The House Of Secrets – Bloor & Dufferin
It was a two-storey semi-detached home, built around 1898 in the Bloor and Dufferin area of the city. It was rumoured that a small-time bank robber had owned the home in the 1920’s and upon his arrest none of the money was ever recovered. People in the community speculated that the money was hidden somewhere in the house. Although there were several historical searches we could not substantiate this claim. However, starting in the mid thirties, right up to the mid 1960’s, there were constant break and enters at this house, nothing was ever taken. The break and enters have been confirmed as fact.
The owner was an elderly lady who had become ill. She was, at the time, living alone in the house and her nephew would drop by on a regular basis to help her and do her shopping for her. She was brought to stay with family until she was feeling better.
The house was old and becoming run down and it was decided that it was the perfect time to do some renovation work. All of her nephews (4) felt that they could do most of the work, however some of the more difficult jobs, such as plumbing and electrical would be left to the professionals, so contractors were hired for these jobs.
The contractors arrived and were met and let in by one of the boys. They quickly went to work on the upstairs bathroom. One of the jobs required them to run a new drainpipe from the upper floor to the basement. As they worked, alone in the house, they started to notice odd sounds, which put the workers on edge. When one had to go into the basement and the other had to remain on the upper floor it was the last straw for them, as their tools kept moving, doors kept closing, things started moving around and the sounds grew louder. The workers abandoned the job and fled the house.
The boys went in to do some drywall and painting. One brought a tape recorder along in his toolbox. As they stopped to have a break, he placed the tape recorder upstairs and pushed record, then they all went outside for some air.
Later, he retrieved the tape, tossed it in his box and finished the work. A few days later, when he had time, he listened to the tape and found voices on it, voices that were very distinguishable. He let the others listen to the tape and sure enough, they all recognized and agreed that the voices were of their deceased Grandfather, Uncle and Cousin.
SECOND RENOVATION 2004
The house required further work and Paul was the one who had the knowledge and expertise to do most it. Mike would help him where he could. As a result, it was only reasonable that Paul ended up being in the house for long periods of time alone. It was during these times that things would occur. Most were subtle noises, normally in a distant part of the house, away from where he was working. Sometimes the noises were too close for comfort and the remodeling work would become almost impossible. As any contractor will tell you, you cannot comfortably hang drywall by yourself and watch your back at the same time.
He was working on the upper floor, in the front bedroom. He was on the ladder, applying a base coat of paint to the new walls and ceiling, when he heard something come down the hall and into the room. It seemed to be moving quickly and before he could react, whatever it was slammed into the ladder without warning. The ladder shuddered from the impact and the paint flew everywhere. It was gone as quickly as it had come, leaving him with quite a mess to clean up.
It was time to go after a long but satisfying day’s work. He had accomplished a great deal. As he started down the stairs, at about mid-landing, he noticed a shadow of a person on the stairwell wall pass him, going the opposite way up the stairs. He stood there, confused for a moment, and looked around to see if he could find a logical explanation for what he had seen. He couldn’t. With that, he headed out the door and went home.
He was working in the house alone. There was the odd noises, which he had become accustomed to. He went upstairs and made his way down to the rear bedroom. As he was standing there, he heard it. He froze, heart pounding. Deliberate walking in the middle room, the floor creaking, the constant sound of movement on the floor. For a moment he wasn’t sure what to do. He was trapped, the only way out were the stairs, which were past the middle room. He listened and the walking continued, pacing. He moved slowly up the hall to the middle room; its door stood wide open. He paused, then turned to look inside that room. The floor continued to creak in small circles. Then it stopped. He stepped into the room and the temperature was freezing, at least 20 degrees colder than the rest of the floor. He had no explanation for this, as all the windows were closed and the furnace was working.
About an hour later he returned to the room and it was just as warm as the rest of the house.
We decided that this house would be perfect to conduct an investigation; it had the history, there seemed to be activity and it was empty. We went to the owner and asked for permission to conduct an investigation. During our visit we talked about the house and some of the things that had happened there.
It started in the early sixties, they had arrived home from a visit at a relative’s home. When they came in the door their young son of four immediately ran up the stairs, heading to the washroom. The parents went into the living room, where there were other relatives waiting for their arrival.
As the boy made his way down the long hall to the bathroom, his Uncle Lou came out of the back bedroom and smiled at him. They stopped briefly and Lou patted the boy on the head as he normally did and told him he was a good boy. He then headed for the stairs and the boy went into the bathroom.
A few minutes later the boy came downstairs to join the group assembled in the living room and kitchen. He scanned the rooms, and then asked his mother, “Where is Uncle Lou?”
He was told that he wasn’t there.
He explained he had just seen him upstairs.
The adults looked at the boy, because of his age they hadn’t explained to him that his uncle had died one day prior.
There were constant noises of walking and breathing in the living room late at night. The room Lou had died in.
It was in the early sixties when the owners brother and his family were saving to buy a house. They were invited to move into the house until they could afford their own home. They accepted and moved in with their young sons.
One evening the parents went out and the boys, being older, had their friends over. The youngest wasn’t permitted to come downstairs, as he would get in the way of the older boy’s party. He heard noises in the hall and then in the master bedroom. He became frightened so he called down for help. His brother and a few of the brave boys came up to see what was going on. He told them that someone was in their parents’ bedroom. They walked to the closed door and heard walking noises on the hardwood flooring beyond the door. They flung the door open and threw on the light. Nothing was there. Then, from behind the closet door, they heard a sound, a wire coat hanger scraping back and forth on the wooden door. They closed in on the closet door and one of them pulled the door open. No one was there; a lone hanger hung on a nail on the door. They searched the room and nothing was found, even the window was locked. The youngster was allowed to come down and join the party.
We secured permission to enter and investigate the house. It stood empty and the owner gave us a key so we could come and go as necessary, to change tapes and so on. The first visit was to conduct a tour and to take notice of hazards within the house. Part of the front bedroom on the second floor was severely damaged by a water leak. Although the sub floor was still strong, for safety reasons this spot had to be avoided. We were planning to take baseline readings and photos until we heard activity on the upper floor, something moving in the hallway by the stairs. We investigated but found nothing. The second day we introduced a VCR and CCD colour and self-switching infrared camera, supplied to us by Mr. Bilingham. The camera was placed on the upper floor, looking down the hall to the front main bedroom and stairwell. As we were about to leave, I set the VCR to record and Paul switched off the hall light. The camera automatically went to infrared mode and I noticed something funny on the monitor, so I asked Paul to come and have a look at it. There seemed to be large white objects swirling around in the hall, nothing we could see with the naked eye. After some debate we couldn’t arrive at any firm conclusions, so we simply passed it off as possible dust particles in the air. We left the unit to record and started down the hall to leave, when a sound came from a bedroom along the hallway. Paul entered first. As we stepped into the room the floor in the opposite corner made noise, as if someone were moving away from us. We also noticed that this room was close to ten degrees Fahrenheit colder than the rest of the house, even though all the windows were closed and the furnace was pushing warm air from the floor vents.
John, Paul and myself arrived first. We toured the house, starting with the main floor. John had been specifically kept in the dark about the history of the house, as well as the people associated with it. The main floor front room he sensed to be a safe room. Its french doors would have been kept closed. Not many people would have been permitted in this room. We moved on to the living room; he sensed conflict here, arguing, physical violence, dishes flying, injuries, and turmoil.
We went upstairs, into the room facing the street; he felt there were secrets hidden here. Secrets… hiding … about the war (1939-1945)…hiding someone.
John went into the middle room; “There is a lot of energy here, a girl older with a younger mind, …undeveloped mind…that of a 9 year old in an older body. She felt safe in this room…lock the door. She would sit by the window, looking out, rocking in her chair the things she kept; in here was an escape, fantasy. A man close to her (deceased) watched over her. A nice man. There is another man (deceased) who has a lot of conflict with her. Power struggle, arguing, threats, and violence.” We moved on to the rear bedroom. He felt it was a storage room, things were hidden here. Disturbed energy. We started downstairs “– The police came here and the military police came here as well. I’m getting many different layers of time.”
We headed for the basement, we pulled open the door and he stepped back. “Something is there; black, crouching, not human, not animal… watching.” He stepped forward. “This is an area of strange energy. A place in which time has no meaning.” We moved on. Paused. “It watches, looking down. The basement – things are hidden here. Someone does not want you to find these things that are hidden.”
We went for coffee.
Dee, Anita and Krystal from the Hauntings Research Group arrived and toured the house.
I took Dee up to the second floor, she stopped on the landing, pausing. She sensed a man, he told her he died from his lungs and heart. He wanted her to know that it was his lungs in particular and due to that complication his heart subsequently failed. She found him to be fairly pleasant. We continued on and toured the upper floor.
We made our way down to the main floor, which was a flurry of activity with the rest of the group taking readings and setting up equipment. We walked into the kitchen and she also paused at the door to the basement. She described a heavy feeling; something was trying to block her. Whatever it was didn’t want her gaining any information as to who or what it was. Dee would encounter this entity throughout the night. We continued down to the basement for a look.
Anita investigated the layout of the house. She felt there was something odd about the closet in the upstairs middle room; she couldn’t explain it, she just did not like it. She felt it would be a good place to set up a digital recorder to possibly capture EVP (electronic voice phenomena).
They set up cameras on the upper floor; one camera in the front bedroom looking down the hall, one camera in the back bedroom looking up the hall. Darrin, an independent film director, arrived at the house.
Paul set up on the main floor; placing one camera at the front door covering the stairs, hall and living room doorway and another in the kitchen doorway looking through the living room to the front door and a standard tape deck on the stairs mid-landing to the upper floor.
Dee and Anita moved to the front room on the main floor and were about to set up in an attempt to communicate with whoever was there. Paul, Krystal and Darrin followed John into the dining room where John was also going to try to establish communication.
I moved between rooms. All three of them are psychically sensitive and were now going to try to focus that energy through the pendulum. John sat down and prepared his pendulum. Anita prepared her pendulum in the other room. They both started asking questions and I peeked from the front room to the dining room. It was very strange, as they were both asking the same questions at the same time. Both were being blocked by something and there was no information coming through whatsoever. I eventually ended up in the dining room beside Paul, with my back to the kitchen. It was at this time that I felt a hand press on my back, between my shoulder blades. I quickly turned and found nothing there.
Anita and Dee came into the living room; they had not received anything and wanted to see what we were getting. John stopped, as he wasn’t getting anything either.
We took a short break in the basement.
Dee wanted to try again with the pendulum, so the group assembled in the stairwell to the basement. Dee pulled up a chair at the top of the stairs, next to the door to the kitchen.
“Is there a spirit who wishes to communicate with us?”
- “Is this the centre of the energy of this house?”
- “Is this your place?”
- “Is it okay for us to be here at this time, are we welcome here?”
- “Are we welcome here at any time?”
- “Is it okay that this place is renovated, altered, changed, walls taken down?”
- “Would you like us to leave here?”
- Will you allow us to talk with anyone else who is here?”
- “Are you holding the others back from speaking to us?”
- “Will it be more convenient to come back at another time?”
- “Are you specifically holding information from us?”
- “Have you hidden something in the walls?”
- “We will be going up into the attic, is that all right?”
- “Are you making all the noise, banging around the house?”
Male voice on the EVP “Yes.”
- “Are you moving booty? Why don’t you tell us where it is?”
We prepared to go to a nearby restaurant to pick up some dinner; Anita decided this was the opportune time to place the digital recorder in the closet of the upstairs middle bedroom. She set the audio recorder and the entire group left the house, locking the front door.
When we returned later, Anita retrieved her recorder. When it was reviewed she discovered several odd things on it.
Someone blew into the microphone, however there was no sound of anyone approaching the device; then there was a sound similar to the high-pitched scream of a woman. There were sounds of people talking in an echo, their words indistinguishable, then a loud sigh or exhalation followed by a bang and more interference with the mic. Finally, the recorder picked up our group returning to the house.
When we arrived back at the house we all assembled in the basement to eat our dinner. Everyone stopped talking as we heard banging coming from upstairs, above our heads. Paul and Anita were discussing renovations when the banging came again, then the sound of walking. We grew quiet again and the sounds stopped. They seemed to occur only when there was cover noise. To provoke it, Paul and Anita started talking about renovations again. This brought more noise from the main floor.
After dinner the group split up, heading off into different parts of the house to check equipment, change tapes and take more readings. Krystal and Dee ended up in the upstairs middle room. They stood quietly for a few minutes. The room started to fade, becoming darker, and within a few moments returned to its original brightness. This happened several times in a row.
It was also noticed that throughout the house, especially on the upper floor, cameras with auto-focus had a difficult time focusing and there were things unseen within its depth of field.
The night went on and the investigation came to an end for the group. We had collected some information and confirmed some of what was going on in the house, as well as the presence of Lou. The team packed up and said our goodbyes. Paul insisted that we should maintain video surveillance in the house for as long as we could. We set up a wireless camera and a VCR on the main floor then we all left.
Over the next few weeks, Paul would go to the house; change the tapes and reposition the camera to new locations, wherever he thought the best results might be produced. He would spend hours reviewing the tapes and was rarely disappointed. There were always sounds of whispers and walking on the audio portion of the tape. When he positioned the camera in the front hall of the main floor, watching the stairs, he recorded a man’s voice yelling at the camera, loud and clear. “Get out of this house!” three times in a row.
He eventually set the camera up on the upper floor in the middle bedroom at the rear wall, so it could observe the room’s interior and the hallway beyond the door. This started yielding strange light phenomena; light that would move up and down the hall, sometimes looking like fog, sometimes bending around the corner and intruding into the room. At times it was so brilliant that it would obliterate all detail of the hallway and floor, it would encroach partially into the room, yet it would not disturb the shadows within the room. Large balls of light would move across the walls and floor, sometimes several of them. Then it happened. Paul called me and said I had to come over right away, we had caught something on tape. I rushed over and we watched. The camera was still in the upper middle bedroom. There were a couple of creaks, then a black shadow the size of a person came out of nowhere and landed directly in the middle of the room, precisely in the centre of the camera field of view. It hits the floor and sped off towards the back of the bedroom to the closet that Anita originally disliked. Then bang, another shadow person landed right behind the first and also sped off towards the closet. We tried to view the images in slow motion and frame by frame, but the images disappear. They seem to be moving so fast that they are between the frames and can only be viewed at regular speed. This was an incredible catch and we were very pleased.
Our time ran out and we eventually had to pack up all of our equipment and leave the house.