If things that go bump in the night send shivers down your spine, this job posting isn’t for you. Halton Paranormal Group is hiring a junior ghost hunter.
The Milton-based team investigates reports of ghostly activity throughout the GTA. Though it doesn’t work for profit (donations help pay for equipment), the new hire would be paid $12 an hour to hang out in haunted houses and study the supernatural.
The group is currently being filmed for a documentary and the extra time required to set up film equipment is hindering its investigations, founder Kimberley Valspar explained, so the film’s producer is offering up the cash to pay for an extra ghostbuster. An online ad for the job received a lot of interest.
“We have had at least 50 people or more (apply),” Valspar said. “The ad just went viral so it was great.”
The Milton resident started Halton Paranormal with her childhood friend, Kim Hadfield, in 2011. The two were always interested in the paranormal and would often explore abandoned houses as kids. Now, the five-member team spends at least two nights a week investigating all things spooky.
Working under cover of night, Valspar said, male members of the team first sweep the house to ensure there are no animals or people inside. Then, the equipment is set up: video cameras, voice recorders and K2 meters, a device which measures electromagnetic fields and is prized by ghost hunters who see sudden erratic spikes as evidence of paranormal activity.
Valspar said they spend up to three hours listening, watching and attempting to communicate with any spirits. They’ve experienced some dramatic responses from the other side: everything from a door opening and shutting on its own, to voice recordings whispering names or shouting “get out.”
But the team always attempts to debunk any evidence, Valspar said.
On Tuesday night, they headed to the Acton Town Hall Centre, where sightings of a ghostly figure named “Jimmy” have been reported.
Long-time resident Kay Dills said Jimmy Robertson was the resident caretaker there for many years. He was a reserved perpetual bachelor who didn’t talk to many people but was kind to all, even risking his life to put out a fire that nearly ravaged the building in 1945.
He died in 1960, but his presence has been felt by people in the town hall ever since, from hearing footsteps to getting the feeling you’re not alone.
Dills’ daughter, Kathleen, is a member of Heritage Acton, a historical society that occupies the brick building. She said she knew Jimmy when he was alive and has encountered him in recent years.
“For me he rings the doorbell,” she said. “I’d run downstairs to open the door and nobody would be there. He’s done it many times.”
While they did sense a presence in the building, Hadfield said they didn’t experience anything definitive. “We did find the building had a high electromagnetic field . . . and this can cause the feeling of being watched or something there.
“We are not 100 per cent positive that this is all that is there as we need to review all evidence which takes a few days to examine. Then we will know for sure.”
Who you gonna call?
What Halton Paranormal is looking for in a ghost hunter:
Technically inclined: The team works with lots of equipment including video cameras, still cameras, voice recorders and K2 meters. The ideal candidate would need to be comfortable working with this equipment and the footage they collect.
Fearless: Halton Paranormal’s investigations are conducted at night, often in abandoned buildings with no electricity or light sources. If you’re afraid of the dark, creepy buildings or unexplained noises, you need not apply.
Quiet: A lot of the investigation requires sitting for long periods listening and observing. A quiet, still individual would be well suited for ghost hunting.
Trustworthy: Ghost hunting requires trust between all the team members so they can accurately gauge their observations and experiences while investigating a potentially haunted area.
A belief in ghosts? Not necessarily: Although both Hadfield and Valspar say they’re believers, Hadfield said this isn’t a requirement for their new hire. They always try to debunk their findings anyway, according to Valspar.