According to The Gateway’s Managing Editor, Jon, our business office has been haunted for four months.
“The weird thing about it is that it’s absurdly quiet,” Jon said. “There’s no natural sounds in there. It’s like you’re shut off from the world.”
As you’d imagine, having an office ghost is a shitty situation. For months, no one on staff has used the physically functional office space. Some say it gives them goosebumps. Others notice that it’s devilishly hot during the day. Thankfully, there are people who are specifically gifted in spiritual communication, and some of them offer to share their gifts through Kijiji.
This was how I met Ron. He’s a medium — a spirit cleanser who said in a concise email that he would rid our office of any paranormal haunting. I told him we have a room with bad vibes, and he assured me that said vibes would be gone if he visited. Perfect. We arranged for him to cleanse our office at 8 p.m. that Sunday.
The next Sunday evening, Ron and his wife pulled up to the university in their lifted F-150. The British couple said they moved to Alberta years ago to raise a family, as Britain was crowded and full of crime. Ron was a former wrestler, but now worked in construction. I welcomed them with our Photo Editor, Joshua (just in case our ghost hunter was a Craigslist killer imitation). As we walked the couple from their truck to our office, we learned that Ron’s had the “gift” since birth — it’s hereditary, and their kids have it too (they aren’t mature enough to control it, however). Ron’s gift is particularly powerful — when people inquire about his services over whatever messaging platform he can sense if a space has a ghost. There was definitely one in our office, he said.
Joshua and I gave Ron and his wife a tour of the office, which ended in the couch room. Ron settled into a brown couch on the western wall, rubbed his temples, and then did second walk-around of the office while Joshua, Ron’s wife, and I waited.
“Do we follow him?” I asked.
“No, just let him do his work,” Ron’s wife replied. “Sometimes other presences scare (the spirits) off.”
We waited for about 10 minutes as Ron adjusted to the office’s aura. His wife explained the “bad vibes” that were emanating from our business room are due to a ghost’s negative feelings of being trapped in the plane of the living. When people die, they see a light, she said. In normal death conditions, the ghost is supposed to follow the light, which takes them away to another plane. But sometimes the death is too sudden for the ghost to understand what to do, so they miss the light and get stuck on earth. Ron’s wife said that’s why hospitals feel spiritually heavy — so many sudden deaths happen there.
Ron returned to us in the couch room after making first contact with the office ghost.
“It’s a man, an oldish guy, I’d say he’s in his late fifties,” Ron mumbled, still deep in thought. “I’m getting a Donald, or a McDonald.”
Apparently, Donald didn’t like something about our office. We asked if it had to do with our changing from a newspaper to a magazine, but Ron assured that wasn’t the problem at all. He hummed and hawed for another minute, and went back to the office to get Donald to be more specific.
Ron returned with more details 10 minutes later. Donald was a mechanical engineer, and his last name was James. He was around the university in the 60s — perhaps he had been involved in the Student Union Building’s construction, which was happening around this time.
Ron said he was getting bad feelings about the bike parked in our office, which belongs to our Multimedia Editor. It was being bent in a spiritual way, as if it was being hit.
“Whoever owns that bike has to be really careful,” he said.
Ron went back to meditate for another 10 minutes. Based on a more intensive interpretation of the room’s alignment, Donald is an “old, grumpy guy,” but isn’t trying to harm anyone — his negative energy just drains whoever is sitting there. Ron’s wife laughed at how our ghost was just an “old git.” According to Ron’s readings, the man was a non-smoker but died of a chest problem.
“Bronchitis or something, I guess,” he said.
It was still unclear why Donald was mad — he wasn’t very communicative, according to our medium. Ron’s wife chipped in to explain that spiritual communications come in “blips,” so it can be hard to understand ghosts.
“Do you think he floats around the whole building?” she asked.
“No,” Ron replied, with a distant look on is face. He stalked back to the room to find out why Donald’s been haunting us.
Ron’s wife told us that she didn’t even know he was a medium until five years or so into their marriage.
“I was like, ‘What? What do you mean’” she said. “He told me he sees people. So I called up a psychic fair to get him to see. He said ‘I’m not going, the people at the fair are full of shit.’”
Ron’s wife connected him with a psychic mentor who tutored Ron in meditation and and spiritual communication. Before his training, Ron’s wife said he channeled the gift through man years of kickboxing and ninjutsu.
“He said it was like the movie The Sixth Sense,” she said. “One minute he’d be laying in bed and the next he’d see someone just standing there. It took two years to learn how to speak to them.”
The majority of people are ungifted and appear as blurs to ghosts. Mediums, however, appear to with a halo of light around their heads, which attracts ghosts “like moths to a flame,” Ron’s wife said.
We were now half an hour into the spiritual cleanse. Ron returned to us and appeared a little confused.
“He keeps saying ‘Trot, trot trot,’” Ron said. “He’s a well-spoken guy. He died in the 1960s, but he talks like someone from the 1800s. He’s definitely a gentleman.”
Then Ron became really quiet and looked a little embarrassed. His wife pushed him to speak.
“(Donald’s) talking about extortion,” Ron scratched his head. “He keeps saying, ‘It’s extortion, it’s extortion.’”
Ron’s wife’s eyes widened.
“That’s big, I mean extortion’s bad, she said. “It’s as bad as what you think it is.”
We asked is they could be any more specific about our apparent extortion problem, but Ron had retreated into his introversion. His wife just told us to look up what extortion was and to be careful around management.
With that, the office exorcism was complete. Ron told us he passed Donald on by showing him the light to reach the next plane. Apparently, our ghost hesitated a bit before silently gliding into the light. Ron’s wife laughed and said that was an easy one. Sometimes, she said, Ron has to call the ghost a relative from another plane to help them leave. Other times they get angry and swear at the medium.
The couple told Joshua and I to go check out the once-haunted room to see if it felt different. It definitely felt cooler, and less stuffy. Coincidentally, the sun had gone down.
Ron and his wife took their leave — Coronation Street was going to be on soon, they said. On the way out, they reassured us that our ghost problem was solved, indefinitely.
“He’s gone, he can’t get back even if he wanted to,” Ron’s wife said. “The door’s closed, it’s done. Donald was a grumpy ass, but he shouldn’t be trapped here for life.”