Weather: 15ºC, damp, winds mainly north/northwest ranging from 10km/h to 15km/h
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 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.
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.
Weather: 12C. Winds NNW at approx. 20 km/h gusting at times to approx. 25 km/h
Other conditions: mosquitoes, profusion of rabbits, various birds, vehicle traffic
We arrived at the cemetery at approximately 8:40pm. We began the field test in the Pioneer section of the cemetery at 8:50pm. This section contains the sites of the city’s earliest residents, as well as the grave-sites of many who lost their lives to tuberculosis. The grounds were in surprisingly good condition; the grass appeared to have been tended recently, and there were several large patches of what we believe are re-seeding areas – areas of dead grass that have been removed, re-soiled, and re-seeded with new grass. There was also a large group of approximately a dozen wild cottontail rabbits near the middle of the Pioneer section. At this time, there were no other living people anywhere on the grounds, nor were there any living people outside in the private-residence areas outside of the cemetery grounds.
Glimmer was given the command to “search” and to “find the people.” No reactions of any kind occurred until she spotted the congregation of rabbits in the middle of the Pioneer section. Upon seeing them, she immediately began to pull towards them. She wanted to make their acquaintance. We redirected our investigation back towards the entrance of the section, and Glimmer began to move towards a large monument at the west edge of the cemetery, in front of a fence that separates it from a large ravine. At this monument, Megan found burned candles and a handmade necklace with what appeared to be a Virgin Mary charm attached to it. Glimmer did not like the large monument; she actively avoided it. However, she gave no indication of dislike or discomfort around the surrounding areas.
As we continued to move towards the center of the Pioneer section, Megan asked if this cemetery was the one that had been so badly vandalized. While giving an affirmative response and commenting that it was why the cemeteries were all closed on Halloween, the Mel Meter suddenly spiked to 4.5mG (milligauss). No immediate cause for this could be found, and efforts to recreate the spike failed. As we continued moving towards the center of the section, we did get several more, smaller EMF spikes. However, no EVP was captured to validate them.
We started noticing more and more rabbits. Glimmer became distracted by them, focusing her attention on trying to meet and smell them. We decided to end the session in the Pioneer section and move to the south section.
Entering this section of the cemetery, we did notice a few rabbits at the first rows of headstones. Those were the only ones we found during the remainder of the field test.
Approximately 70 feet south of the large cross we’d examined earlier, the Mel Meter suddenly spiked to 0.5mG. We were not near the power lines, which are the very south end of the cemetery, so we could not account for the spike. We did feel as though we were being paced by someone behind us, but there were no living people present. We did notice that a vehicle had arrived and was parked very close by the large cross, but the vehicle owner was nowhere in sight, either in our section, or in the Pioneer section.
A few minutes after the EMF spike, Glimmer came to a sudden stop at a headstone. The Mel Meter showed a reading of 0.4mG. Glimmer was very interested in the grave-site; she was sniffing the stone and the ground immediately around it. We found no debris or anything that would have captured Glimmer’s interest. The behavior is not being deemed as unusual, though, because there were rabbits in the area; it is very possible there was urine there and that’s what she was picking up on.
Glimmer no sooner finished investigating the headstone, when she had to potty. I was trying to get a waste bag out of her back-pack when she was finished, and she kept squirming around. I told her “no”, and immediately afterward, the voice recorder captured a very clear male voice parroting me by saying “no!”. At the time this was captured, no living people were present anywhere in the cemetery, and no living people were outside of the residences outside the cemetery.
We resumed the walk back to the main gates, and found a garbage can where the waste bag could be dropped. Then, we decided to walk south again, towards the back of the cemetery. Almost immediately after we resumed walking, the Mel Meter spiked to 1.6mG, then slowly dropped back to zero. We asked if someone was with us, and Megan invited whomever might be present to come and hang out with us. At that moment, the voice recorder captured a female voice saying something to the effect of, “Chuck was hanging out.” Again, there were no living people present anywhere, either inside the cemetery, or in the residential homes outside the cemetery.
We began walking north, back towards the main gates, so the waste bag could be dropped off in the garbage bin. As we moved across the grass, near the middle of the section, the Mel Meter began to spike. We discovered a wreath-like structure made of tree twigs sitting on top of a weathered wooden plank behind a stone headstone. The wreath was in front of a triangular structure made of weathered, thin wooden planks. Across the bottom piece of the triangle, the name of the deceased was burned into the wood. The Mel Meter registered 0.6mG at this structure, then slowly dropped down to zero. We tried to recreate the fluctuation, but failed. We checked nearby headstones and trees to see if we could get readings, but again, we failed. We then returned to the wreath-like structure to take a reading, and the Mel Meter remained at zero. There were no further EMF fluctuations, and no EVP was captured to validate the initial spike.
We had just started moving again, when suddenly, Glimmer came to a dead stop and stared intently to the southwest. There were no living animals – wild or domestic – and no living humans anywhere. Glimmer stood at alert, her tail straight out, ears up and forward, snout extended, and legs ramrod-straight. We started to comment on the behavior, and without any explanation – but still seeming to stare at something we couldn’t see – Glimmer suddenly went into a sit position. She remained this way for several seconds, her focus very intent, and then, she got up and resumed her investigation of the area around us.
As we continued walking towards the south end of the section, we began feeling like someone was behind us. There were no EMF fluctuations to validate the sensations we were experiencing, Glimmer was not presenting any unusual behavioral responses, and no EVP was captured on the voice recorder.
At the far south end of the section, the Mel Meter began spiking. We attributed the spikes to the power lines, which run east-west at that end of the cemetery. We decided at that point to wrap the field test, and we began walking back to the main gates. As we walked, Glimmer became very intent on smelling the grass. We were talking about how she was probably trying to pick up on the scent of the rabbits again. No other living people were present either inside or outside of the cemetery. The owner of the vehicle we’d seen earlier had still not made an appearance. The temperature was down to approximately 9C, and though the wind has calmed significantly, there was still a slight breeze that made us feel sniffly and chilly. We were encouraging contact with any spirits who might be present, and the voice recorder picked up two voices – one high male voice saying “smash”, followed almost immediately by a deeper male voice saying “people”. We were still the only living people present either in or outside of the cemetery. However, there were no EMF fluctuations to validate these vocal anomalies, and Glimmer did not present any unusual behavioral responses. We were approximately 10 feet away from the car when the owner of the other vehicle showed up…
While Glimmer did present a couple of unusual responses, we cannot say for certain that she was responding to spirit energy. Because a dog’s sight is far greater than a human’s, it is possible that she may have spotted something that was too far away for us to see. It is also possible that she may have caught the scent of something other than a rabbit – a coyote, perhaps. Coyotes are known for visiting these and other cemetery grounds for hunting purposes.
However, taking these things into account, we also cannot explain the EMF spikes, nor the vocal anomalies captured by the voice recorder. Why Glimmer did not present any verifiable, unusual behaviors when these captures occurred is unknown at this time. A return visit in the very near future is required, to test whether Glimmer will have the same responses, and to attempt to capture vocal or visual anomalies that may offer validation of those responses if they do recur.
If the audio clips are not working correctly, please let us know.
Last night, Robyn and I went to Mountain View Cemetery, located on 122 acres of land just east of the city. Results of that visit will be shared, but I thought readers might like to know a bit about our city’s older cemeteries.
This city is young – only 134 years old – but its history is rich and storied, beginning with the arrival of the North West Mounted Police in 1875. And the city’s oldest cemetery, which is only a year younger than the city itself, is sure to have many tales to tell, if the eyes and ears are open to the whispers of the past…
St. Mary’s Cemetery
The city’s first cemetery was established by the Roman Catholic mission in 1876. Later abandoned, the graves were moved to St. Mary’s Cemetery. The city took over the operation of the cemetery in 1935. St. Mary’s Cemetery sits on 7.1 hectares of land. As of 1997, there are 15,018 burials.
The oldest burial ground in the city is Union Cemetery. Many of the founders and early pioneers of Calgary and district are buried here. In the spring of 1891, Council had this section of land surveyed into burial plots for immediate use. Prior to that date, the site known as Shaganappi Point, which is the current site of the Shaganappi Golf Course, was used for burials. However, poor soil conditions forced the city to seek an alternate site. Currently, Union Cemetery is comprised of some 20 hectares of land, with some 20,911 burials as of 1997.
This cemetery is next to Union Cemetery. It was established in 1923 and is 13 hectares in size. There have been 22,061 burials as of 1997.
This cemetery is designated for the burial of people of Chinese origin. According to custom, all gravestones face west so that the buried receive the morning sunshine. The city took over this cemetery in 1938. It is the city’s smallest cemetery with approximately 1.4 hectares of land and 1,048 burials as of 1997.
Queen’s Park Cemetery
This cemetery has been in operation since 1940 and is 54 hectares in size. This is the city’s largest cemetery operation. There have been 51,557 burials as of 1997. Queen’s Park Mausoleum, a $2.1 million facility, was built by Calgary Parks & Recreation in the fall of 1997 in response to an increasing demand for this service.
So, there you have it. Some information on Calgary’s oldest cemeteries. Currently, information is being gathered on Mountain View Memorial Gardens for use in our upcoming post about the results of our visit last night. Stay tuned!