BACK BAY – Cooke Aquaculture staff member by day, paranormal investigator on his own time.
Back Bay resident Bradley Monks first became interested in the paranormal when he was about 10 years old – 45 years ago – and is an interesting cat.
“I did it in Saskatchewan for about 10 years and had a group working out there. Since I moved home, I’m originally from Back Bay, about three years ago, I’ve been doing it here,” explained Monks.
Monks has done investigations in old hospitals, former sanitoriums, opera houses, jails and even private homes.
“I always had things happen – even in this house I’m in I have heard things and seen things. There was always a curiosity in the back of my mind, ‘what was that,’” Monks said.
There are no schools or courses to learn how to become a paranormal investigator. It is all information that is picked up from experience and talking with others in the field who are willing to share what they know.
Over the years, the ability of investigators to track and discover these otherworldly beings has improved as technology has gotten better.
Starting out using simple cassette recorders, Monks now uses sophisticated cameras with night imaging capabilities, white noise generators, pulse meters, devices that can measure temperature changes and wind speed. Even motion sensors are used.
“Sometimes you will hear voices with your own ears. I’ve heard them myself and there’s no one in the room with me,” he said.
He uses Mel Meters, which measure electromagnetic fields (EMF) to see changes or disturbances in the EMFs in a room.
Asked if paranormal beings can create static electricity like we can, Monks said, “Yes, they can create energy just like we can.” They are able to move items in a room and can appear as just a shadow or even as a “full body apparition,” which is little different from seeing a human in front of you.
People will claim to hear footsteps and Monks has vibration meters that can track and measure the footstep pattern as a being moves through a space.
Some of the camera equipment Monks uses is the same kind of equipment that can be purchased in an electronics store. Others have been modified to see into the non-visible electromagnetic spectrum – ultraviolet and infrared – for enhanced night vision capabilities.
Monks doesn’t really like the Hollywood Ghostbusters comparison. He said it’s based somewhat on what he does, but that there aren’t slimers and you won’t find them sitting in your refrigerator. Television shows like Ghost Adventures and Paranormal Survivor are accurate representations of what paranormal investigators do.
“Spirits won’t show themselves unless you’re ready to see them. They know that. They know everything about you and everything that’s going on,” said Monks.
According to Monks, it is true that there are good and bad spirits. Just like there are good and bad people. Bad spirits can do harm.
“They’ll scratch you or taunt you. I don’t like using the term negative energy but there are times you will run into that kind of stuff. If a person wasn’t a very good person in life, they’re probably not going to be a good person in death,” Monks explained.
He states that he can also help spirits who are caught to move on in their journey to the next world.
“You can ask their god, or creator, to help. You can ask their creator to come and get them, to take them to the light and put them through.”
Monks is holding an investigation event at the McAdam Railway Station on Sept 24.
“We’ve been there. That place has always been on my bucket list and I’ve always wondered. There has to be something,” enthused Monks.
The story of Abigail Massey is well-known in the area and her ghost is reputed to haunt the station.
Monks and his team of five went to the station for an investigation prior to scheduling the event to show the committee at the station that there is nothing bad about what he and his team do.
“We caught over 70 voices on audio recordings. We caught a shadow figure in the dining room. We caught footsteps,” said Monks, whose own energy level increased noticeably as he talked about this.
The full-day event includes vendors and musicians during the day. In the evening, Monks will do a demonstration of the equipment he uses for the, so far, 80 people who are signed up. The large group will then be broken into smaller teams, each of which will be paired with one of Monks’s team members. Each group will then go around the station and be able to do their own paranormal investigation to see what they can find for themselves.
“We’re going to give them a chance to do something that they don’t usually get to do,” said Monks.