I attended a paranormal investigation at the Old Bank Bistro in Fort Erie at the end of April. It was organized by the Paranormal Investigation Society of Toronto (yes, its acronym is PIST). The investigation itself was a lot of fun and a great experience. The food there was good, and I met a lot of nice people. But the real amazing stuff happened for me before I arrived at the Old Bank Bistro itself.
Anyone who watches the Rescue Mediums on television is familiar with their routine. Each of the two psychic ladies will try to get some psychic impressions about the place they will be investigating and create a list of the premonitions that they receive. They are not told anything about the location or the occupants or what spirits might be haunting it. So, their lists are based on nothing but pure psychic connection.
I thought that was a great idea, and suggested to my husband and paranormal partner in crime that we try that for ourselves. We had been provided a few details on the investigation beforehand, though it was not a lot of information. I hadn't read all the details on it. I only knew that we were going to investigate a restaurant that was purported to be haunted by the former owner, who owned the property when it was a bank.
We both came up with a list of items and read them out to each other. I had no idea how we'd verify any of it, but I thought that the things that I picked up were interesting. Among other things, when I focused on the former owner and how he died, I picked up that he had stomach cancer. I also saw a laneway or alleyway between the bank and the building next to it.
When we arrived at the Bistro, I was a little disappointed to see that there was no laneway between the buildings. I wondered again how we'd be able to verify any of the items we had on our lists. As it turns out, there was a historian there who had dug into the history of the building and of the former owner, and she was able to verify for me almost everything on my list.
Richard, the bank's owner and the Bistro's resident ghost, did indeed have stomach cancer when he died. His birth record says he died of an accidental gunshot wound, but the suspicion was that he shot himself when he could no longer endure the pain of his stomach cancer. When I was trying to tap into him to get a sense of how he died, I felt excruciating stomach pain and received the thought "stomach cancer."
I've learned in the time that I've been practicing with mediumship, that one of the things I seem to get most easily is bodily sensations of what the spirit to whom I'm connecting felt. Sometimes I will also get an accompanying thought or image that provides some more details, but usually the sensation of their pain says it all.
When I mentioned to the historian that I had also seen a laneway or alleyway between the bank and the building next to it, she laughed and said, "You're standing in it." The Bistro had incorporated the laneway into the restaurant, and when I looked more closely around the narrow room in which we were standing, I was able to see that we were indeed standing in what had been an alleyway between this building and the one next to it.
Other interesting "hits" on my list were the name Eliza/Liza. Richard's mother's name was Elizabeth, and a common nickname at the time was Eliza or Liza. I also had received an impression of Richard himself - that he considered himself a "gentleman" and always dressed very elegantly and very businesslike. He also had his hair slicked back and a prominent mustache. When the historian showed me a picture with Richard in it, I recognized the man I had seen in my impression.
An "impression" is not a clear image, which is why I refer to it as an impression. I know what the complete image looks like, but it's not as if I'm looking at a clear photo. Thoughts tend to also flow in with impressions to round out the information I'm getting.
There was more information that I got, most of which the historian was able to verify, some of which she was not able to verify. After all of that, though, everything else seemed anti-climactic, though I did enjoy the investigation. With all the living people milling around, though, it seemed to me that the ghosts made themselves pretty scarce.
Still, it was an enjoyable way to spend the evening and I'd love to go back to the Old Bank Bistro just to have lunch or dinner there again. They don't have much to offer off the menu if you are trying to eat vegan, which I do when I'm doing paranormal work, but the very nice waitress was able to accommodate me and place a special order for me. My fellow investigators also made the evening worth the price of admission - especially the historian.