BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF — Weird noises, strange voices, poltergeist activity — Gerry Rooney has seen and heard it all. And while you might not care to experience these things yourself, he actually goes around looking for them!
It's all in a days work for Gerry and his wife Laurie, two paranormal investigators whose company Team Spirit - The Science Behind Spirit hunts down disembodied souls just about anywhere they can be found. Their search has taken them all over Ontario, including Grey Highlands, Shelburne, Orangeville, Cambridge, Bayfield, Owen Sound and Wiarton. Based in Markdale, their team, which includes 7 other dedicated investigators, will visit and document supernatural occurrances, often invited by the home or business owners who are looking for corroboration of their own unsettling experiences.
"We don't interview our clients before the investigation. We go in blind!" said Rooney. Only after the investigation is completed, will the team reveal their findings and compare them with the client's own observations. "In some cases, the client will want us to get rid of the spirit, but often they just want to know that they, themselves, aren't going crazy," he said.
The pair have been ghost-busting for eight years but have only made it a formal business for the last two-and-a-half. A mild-mannered auto parts salesman by day, Gerry and the team do their super-sleuthing at night and on weekends. It's a schedule that keeps them busy three to five times a week chasing spirits, spending an average of four to five hours on-site but sometimes conducting their investigations over the course of an entire weekend.
If you have ever watched a paranormal investigation show on TV, you will be familiar with the standard equipment used in this vocation, such as electromagnetic field (EMF) meters, night vision cameras, video and voice recorders. It is with these gadgets that they have documented some seriously creepy stuff, including doors that forcefully open by themselves, chairs that move without anyone there to coax them and the disturbing image of a woman's face that mysteriously appeared on a bedroom wall.
Rooney insists that they try everything they can to debunk their experiences, checking for faulty door latches, open windows or doors that might create a draft or heightened EMF readings which could cause nausea, headaches and anxiety. They also operate with the utmost respect for the spirits they encounter. Despite this, Gerry reports that he and his wife have been scratched and bitten during their investigations.
Gerry is fascinated by the supernatural, so while some of this might seem pretty frightening to the rest of us, to him, it's part of the journey of learning. In fact, he is so enamored with their investigations, they currently don't charge anything for their service.
It's a fascination that began as a child. His first experience with otherworldly phenomenon happened at the age of 12 years. One night, he dreamt of his grandfather, sitting on the edge of his bed and waiting for his tea when all of a sudden, he slumped over. When he awoke, he knew his grandfather had died. Sure enough, news of his grandpa's passing came mere hours later. Later in life, when he was 17 years-old, he encountered a "full-on" poltergeist and that sealed his interest in the paranormal.
Brought up as a Roman Catholic, Gerry is well-aware that what he is doing goes against the teaching of his church. So, while he claims to be spiritual, he no longer associates himself with any religion. Recently, the couple purchased a hearse and have made it their Team Spirit signature vehicle. Creepy? Yes, but as Gerry points out, "it's rolling advertising for us."
Team Spirit - The Science Behind Spirit can be reached at 519-278-0788. Gerry and Laura Rooney and their team are at your service. When there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call?
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