Huntsville’s own ghost hunters take on the paranormal


Thirteen years ago, Sue Hayes had a ghostly encounter.

The experience involved an evil entity possessing a young boy, who was the son of one of Sue’s friends. And somehow the spirit attached itself to her. She knew when it was around because she’d suddenly be overcome with anxiety and fear. It was terrorizing her cat. She would hear unexplainable sounds. It was moving objects in her home. It’s the sort of story that almost makes you uneasy just listening to. Hayes was being haunted. She wasn’t even sure she should tell anybody. After all, not everyone believes in ghosts.

“It was horrible,” she says of the experience. “I didn’t talk about it. I had this weird anxiety all the time. Absolutely, I was scared.”

So after months of being tormented by what she would call a demonic presence, she decided to do something about it. She contacted Michelle Desrochers and Patrick Cross of Canada’s Most Haunted.

Hayes was vague in her email. All she told them was that she thought she was having an encounter with a ghost. The next thing she knew a paranormal research team was literally at her doorstep, ready to assist. They got to witness, first-hand, the bizarre events involving the dark entity. It was also determined that Hayes had a special gift. She was able to sense spirits. It was like a sixth sense.


Sue Hayes founded Paranormal Muskoka after a personal experience left her wanting to help others.

“Every day, I smudged my house, recited prayer, I even lit dragon’s blood incense,” she says. “I did angel work help, and I had salt water baths all the time. And then one day I just knew it was okay. Something shifted. The animals starting acting normal. It was like there was sunshine in my windows again. I still sense spirits… I get a tingling sensation and the air almost feels touchable. But now I know how to protect myself.”

This winter, Paranormal Survivor, a special television series documenting eye-witness accounts of the supernatural is set to air. A segment of the program is titled ‘An Infectious Evil’ and will tell the hair-raising story of exactly what happened to her more than a decade ago.

Be careful what you invite in. It can be really hard to get rid of it.
Sue Hayes

Her personal experience with the dead led Sue to establish Paranormal Muskoka, a non-profit group consisting of four other local women dedicated to helping people who are being disturbed by all things paranormal. Each member brings a unique gift. Hayes’ daughter, Niki, the group’s newest member, has seen spirits ever since she was a little girl. Her friend Denise Mitchell is considered the group’s resident witch. She studied Wicca and uses her knowledge to study the origin of a spirit. Gayla Lauren Bowes is Paranormal Muskoka’s photographer. She uses her expertise on exposure and speed settings to capture ghostly images and other phenomena. Diana McGrath has always been able to sense spirit energy. Together, the group makes a perfect fit.

They conduct paranormal investigations and research, geo-ghost tours, house clearings and blessings, and provide expositions and seminars. They do not accept cash for any work they do. Sometimes, she says, getting rid of the ghost is as simple as acknowledging its presence. Spirits will often attach themselves to houses or buildings that had something to do with a situation when they were earth bound.

“Taking money is like making a deal with devil,” explains Hayes. “You have to go into it with a pure heart and good intentions.”

Some of the equipment used by the group: an electromagnetic field detector, an audio voice recorder, a video camera with built-in night vision and sage and sweet grass for protection.

Some of the equipment used by the group: an electromagnetic field detector, an audio voice recorder, a video camera with built-in night vision, and sage and sweet grass for protection.

The group responds to calls from people year-round. Sometimes they get one call a month. Sometimes they get several. They’ve captured voice recordings, and eerie images of unexplained phenomena like orbs or what appears to be an apparition. They’ve assisted in house blessings and even watched a family sell their home after not being able to cope with the paranormal activity that was going on in it. This past summer, they attended a millionaire’s cottage on Lake of Bays who had an uncanny situation where his Jacuzzi kept turning on at the same time every night.

“People don’t know that Muskoka is on a ley line, which is like an energy grid that surrounds the earth. I think because of that it makes this area a little more active than usual. My best piece of advice for people who are obsessed with the paranormal, who maybe think it’s cool to use a Ouija board… be careful what you invite in. It can be really hard to get rid of it.”

This coming Saturday, October 24, and again on Devil’s Night (October 30) the group will hold its annual Driving Ghost Tour. Participants are asked to purchase a ticket and are then given a location in which they begin a walk that will take them to various haunted locations around Huntsville. Anyone wishing to take part can find contact information on the group’s website

Paranormal Muskoka will also have a spooky display set up at Boles Barn during Muskoka Heritage Place’s annual Great Pumpkin Trail event set to take place on Halloween night. Don’t miss the opportunity to see these ladies in action.


  1. Ricky D. Navarro on

    Ms. Hayes, I just watched your segment on Paranormal Survivor and allow me to say, I truly sympathize with the situation you had to endure. You are a very brave and kind soul to help others after your ordeal. I may have been an infantryman but I believe you are braver than a whole division of soldiers. I have two questions though. The show says it was a mutual friend who intentionally brought that evil but the website says it was a friends son who was possessed that allowed the entity to attach to you. Could you clarify? If it was the former, was this “mutual friend” brought to justice in some way? Is it even possible to make someone answer for that kind of action in a legal (civil or criminal) manner? I don’t wish to bring up any bad memories so if you’d rather not discuss it I’ll understand.

  2. Fraudulent crap.. this is what’s wrong with the world! Ignoring the 200 year history of disproving EVERY MEDIUM, PSYCHIC AND GHOST ever investigated by non-interested parties…. millions and millions of dollars have been put up since before Harry Houdini searched legitimately for a medium or ghost.. or ANY PROOF of the after life… and ALL WERE PROVEN HOAXES, rewards still exist today.. none have ever been claimed… proof or even reasonable instances of probable existence of the afterlife would be front page news on every newspaper for months, would be addressed by the Pope, Lama, clerics and every religious leader on earth along with thousands of theologians in universities across the globe….there is no such thing as the afterlife… the ‘science’ of paranormal investigators is a facepalm to intellectual and critical thinking… also PHYSICS! Continuations of this is perversion and enabling of mental illness

    • Sir, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs … and you have made yours quite clear. We are not mediums or psychics, we are simply energy movers. I know what I have experienced and the after effects of such an encounter. If you think you can simply discount Heaven and Hell, near-death experiences, past-life recollections, simply because you said so … then again, you are entitled to your own opinion. All we can do is simply agree to disagree. 🙂

      • Well said, Sue. The thing that makes the world interesting is that we are all different. We like different things, and have different beliefs. It would be a pretty boring place to live if we were all the same. In my opinion, our lack of tolerance for differing beliefs is more accurately what is (to use Phil’s term) “wrong with the world”. But then again, the difference in our level of tolerance is in fact another thing that makes us different! And so, I guess we need to accept and tolerate a lack of tolerance in some people. Hmmm….that’s a real cyclical thought to follow.

    • Thank you for your kind words. No one being terrorized by supernatural phenomenon, in their home or workplace, should have to pay to get the help that they need. I know from personal experience how scary it can be for a person to not want to be in their own home. The Geo Ghost Tours, where we take people to locations, who willingly wish to interact with the Paranormal, are however Not free. But we use the money made on the tours, for helping those people stuck in the haunted houses, and to pay for the equipment needed to do investigations, and pay for any materials needed to help remove the spirits or entities. Just wanted to clarify that. If anyone needs our help, or wants to support us by going on a Tour, please contact us on our website, or Facebook page. Thanks!

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