INVESTIGATION AT CKUA RADIO
October 29th, 2009
In the fall of 2009, we were privileged enough to conduct an investigation at CKUA Radio on Jasper Ave and 105 Street. CKUA Radio is one of the oldest stations that have served the community for over 80 years.
Click here to visit the CKUA Site
I started a few days earlier before the actual investigation by meeting with Katrina, Director of Marketing and Sales, so I could see the layout of the place so I could plan how the investigation would be conducted, and to hear some of the stories of the ‘hauntings’. We met with another employee of the building who escorted us down to the basement. The one area we were taken too, had too, was separated into two long hallways. Down the one hallway, was a library of records, some bathrooms, and a computer desk at the end. The other hallway had the boiler room,
When we walked down the first hallway, the gentleman who was escorting us said there was a story of a possible maintenance man or security guard named ‘Sam’ who may have died while on duty, and was found by where the computer was set up. This is a story that has been around CKUA for a very long time.
Down the second hallway by the boiler room, he stopped to point out the antique safe, and explained that the building almost a century ago used to be a furrier (as other buildings on Jasper Ave that are lucky enough to escape the wrecking ball in the name of progress – for now), and then was a bank. He pointed out that at the end of this hallway, people felt like they were being watched, and some have reported that they could have sworn they have seen a ‘shadow’ cross from one side to the other.
The Night of the Investigation
We arrived that following Sunday night to conduct the investigation.. We had a team of 5 members (lead by myself with Wendy, Jess, Charmaine and Brenda), and were greeted by Katrina.
We the proceeded downstairs to set up in the first area, when we were greeted by Ken, the General Manager of the station. I introduced him to the team, and asked him if he wouldn’t mind if I taped a short interview with him on camera, so that we could record the stories of the hauntings.
Here is a small transcript of our interview:
Beth: “As far as the ghost or haunting, is there just one reported?”
Ken: “As far as I know its one, his name is ‘Sam’ and he was the caretaker in the building in the 1950’s. The story is that Sam died on the job one night in the building of a coronary. And since then there have been odd occurrences in the building. A couple of examples a former employee went into the washroom one night working late, washed her hands shut off the taps left the washroom (she was the only one in there) and the taps turned back on. Other incidences that have been reported were that doors would open and close and there would be nobody other than them in the room. We had an intern working here over the last couple of summers in the sub basement working alone and on a couple of occasions she got the feeling she wasn’t alone. One day she set her keys, which had a bunch of keys on it, working in the back corner cataloguing some records, and set her keys on the corner of the desk and she was working at the computer. When she finished working, her keys were gone. She looked on the floor, all around the room. She went to the main floor thinking she left them there. Searched everywhere, came back down to take one more look, and the keys were back on the corner of the desk where she originally left them. Another time she was working down here (the basement), she is not one of those people that is frightened by those things, she is quite smart and spunky, and she was working down here and a similar type thing happened where she left something on the desk and she was working away, then all of a sudden what she left on the desk was knocked on the floor. She turned around and said STOP IT. After that she had no more problems.”
Beth: “Is that the desk that is back here? (the basement at the end of the hallway).
Beth: “And what about the bathroom, is that one of the ones down here?”
Ken: “No, that was on the fourth floor.”
Beth: “And the gentleman who died, did he die in here?”
Ken: “In the building yes, but I am not sure exactly where, but it was when he was making his rounds”
Beth: “And how long has the reported sightings and stories been going on?”
Ken: “Well the ones that I am familiar with have been since the 80’s. The ones with the intern was just this last summer (2009).
Beth: “And I have heard that people have been reporting a shadow going down this hallway (the second hallway by the boiler room)”
Ken: “I have heard those stories second hand, although I have heard that people have been walking down the hallway (upper floor) and they will see a shadow go right through out the window.”
Beth: “Would you say that most of the incidences are happening down here (the basement) or on the upper floors?”
Ken: “Well I don’t know, I haven’t experienced anything myself, but the intern was in this room, and I have heard stories of people seeing something on the main floor, and the washroom on the fourth floor”.
Ken: “The only other thing that might be of interest to you is that we had people in that do your line of work here about 4 or 5 years ago on the other side of the building, they had night vision cameras and thought they had something. After the fact they sent me a CD of stuff they recorded and on the CD there was a sound of a voice, at first I didn’t hear it ,but they said if you listen at this point and here something that sounded like it might have been a voice.”
Beth: “Where did they pick that up?
Ken: “It was down here on the other side (other basement hallway by the boiler)
Beth: “That’s one thing we do is listen for noises like the water pipes and what noises equipment makes to see if that could be causing such sounds”.
We thanked him for letting us in to conduct the investigation. Now hearing about the 4th floor, I was hoping we could fit this area into the investigation that night (usually before an investigation after hearing reports, I usually plan the night in advance so we can concentrate on areas that seem to have the most activity. The previous walk around with the other male employee, the 4th floor was not mentioned).
First baseline testing and walkaround in the second hallway (B. Fowler in photo)
We started by doing a ‘walk around’, this is where we take our cameras and equipment, and take baseline readings. These readings are used when we conduct the actual investigation to see if there is any fluctuations in the readings (this includes taking EMF, temperature, humidity and sound readings). The first place we went into, was the second hallway by the boiler. Almost as soon as we went in, the EMF started climbing. I moved the EMF up towards the ceiling, where pipes and wires were, and it went off the charts. As we followed all the way down to the other end, where there are furnaces and other machinery set up, the EMF stayed at its highest setting. This explains the symptoms of ‘being watched’ or not even feeling well. At this high of a field, prolonged exposure can even lead to hallucinations in some cases. The following picture shows that hallway looking back down it towards the entrance, you can see the duct-work, pipes, etc on the ceiling.
Still taken from video showing me beside a large machine where the EMF was extreme.
As we were walking, a couple of ‘orbs’ went flying by my screen. This turned out to be small fruit flies and nothing more. . As we were walking, I also noticed because of the dank lighting, there is a corner of the eye phenomenon situation this is where you think you see a shadow out of the corner of your eye, but again it’s a natural experience.
We went to the end, where there is a stairwell and some rooms beyond. As I walked into one of the rooms, my video camera went out of focus. I asked Charmaine to come with her camera in the same spot – same thing happened. We took the EMF meter, and again it wanted to read beyond its capacity, which means extreme high EMF fields were interfering with the camera operations.
We walked back to the other room where the computer is situated, and we began to prepare for the nights investigation. We set up a locked off camera in front of the computer desk up against the wall, shooting down the hallway. Because of the story with the female staff member who had her keys disappear and reappear, I took a piece of lined paper out and put my keys on it, and traced it with a black felt (being filmed within view of the locked off camera). This is to see if there was any movement in my keys, and if so, the camera would also be able film this.
We then set up a digital recorder, turned off the lights, and all team members proceeded to go into the other hallway.
We set up down at the end of the second hallway and set up a locked off camera. The camera had trouble staying in focus, again because of the high EMF readings. We sat down and conducted an EVP session. We stayed in this area for about 30 minutes. Nothing happened except for corner of the eye phenomenon, and a tiny fluctuation in the EMF readings.
The end of the other hallway were we set up for our second evp experiment, taken from a still from the locked off night vision camera. (Wendy, Brenda and Jess)
We then proceeded to the first location, and on the way Wendy noticed a flight of stairs going up by the bathroom. While Brenda set up a locked off camera at the opening of this hallway, Wendy and I proceeded upstairs.
There were two flights of stairs, leading into a dark room. As soon as we walked in, Wendy and I both looked at each other and commented how the ‘air changed’. It was like walking into ‘pea soup’ the air was so thick. I hollered downstairs for one of the team to bring me up the EMF and a flashlight.
As soon as we got the EMF and the flashlight, I walked towards the center of the room. This part of the building has a very high ceiling, and even with a 15 foot ladder I wouldn’t have been able to even get near the ceiling. The room is full of machinery and looks like a place of storage and where repairs are conducted. I noticed a huge fuse box near the side wall, and walked towards it with the EMF. The reading stayed constant, until I got near the box and it went up by 3 levels. I then turned around and went into the center of the room and hit another EMF field. This one was higher than what the field over by the box was reading. I moved the meter up, and the reading went down. I then moved it towards the floor, same thing, the reading went down. The field was in ‘mid air’ about 3 feet off the floor. I then started to walk away, and again it moved down. The field seemed to be concentrated in a 2 foot area 3 feet off the ground. I then asked Wendy to get the rest of the team with the K2 and the cameras.
Still from camera, the green line shows my height, so you can compare how high the ceiling is and how far away the pipes and electricity are.
We started filming this fluctuation on camera. The field stayed in the same spot. We then started asking questions to the K2 meter, but it was the EMF that started reacting as if there was something talking through it (and it was stationary). I then felt as though someone kicked me in the back of the leg, and Charmaine who was holding the K2 had a shock go up her arm. The field then was asked to move to the K2, and it did. The EMF was still reacting to the questioning, and now so was the K2 (anytime we get equipment, we do extensive testing to see if it would interfere with each other. The K2 and EMF have no reaction when even touching and no reaction with the cameras we use).
Still from Night Vision, showing the responses we were getting on the K2
Our line of questioning then switched to trying to ‘pin down’ what this might be contacting us (if this was the case). From our questioning, the name wasn’t Sam, and wasn’t even a male. We asked if it wouldn’t mind following us downstairs while we conducted an EVP session where we were setting up. The answer seemed to be that it would follow us.
The team then went downstairs to finish setting up. Brenda finished setting up the one locked off camera with night vision at the entry of the hallway, and we kept the other one where it had originally been recording. We then went to the experiment we set up with the keys to see if anything had changed, unfortunately nothing happened.
Still taken from locked off camera shooting down first hallway towards where the desk is, and where we conducted our EVP session.
I turned off the lights as we all situated ourselves around the one camera and we started our EVP work. We again started asking out questions, The K2 meter would either light up or not move (light up to yes, stay silent to no). From our line of questioning and the responses we received, again ‘it’ was communicating that the name was not Sam, that there never was a Sam, that it was female, and had been here when the building was a bank.
During this line of questioning I happened to look down towards the hallway and saw a shadow move. I jumped up with the flashlight and went to investigate. There was nothing down there, and I even searched around each corner to see if someone might have come down there to either see what we were doing, or to play a trick (it has happened). After being satisfied there was no one else there, I rejoined my team.
We continued with the questioning, and asked if someone else was down there, the response was ‘yes’. I glanced down the hallway again and saw the same shadow, as it moved. I again grabbed the flashlight and ran down, maybe catching someone playing a trick. Again nothing was down there, and I went back and sat down. Then it happened a third time, and this time I gauged the height. When I went down there and compared the shadow that I saw to the point on the wall, it was about 6 foot 9. But again when I went down there, there was nothing. At this point I was hoping the locked off camera down the other end, where the shadow was closest too, would have captured something.
We continued with our EVP work, and decided after a while when the equipment seemed to be slowing down, to call it a night. We packed up and went upstairs to meet with Katrina and the security guard again, and to hand in my security clearance card.
It was very unfortunate we didn’t make it up to the 4th floor, but it was getting very late (team members had to get up early to go to their ‘normal’ jobs), and as I had stated before we had things planned out before we went.
Katrina mentioned that she and the security guard were calling my name at one point, during our last EVP session. The were at the entrance of that hallway, yet no one on the team heard anything. I thought maybe that was one of them casting the shadow, but when I ran down there – I would have caught whomever it was.
REVIEW OF DATA
We distributed the audio and video within the team, and prepared to review all data. Even though others in the team does review the audio and visual, I still like to review everything myself as well. The digital recorder that I was reviewing, had nothing on it except the drone of the boiler and other machines in the basement. After listening to it for a while, it does start to sound like a man talking. This is a ‘audio trick of the ear’ caused by the different pitches of the sounds coming from the boiler and other equipment, and nothing more.
The video camera that was locked off at the entry of the hallway while I was seeing this shadow caught nothing, except me running down the hallway with the flashlight. Even though I could have sworn I saw something and it moved, we must chalk this up to the corner of the eye phenomenon (although I was looking directly at it). Unfortunately in dark conditions with a tiny bit of light, they eye will play tricks. I did catch however, Katrina and the security guard calling my name, yet again we couldn’t hear them from the other end of the hallway (due to all the ‘overtones’ from the sounds coming from the machinery).
There was nothing on the other digital recorder. I was becoming quite disappointed, that was until I reviewed the locked off camera footage from the first hallway, when we conducted our first EVP session in the other hallway.
On this camera, you see us setting up our key experiment, and you see all the team members leave the room. About 10 minutes into the tape, you hear a sound that sounded like singing. When I enhanced it (bringing up that sounds and lowering background noise), you hear a little girl singing ‘go back – all the way back’.
CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO
Now I did consider that maybe it was someone outside of the room (again the camera would have caught someone coming in), but then again, that camera did not catch Katrina calling my name when we did the second EVP session (it remained in the same spot throughout the investigation). Then I considered maybe because we were in a radio station, that my camera somehow picked up a ‘signal’ and recorded it. But there was no music in the background, and it was just that sound of a little girl singing ‘go back – all the way back’. I also considered that if this was the case, because that camera was kept constantly running it should have picked up other signals from the station. And besides, none of the songs that night had little girls singing.
As far as me feeling like I was being kicked in the back of the leg in the upper room, at work we had a fire drill a couple days earlier (I worked in an office building). It was just a case of tired older legs still feeling the effects of that drill, and from standing up for over an hour.
The electric shock the other investigator felt in her arm shortly after that happened to myself, could be chalked up to the fact she had been hanging onto the K2 meter, holding it mid air for quite a while.
As far as personal experiences, those can never be considered real ‘proof’. The reactions we received through our line of questioning and responses through the K2 and EMF meter, was very interesting and we ruled out interferences with all equipment and machinery (including the computer). And it seemed every time we asked a question, we received a response. And we even purposely waited to ask questions, to make sure it wasn’t a repetitive field. It also was not as a result of faulty equipment, so I found this most interesting, especially with the ‘answers’ we seemed to receive.
The most important piece of data we collected was that EVP we caught on video of ‘go back – all the way back’. I ruled out all other explanations, and the best thing is, it was caught on video. When it comes to EVP’s, its hard to justify them, especially to the hard sceptics. A lot of people question ‘how do we know it wasn’t someone in the room, or that it wasn’t falsified?’, and that is a good question. But here we have it on video, were we can see everyone leaving the room, and no one entering it while we were gone. Also, at the same time, we can see where all team members were, by the other video conducting the first EVP session in the other hallway. I must say this is one of the most exciting pieces of data that I have captured.
As far as what the previous team captured, if this is the same team that showed their video on a local news show during Halloween, the thing they ‘captured’, even my mother (who had cataracts at the time), mentioned it sure looked like a moth flying by. As far as hearing their voice, I would love to hear this myself. But if they caught it in the other hallway by the boiler room, again with the combined noises of all the machinery, it causes a overtone effect that could sound like a voice. Especially if there is a slight pitch change to the boiler or the noise in the pipes, one might hear it and ‘read’ there is a voice in it. With our voice, it was clear, you could hear it was a girl singing. You could definitely not mistake it for machinery or any other noises in the basement.
So is CKUA haunted? I can say there is something definitely happening there. But I cannot come out and say it is 100% haunted, without conducting more investigations. We hope to go back to do a follow up investigation and conduct some more experiments, especially on the 4th floor. But from what we gathered, if we were in contact with someone or something that is in the building, there is no ‘Sam’, but who knows? We hope to also check out any records and newspapers from the 1950’s to see if there was a Sam that died in the building.
Updated: - I did go back to CKUA myself with a student from NAIT who was doing a paper, and I noticed that there are speakers on downstairs in the hallways now. I asked one of the staff if they could be turned off, but sadly, no (they are actual speakers that are fed into the airwaves). So because of the sound contamination from the music, we won't be able to do another investigation at this time.