All posts by Richard Palmisano

Talking Board | Ouija Board

photo of a ouija board with yes and a sunshine in top left corner and no with a moon in top right corner, letters a-z followed by numbers 1-0 centred in the middle and goodbye at the bottom centred

Can a sheet of cardboard be a doorway to the other side?

Four teens gather around the kitchen table, the parents are out and the lights have been dimmed. They huddle around an Ouija board two of them touching the planchette lightly while the other two look on with delight. It moves around the board seemingly answering yes and no questions and spelling out others. Then an answer to one of their questions causes a twinge of fear, they accuse each other of manipulating the planchette, the lights go on and the game is over.

It’s only a game after all…isn’t it?

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Paranormal Evidence in Investigation of Childhood Home


In the early 1960s, as a young child, I lived in a house in an old part of Toronto. The strange disembodied whispers and the sound of walking in the halls at night frightened me, but also inspired me and set me on a live long quest to discover what these unexplained sights and sounds meant.

35 years later my brother and I had the opportunity to go back and conduct a proper paranormal investigation. It was a chance of a lifetime to go back to a place that started that inquisitive spark in me and hopefully find the answers that haunted my thoughts for all these years.

It was a two-storey semi-detached home, built around 1898 in the Bloor and Dufferin area of the city. The first thing we wanted to do was attempt some EVP recordings within the house, after a few days of recording odd sounds and voices were captured in the empty home. Upon analysis they were found to be very distinguishable and recognizable of those of our deceased Grandmother, Uncle and Cousin. It was at this point we decided to place a surveillance camera within the house.

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What is the difference between past, present and future states? Are we, the living more solid than a ghost?

Something to think about…

Before we consider what ghosts might be we have to consider what we are as living breathing humans living in the physical world.

Most people feel through perception of our reality that they have a firm grasp of what we are, not so. This makes it more difficult for us to understand ghosts.

Because of our perceptions we believe we are solid physical beings in a solid physical world; however this is a basic illusion.

Body shape with dots inside and swirls of blue circling the body representing energy

If examining the human body, which is made up of cells and the cells are made from atoms and atoms are 99.99999999% empty space, then you are only .00000001% physical.

Albert Einstein’s E=mc2 shows the dense parts of the atom come from nowhere into particle matter and then disappear into nowhere as an energy field. This means you are constantly changing from an energy field to a partial physical form, which hardly exists as dense matter.

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Photos from Mississauga Historical Properties – Paranormal Investigations

While filming Discovery Channel’s “A Haunting, Darkness Follows.” At the Bradley Museum in Mississauga it was my brother Paul who noticed two apparitions in period clothing walking through the gardens near the house. This was in broad daylight. We spoke to the Manager of the Museum and what he described sounded to her extraordinary similarities to the home’s owners Lewis and Elizabeth Bradley. Problem was they had been dead for over 140 years.

It was at this point that the manager extended a very graceful offer for our team to investigate many of the Mississauga historical properties that the city owned. This would be the beginning of a ten month journey.

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Richard, Peter, Paul, James and Victoria with Christmas Hats posing on staircase
Happy Holidays from The Searcher Group

The Christmas Spirit

As the holidays arrive we may experience an increase in ghostly activity.

 I remember when I was younger living with my parents, their house was haunted. It was Christmas Eve and my brother and his family had come from out west to visit for the holidays. It was late and I was in my room preparing for bed when I heard someone walking up the basement stairs to the kitchen. I had been the last one on the main floor and knew no one was downstairs. I moved to my bedroom door and listened intently to whatever it was now walking up and down the main hall from the kitchen to the foot of the stairs leading to the second floor. The walking stopped in the kitchen and then came a sound of a spoon in a coffee mug as if someone were stirring a drink. A smile crossed my face as I heard my niece in the next room who was four at the time say “Mom, I hear Santa down stairs.”  The sounds stopped and all was peaceful for the rest on the night.

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Casa Loma – One Evening Paranormal Investigation 

After an interesting albeit brief investigation at Casa Loma(three and a half hours) it was our conclusion that this wonderful landmark is haunted.

Our surveillance equipment captured several audio artifacts in the tunnel, Library, third floor and attic. Most were of low voices identified as male.

The most compelling phenomena event took place in the library and the hallway on the main floor.

Two (2) black shadows crossing the library floor in a Northerly direction towards the exit to Peacock Alley. At which point a male low voice at junction of Peacock Alley to hall leading to the elevator was heard saying “Get back.”

Photo of Hallway inside of Casa LomaPhoto of Loft at Casa LomaFloor Plan of Casa Loma Main Floor showing library where evps were detected


Capturing Ghost Images in Reflective Surfaces

Graphic showing a ghost image captured in a reflective mirror, an unseen subject and a camera with title random flash photo takenOver the years I have noted that when taking photographs in a location reported to be haunted it is best to fire the camera towards reflective surfaces, i.e. windows, mirrors.

It seems that if an unseen subject (a spirit) is standing or moves between you and this reflective surface there is a greater chance of you capturing the ghosts image on your camera. I have studied this for a long time and I feel the energy of the unseen subject will inter play with the flash of the camera. The flash will put out a very wide spectrum of light and when it passes through this spirit energy will create the image of the subject on the surface of the mirror or window, this surface will act like the emulsions of older type film and produce an image. 


photo of dr caroline watt
Dr. Caroline Watt is one of the top Parapsychologists in the field, she is accredited with over 50 peer reviewed papers, conference appearances, media articles and co-author of An Introduction to Parapsychology published by McFarland & Co Inc. She has served as president of the Parapsychological Association and was a founder member of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit in Edinburgh. Dr. Watt is currently a senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh and has taught and researched in parapsychology for more than 25 years.
For further information on the Koestler Parapsychology Unit and Dr. Watt’s textbook “An Introduction to Parapsychology” and her online course in Parapsychology visit their website at or Dr. Watt’s person website at


Richard:  There are a great number of people interested in the study of the paranormal; some are looking for education within the field to provide them with the intellectual tools to proceed, what would be your recommendation?

Dr. Watt:  Joining the Parapsychological Association (PA) is a good place to start. The PA also has a page on its website about educational opportunities in parapsychology. In terms of reading, I have co-authored an introductory textbook with Harvey Irwin, which reviews the scientific literature on parapsychology. It’s fairly densely-packed, but informative. For something more accessible, there’s always my online course…

Richard:  I understand you lead an online course through Koestler Parapsychology Unit. Who do you feel this course is best suited for?

Dr. Watt:  My course runs twice a year (next run is in April) and is open to anyone who can use the internet. It attracts individuals from around the world who want to know more about parapsychology, both believers and skeptics. If readers are interested, they can find out more about the content of the course on the Koestler Parapsychology Unit website.

Richard:  Your career in parapsychology is an inspiration too many people, what advice would you give to those who want to pursue serious work in this field?

 Dr. Watt:  First of all get a good quality undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Psychology is probably the degree that most parapsychologists have, but it depends on where your interests lie. Other relevant disciplines are physics, philosophy, and anthropology. You should make sure you have high level (MSc in the UK) methodological training that is appropriate for the area or question that interests you. Become familiar with the relevant literature, and approach a university-based academic who publishes in that area to see if they would be willing to supervise a PhD on that topic. (Of course, you have to be good enough to apply for a PhD in the first place!) Technically, there are no PhDs in “Parapsychology” (not from a reputable institution, that is). Rather, the PhDs are in mainstream subjects such as Psychology but specializing on a parapsychological question and supervised by an academic who is expert in that area.

Richard:  Can you tell us a little bit on the work you have done in near death experiences and your conclusion that all aspects of these experiences are based in neurological responses?

One of the eeriest stories to come out of the investigations at the Canadian National Exhibition started off like most, as a mystery. We were working in the second floor archives when our audio surveillance kept recording strange and unusual sounds along with EVPs of a male.

The male would call someone named Dan or Danny always giving him instructions on what to do. This social interaction seemed at first one sided. The instructions were always clear and on the most part friendly but then there were times where the person giving the instructions seemed angry or even frustrated.

He would call for Danny and tell him, “Go see where they are”. Or to be quiet and to get back. Sometimes he would just yell “Danny”. Over and over again.

It was Paul who noticed the odd sounds, which seemed to interplay each time this person called for Danny. Like the ringing of bells, a horn, a whistle or the sounds of a baby rattle. Paul made it his mission to figure out the mystery of Danny.

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Ghosts of the Canadian National Exhibition Book coverWhen one thinks of Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition, memories of bright lights, cotton candy, the rush of people, and the excitement of rides spring to mind. But when the lights go down and the people head home, the fairground takes on a life of its own. The grounds and buildings of the CNE are so richly steeped in history that they are a magnificent storehouse of energy.

This area has been in continuous use since before the 18th century, starting with Fort Rouille in 1750 and Fort York in 1793. From murders to accidents, it is no surprise that Exhibition Place is haunted. There are many reasons for spirits to dwell in that site, but it may be the joy and excitement that tempts them to linger. That’s the true spirit of the Canadian National Exhibition.

To order Ghosts of The Canadian National Exhibition visit by clicking here.

Ghosts book cover, black background picture of two faces with elongated mouths and title Ghosts above themGhosts is based on a three-year investigation by The Searcher Group. It is the frightening account of a multiple haunting of a once grand Mississauga mansion on the shores of Lake Ontario.  This beautiful estate looks like a dream come true during the day, however when night falls you can sense that dream turning into a nightmare

Join The Searcher Group in their investigation of the property, read accounts of experiment and surveillance results that were obtained and read their encounters with the spirits and the interactions they had with the spirits of mansion.

To order Ghosts visit by clicking here.

Journeys into the Unknown book coverJourneys takes the reader through a collection of amazing ghost stories & paranormal investigations across Ontario that have never before been reported. The circumstances behind fifteen unusual cases of hauntings & ghostly manifestations are explored together with the detailed sagas of full-scale investigations into six further spooky inexplicables occurring in or near Toronto. The book concludes with a look into a complete investigation of a haunting, including a guide that explains the techniques used to conduct a paranormal investigation. The final section of Journeys explains theories behind what a ghost is, how they manifest & where they hide – challenging the classic theories of life-after-death research. So turn on all the lights, keep your back to the wall & be prepared to take a journey into the reality of the unexplained.

To order Journeys Into the Unknown visit by clicking here.

Overshadows Book CoverIn 1995, a young girl living with her abusive mother commits suicide. Shortly afterwards, her spirit returns to the house, only to find her mother gone and strangers moving in. She also finds the older spirits who dwell there, beginning a powerful battle for control of the house – and trapping its new residents in the middle. Overshadows chronicles the events of this terrifying multiple haunting, but more importantly, it shares the incredible discoveries made during the course of a six-year investigation. This book will challenge and disprove classic theories, and create upheaval in the circle of life-after-death research.

To order Overshadows please visit by clicking here.

Understanding all the various dynamics of a haunting – call for help

When a family unit begins to experience strange occurrences in their residence various family members may in the onset keep those occurrences quiet for fear of sounding crazy. Several members may be experiencing happenings yet there may be no communications until

1. It becomes out of control and or extremely frightening or

2. Two members experience something together which opens up a dialog.

 In about 85% of hauntings in a residence the female is first to notice these strange events, this can cause stress and extreme frustration within the family unit as the male may not completely believe what the female is saying having not had an experience himself. This in some cases may be the ploy…divide and conquer.

dog looking down staircase In 100% of all cases where pets are involved in the home, the pet will be fully aware of the presence within the residence and may display changes in its behavior such as; looking at seemingly empty spaces, watching something you can’t see, growling, barking for no apparent reason nervousness and changes in eating habits.

 Where a presence may be malevolent the pet will become the first target, then the female in most cases.

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