Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ghosts: An Investigation into a True Canadian Haunting

By Richard Palmisano
Copyright © 2009
Published by Dundurn Press
ISBN: 978-1-55488-435-3

It’s more than a little interesting for me to read about an actual ghost hunting investigation, but even more so in this case because the massive mansion is not far from where I live. I’m in Hamilton and the old house overlooking Lake Ontario is in Mississauga, Ontario and I’m sure I’ve passed by it many times in the past without knowing about its haunted history.

Currently called Fusion, the mansion is currently owned by the City of Mississauga and is considered to be of historical interest. Most recently, Ontario Hydro used the mansion as a test site. Before that, however, it was a private home that included servant’s quarters.

The total land area covers 48 acres and was lived on by the Ojibwa Indians who hunted and fished there from the 1700’s to the late 1800’s. The site was purchased in 1937 by Charles Powell Bell, a prominent and well to do defense attorney. Bell had the mansion and nearby buildings, including a coach house built for his family. As fate would have it, he died three months later at the age of 30 and the site was then sold to artist James Gairdner.

The city had actually asked The Searcher Group to investigate the property after a number of paranormal events were reported at the site by the groundskeepers and security personnel. One of the groundskeepers was cleaning up the back yard when he saw a black figure.

“At first I thought it was a person; it looked like a person except it was all black like a shadow,” he said. “It had a head and shoulders, arms and legs, but there were no features. It approached me and directly behind it was another one. It didn’t have eyes but I could feel it looking at me. I turned and ran for the truck.”

Another groundskeeper saw the spirits of a man and woman in wedding attire on the back of the property near the lake, while security personnel were often called after alarms were triggered but there was never anyone there.

During the group’s three-year investigation, they recorded countless EVPs of various people who once resided on the property. What is really interesting, however, is that the spirits, particularly those inside the mansion, coach house and adjoining farm spoke not only to the investigators but also to each other. What is even more disturbing is that the ghosts were completely aware that the investigation was occurring and often reacted to it as evidenced by the EVPs. For those who don’t know, EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon and is disembodied voices caught on tape.

The investigation also included many sightings of the ‘black figures’ and ghosts by members of The Searcher Group and others in the paranormal field that joined in to assist them. As well, there was one spirit in particular, who frequently displayed his anger and threatened physical harm to those he considered as intruders in his home.

If you want to learn more not only about how ghost hunters operated but also what it’s like to be on the other side of the veil, then this book is most definitely for you. I found it fascinating that those who have passed over are still so aware of those of us still in the physical world.

Richard Palmisano, who lives in Toronto, has researched the issue of life after death for 30 years and has written two other books: Overshadows and Journeys into the Unknown. He can be contacted at:

To purchase a copy of this book, please go to:

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