Armed with digital cameras, sound recorders, and trusted energy workers, local paranormal investigator Cameron Bagg and Arthur investigated the extra dimensional activity going on at Port Hope’s Phantom Farm on Halloween night.
After previously investigating the Phantom Farm for an episode of his Cogeco local access TV show, Hauntline Investigations, Cameron was told Halloween is the best time to come back because it is a time of heightened spiritual activity in the barn and surrounding woods.
Although the site of paranormal inquiry is not open to the public on weekdays, Phantom Farm owners Laura and Roger Herron let our crew investigate the ornately and intricately done up scare-barn.
Since paranormal research has not been normalized by any formal educational institutions, paranormal investigations have a diversity of methods and criteria for evidence.
The technique that yields the most consistent results is digital photography. Cameron is constantly taking pictures in order to capture images of the energetic forms spirits take when travelling in our dimension.
The results of the successful pictures are images of orbs or spheres not visible to the naked eye. According to Cameron, spirits take the form or an orb because it is the most energy efficient shape. Another explanation for semi-transparent circles in digital photography is that the flash of the camera in low light reflects off of dust or pollen particles.
“I’ve had people say, ‘well, it’s the reflectors’,” says Herron family friend Wayne Rowan, “it’s not, because when I take pictures I’ll take one, then I’ll take one two seconds later… the one picture is as clear as a bell, and the other is an image of something like the aurora borealis.”
The second technique Cameron uses is digital audio recording. By this method, an audio recording is taken in a room where a spirit is suspected to be, then played back in order to check for Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVP. In playback, investigators amplify the recordings and listen for hints of human speech, short phrases, or words.
While paranormal investigators interpret EVP as spiritual activity, audio engineers interpret it as stray radio transmissions or just the general din of a room. “People who don’t believe, [for them] nothing is going to happen there because they are not open,” explains Laura Herron.
A different method is used by the two energy workers, Wolf Spirit and Lisa Dales Knott. Unlike Cameron, these two do not need the aid of technology in order to conduct paranormal research. By walking around the barn, feeling the energy in the room and paying close attention to how they feel, the energy workers knew where the spirits were and seemingly could communicate with them.
Wolf Spirit said she has always been able to feel spirits and when she concentrates can talk to them. She often described concentrating on the energy in the room as “tuning into” the paranormal frequency like you would tune to a radio station. Lisa related the difficulty of analyzing feelings in the barn, saying: “I think it’s the fear. They feed on fear. Thousands of people come through here in a year and they’re all terrified.”
There are many instances of employees and visitors at the Phantom Farm reporting spiritual activity. Many of the visitors tell Roger and Laura about frightening attractions at the barn that turned out not to be part of the manufactured attractions at all.
Laura described how people would comment on how scary the little person in the mask was at the end of the old bale chute slide. Laura would have to explain that they did not have anyone on staff who worked at the end of the slide and that they may have seen a spirit.
Turnover at the Phantom Farm is a regular thing for Roger and Laura because of the fear experienced by many of the employees who see and feel things that they can only explain as paranormal activity. Lisa laughs, “the kids that work here are scared.” Some employees are even afraid to go into the barn itself.
While paranormal investigation seems like it may be a grave affair, in practice it is actually quite fun-loving and light hearted.
Cameron explained that while spirits feed on fear, they appear most often when investigators are laughing and having a good time despite their fright.
Laura explains the fear as “[n]ot [the fear of] death, not something bad that was going to happen, but [that] I didn’t know what was going to happen, the unknown, the unknown.”