“I don’t know what they found up there and I’m not sure I want to know.”
Mimi Horita often finds herself alone in the historic Gulf of Georgia Cannery and has mastered the art of mind over matter in blocking out odd sounds coming from the old building’s collections area and net loft.
If Horita, the cannery’s marketing manager, is reading this, she might want to turn the page now.
There is, most definitely, something “up there,” according to “ghostbusters” from Northern Paranormal Investigations (NPI), who scouted out the loft in the historic Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston.
Over two separate overnight investigations earlier this year, the NPI team recorded what they’re calling a class A EVP — electronic voice phenomena — in the cannery’s loft.
“We caught an amazing, EVP,” said NPI co-founder and case manager Nikki Peterson.
“We’ve recorded a fair amount of EVPs in the past, but we were not expecting what we got at the cannery.
“We were very surprised. It was very clear and very loud.”
Most of the time, added Peterson, the team doesn’t hear anything until it plays back its audio, “but there were several unexplained events when we were at the cannery and we really want to go back for a third visit, as it seems like they have ‘visitors.’”
If you want hear the audio and see in detail NPI’s findings, you’ll have to go to the cannery’s “Paranormal Presentations” next Friday, Oct. 24 and Thursday, Oct. 30.
Whether Horita will attend is another matter, altogether.
“Some colleagues have talked of strange sounds and doors occasionally moving on their own,” said Horita.
“We have, thankfully, not had any run-ins of the ghostly kind. I often have to work here in the evening on my own, so I have trained myself not to think too deeply about the noises I hear from behind the walls and upstairs!”
Peterson said the NPI team was keen to investigate the cannery due to its historical significance.
“We just wanted to see what we could uncover there…and we did find something,” she said.
“We were there for one night in July and one night in August, and we were there from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. each night.”
There was also some “activity” during their investigation, which could be explained very easily without the need for exorcism.
“We thought, ‘what is that noise?’ It was too loud to be a ghost,” said Peterson.
“It was kids playing on the roof. We scared them away; they were probably more scared than us, though. They were very eventful evenings for sure.”
Describing how the NPI team goes about its business, Peterson said the first thing they do is scout out the location and then set up their recording equipment.
They then “introduce” themselves to the apparently empty rooms.
“We explain that we’re not here to harm or displace anyone; we explain that we’re just here looking for proof of existence.”
The team uses “trigger objects,” such as a bell, which can be disturbed if there is a presence.
Horita said the paranormal evening is a brand new idea for the cannery and is sure it will be popular when it comes around next week and at the end of the month.
The Paranormal Presentations take place at the cannery at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24 and Thursday, Oct. 30. Tickets are $10, from the cannery in person or by calling 604-664-9009. Online tickets are also available www.brownpapertickets.com/event/901450.
*Audio of a child apparently saying, "mommy, help me," is at bottom of this page.
Murder at the Cannery
In-keeping with the creepy month of October, the cannery is set to host another series of murder mystery tours.
Over all next weekend, Oct. 25 and 26, Murder at the Cannery will feature a detective taking an audience through an interactive tour of the cannery’s herring reduction exhibit area, where a pre-Cold War story will unfold, along with up to 10 characters, played by actors.
The detective in the story is played by the author, Mark Turpin, who is a theatre teaching student.
“We have done this in the past, but the script for this one is brand new,” said Mimi Horita, the cannery’s marketing and visitor services manager.
“We had a 1920s theme last year, this time, we’ve went up a couple of decades to the late 1940s and pre-Cold War tensions.
“There will be spy elements in there and it’s going to be more interactive than usual; people are going to be able to vote to determine where the murder story will go.
“The cannery gives us a ready-made set, historical and lifesize, very ambient and it’s cold, so that’s bound to add to it all.”
Each tour can take up to 25 people and is recommended for adults and children above six, as there are loud noises.
Tours will start daily next Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26 at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., with advance booking required.
Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $5 for youth, and can be purchased in person at the cannery, or by calling 604-664-9009. Online tickets are also available at: murderatthecannery.brownpapertickets.com.
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery will also be taking part in the Steveston Merchants’ Association’s Trick or Treat event on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 4-5 p.m. and will have the cannery decorated.