Back on Nov 1st, 2008, there was a public investigation with a local ghost hunter group over at Watson's Mill in Manotik, Ontario. They made their investigation open to the public, so that those who are interested in the paranormal can see what it is that they (and similar groups) do.
We bought our tickets in advanced when my husband heard about it on the local radio station (Y101). I had never been to a paranormal investigation and I was quite excited. When I called for the tickets, I asked if I could bring a camera and they were all for it.
I wasn't to sure what to expect, and I was thinking it would be more like The Haunted Walk tours of Ottawa. But regardless, I knew I was going to have a lot of fun. If there were going to be spirits there, I knew that they all HAD to be friendly. I felt that the local ghost hunting group would not allow an investigation if the place had evil / angry spirits and jeopardize the safety of the public.
So my husband and I arrived there, with roughly 30 other people from the public. I met the team that was hosting it. They seemed friendly and eager to teach us what they knew.
At the beginning, they explained the history of the Mill and the tragedy that befallen Anne Currier, the young wife of Joseph Currier who owned a partnership of the Mill at that time. The Mill was built by Moss Kent Dickinson and his partner, Joseph Currier, in 1860. (FYI, Canada became a county on July 1, 1867)
As the story goes, they were just newlyweds. In fact, they just came back from their month long honeymoon, when Joseph wanted to show his wife the mill. Unfortunately, as he was showing her around, her dress got caught in the machinery and she was killed when she was flung into a pole. She died instantly.
But she was not the only one to haunt the place. Their research suggests that there is a group of Native Indians and they suspect that the Mill was either build on Indian land, OR built over an old Indian graveyard. This group (native Indians), tend to be shy to the public and prefer to just watch what's going on.
They also think a couple of Mill workers still haunt the place. They just don't know if they are spirits, or residual in nature.
Once we were given a history of the place, they split us up into 3 groups. One group went to the top level where Anne died, another group was on the main floor and the 3rd group went to the basement. All three groups would rotate places after spending 90 minutes at one area.
My group was group three and we started up at the top level of Watson's Mill. They explained to us the importance of doing base readings with temperature and EMF meters. They also explained the reason why one should turn off all electricity of the building that you are investigating and use only the power sources of their battery packs. They showed us their equipment (thermometers, EMFs, voice recorders, motion detectors, video cameras, etc.) They asked a lot of questions to any possible spirits that might be there with us. Unfortunately, we didn't get any "hits". Once our time was up, we headed to the ground floor.
There, they explained to us the use of pendulums and dousing rods and how they are used to communicate with the spirits.
We had more luck here. The team managed to get in touch with Anne and asked her a bunch of questions. They then asked us (the public), if we wanted to try using the items. Three of us stepped forward. I used the pendulum and two others used the dousing rods.
Under their guidance, I introduced myself and asked if Anne was here. The pendulum stated swinging forwards and backwards, implying "yes". I was shocked! I checked my hand. It was not moving. I checked my arm, it was not moving. I looked to see if there was a fan blowing on the pendulum to make it move. There was none, nor did I feel any drafts. I couldn't believe it! A possible spirit was communicating to me! I was on cloud 9 I was that ecstatic. My logical side said "how can this be? But I ruled out the possibilities. So therefore it HAD to be a spirit!" Sherlock Holmes said it quite eloquently: "Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth."
So after a few more questions such as: "is your husband here? Did you die here? Are there other spirits with us besides you and your husband?", our time was up. I was instructed to say "thank you, it was a pleasure talking with you, but now I must end this session" by the team, to show respect to the spirits there. Once we were done, we headed towards the basement.
Once there, they told us the history of a little boy, they think is named Timmy, that drowned accidentally (the mill was build over a river). Then they explained to us how to use EMF meters and asked us if any one wanted to try. My hand shot up quickly. My husband chuckled at my enthusiasm, he was happy that I was having a blast here.
So we were divided up into smaller groups and we went around the basement using the EMF meters to see if we got any hits. Now, during this time, the motion detectors were going off like mad, but that was because we were moving around and setting them off. Bad news is that the EMFs we were using didn't make a sound.
So we grouped back up to try a new tactic. This time, he wanted one of the women in the group to talk with Anne, and see if she would respond by using the motion detector.
I volunteered for this, and they gave me a list of questions to ask her. I started asking her questions, and nothing happened at first. Then all of a sudden the motion detectors started going off like crazy after each question I asked, to the point that it kept going on and off even though I was not asking any questions.
I was confused and asked one of the members what was going on? He replied that Anne is very upset that we are using machines to check to see if she was with us, when she knew darn well, that we knew she was there (they investigated the place a few time before this).
I replied, "Is there a possibility that she's upset with me?" once I asked that and before the team member replied the motion detector started going off like mad. He had to shout over the noise "Yes, it seems as if she's upset with you"
Needless to say I was shocked. I knew I was following their instructions exactly as they instructed. I was being respectful towards the spirits (if any were there). Maybe, just maybe deep down, I knew she was there and I just didn't trust myself enough to KNOW she was there. I needed the machines to confirm what I was feeling. Depressed, I spoke up, "Anne? I'm... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you upset... I'm just... New at this. Please forgive me?"
Then the sounds stopped, and the team leader smiled at me and said "She forgives you." The motion detector went off one more time as if to confirm what the team leader said.
Just then, the EMF meter went off near the back of the basement where the stares are leading up. There is a wooden crate there that was believed to have been used by Timmy when he was alive. He loved to play Hide and Seek and that was his favorite spot.
In my excitement, I as well as others, rushed off to that spot to see what was going on (and yes, I completely forgot to say goodbye to Anne). Three women were already there and were asking questions. They looked up in our direction and said that the needle on the EMF Meter kept jumping after every time they asked a question.
"Is your name Timmy?" One beep for "yes".
"Did you die here?" "yes"
"Did you drown here?" "yes"
"Was this crate your favorite hiding spot?" "yes"
Did you like playing "Hide and Seek"? "yes"
"Were you bullied by other kids?" two quick beeps for "No"
"Are you aware of the other spirits here at the mill?" "No."
So after a while of asking questions, it was time for us to leave and have the team pack up and head home. We ended up doing a closing ceremony saying good-bye and thank you to the spirits. As the crowed started to clear, my husband and I hung back. There was a ton of questions I wanted to ask them, mostly of where did they buy the items (E-bay for the temperature thermometer and EMF meters, Best Buy or Future Shop for the voice recordings and Crystal Dawn for the pendulum). They invited me to join their workshops if I had any more questions for them. It's open to the public and they meet once a month.
So off we went home, talking excitedly as to what happened that night. I went to sleep and I had THE most wonderful dream!
In that dream, it took place in summer. The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky. Anne and Timmy was there smiling and laughing with me. (At least I assume it was them. In my dream, I was convinced it was them, even though I had no clue what they looked like in life.) We were in an amusement park. I was very happy and I knew that in the dream, we were simply enjoying each others company and getting to know one another as friends.
I went to the workshop the following week, telling them what I just told you about the dream and showed them pictures I have taken that had a ton of orbs (I don't believe in orbs - to easy to discredit IMO and the Mill was incredibly dusty. But saying that, I do have to admit that I find the orbs to be very beautiful to look at). They confirmed that it was possible Anne and Timmy visited me that night and wanted to let me know that they liked me.
I am looking forward to when they do another public investigation over at Watson's Mill. I'll be able to learn more from my new friends. So for being a skeptical believer I have to admit this, for Watson's Mill, I am DEFINATLY a believer.