The Case of Donnie Goss

Location: Calgary Zoo bridge

Date: Aug. 29, 2021

Time: 12:15am – 1:45am

Weather: mild, calm

Claims: hearing a child screaming for help, manifestations to other living children

Investigators: Holly, Paul, Shae

Variables: ongoing traffic moving across the bridge and along Memorial Drive, people partying loudly across the river, people coming down on bicycles to the investigation area, proximity to the Bow River

Historical Background

On July 24, 1946, Donald Sherman Staley murdered 6-year-old Donnie Goss in Calgary, Alberta. On July 25th, the child’s body was found behind some bushes on St. George’s Island, on the north end of the bridge that spans the Bow River from 8th Ave. SE. Details of what police discovered when they located him are purposely omitted from this report due to their extreme gruesomeness.

Over the years, many people have reported hearing a child screaming for help under the bridge. Emergency services have been called to the area several times. There are also claims of children visiting the Calgary Zoo around that area meeting a boy named Donnie, who asked them to come and play with him.

Donald Sherman Staley was tried and convicted by a jury for the murders of Donnie Goss, as well as 11-year-old Garry Billings, who was killed in Vancouver, British Columbia. Staley was sentenced to hang. On Dec. 18, 1946, alongside four German prisoners of war, Staley was executed in what was the largest public hanging in Canadian history.

The Investigation

DSCF0026 (2) Approximately 5 minutes after passing the archway towards the walking path, Paul turned on his EMF detector. The detector began beeping almost immediately,indicating fluctuations. Readings fluctuated between 33mG [milligaus] and 110 mG. Holly set up her EMF detector, but while it did record minor temperature fluctuations, no EMF was recorded. Two trail cameras were set up under the south end of the bridge, one on each side of the base. The video camera was set up along the walking and cycling path that parallels the Bow River.

Once the trail and video cameras were positioned, the team began asking questions. Holly moved back and forth along the walking path, near the top of the boulder slope. Her EMF detector recorded changes ranging from 0.7 mG to 1.5 mG. Shae and Paul moved down the rock slope to the edge of the river and remained there for several minutes. Water is a known conductor; it was hoped that it would, perhaps, provide any spirits in the area with enough energy to at least set off the EMF detectors. Interestingly, Paul’s EMF detector repeatedly beeped; however, Holly’s EMF detector held steady at between 0.7mG and 1.5 mG.

After approximately 30 minutes, the team brought out the Sb-7 spirit box. A child’s voice came through twice that left Holly and Paul quite surprised. The voice said, “To the family,” and then, a few seconds later, “I’m sorry.” Nothing more came through after that, so the team prepared to start Estes sessions [sensory deprivation using the spirit box and noise-cancelling headphones].

DSCF0154 (2) Three sessions were done. Shae was first, then Paul took over, and Holly was last. Each session was approximately 7 to 10 minutes in duration. While several words and phrases come through, three were repeated in each team member’s session: help, lonely, and open. These words corroborated what others have reported to hear with their ears.

Conclusion

The results of this investigation are inconclusive. Holly, Shae, and Paul repeatedly experienced strong sensations of being watched throughout the duration of the investigation. However, due to persistent and loud noise contamination from traffic going back and forth across the bridge, people showing up on bicycles and riding around us, and people across the river partying quite loudly, all audio had to be marked as contaminated and dismissed. No other evidence appeared either on video or in the photographs taken by the trail cameras.

We investigated the south end of the bridge connecting to 8th Ave. SE. That is where many people have reported hearing a young child screaming for help. However, according to the newspaper article Paul located, the boy’s body was actually found at the north end of the bridge, where it connects to St. George’s Island. The return investigation will take place in the very near future.

What happened to young Donnie Goss was beyond horrific. We are glad his killer received the justice he deserved, and we hope and pray that Donnie finds peace and can move on to a happier, better place.

2021: Return to St. Mary’s

Date: Aug. 21, 2021

Time: 9pm-10:45pm

Location: St. Mary’s Cemetery

Investigators: Holly, Shae, Paul

Weather: 15ºC, damp, winds mainly north/northwest ranging from 10km/h to 15km/h

Moon: Full

Equipment: cell phones for video, voice recorders, flashlight for lighting, EMF detector

Variables: small rabbits moving through the grounds, wind in the trees, fireworks at the Stampede grounds, people outside their houses on the east and south edges of the cemetery, traffic along Macleod Trail

The Investigation

The investigation was conducted in the Pioneer section. Due to malfunctions with the video camera, Paul and Holly used their cell phones to record video and take still photographs, and each had a voice recorder. Shae operated the lighting to enable video recordings.

The investigation began in the middle of the section. Holly noticed that there were new headstones in some areas, and open areas where there used to be several rows of headstones. The grounds were in very good condition; the grass was very green and well-groomed, and the trees appeared to have been pruned. The appearance of small flying insects was minimal.

The team stopped by Mary Deane’s headstone for a very short evp session. Due to the ongoing noise of traffic and fireworks, however, viable evp was not expected. The team moved further to the south end of the section after only a few minutes.

Nearing the south end of the section, near the main road, all three team members began to experience unusual and inexplicable sensations. Paul noted that he was experiencing strong anxiety; Shae noted that he was feeling a malevolent presence; Holly noted that she was experiencing sudden nausea and a headache at the base of her skull. None of these experiences could be explained.

The team continued to move towards the very tall cross on the main road. Several crematorium walls have been erected in this area, along with benches for visitors. Paul noted that he had a very unpleasant feeling near the cross. He expressed great surprise about that, stating that it should not feel that way to someone who is a believer in God.

Analyzing the Data

It was discovered during upload to computer that, of four videos Holly took with her cell phone, only one video was created. All others were still photos. A vocal anomaly was captured that we are listing as a B Class or a C Class evp. Nothing unusual was found on the voice recordings or on Paul’s video of the investigation.

Conclusion

St. Mary’s Cemetery – specifically, the Pioneer section – is an interesting location with a long history. The team will be making a return visit in the near future to the section near the main road to try and find a cause for the negative sensations they all experienced.

Back in the Saddle: Mountainview Cemetery

We have been on a very long hiatus – three years, at last count. Life was happening for the entire team; losses, moves, and life in general put us in a position where we had to suspend our paranormal work. We didn’t know if we would get back to it at some point, or if Wolf Paranormal was dead and gone for good. Thankfully, we are still alive – and we are now ready to get back in the saddle.

Because it’s been so long since we picked up our cameras and voice recorders, we decided a refresher investigation at a local cemetery would be a great way to dust off our equipment and our skills. On July 10, 2021, Holly, Paul, and Shae went to Mountainview Cemetery to do that. Here are our findings.

The wind was coming from the north-northwest, sometimes swinging over to come out of the east-southeast. It was a welcome and deeply appreciated gift after the intense heat of the day. Unfortunately, it was also an annoyance, as it hit the mics on the recorders and the video camera the entire time we were investigating. We tried to keep our backs to it to minimize the interference.

During the investigation, some new tools were introduced: the SB-7 spirit box, a phone app called “Necrophonic” that works like a spirit box but is much more clear, and a new video camera. We also used our EMF readers, voice recorders, and phone cameras for video and stills. The EMF readers registered no unusual spikes. Both the Necrophonic app and the SB-7 spirit box provided only minimal and very infrequent responses. Persistent and very loud wind noise across the mics on the recorders and the video camera denied all possibility of hearing any potential evp’s.

Conclusion

Paul captured something unusual while taking still photos with his phone camera. However, close examination of the possible anomaly is impossible. The photo is small, and enlarging it causes massive pixelation. Holly is returning to the cemetery to physically check out the area in question to determine whether the anomaly is genuine, or an optical illusion generated by the natural light and the angle at which the photo was taken.

Due to the extremely loud wind noise persistently blowing across the recorder and camera mics, our voices – along with any potential evp’s – were almost completely drowned out. Holly spent most of a day editing video to minimize or remove the worst of the wind noise, but after reviewing the finished product, the team unanimously agreed it’s a dud and should not be presented to the public. To prevent this from happening in the future, a search was done for filters that would minimize the worst of the wind. Fur wind screens [also called “dead cats”] were found and are expected to arrive in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, sponges will be used to cover the recorder and camera mics.

Overall, the investigation at Mountainview Cemetery got us back on our feet again after our long hiatus. It was nice to get together in person again, and we’re looking forward to investigating some new locations in the very near future.