Mandy Rose isn’t a stranger to being interviewed. Every October both local and provincial media come calling for her spooky stories of ghost, ghouls and the unexplained. As the founder of Peterborough Paranormal, Mandy has been investigating ghostly happenings for two decades. Driving in her own ‘Mystery Machine’ to locations across the Kawarthas, Mandy not only goes in search for evidence to prove that ghosts exist, but also works to give relief to the distressed people living with them by helping them understand and get rid of unwanted spooks and spirits.
So while she has spoken to the media on dozens of occasions about the paranormal, I have a different perspective in what she does because over the past eight years I have been along for the ride on many of her ghost adventures. Mandy isn’t just another colourful individual that I’ve met along my travels. Although I did first meet her as an observer to one of her investigations, she has become one of my truest and trusted companions. But, with Mandy leading the way with her flashlight and recording equipment, I’ve followed her to haunted theatres, dark cellars, mysterious cabins, abandoned factories, creepy cemeteries and even normal suburban homes where I have seen and heard things that I can’t explain. I have seen mysterious shadows and floating orbs, felt strange energy and invisible presences and, yes, I have heard voices and whispers when there is nobody there. I believe in ghosts, and Mandy has shown me that there are unknown presences in the dark.
“My first paranormal investigation was in Hastings in 2000, before I started Peterborough Paranormal,” Mandy tells me. “There was a lady who was a psychic and said she lived in a haunted house, and she would put out the word that she was opening her home up to a ghost hunt and let everyone come in. It was meant to be an entertainment thing, and I don’t remember anything specifically happening, but the first time they turned the lights out I was so scared.”
Because of the popularity of paranormal investigation reality shows, such as Ghost Adventures and The Dead Files, more people believe in the existence of ghosts than ever before. In fact, in a 2017 HuffPost/YouGov survey, 45% of Americans polled said that they believe in ghosts and/or demons. Like a lot of modern ghost hunters, Mandy’s interest in seeking out the paranormal came from seeing it on TV.
“There was a show that used to be on TV called Most Haunted, and I used to watch it religiously every Friday night,” Mandy laughs. “They were a paranormal team from England, and I loved what they did. I had never seen anything like that before. Ironically, that show ended up getting busted as being fake. But I loved the idea of going into haunted places with night vision cameras and seeing creepy stuff going down. I remember going into work one night and saying to my friends ‘I want to start a paranormal team’ and that’s how it started. It was that simple.”
After a few arranged investigations, Mandy, along with two former co-workers, started Peterborough Paranormal in 2005. They created both a Facebook page and a web-site and it wasn’t long before messages from people living with ghosts began to come in. Her partners eventually moved on to other things, and fifteen years later Mandy’s focus with Peterborough paranormal has changed from not just investigating the unexplained, but in helping people understand and deal with what is going on in their homes. “My goal with Peterborough Paranormal is to help people understand what is going on in their home, as well as to confirm they are not crazy,” Mandy says. “I can also help the spirit to move on. I also help with house clearings and bad spirits. I can also help people to understand demons are really just psychopaths in spirit form, although I hate using the word demon because it freaks people out and gives the spirit too much power.”
“There are two different kind of house clearing,” Mandy continues. “The first kind is when you have a ‘grounded spirit’ and for that you go in its pretty simple. You light some sage and you call in the angels. I like to spiritually draw a door and you get everybody to come into the room and concentrate on the door, and then we lead the spirit into it and close it. That one’s pretty easy. But for the bad spirits, depending on how long they’ve been around for I might have to go in and make a number of tries.”
So what kinds of people are contacting Mandy? In my travels with her I’ve noticed both social and economic diversity in the people who have contacted Mandy. But Mandy has a different way of distinguishing between people who call her for help. “There are two types of people who will contact me,” she says. “There are the types who take it really seriously, and they are actually scared of what may be in their home. But then there are the people who think that paranormal investigators are entertainment and you come in and find that they’ve invited all their friends over from work and their neighbors are there and now it’s just a spectacle. That’s not to say that there isn’t something in their home, but now they’ve put their ghosts on display and we don’t experience anything that way.”
Just like in television and the movies, Mandy has invested in special equipment to help her communicate with ghosts or try to capture their images, but most of all she relies on her instincts in scouting out a paranormal situation. “The equipment I like the most in the technical aspect of things is my IR night vision security cameras, that I call The Beast, because it takes so long to set up and has so many parts to it but great for catching evidence,” Mandy says. “I also like my Ghost Box and voice recorder. But my most important tool is my intuition. I describe myself as an Empath and Intuitive. In the Myers-Briggs scale I am am INFJ – Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging. I consider myself to be a perfect balance of light and dark. Salvation and hell fire. A foot in both worlds. But I do use my dark side for good. It usually comes out when I see injustice happening. I can also usually tell by just talking to the person if they are exaggerating or not.
I ask her if there are any stories she’s never told publicly before and I’m surprised that she’s been holding back her scariest tales. But it’s not that she doesn’t want to tell them. It’s because people are afraid to hear them. “When I get interviewed nobody wants to talk about the dark stuff because it scares them,” she reveals. “A reporter that I spoke to last year said to me ‘I don’t want to awaken something and have it follow me home.’ Nothing would follow them home, but it scares them.”
Now I’m not afraid of Mandy telling her stories, because I’ve already experienced some truly frightening experiences first hand with her. Mandy has had some truly harrowing and frightening moments she can’t explain, like her first experience with a shadow person.
“I was just starting out, and very wet behind the ears, when a lady from Ennismore called me and told me that she had activity in her house,” Mandy remembers. “I didn’t know it at the time, but there was depression in the house which was feeding something very dark. Well, after I had come back from the investigation something strange happened. It was a hot muggy August night and I opened the window a little bit to let some air in, and ended up falling asleep at the foot of my bed. Well, I remember waking up in the middle of the night and I saw a hooded figure standing at my door. It was really tall, and the moment my eyes latched on to it, it moved at lightning speed and was suddenly beside my bed. It picked me up and threw me, and as it was throwing me I heard it say ‘You bitch.’ Well, it throws me and as I hit the wall I woke up. It was a dream, but it was so real that I knew that an entity had visited me and that it was sending me a message. These things can visit you in your dreams, and I came to understand afterwards that I had encountered a shadow person. I never saw it again, and never dreamt about it again but I can still hear it’s voice.”
Mandy also has a strong belief that the universe sends signals and warnings, and she notices when visited by ravens or crows that, within days, she will get a call from someone looking for help. “I believe that the raven is my spirit animal and my protector,” Mandy says. “And I believe that bad spirits know I’m coming even before people call me. So I’ve put it out into the universe that I need a code. I believe that if I see three crows and one raven within a day that a phone call is coming.”
“One weekend in 2016 I was at home and I looked into my back yard and there was a raven,” Mandy continues. “I was surprised because ravens rarely come into the city. But when I looked closer I saw a second raven had joined it. So I grabbed my phone because I had to get a picture of it. I snuck out really quietly so I could get a picture. But later that night, when I uploaded the picture onto my computer I noticed that there was a face in the bushes behind the raven. It was like the raven was standing between me and the face in the bush, like if it was protecting me. And then, the phone call came in. It was a lady that contacted me that told me that she was terrified for the safety of her children, and the family was so scared that they were sleeping together in the living room, huddled together. This was how bad it terrified them. She lived by Jackson Park, so I went up there to do a clearing, but once I got there I noticed there was layers of negative energy. I had to go back several time to cleanse the layers one at a time.”
But not every call that Mandy gets is legit. Sometimes, instead of people dealing with ghosts, they are hoping for something that isn’t there. “Sometimes people want their houses to be haunted,” says Mandy. “I went into a place in Apsley once and did an investigation, but once we went through all the evidence, we came up with nothing. So I had to call the people who owned the house up and tell her this and the lady got so mad and said we were fakes, just because we didn’t tell her what she wanted to hear. Often they are just watching too many paranormal investigation shows. To that I say be careful of what you wish for because there’s a negative spirit out there who would love to haunt your home and terrorize your family.”
With the acceptance of the existence of ghosts at an all-time high, and paranormal investigators becoming the new urban heroes, more and more people are getting into the act of interacting with ghosts. Although it is exciting, it does come with its dangers, and Mandy heeds warnings to inexperienced thrill seekers who want to play with the unknown. “With Halloween approaching, this is the time of year amateur Ghost Hunters like to go out and play and head to cemeteries and such,” she warns. “That’s fine but one must always protect their energy! Learn how to ground themselves and protect themselves so that nothing attached to them, because once those spirits are in, they can be very hard to get rid of. Once you’re marked, you’re marked for life.”
If you are experiencing paranormal phenomena in your home and you want Mandy’s services, or are looking for more information on the reality of paranormal investigation, contact Peterborough Paranormal via social media at https://www.facebook.com/ptboparanormal/.
PHOTO GALLERY BY SAMANTHA MOSS