Editorial:Ghosts! Is Seeing Believing?

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TACKLE BOX: A fishing tournament provides a chance to eat some crow

CHASING THE LIGHT: Who you gonna call? Ghost Photographers!


Is Seeing Believing?


Chasing The Light

Who you gonna call? Ghost Photographers!

By Bev McMullen

GHOSTLY VISITOR? Parapsychologists Carrie Chilcott (left), James Borg and Patrick Cross (right) attempt to measure and communicate with a spirit which they believe is haunting a site in Muskoka. Is the ethereal image in the centre the ghost? Perhaps ó itís certainly not present in pictures of the same spot taken a moment before.

Photo by Andrew Wagner-Chazalon

I wanted to go further, to push the envelope on "chasing the light" and try some really different photography. I have read enough books about ghosts and spirits and hauntings that I was ready to see if I could photograph an apparition.

I went on a ghost walk in Parry Sound last summer with Patrick Cross and Terry Boyle and had a very interesting experience. Patrick is a parapsychologist "ghost buster" from Burlington, and is rather famous in this vapid business.

Muskokan editor Andrew Wagner-Chazalon and I arranged for Patrick and his colleagues James Borg and Carrie Chilcott to come to Muskoka to explore and discover some of the spirit energy that abounds here. We met them on Saturday afternoon and went to three haunted sites around Muskoka. Right now we arenít prepared to say where we were because weíre still trying to absorb all that occurred.

It wasnít all Casper the Ghost posing in doorways. It was eeky and creepy and exciting as images of ghostly vapour ó known as ectoplasm ó and ghost orbs appeared on our digital cameras. There were misty vapours and lots of shadows, cold breezes with cold energy spots.

In a rustic old Muskoka lodge the parapsychologists found two ghosts, one male and one female. Patrick took what he believes is one of the best pictures of his 15-year career, an image that is simply too creepy to describe. The ghostbusters were able to communicate with the two ghosts, who indicated that they were happy where they are and didnít want to leave.

At haunting number three I decided to shoot with black and white film, and look for orbs or any manifestations of people from the misty vapours. Although I did not see any ghosts with my bare eyes, I am told the film can detect this paranormal activity.

Patrick teaches ghost photography, and shows people how to capture orbs over graves, in houses, churches and around people. I asked him for his advice and he said to use a digital camera, or even a disposable, and shoot with your heart.

Donít be cynical. Take out some of your old family pictures and look for orbs. You may think they are refractions of light or water drops. When I saw my first photos with orbs I wrote it off as water drops on the front of the lens. I was wrong. Look for faces in the walls ó very faint, but visible ó or hands and other body parts coming out of nowhere.

After the end of our long, long day of ghost busting we were ready for a meal so we stopped at Jesterís in Huntsville because the sign out front said they serve Spirits.

I asked our trio what they thought of Muskoka. They said it was an eerie and uplifting place with a lot of great experiences, and they were happy to have come here.

If you are interested in having a ghost photography course in Muskoka, or want to join Patrick, Jim and Carrie on their ghost tours in Burlington, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters. Patrick Cross can be reached via his Web site, or by e-mail at

Happy Hauntings!

Bev McMullen has taken photographs on a 3,000-mile Amazon journey, in the South Pacific, Africa, Australia and Europe. She has won numerous photography awards, including a Prime Ministerís Award. She can be reached in Muskoka at 705-646-9490. Contact Patrick Cross at: 416-201-4670

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