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Archived Article – From Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Saskatchewan group collects ghost stories, investigates supernatural

By Luke Simcoe, The StarPhoenix April 20, 2009 7:18 AM

For an avowed ghost hunter, 29-year-old Colin Tranborg is surprisingly skeptical.
Travis Hiebert (left) and Colin Tranborg founded Paranormal Saskatchewan in 2004 Photograph by: Richard Marjan, The StarPhoenix

“For the most part, I’m a pretty big skeptic myself,” he said. “Just because something is creaking at night doesn’t mean it’s paranormal.”

In 2004, Tranborg and his friend Travis Hiebert started Paranormal Saskatchewan — a loose affiliation of otherworldly enthusiasts — with the goal of collecting ghost stories and investigating paranormal activity around the province.“We’re so used to our day-to-day lives,” he said. “So paranormal stuff is anything that doesn’t fit into that realm.”

Armed with an array of digital, film and infrared cameras, as well as audio recorders — useful for capturing what Tranborg refers to as “electronic voice phenomenon,” or EVPs — the group’s 17 members have conducted investigations at nightclubs, hotels and cemeteries around Saskatoon.

Tranborg claims to have gathered evidence of ghostly voices in hotel basements and mysterious apparitions in local graveyards.

The group’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Its website caught the attention of author Jo-Anne Christensen, who interviewed Tranborg for the latest volume in her Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan series.

“There’s a lot of local legends around here,” Tranborg said, citing tales of the St. Louis ghost train, hauntings at the Delta Bessborough Hotel or incidents at the old Fort Qu’Appelle tuberculosis sanatorium. “Saskatchewan has a really rich history and there’s a lot of paranormal history that goes along with that.”

The group is also contacted by people who want them to investigate paranormal activity in their homes, but Tranborg says he and his team try to avoid those situations.

“We’ve been solicited a couple of times, but we’re wary about those kinds of things,” he said. “Older houses tend to creak a lot naturally.”

In keeping with his self-proclaimed skepticism, Tranborg is the first to admit that little, if any, of the evidence the group has gathered amounts to anything definitive, but he’s convinced proof of the paranormal is out there.

“It’s just a matter of who’s going to get it and how they’re going to get it,” he said. “And whether they can duplicate it.”

But until such time as he conjures indisputable proof of the supernatural, Tranborg says he’s content to enjoy the search.

“This is a group for fun,” he said. “It’s intriguing because it’s uncharted territory.”

To find out more about Paranormal Saskatchewan, join an investigation or share a ghost story, visit www.paranormalsask.com.

 

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