Paranormal Events for organizing such an awesome event, I had a great (and somewhat terrifying) time!