BY LEAH MORROW
True love is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it ends in tragedy.
When walking in the heart of downtown Cambridge, it appears as if time itself came to a standstill somewhere around the 1800s. The picturesque scene of old bricked buildings backing onto the Grand River provide the perfect back drop for a love story.
The story begins in downtown Galt. William was a married man who worked as a mail carrier for the postal office near the corner of Dickson Street and Water Street. Though he was married, his heart belonged to another woman. Her name was Emily.
All good things must come to an end or so they say. One night William decided, even though his love for Emily was strong, their affair could not continue. He told her he had far too much to lose. Days later, his now ex-lover was found dangling from the clock tower.
“Some people say he killed her. Some say she committed suicide and others say it never happened at all,” said Christy Therrien, a Kitchener-Waterloo based investigator of the paranormal. “The post office was a nightclub at one point. One night the DJ who was working saw a gorgeous woman and then he saw her disappear right before his eyes. He never went back.”
Therrien said other people have claimed they saw faces through the glass windows of the post office. She also said the window in the clock tower where Emily supposedly hung herself is nailed shut.
“Every now and then the screws that hold the board in place unscrew themselves,” she said.
Mark Larcoque and Trevor Bishop started the first openly gay paranormal society in Ontario in 2010. They are now one of the most sought after teams in the country.
“We do not bust ghosts,” said Bishop. “We do our research and investigate.”
Larcoque had his first encounter with the paranormal world when he was six years old. He said he saw two spirits standing at his door. It was later, at the age of 19, that he discovered he was a gifted medium, a psychic with the ability of trans-channeling. Having this ability means Larcoque can go into a trance and allow a spiritual entity enter his body. Bishop said he has witnessed this happen and that Larcoque will actually begin to pick up mannerisms such as the facial expressions of the spirit that is borrowing his body.
Bishop was 25 years old when he realized he could sense spirits. Bishop is able to hear spirits through what is called clairaudience. He can pick up the energies of spirits as well as words when they wish to speak.
“When we are born, we are all able to sense spirits and see spirits,” said Bishop. “As you grow older, you go on with life. You focus on life stuff, you don’t focus on the paranormal.”
Bishop said children are much more susceptible to the spirit world. He said those imaginary friends that children often hold so dear are more than just imaginary, they are spirits. Larcoque said everybody has a touch of medium in them. They just need to open themselves up and keep an open mind about things.
“If a person had a really bad, traumatic death, like a car accident, and they don’t know they are dead, they can be stuck here until they realize that they are dead,” he said. “Then they can move on.”
Bishop said there are many different types of spirits and different types of hauntings; that is where the investigation part comes in.
“Trevor uses tools,” said Larcoque. “I use my psychic ability.”
Larcoque is professionally trained in mental health, so when the team receives an email about a haunting he is able to meet with the person and find out whether his or her claims of paranormal activity are just that or if they are related to mental health.
“We really have a step above other teams because Mark has training in that field,” said Bishop.
The two investigators have travelled across large parts of Ontario. Locally they have investigated everywhere from the Homer Watson House and Gallery to the Doon Mills ruins, which Larcoque said are definitely haunted.
“There were two great fires there,” he said. “Approximately 100 people perished.”
Bishop said they have investigated The Cornet Motor Hotel that is located on Victoria Street in Kitchener. They have done around five investigations there and said there is a lot of paranormal activity at that site, both positive and negative.
“There is some negative energies in the basement,” said Bishop. “There are positive energies as well. There’s a child spirit there that I have caught quite a few times. I have also seen some dark shadows there as well.”
Bishop said they have caught videos of shadows moving down the hallway at an alarming speed.
“We had to slow the video down,” he said. “We were only able to see it because it moved across a white door frame.”
Bishop said shadow people are different from spirits, adding they aren’t negative, they just have a different energy.
“They are different entities. Where spirits are humans, we can communicate with them,” he said. “Shadow people are different, they are really hard to catch. They are really fast and people really don’t know what they are.”
Both Bishop and Larcoque are trained in doing séances. Bishop said they have done them at the house they live at now. Séances are a way to communicate with the spirit world.
“The most important thing is to be in a circle,” said Bishop. “Circles are a bubble of protection. It allows the energies to come through.”
Bishop said the key to séances is not candles, it is to remember to open and close the portal between the spirit world and ours. He said a lot of people forget to do this.
“We have had table tipping,” said Larcoque. “The table started levitating and moving by itself, just from us having our fingers on it. The first time we did one here, we had the table on a 45 degree angle.”
They said on the website veryparanormal.com, people can watch a video of them crossing a spirit from their house over to the white light.
The paranormal team has investigated many places and can even recommend haunted places like Café 13 in the Galt section of Cambridge to go to and grab a good cup of coffee.
The mystery surrounding Emily and William may never be solved.
Bishop and Larcoque said it is important to do your research before you take up the task of trying to solve the mystery alone.
For more information about the Ontario Gay Paranormal Society, go to ontariogayparanormalsociety.ca