When you hear the word ghost hunter, what comes to mind? For me it is Ed and Lorraine Warren, the famous paranormal investigators we’ve seen in the Conjuring series.
It’s always been a mystery how people become interested rather than spooked out, by ghosts and spirits.
A sister duo, Gina Armstrong and Victoria were always fascinated by the paranormal more so for the historical aspect of it.
They went public with their excursions in 2020 after working on a haunted calendar with the owner of Ghost of Vancouver, Greg Mansfield and people started reaching out to them about experiences where paranormal activity is known to happen.
That is how they became ghost hunters. Simply put, it means that they hunt down the history of places that might or might not be haunted but have something unique about them.
A resident of Maple Ridge, Gina and her team run the Haunted History BC where they share their experiences and the historical information about sites that are allegedly haunted.
For them, it’s about the importance of documenting history, even if it’s folklore.
“We went on a couple of ghost-walks in Victoria and Fort Langley and that was our first experience with paranormal activity. A lot of times, a select person would know a story but it wasn’t documented so we thought why not preserve history and write it down?” Gina shared.
Once Upon a Time…
Her fascination with writing and the supernatural made her believe that it’s the perfect combination for documentation of these historical sites.
She shared that sometimes, in the history of these reportedly haunted places, cult cases, true crime and murders were involved.
But, nothing seems to have scared them off especially after their first encounter with paranormal activity.
They were exploring Victoria as COVID-19 restricted travel internationally and stayed at the English Inn.
After using an Ouija board at the Inn, they were getting ready to sleep when Gina recalls that she and her husband saw the closet door open on its own.
They shrugged it off, owing to the age of the building. But the activity didn’t stop there.
When Gina was packing her things to leave, a small glass piece from the chandelier above her fell over her head.
Later they stayed at the Panderay Inn and were sitting around at 10 p.m., chatting when something flew by Gina’s face.
Sitting in a huge dining hall with speakers in the corners on a summer night, something flew by her face and Gina thought it was a bee. When she moved her hand around, it was a wine cork.
“We thought, why on earth is a wine cork flying past you?”
The staff at the Inn leaves at 9:30 p.m. so Gina and her friends had the place to themselves and their curious nature compelled them to explore the place.
“We were just walking around the place and we heard a voice saying, ‘I see you’ in a creepy whispery voice and we thought Oh my God, what is that? Maybe there are cameras and the staff can see us walking around!”
But when they indirectly asked about hosting an event in the dining hall the staff said that the speakers haven’t worked for years.
She shared that after sharing a photo from near Kanaka Creek someone told them about the Kanaka Hat Man. People have reportedly seen a man in a top hat and old-fashioned dress in the middle of the woods which they feel is strange.
“We started talking to people about they said, ‘yeah, people have seen this person.’ We went to the location with the same woman who commented on our post and although we didn’t see anything, we definitely heard a whispery sound in our recording which is really interesting,” Gina said.
Another place that she heard about was the Billy Miner Pub with the ghost of Mary Charlton and the through their research they found that a couple by the name of Alfred and Mary Charlton had businesses in the area.
“Sometimes ghosts stick around not to scare you, but maybe people loved a place and it was something they felt really attached to.”
The Armstrong sisters are currently working on a book which would detail the historical significance of famous sites in Ridge-Meadows, Mission and more.