Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Algonquin Hotel "orb" footage

One of the most satisfying parts of conducting an investigation of an allegedly paranormal incident or place comes when you actually manage to obtain some "hard" or "real" evidence, as opposed to just the stories of people who claim to have seen or experienced something unusual. In my opinion, the best type of evidence that can be obtained of any alleged paranormal activity - short of actual physical evidence of an alien spacecraft, or a ghost - is photographic or video evidence of something which may be anomalous.

Many people have claimed over the years to have that kind of evidence, but most of them, in my opinion, are lying. How can you tell? Simple - if these people make the "evidence" available for everyone to see, particularly if they do so for free, then regardless of whether the evidence shows anything paranormal or not, at least we know that the person who claimed to have the evidence actually did have something, and they were willing to let others examine it and offer their opinions on it. In short, they were interested in the exchange of knowledge.

If they won't do that, you can bet biscuits to navy beans that they either don't have the evidence, or that they have dramatically overstated its worth. Unfortunately, in the unregulated world of so-called paranormal "investigation", few people are ever called out on this type of claim - instead, they are asked back time and time again on radio shows and to conferences in order to discuss their "evidence", almost always promising that its delivery is right around the corner... and then they don't deliver, for one reason or another (interference by the "powers that be" is always a popular excuse). When challenged to "put up or shut up", they usually do neither. Like the energizer bunny, they just keep going, and going.

That's not science. It's not even pseudoscience. It's hucksterism.

I was taught and trained to do things differently.

During the filming of Ghost Cases, Holly and I conducted an investigation of the Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, which is supposedly haunted by the spirit of a bride who was stood up at the altar about a century ago, and committed suicide as a result. As will be seen in the following videos, which are excerpts from the footage we shot that night, we obtained some evidence.

Now, I'm not going to purport to tell you what it is - I'll leave that up to the reader, and I encourage folks to discuss it here in the comments section, or elsewhere. The point is that we have gathered some evidence, and I'm eager to have folks look at it, and then see where the proverbial chips fall.

First, by way of context for the footage, here is some of the background story and events that led up to the moment when it was obtained, because the context is important - particularly as it relates to what happened in room 473:

And here is the evidence itself, and a conversation between myself and UPIA investigator Dave Sadler, to whom we showed the footage when we were working with the UPIA in the United Kingdom a few months later:

And now, here are some enhanced still photos, made by Steve Mera from the UPIA:

So, what does this evidence show?

To say that I am skeptical about "orbs" as proof of something paranormal would be an understatement (as I note in the second video), but the circumstances, particularly the fact that Holly looked behind her just after the orb appeared, despite the fact that there was no-one else in the room, and she stated afterwards that she had no idea why she looked behind her just at that moment, makes me pause, and at least consider the possibility, given the confluence of events, that there might be something anomalous about this orb. Of course, that's not the same thing as saying that we encountered the spirit of the dead bride in room 473 - it's just me saying that I find it... interesting.

But as any good investigator should, I leave you with the evidence that we gathered, and encourage you to judge for yourselves.

Paul Kimball


Ryan P. said...

Thanks so much for this, Paul! Fascinating!!

Ray Stanford has been sitting on what he claims is the greatest UFO footage of all time (or something like that) for decades, and you make your material available for everyone to see. Kudos to you!

Anonymous said...

Hiya Paul, I don't know what to think about the footage. You're a rational skeptic and not prone to hoaxes or BS. If you didn't represent the 'provenance' of the video, I'd suspect CGI. The light reminds me of Lucas and IL&M.

Based on your credibility, the video goes into my 'grey basket.'It's very interesting.


Paul Kimball said...


The footage is absolutely real - given the budget we had to film each episode of the series, we could barely afford doughnuts for the crew, much less CGI! ;-)

It sits in my grey basket as well, promarily because of the overall circumstances in which it happened. Context is important.


Bruce Duensing said...

I appreciated your categorizing this experiment's results as "grey". A little uncertainty and intellectual honesty goes a long way. All I have is a "grey basket" in the sense that even if an anomaly is probabilistically reasonably certain, if the observer is sincere, it raises more questions than such an event providing "answers"
The other point is funding. The other is technique. As a retired process engineer I can appreciate these issues. Magnetometers,photon detectors, shielding, removing power from the feeder line into a structure at the pole, remote surveillance, background radiation surveys, etc all cost $. To my way of thinking, none of this has been done properly to my knowledge as it is expensive. Money doesn't grow on trees. Thank you for posting this and heaven knows, maybe someday, someone with deep pockets will fund a proper experiment, but I won't hold my breath.

Paul Kimball said...

Hi Bruce,

One thing to note about this particular camera - this was the only footage of anything even remotely anomalous that we got that evening, and the camera was running for about four hours (I can't recall exactly how long). That's what makes it interesting to me - the timing, of Holly going back alone at the end of the night, for the reasons that she did so, and then her turning around just after the "orb", as if she sensed something.

I find that genuinely weird.


Anonymous said...

Paul -

Hopefully my donation helps cover the cost of future efforts. Keep up the good work.

Allison Morgan

P.S. You look great. I just wanted to say that!!

Terry the Censor said...

I haven't seen the episode so pardon me if this is explained therein, but first thing that comes to mind is this:

Why is Holly staring into that particular corner of the room, at the very spot from which the orb seems to manifest?

Out of context of the episode, it gives the appearance of being staged, frankly, combined with the fact the orb travels from her and past the camera along just about the longest possible straight path available to the camera's POV.

I'm not saying you staged it, just that these clips give an unfavourable impression you might not have realised.

Paul Kimball said...

We've explained what Holly was doing in that corner in a radio appearance somewhere - the computer monitoring screen for all of the DVR cameras was set up in that corner of the room, and that's what Holly is looking at. No staging - the rest of us were elsewhere, loading equipment into vans and so forth, and had no idea where Holly had wandered off to. None of realized this had happened until a couple of weeks later, when we were reviewing all of the DVR footage.

I didn't bother to explain it here because I don't really consider it relevant, and because I just assume that everyone knows the circumstances because I do, and because we've mentioned it before (on the Paracast, I think, and perhaps on C2C, although I can't recall exactly). Thanks for the question, and I'm happy to have cleared it up.


Paul Kimball said...

I should add that the "orb" is moving directly towards the window in the room that the bride supposedly jumped from, which is where we had stationed the DVR camera, not because it was that window, but because it was the spot that gave is the best coverage of the room.


Terry the Censor said...

Are whole episodes available online, or is there a rights issue?

(I'm always interested in sensible investigations done by fellow Canadians. I recently watched that staged Syfy abomination, "Fact or Faked?" Ugh.)

Paul Kimball said...


I have two full episodes available here on the blog, and the show re-runs regularly in NS and PEI on Eastlink TV, the network that originally mabroadcast it. Our distributor is Breakthrough Entertainment in Toronto, and hopefully they will manage to sell it into other markets, but I won't be able to put anymore episodes up on-line.


Kimberley said...

I head a group called Light Workers Paranormal Investigation in Halifax, N.S., and in November 2011, we conducted an investigation at the Algonquin Hotel, and stayed in room 473. Our stationary cameras picked up a very similar light anomaly coming from just inside the closet near the bathroom, travelling across the room and disappearing into the closed curtains at the window. We air a show on a web based TV station (PTVN), called "Ghost Encounters", and were wondering if we would be permitted to show your footage (giving full credit to yourself and Ghost Cases) so we could show the similarity between the two separate occurances.
I look forward to hearing back from you,

Kimberley Lapierre
Light Workers Paranormal Investigation.

Unknown said...

The story of the bride was on celebrity ghost stories told by billy baldwin..while filming there he saw a girl in a white dress outside the room weeping..he was going to approach her but she vannished!! It's said that the bride was a newlywed waiting for her husband to greet her from New York but he was killed so she shot herself..I have heard the suicide jilted bride version lots of times as I live fairly close to the hotel..we stayed there in the summer but due to renos we had to stay in the connecting suites..I am going back as soon as the renos are complete!! There are stories about room 308 and 373 and guests complain things go missing and door handles turn on the 2nd floor..billy Baldwin also told the bellboy story..he takes the guests up to their room helps them with their luggage while telling stories about the area..when they go to tip him he's gone..apparently he is seen in the winter and there's an older lady who is seen rearranging the silver ware on the tables in the dining room

Melissa said...

I worked there for 4 months and have 7 witnesses that I can find but we never talked about our encounters back in 2008. That place is haunted for sure.

Unknown said...

I know for a fact that this brides spirit or ghost of herself still exists. You might ask how and why I am so convinced. Before checking out of the Algonquin yesterday morning after my daughters wedding weekend at the Algonquin resort in St. Andrews, NB, I felt honored that I actually communicated with her. I stood in the closet and simply spoke to her, just three comments and I called her honey. There were several wooden hangers and the two at the end of the rod began to respond to my voice. Depending on what I said, they sped up or slowed down. After I said Hi honey, I heard about your story, two hangers began to rock in a soothing way. When I told her that he did not deserve her, the hangers sped up like they were mad or felt a sense of urgency. Oh, and by the way, whatever the hangers were feeling, I felt it as well...AGAIN, no question in my mind. The next time I book a room at the Algonquin, I'll be requesting this room so I can continue my conversation with her.
Mother of the Bride, Philene McGee from Fredericton
Incident: September 14th, 2015