Canadian paranormal investigators spooked on Halloween shoot

The Other Side II - Jeff Richards

Spirits are scarier than ghosts and goblins on Halloween, says producer Wally Start on the set of APTN‘s The Other Side.

Staff in Saskatoon’s Park Town Hotel haven’t been able to find them. And spirit guide Tom Charles this week nearly gave up before he finally pulled out his spirit box.

“The spirit was a big surprise. The fella said his name was Roger. Tom knows two Rogers that passed away. And Roger asked what did he have of Tom’s,” Start recalled to Playback Daily on Friday.

So goes life for paranormal investigators on The Other Side, whose second season, now in production, included Charles searching the Park Town’s varied crawl spaces and shafts for word from the great beyond on the eve of Halloween.

“It really threw Tom. The Roger he knew worked for Corrections (Canada) and had given him his corrections jacket,” Start explained.

So Charles, the Aboriginal elder on the APTN series, rang his wife to ask whether he still had the jacket, which he did.

When there is death, there is also life in the form of spirits, Start explained as the basis for his series and the hauntings at the Park Town Hotel.

Charles’ day jobs include being a tracker for the RCMP to help with missing person inquiries.

“They had been looking for this fellow. Tom thinks he may have hung himself on a tree,” Start said.

Fact or faked, The Other Side is unique among a host of other paranormal investigation shows on the dial in tying into the belief system of its Aboriginal Canadian audience.

“In their belief system, [Aboriginal Canadians] accept that there are spirits all around them. Their culture is accepting of that,” Start said.

At the same time, The Other Side audience is not uniform, and still others will remain skeptical and seeking convincing or just conclude the use of a spirit box or meters to communicate with spirits is trick photography, he adds.

And like other paranormal TV shows, the APTN audience is also tuning in to find answers to nagging questions about ancestors or friends and family that has passed on.

“They’re all looking for answers to questions. They may have had an encounter themselves. So they feel they are not alone, that others have had the same experience,” Start said.

Saskatoon-based Angel Entertainment and Toronto’s Redcloud Studios are at work on 13 episodes for the second of The Other Side.

The 13-part documentary series follows Charles and fellow paranormal investigators Jeff Richards, Bill Connelly and Priscilla Wolf as they use technology,  intuition and Aboriginal ceremony to ferret out spirits.

Start produces the series with Bob Crowe and Jennifer Podemski, who created and brought the concept for the show to Angel Entertainment.