Breaking News

A (haunted) Night At The Museum

Masha Scheele

Unexplained noises and mysterious activity has been puzzling the staff at Hinton’s Northern Rockies Museum of Culture & Heritage.

Madison Sharman, who is the manager at the museum, spends most of her days in the building, witnessing knocks, whispers, and even a smashed clock.

One day, Sharman was busy with the artifacts upstairs in the building when she heard a voice, “Maddi, come here,” it said.

She went downstairs to ask her coworker what she needed, but her coworker told her that she never called her.

Multiple visitors have told Sharman they don’t want to enter the building because they felt the energy within the space was evil or confining. Sharman herself never felt any bad energy, but said it often feels like someone is looking over her shoulder. She decided to get the Edson and Area Paranormal group to do an investigation of the building two years ago.

“There could be [negative energy] but it’s probably because of items that are attached to [spirits]. It all depends on your energy and intention, if you bring that energy in with you they could act up,” said Kevin Metzger, lead investigator of the group.

With equipment in tow, they arrived at the museum ready for some ghostbusting.

“Everything from thermal imaging cameras to EMF detectors. A ghost amp,” said Metzger.

He explained that a ghost amp puts out a big electromagnetic (EM) field, which gives spirits energy to manifest and do things, while EMF meters detect electromagnetic energy in the area.

Another device, called an SB7 spirit box, sweeps through white noise to find voices of spirits and allows real time conversation with spirits, according to Metzger.

Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) of a man’s voice was caught on many electronic recordings during the investigation, which can be interpreted as spirit voices.

While using their thermal imaging camera in the artifact room upstairs in the museum, one of the black and white reproduction prints of a local outfitter began to glow like it was hot, explained Sharman.

Metzger added that the same thing happened to a bison skull in the room, which pulsed from extremely hot to cold continuously.

There was no explanation for the glow as the building doesn’t have forced heating upstairs.

“During the investigation I had my video camera’s running. One was an infrared light to see in the dark, another that’s a full spectrum camera that sees infrared and ultraviolet, the one picked something up, really quick, I had to go back and try to debunk it. It looked like a pair of glowing eyes. It looked at us, watched us, dissipated and left,” said Metzger. 

A few of the team members felt a hand touch them on their shoulder during the investigation, but nobody stood behind them. Possibly the most eerie occurrence was captured on an ultraviolet camera, which was positioned upstairs directed at the same room as the pulsing artifacts.

The footage showed an orb going through the wall and into one of the pictures, according to Sharman.

The building is Hinton’s original 1911 Grand Trunk Pacific Railway station, a place where numerous families lived between the years of 1911 and the early 1960s, according to Lorraine Mackay, past president of Hinton’s Historical Society.

Mackay explained that the two rooms upstairs used to be bedrooms for the families that lived there.

These rooms were also the areas of most paranormal activity during the investigation, while nothing at all was found in the basement, explained Metzger.

A few weeks passed after the investigation until Sharman found her office clock at the bottom of the stairs, smashed. 

“Not sure how it got out of the room and made its way down the stairs!” she said.

Her office, where the clock hung above the door, is one of the upstairs rooms. The clock was found off the wall in her office, down the bottom of the stairs with the battery sitting right beside it, said Metzger.

“It could have fallen off the wall, but how would it fall off, roll, go 90 degrees down the stairs, stay at the bottom of the stairs and have the battery right beside it,” Metzger pointed out.

Most commonly heard in the museum are footsteps in the attic and up the stairs.

“Many of the groups who have slept over with school groups have also claimed to hear these footsteps,” said Sharman.

The Edson and Area Paranormal group can help people who believe they have a problem with spirits in their homes.

“It’s outside the norm of science, but that’s what makes this interesting,” said Metzger.

The investigation team attempts talking to spirits to figure out what it wants, or try to convince it that it needs to move on from that place.

Metzger explained that sometimes spirits can be attached to a building because it meant something to them in their real life.

Mackay added that whoever the spirit is, would likely be happy that the society has renovated and preserved the building it cares about for other people to enjoy.

The Paranormal team returned Nov. 1 and 2 to look into the 1912 railcar on the museum property, and conducted a second investigation within the museum space open to the public.