Calgarians who have had supernatural encounters or suspect they live in haunted houses have a resource to turn to: the Calgary Association of Paranormal Investigations (CAPI).
Since its creation in 2001, CAPI has been investigating supernatural occurrences in Calgary and the surrounding area.
One of the group’s guiding principles is that they approach and carry out investigations using scientific methods. During their investigations, they use common tools such as cameras and audio recorders. They also use metronomes, thermometers, and EMF (electromagnetic field) meters.
“These are all proven to work in real world applications and able to take measurable information,” said Rob Seguin, one of CAPI’s lead investigators.
During investigations, the team asks that all people and pets leave the location, to minimize contamination of evidence. They then set up cameras and other equipment, as well as taking temperature readings and EMF levels.
They also conduct EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) sessions. EVP are sounds on audio recordings that people believe are ghosts or spirits.
“Any evidence that we collect is reviewed closely to make sure it is not something that we can explain,” said Melissa, who declined to provide her surname. She became the head of the organization in 2017.
After combing through footage, recordings, and other evidence, the team prepares a report for the client.
“CAPI has concluded that several places we have investigated are most likely haunted,” Melissa added.
Aside from investigating private homes and businesses, the group has also scrutinized several well-known locations in Calgary. These include the Deane House, the Prince House in Heritage Park, and Knox United Church. They have also explored both the House and Hound and Rose and Crown pubs.
“The team that investigated the Deane House had many experiences that led them to believe it was definitely haunted,” Melissa said.
“This included equipment malfunctions, cameras moving themselves, and an investigator being slapped.”
Seguin has also had supernatural experiences in both Queen’s Park and Baker’s Park. On both occasions, he saw full-body apparitions that disappeared soon after.
He described them as “similar to something out of Ghost Busters – all white, appearing female, long arms and fingers grossly out of proportion.”
Labour of love
Despite the time its members devote to investigations and reviewing evidence, they work for CAPI on a volunteer basis.
“Our entire team has families and works regular day jobs,” said Melissa.
Some of these team members are able to use the skills from their day jobs during investigations.
Seguin is a licensed practical nurse (LPN) who has worked at a local hospital for 25 years. He uses his skills to calm people experiencing what they believe are supernatural events.
“This helps me deal with the public, but also stressful situations that might arise from a family having to deal with something that is very new to them.”
Although they investigate the paranormal, different members of CAPI have different feelings about it.
“I believe in many different cultural ideas such as different plains of existence and different dimensions. But for the most part, like every great mystery, I may never know until I am in that situation myself,” Seguin said.
“My personal journey has led me to the belief that we should always keep an open mind, but most of things we will encounter will be explainable,” said Melissa.
“Though I hope to one day find answers, there are things in this world that simply cannot be explained.”
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