Who Ya Gonna Call?

Darryll Walsh is Halifax's Ghost Buster - By Kelly Shiers (Staff Reporter)

In Darryll Walsh’s sometimes spooky world, things go bump in the night, lights flicker for no reason, mysterious images show up in photographs and people many spontaneously burn up.

For this ghost hunter, it’s all in a day’s (or night’s) work.

For a group of Halifax students, it’s just a matter of course.

“Ghosts are my passion,” he said, recalling that as a child, long after he was supposed to have gone to bed, he would lie awake hoping to overhear family ghost stories. Like the one about the chair that rocked for four days before word came that his uncle had been killed overseas during the Second World War.

After finishing a university degree in counselling psychology, Mr. Walsh obtained a graduate degree in parapsychology from an institute in California.

Three years ago, he began teaching at the Nova Scotia Community College about paranormal subjects – ghosts, ESP, near-death experiences – that had captivated his attention since childhood.

That makes him a rare individual in this country.

“In the United States, you can’t go anywhere without knocking over a ghost hunter or someone teaching it or one of those 1-900 psychic lines but in Canada, it’s almost ignored,” he said.

This year he began teaching, he also established the Centre for Parapsychological Studies in Canada, where people could obtain balanced information on ghosts and related subjects.

But the original mandate has expanded.

“What I should which have foreseen – but I guess I’m not psychic – is that people ant investigators,” he said.

Over the past 18 months, the centre’s 20 members, who act as investigators and researchers, have taken on three cases, including a mysterious ghost photo and an alleged haunted house.

While some details are confidential, Mr. Walsh said plans are underway to analyze the picture to try and explain the presence, in a recent shot of a British castle, of what seems to be a man dressed in the high-collar-and-cravat style of the late 1800s.

He said there are three possible explanations for the image: the image was a double exposure; the image was put there deliberately; or “it’s truly a ghost.”

Next month, members hope to begin work on what’s said to be a haunted house in Mount Uniacke, using equipment such as camcorders, motion sensors, tape recorders and temperature probes, “We’ve never had an opportunity like this before,” Mr. Walsh said.

The popularity of the courses – about 100 students have signed up – and the Centre is proof that people everywhere love a mystery, especially one that involves the supernatural he said.

He said he bases his opinions on fact, after carefully considering the evidence.

But it’s clear he hopes one day to come across a ghost.

“If I never see a ghost, I’ll be disappointed. But if I never prove the existence of a ghost, no, I won’t be disappointed,” he said.

“The hunt is the fun of it.”