Our Trip to Alcatraz by Calvin

On August 11th 1934, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary opened for business, so to speak. 84 years, 6 months, and 8 days later, The Coldspotters arrived for our 1 day sentence. Unlike past inmates, our incarceration was completely voluntary, and there were no escape attempts.

Before i ever set foot on the island for the first time, (this would be my third trip) I watched any Alcatraz documentary that was known to man. Couldn’t read every book of course since there was,  at last count, about 18 trillion different written works about the place and it would have taken me 84 years to read them all. But, I felt I was well prepared anyways, I even lived for 1 week prior on a diet of dry oatmeal, steamed olives, and 30s era jazz music, all of which were enough to induce a gripping case of 30s era dysentery, but, I digress. I felt I had armed myself with enough intel about the place.

As soon as I stepped off the boat, and looked up at that forbidding looking structure, I knew I didn’t have to watch a single show about it, or read a single book. The walls, the grounds, the general ambience told me all I needed to know.

84 years. 14 known escape attempts, which works out to 0.1666666 per year, not bad. Alot of the inmates had fame and notoriety even before being sent there (Al Capone to name 1) while others arrived as unknowns and gained the fame, like lifelong criminal Frank Morris, portrayed in the movie Escape from Alcatraz by Clint Eastwood, seen here with the shit eating grin.


Frank Morris and his band of Anglins were the first ones to seemingly, and so far successfully, escape from Alcatraz and remain at large to this very day. The folklore surrounding this story run almost as deep as the prison itself and the debate of their survival will rage on. hardly any debate at all some will say, they “obviously” drown in the bay, their bodies carried out to sea where subsequently they were either consumed by a horde of sea lions or entombed in the watery grave that is the Pacific Ocean. Others say that is absolute hogwash, they were skilled, intelligent and stealthy. They easily made it to the mainland, set off on foot and vanished into the world,  never to be detected or break the law ever again.

Chances are, we never really find out which one occurred, but judging from the sheer volume of their escape plan, the prep work, the other inmates who helped, the months of meticulous back channeling, passing things from cell to cell, smuggling and constructing, digging and finally getting out… it would be a bit of a letdown to find out that after all of that, they ended up as TV dinners.

frank morris cell

Frank Morris’s Cell in Alcatraz with his dummy head as a decoy

We booked the evening tour which I would highly suggest. The boat going over seemed pretty full, but once we got there, most of the tourists, except for us, did the guided audio tour, we guided ourselves. Oddly, even with all the people there, we felt like we had the place all to ourselves. Large groups were on one side of the prison, leaving us, virtually alone, on the other.

After obtaining permission from one of the park rangers (his name was Vicky), we headed to a very empty D Block and set up some recorders and tried to do an impromptu evp session. Standing in these cells you feel completely at it’s mercy, even though you can’t close the doors now and it’s pretty much bathed in light, you still feel like those walls are slowly moving inwards and a small part of your brain that knows no logic whispers in your ear..get comfy, you’re going to be here awhile.






The evp sessions were interesting, and listening to them at home later on brought the entire experience to life a second time.

In all honesty, the first time I visited Alcatraz,  I was surprised to note the main cell house was smaller than what I imagined it would be. I mean, it’s not small as such, but obviously in the movies it came across as something that was so vast and imposing in it’s size that it would overwhelm anyone. In Reality it’s not that big, you can make it from one end of the building to the other in quick order, the warden’s office is at the front, the mess hall is at the back, cell block in the middle, prison library is kind of off to the one side adjacent to D Block.







Other buildings on the site were either destroyed by fire or fell into decay and were never opened to the general public, which is a pity since seeing everything on the island would have been BOSS !!!

Alcatraz is a place that is steeped in rich history, as unpleasant as some of that history is, is should not be ignored or swept under the rug. I highly recommend that anyone visiting the Bay Area, take a day and go and visit some real history. I would assume that my three visits will eventually turn into forth or fifths.







On a cold December night in 1980 I was in my bedroom. It was early evening and I was listening to the old CBS Radio Mystery Theater that used to rerun on KIRO Radio from Seattle. For some reason, at night and over 1000 miles away in northern Alberta, I could tune this station in as clear as if it were broadcasting from across the street, and I spent many nights listening to that show and getting the daylights scared out of me. Incidentally, many of those old shows are on YouTube now if you want to have a listen, they seem hokey to me now, but when I was twelve years old, I went through more than my share of light bulbs because of it. Not to stray too far from the talking points here, just wanted to set the tone.

On this particular night, it was a Monday and we always had to be in bed early as it was a school night. I was settling in when breaking news came over the radio. John Lennon, formerly of and most famous for being in the Beatles, had been shot to death in front of his apartment building in NYC. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced DOA. His assassin, who shall remain nameless (as well as soulless) was subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

Over the years I thought a lot about that death and how it affected people. I watched on TV the vigil that happened outside the Dakota building where the tragedy took place. I knew that someday, I would get the opportunity to go there, in a pilgrimage kind of way, to pay respects to the person who had helped change the world through his music.

Also, over the years, I became all to familiar with the ensuing reports that the famous New York landmark building was haunted by the ghost of it’s famous former tenant.

Walk down any street in Midtown and you won’t get very far before coming across some famous place that you saw a thousand times on TV. So much heritage and history surrounds this city and it’s family of architecture that it’s almost mind boggling. Paranormal folklore and NYC go almost hand in hand. Such as the case with the Dakota.

When I first walked up to the spot where his murder happened, I felt like I was in some kind of suspended animation, partly because I could not believe I was actually there, but because the place had such a strong energy coming off of it, which I had to concede was at least partially due to some sort of psychological matrixing that was 36 years in the making.


The doorman to the building was really nice, I got his permission to let fly with the camera, something he was probably very used to, but I didn’t want to start snapping pics unless he gave me the nod. I rattled off over 100 pictures of that spot from every possible angle save for scaling up the building for a drop down shot. I had my go-pro going the entire time (goes without saying).

As a paranormal investigator, we self train to keep both an open mind and to question everything. When I got home and uploaded my content, I really wanted to drop the “question everything” part and look for any abnormality, shadow, reflection, or lens flare to use as proof that I had the first ever ghostly capture of John Lennon. Obviously I could not do that.

I did feel a little bit intrusive (despite the tour bus that had stopped behind me at one point with 400 cameras going off at once) So I quietly slinked away. I did have my family with me and I also wanted my kids to understand why it was important for me to visit this spot (not entirely for ghostie stuff, like I said..but to pay my respects)

John Lennon himself had spoken very openly with friends about sightings he encountered in the building. The place was alleged to be haunted long before he even lived there, and the subject fascinated him. In Particular, a seemingly residual apparition of a young woman he dubbed the crying woman, would wander the halls of the Dakota. This sighting was reported by many other people over the years.

Lennon’s ghost has been spotted also by many,  at the entrance to the building where he was shot and Yoko Ono herself has said that he has visited her several times to offer reassurance. I like to think his spirit lives there to this day, calmly watching the southerly panoramic view of Midtown Manhattan from his 7th floor apartment, staying close to the ones he loved most, and humming up a few new songs.

The Dakota is an amazing New York Landmark, just standing there and looking up at it from the corner of 72nd and Central Park West was an absolute pleasure. It would be a great place to hold a paranormal investigation. Hell, it would be a great place to live. Chances of either of those actually happening of course, would be about as slim as the odds could possibly get.



Beautifully Spooktacular by Amanada

Being investigators, we consider many different aspects of the space we are investigating.  As much as we are there in the moment looking for something created within the space by an otherworldly being, we also must take the time to acknowledge the space itself and how it may attract, cause or even enhance what we think is within.

For example, when buildings in general are created, they are designed quite specifically.  The designers or builders have an idea in mind of what kind of space this will be, it will be created with the choices of how to make these ideas or dreams reality.

If we want light we put up grand windows, eclipse doors or lighting fixtures. This will make all our dark spots bright and as we all know without light there are no shadows.

If we want an area to entertain, we ask for open spaces with tall ceilings and plenty of room.  Give us great Acoustics where someone says something softly and it’s heard across the room with no effort but plenty of detection.   These open spaces that are full of light can often bring tons of opportunity for growing shadows and echoed moans.

Beautifully Spooktacular.

Now putting obvious “debunks” aside, what if your floors are made of stone and your water features are constantly flowing?  Will this help imprint the constant energies created?   What about electrical conduit and the basements “fear cage” theories?  I think it would be interesting to look back in history and see what Architectural designs or styles now hold the most haunted lore.

What about you?

#haunted #hauntedhistory #hauntedblog #gotghosts #designerghosts #oldsouls #coldspots #coldspotters #ghost #history #architect #building #hauntedhouse #hauntedhalls #hauntedsoul

I see the Bad Moon Rising… by Amanda

“I see the Bad Moon Rising…” For all my life those very words have reminded me of one thing and one thing only; Scooby Doo chase scenes. Holy Moly I loved Scooby Doo. I wanted to be a meddling kid! I wanted to catch Black Beards Ghost, The Black Knight, Miner Forty Niner and the scariest of pursuits The Headless Specter. My parents once had a scavenger hunt for my birthday and one clue was “Where Scooby Doo Lives”. I was out like a shot into the back yard, digging through an unused dog kennel and dog house. My Dad had to drag me back inside and point me to the TV. It made no sense- Why would a DOG live in a TV? It never occurred to me that Scooby wasn’t real. This world was mine and one day, so help me god I would get my team together, climb in our van and we would hunt those spooky beings.

In Toys R Us recently and I was so jealous of all there paranormally charged toys; Monster High, Jack Skelton this and that everywhere, Lego has a classic Monster set out, even the Bratz dollz have gotten a reboot to the scary side of things. Keep on looking through the aisles and find My Pet Monster, Ghostbusters and Scooby Doo…. Wait a sec. These aren’t new toys- These are my old toys! Why am I jealous?
Time for an actual and honest look at my influences of child hood; I had Count VonCount on Sesame Street, Casper the Friendly Ghost, I had My Pet Monster, The Berenstain Bears & the Spooky Tree. I was into, up, through, over, down, and out of all of these spooky themes which leads me to believe they were there for me too. I loved Ghostbusters and Betelguese, Betelguese, Betelguese! I was a kid looking into the static on TV and wondering where in fact did Carol Anne go?

Before living in Canada my brother used to get comics /annuals called Beano and Dandy. I was so jealous as I always got the lame girl versions called Trixie and Mandy. Although what I remember from those is there would always be a weird surreal story, with photographs as pictures, of a girl who moves far away and gets a surprise visit one day from her bestie, only to go home and be told she died the night before, or a girl who keeps dreaming that shes driving with her dad and gets in a horrid accident only to discover she is actually dead and cant stop reliving the horror until she finally lets go of her family. WHAT!!!

Now the mention of some of these programs & stories has aged me, but it wasn’t just my generation that was entertained by the creepy and insane. In fact it just keeps going back and back. I wasn’t the first to enjoy Scooby Doo, that ship sailed in 1969. Back when Monsters were really cool and all lived together in old dilapidated houses. (Sorry Being Human – but not exactly original). Back when Wolfmen were gnarly and looked nothing like Michael J Fox , Vampires were really old and would scoff then silently kill such sparkling schmucks as Edward “Sourpuss” Cullen. In all reality these creatures are nothing new in the entertainment world for children. Who remembers The Hilarious House of Frightenstein?

Lets keep the creepy going for our kids!  How about you?  What do you remember from childhood that would entertain & scare you?

I would say I had my fair share of creepy in my early years. I love that it spills out into my adult ones. And now “I see the Bad Moon Rising…” I got my team – its now time to invest in that van!

Fraser River Kitteh!

I moved into my current dwelling 6 months ago.  It’s a peaceful place alongside the Fraser that offers me a view of our working river and the silence of history that is Poplar Island.  Although this blog is about neither (future blog potential is quite high) it’s about a furry four legged visitor that has been coming around as of late.

Mr. Kitteh came into our lives August 2010.  He was Best friends with our dearest Sookie and in all accounts he was the Cats Meow.  My Son Nathan named him, loved him and kept him by his side up until May 27th 2013.  Nathan (19) was moving back home after working up north and had sent Mr. Kitteh down prior to his bus trip.  Mr. Kitteh promptly ran away and didn’t come back.  We looked everywhere, we left food out and we even tried to bribe our other cat, St. Augustine, to tell us where he is. He told us nothing and now Mr. Kitteh is missed.

I have heard many stories of animals that have passed, continuing on in our lives as we knew them.  I have a dear friend who lives in Saskatchewan who believes they are daily visited by a departed dog, and whose other dog still spends part of her day playing with her old buddy.  In fact the surviving dog hasn’t really missed a beat in this relationship.

Is our deep and loving connection to our animals strong enough to outlast death?

Another different yet similar story of this connection is an old favourite of mine. In 1858 John Grey, a policeman with the Edinburgh City Police, passed away, leaving behind his best buddy, a Skye Terrier, reportedly named “Bobby”.

Now in this legend its not the spirit of a deceased dog that does not let go of his or her  Human, its a tale of a dog who does not let go of the spirit of their deceased Human. (Did I loose you?  read it again, its in there)

Bobby hung in until his death, 14 years later, keeping vigil at his departed’s gravesite.  In fact if you go to the Museum of Edinburgh you can visit Bobbys license and collar.  Visit the Greyfriars Kirkyard in Old Edinburgh and you will be able to visit not only his owners gravesite but his as well. My favourite part of the story is that to this very day if you are very lucky you will catch a glimpse of Greyfriars Bobby sniffing around.

But that’s in Scotland, by the Firth of Forth and we need to travel back to my story in Canada, by the Mighty Fraser.

I have watched; it’s not a rat or a racoon. It’s not the neighbors dog and it certainly is not fully–full.  Its not quite touching the ground and the colour I cannot describe.  It darts out of sight just when you see it and if given chase it simply just vanishes. It’s very much a cat and just to be clear, I don’t believe this is menacing or Pet semeteryish at all. I don’t think having a spirit cat hanging around is at all like Sr. Charles Baskerville and his hound. I’m not cursed, I’m not blessed – I’m just visited. The most i can say about it is: I think its Mr. Kitteh.

My Son has since gone back to his job in Alberta and it seems Mr Kitteh, the cat has indeed come back to ours!

What do you think? Do animals have special connections to us beyond the grave?  Both Ours and theirs? Let’s talk!Image

United we Stand.. Divided we FAIL!

Hello Coldspotters!

Heres a question for you!  Why can’t we all get along? I am constantly trouble at how many groups are out there and how many horrible things I have heard about them.  Every so often I hear a nice tidbit but usually I get a report of how inferior a certain group is or most recently – how idiotic my group seems.  Childish, and really I usually have no time for it & laugh it off but this month, I have taken note.  It is damn well ridiculous.  We started Coldspotters to grow as a community within our extended community of Paranormal Researchers, Enthusiasts, Home owners and Skeptics.  We started hosting events to make sure there was a safe place for all enthusiasts and intrigued minds to meet and exchange stories.  There is taboo around believing in ghosts and I know from experience that common names we all have heard is weirdos, creeps and quacks, so I will be darned if I ever let any negative influence take over my belief and vision of the safe space Coldspotters can be in any one life.  I will not tolerate beratement of any members or teammates, and I will not stand to have my or any Coldspotters name blurred by jealousy.

If you have a question, please ask it.

If you have a concern, please voice it.

If you have a challenge, stand up for it.

But please please do not take all the work, & all the ghosthunter passion pooling around this big blue “orb” and cast judgement and negativity on it.

What more in your opinion can we do to grow as a paranormal community?   I would like to hear examples and stories of how you have seen this in your lives.

Blessed be


Here’s a little agit for the never believer

As defined in Roget’s, the skeptic is…. One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.

That doesn’t sound very nice does it? The ghost hunter who wants to see the ghost but labels themselves as someone who by definition would never participate in such tom foolery as ghost hunting because they don’t believe in ghosts? What gives?

I’ll make an attempt to answer that. Because there are so many factors that could cause a person, or a building to give off the appearance of being infested with spirits or demons, the ghost hunter has to actually look at every piece of evidence wearing the skeptic’s hat in order to rule out all rational explanations. Even if a fully fledged ghost were to materialize out of a wall, walk up and say hello to our team, we could not discount the possibility of mass hysteria (as farfetched as even that might seem). It would have to be considered before submitting that encounter as proof or evidence of the afterlife.

Personally, I believe in the afterlife. Many do not. In the end though, one but one, we all get to find out. What we’re trying to capture evidence of is when that afterlife crosses paths with our own plane of existence. In the world of the paranormal Investigator, if it looks like ketchup and it tastes like ketchup, unfortunately, it probably isn’t ketchup. There are so many distractions on this rock we live on, both natural and unnatural that even the most definitive looking evidence or so called proof could in fact be something entirely different (and logical). People who are susceptive to high concentrations of electromagnetic energy for example, can easily give off the symptoms of living in a haunted house.

Sometimes though, and this is where the adventurous side of ghost hunting comes out, you simply have to suspend disbelief and allow the daring possibility that a ghost just materialized out of a wall, walked over, and said hello to your team because hey….could have been one.