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When you think of ghost hunting, what images does your mind conjure? Summoning spirits with an Ouija board? Sucking up ghostly essence through a portable vacuum? The media has a thrilling depiction of what ghost hunting could be, so much so that the paranormal seems like it lives only in the realm of fantasy. However, paranormal investigators do exist in real life and the job can be as tedious as any other 9AM-5PM… or in this case, 9PM-5AM. Let’s sit down with Amanda Quill, co-founder of Coldspotters Paranormal Investigations, to uncover what the mysterious job is really all about:

What is paranormal activity?

I think that there are a lot of different kinds of forms of activity. There’s always going to be energy in a home. Especially with families living there, children growing up, people moving, people dying— there’s everything. An actual paranormally active home could be things from just residual repeats; so hearing someone going up and down a hallway or up and down stairs. A certain door closing around the same time will be a little bit of an echo, kind of like a record that’s skipping. 

Actual active, intelligent haunts would be things that are responding to you— if you’re getting knocks back. Or things that you can feel like you’re interacting with, so it’s not the same record that’s going on. 

We also have other things where it’s stress based. Our energy is maybe giving something back to the (I guess) paranormal world and causing things like doors flying open or dishes flying out of cupboards.

Where does paranormal activity come from?

Touching back on energy, all energy continues on after we’re gone. So a lot of the theory is: where is that energy going? That can create activity, as well as the kind of land that we’re on, the history of our land. We also have to keep in mind that there’s traditions and cultures that go way beyond Canada’s birthday, and we’re on that unceded land now. 

What misconceptions do people have about paranormal investigation?

I think the main one is, if you see any of the movies about haunted homes, it’s really not that exciting in real life. A lot of times we sit around in dark rooms and talk to nobody at all. We spend more time debunking the activity than actually proving it. A lot of times we’re called in to see a house and the people are scared. We can give them a valid and natural reason for what’s happening. It’s not all demon busting and ghost hunting… and all the things you see in the media and TV. We don’t always believe that everything is haunted as well. 

What is the strangest paranormal event you’ve encountered?

I’ve seen a lot of strange things I can’t explain and I’ve seen a lot of strange things that I was able to explain in further investigation. I think it’s when I can physically see something move (and I have seen that a few times) or an item will fall, like fly off the table. I think for me that’s kind of the strangest because I can’t always put the pieces together of why that would happen. Rather than just a sound or a vision, it’s something physically moving. For me, that’s a strange one that I’m trying to figure out.

Do you believe in the paranormal?

I believe fully in the paranormal, I do believe in ghosts. And I think that believing in that will help me be a skeptic when I’m going into people’s homes or going into some of these older buildings and knowing that it is out there… but is it actually here? That’s the real question I’m trying to answer with people.

Nikita's hipster high school teachers sparked her love for slice-of-life podcasts, books, and movies. Filling up her free time with introspective conversations and journal entries, she'll do whatever it takes to make sense of life. One day, she hopes to write stories for the screen, the radio, or for print. On the side, she bakes and plays the piano mediocrely but passionately.
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