In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints ... and gods.

STEVEN PINKER, How the Mind Works

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Location - The Assiniboia Club

Part One

The Assiniboia Club, 1925 Victoria Avenue, 1911. Founded in 1882, all North-West Territories leaders while Regina was the capital, Saskatchewan premiers and lieutenant-governors and mayors of Regina were members from then until the Club closed in 1994. The Assiniboia Club is one of the oldest men's clubs in Western Canada.

The Assiniboia was a men's club and women were strictly forbidden to be members or even enter the buildings. It is said that in those days, many a business deal was sealed with a handshake and an offering of a female companion for the evening. Many of the rooms in the Club were bedrooms, because after traveling a long distance it was more convenient for men to stay there rather than get a hotel room. The men would sneak prostitutes in through a side door so they could spend their evenings being “entertained.”

Legend goes that one of the one prostitute got a little too attached to one of the members and became a liability. So they brought someone in to murder her. She was murdered with an axe, up on the third floor of the building.

So far none of my research online or at the Public Library has come up with any information to back up this story so this is all I have for now.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Useful tips and tricks to becoming a better Ghost Hunter

Learning to Ghost Hunt can help you improve interpersonal relationships, your love life, and even your career. But what about getting actual evidence that ghosts really exist?

Here's 10 very useful tips to becoming a better Ghost Hunter or Paranormal Investigator:

1. Get out of the house. Finding and hunting for real ghosts means getting off the couch and away from the Television or computer. Unless you happen to live in a very haunted house, City or location.

2. Take the initiative: Often some real spooky ghosts are shy at first. Follow the rules and take your time. Hunting for real ghosts is not like on TV. It can be or mean many of long hours of waiting before any real ghosts actually shows up.

3. Nothing terminates encounters faster than being on a ghost tour with those that do not take it seriously. Get a group together or join one that is dedicated and not set up just as a fun thing to do on boring nights or weekends.

4. Learn the rules that real ghosts hunters like I myself follow. Don't know them then get in touch with someone that is respected in the field and ask them. And learn to ghost hunt responsibly, starting a group on your own with out any prior ghost hunting experience can be a very stupid move.

5. Go visit interesting places to meet interesting spirits (bars don't count always especially in New Orleans). Try old hotels, battlefields, public buildings and even city streets. Ghost just don't haunt cemeteries. They haunt race tracks, hospitals, banks and even bus stops!

6. Anyplace can be a ghost haunted hotspot. But how do you find one that you should investigate. Many great noted authors like Mark Nesbitt, Troy Taylor and a host of others write about place that are haunted where you can encounter a real ghosts or two. Books today or more accurate then they were 5 years ago and the evidence in them should be checked out. Who Knows what ghosts are still at these locations to be discovered.

7. Make sure all your ghost hunting equipment is always in working order. Bring along anything and everything that is also appropriate to a particular location. And of course dress weather appropriate.

8. Adopt a 3-strike rule when taking photos, video, EVP's or EMF readings. Always take three photos in a row or ask the same three questions or meter reading at a location at different times and days.

9. Don't take a ghost hunting failure personally. Even if a location is haunted doesn't mean the ghosts will come out to haunt you. some locations need several days to investigate sometimes even weeks months or years. Real Ghosts often haunt a person that they see regularly in their haunted hot spot. ( above taken from the Haunted America Tours website )

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Location - The Goverment House

Part One

Government House
, Regina, Saskatchewan, was constructed as a residence for the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West Territories, whose territorial headquarters were in Regina until the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta were created out of the Territories in 1905 and Regina became the capital of Saskatchewan. At that point Government House became the viceregal residence of Saskatchewan.
It replaced the cold, draughty wooden 1883 Government House which stood on the current site of Luther College on Royal Avenue until its demolition in 1908. The new building was the first residence in the Territories to be electrified (the Regina YMCA had been electrified in 1890). A conservatory was built in 1901 and a ballroom in 1929.

Vice-regal palaces were something of an anomaly in the political climate of 1940s Saskatchewan, and in March 1945 the Lieutenant-Governor's office and residence were moved out of Government House and into the Hotel Saskatchewan, then operated by the CPR in downtown Regina. The furnishings and household goods were sold at auction. Government House was leased to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs for use as a veterans rehabilitation facility. In 1958, re-named Saskatchewan House, the building entered into 10 years' use as an adult education centre until it was proposed that it be demolished and the site redeveloped. A large part of the extensive grounds had already been sold for the construction of the Pioneer Village nursing home and other uses.

However, historically-minded local groups including the Regina Chamber of Commerce, Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, Regina Council of Women and the City of Regina were brought together to fight for the preservation of and restoration of the building. In 1971 the Society for the Preservation and Restoration of Saskatchewan House (now the Government House Historical Society) was formed and by 1980 its efforts were rewarded. Government House, its original name and historical fittings and many historical contents restored, re-opened as a historic site for public education and edification. ( above taken from the Wikipedia entry )

The Government house has a long history and is haunted by a number of ghosts the most famous being named "Howie". This spirit is believed to be a man named Cheun, a cook for the Lieutenant-Governor McNab, and the only person to have died on the premises. The phenomena attributed to this spirit is disembodied footsteps, the opening and closing of doors, the moving around of objects from room to room. This phenomena is common to the entire house but seems to mostly occur on the first floor.

I feel the activity on the second floor is a different spirit or spirits. The activity reported there have been the sound of children laughing and extreme cold spots around the nursery wing. There is also the report of the apparition of a gentlemen who vanishes soon after he is seen. One report tells of a staff member doing their routine morning inspection finding the upstairs bathtub to be filled completely with water. Strange, but even stranger, there are no longer any water pipes connected to the tub. Myself I would treat that story as a myth as I have no written account of this event.

Part Two

A cleaning lady who was employed on a casual basis reportedly heard footsteps walking from the morning room, through the bedroom to the far wall of the bedroom and then stopping. She found out afterward that behind the wall there was once a bathroom. The footsteps would stop at the wall where the bathroom used to be.

The basement is frequently the source of mysterious cries of a baby that stop just as abruptly as they began. This phenomena is commonly reported by women using the basement restroom as well a staff who are alone in the building.

What or who haunts the Government House? I believe the location is haunted by a number of connected phenomena which is unrelated to the other. The spirit known as Howie I believe is attached to the house. He likes to make himself know by moving things or targeting, for example, the tablecloth on a new piece of furniture that has been brought in that he disapproves the placement of.

The other reported phenomena lends itself out to be someone who lived there at some point and maybe residual in nature. After 1945 the site was converted and used as a convalescence home for wounded veterans returning home from the war. Nobody was reported as dying from their ailments within Government house but maybe someone returns to the site of remembered pain or had fond memories of their stay there. I would belief the second of the two because the reported activity does not seem malevolent in anyway.

I have been to the Government house may times and it is one of my favorite places in the city. I have toured it many times both during the day and at night. My Dad is actually the guy that cracked the locked safe in the dinning room to which the keys had been lost for some time. (It held original china place settings for the table. Great find for the restoration people.) Unfortunately cameras are not allowed inside so an investigation would be difficult but I have some pictures of the grounds.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The common sense rules when investigating a haunting

COMMON SENSE RULES, excerpted from “Hunting the Dead: Methods of Ghost Chasing” by Brian Roesch.

Never trespass! Most places are indicated with signs. If the places have no signs, that does not mean you can trespass. Always get permission first! You can end up arrested or even killed. I have heard of many places where people have been seriously hurt. A lot of places have guard dogs that can shred you in seconds. I will go as far as saying you could even get killed by gunshots if a landowner thinks you are causing serious harm. So just make sure you use your “common sense” at all times.

Treat every ghost hunt location as if it were your own place. Never vandalize, litter or mark up anything. If you break something, report it! If it was something that broke by accident, the owner is usually nice enough to not charge you for damages.

You should never ghost hunt alone.

Always carry ID on you.

First time areas for ghost hunts should always be thoroughly checked first during daylight hours. At night you will be familiar with the area during your ghost hunt.

Bring flashlights and plenty of extra batteries with you.

Do not ghost hunt in bad weather!

Never take risks!

Avoid trouble situations. If some idiot sees you and starts trouble, it is best to leave.

These are some basic rules of thumb to follow that will ensure your safety and the safety of others who ghost hunt with you.

Ghost hunting and paranormal investigation are burgeoning and popular hobbies these days, just remember to play it safe and use your head and avoid imitating the non-reality of “reality” ghost hunt shows: you want to continue to be the hunter and not the HUNTED!