When it comes to the paranormal, what do you believe?
Thanks to TV shows like Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, ghost hunting has become a hobby and obsession for many Canadians. But a homegrown, paranormal investigation group that is LGBT-inclusive didn’t exist until ghost hunters (and subsequent gay couple) Trevor Bishop and Mark Larocque met in 2010. Together, they formed the Ontario Gay Paranormal Society (OGPS). Based in southwestern Ontario, the OGPS covers “paranormal claims not just in our local area but across Ontario,” Larocque says. “Everything from ghosts and UFOs to Bigfoot and elementals.”
“We are trying to break down the walls that exist within paranormal groups and within the LGBT community,” Bishop says. “People look at the paranormal world with scepticism; much as the LGBT community gets looked upon skeptically. As an openly gay couple, we feel we can address both issues effectively — and we have opened at least some eyes.” Both men claim special sensitivities that suit them for ghost hunting: Trevor Bishop senses and hears spirits, especially spirits of children; and Mark Larocque is a psychic medium, and picks up energy from nearby spirits.
Since founding the OGPS, Bishop and Larocque have investigated places such as the haunted Fort St Joseph National Historic Site on Ontario’s St Joseph Island — “This is where the War of 1812 started,” Larocque says — plus private homes and businesses where spirits have been detected. Their adventures have been featured in print, on radio (including Toronto’s Proud FM) and TV (including the pair’s own community TV show, Paranormal Around the Region). The OGPS has also been accepted by Ghost Adventures as official crew members.
“Our team was the first team to be granted full access to Fort St Joseph, to conduct an actual nighttime paranormal investigation on the fort grounds and inside the historic buildings,” Bishop says. During the investigation, we saw shadow apparitions, and caught amazing EVPs [electronic voice phenomena] on audio, including something that sounded like gunfire from an old musket shot.”
Over the last five years, this duo have been busy successfully hunting ghosts all around the province. “We have both seen apparitions personally in many forms,” Larocque says. Bishop recalls driving home one night when they noticed that “two apparitions appeared along the side of the road standing in the ditch,” he says. “The apparitions were of an adult male and a young boy. We can still describe what they were wearing: ’50s style clothing, both dressed exactly the same, with blue jeans and white t-shirts with the sleeves rolled up like they did back then. Except one thing was strange about them — their faces did not manifest; we could see the trees behind them right though.”
“We asked each other as we were driving past, ‘Did you see that?’ and both of us looked behind as we passed, and they were gone,” Larocque says. Fortunately, the pair had turned on their digital recorder before they left. According to Bishop, the audio revealed “a boy’s voice saying clearly ‘Going home?’ as if we’d see him as we headed home.”