Being an extension of the Buffalo group has proved beneficial to the groups on both sides of the border, as well as the sites involved. Using the same model, Beyond Ghosts Canada also gives the money it raises to the sites that they attend.
“We cross-promote and help each other in bringing access to great venues such as Buffalo Central Terminal, Fort Niagara, and Fort George,” he said. “My goal is to provide access to interesting, active locations for those who are interested, while also providing some financial benefit to those properties. Often, they can use some extra money too.”
During investigations, Richards said is able to share some of what he has learned about ghosts and why they might remain at a particular location.
“First is that the spirits passed due to tragedy or had unfinished business. An example would be the fallen soldier on a U.S. Civil War battlefield. I think that their energy is ‘stuck’ in that location and they can't or won't move on, so to speak,” he explained. The other reason a spirit might not leave a site is that it may be “a place they enjoyed, that held fond memories. The Firehall Theater hosts such a spirit or a fireman (staff call him by name), who passed away after a long life, but not at the fire hall. His spirit remains at the fire hall where he surely experienced the camaraderie and brotherhood of his fellow firefighters during his career.”
Richards has strict rules that participants must follow while investigating a site. First and foremost, a quiet atmosphere must be maintained, which means no ringing cell phones, cameras on silent mode and definitely no Frank’s Box. The Frank’s Box is a fairly new invention that is believed to pick up discarnate voices of those on the other side.
“My personal experience with the Frank’s Box or other noise emitting devices is that they can be disruptive to the environment of quiet listening, and recording audio and video,” he said. “Just last night I had an experience at an event in Buffalo where a participant was yelling quite loudly over the box's sounds.” However, he added, “I have accommodated requests to use them where everyone is the area consents to it and it doesn't interfere with anyone else's activities.”
He also does not allow séances or the use of ouija boards.
“As for séances I don't know enough about them. I've participated in one, but I don't have the experience to conduct one. Ouija boards are controversial, and the majority of what I've heard about them is that they can bring forward things that are best left alone. I'm hosting the public, so if I'm not comfortable, I will err on the side of safety for their sake.”
The meet-up group has already explored the Old Firehall Theatre in Niagara Falls, The Custom House in Hamilton and the Lawrence House Center for the Arts in Sarnia. The next investigation will be held on September 28, 2013 from 7:30 to 11:45 p.m. at the Fort George National Historic Site, 26 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake as well as the War of 1812 battlefield. For more information on this event, go HERE.
As to his own experiences, Richards said he is taking things one investigation at a time.
“Today, I can say that I don't know what I don't know,” he admitted. “I am gathering the evidence and experiences for what will be the framework of what I believe, which I hope will be constantly evolving. I find that exciting.”