Paranormal in Pictou

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McCulloch House focus of Haunting episode

It may not have been a stormy night but it was certainly dark and a little spooky when the cast and crew of Haunted spent the late hours of the night at the McCulloch House in Pictou. The Eastlink show travels around Nova Scotia spending a couple of nights in haunted locations with cameras and spirit finding equipment to see just how haunted Nova Scotia is.

While looking for locations to film that have a storied past, Kim Moser, production manager for the show, came across the old stone building and museum and knew that it would be a perfect location to film. The show, that is filming its sixth season, will include the McCulloch episode as well as episodes based in Yarmouth, Guysborough, Truro, and more.

Along with the spirit hunting portion of the show Moser shared that they also talk a bit about the history of each location, close to a documentary-style, while checking out each level of the house.

“They really get to see all the good stuff,” said Holly Stevens, who has been with the show since the beginning. Two nights’ worth of footage boiled down to an hour of showtime allows the editors to pick the best parts of a longer investigation and put them together. Stevens and other cast and crew members had spent a night in the building already when speaking to The Advocate and she shared that there have already been many strange feelings about the house and crew members feeling nauseous at certain times.

“The front room with the tin ceiling is interesting,” said Moser. The cast had already filmed some shots in there and did not want to say too much about what happened. This season of Haunted is set to begin in February, however, the McCulloch House episode will premier in April. The show can be seen on Saturday nights on channel 10 or 610 at 10 p.m.

The Haunted team is not the only one to have checked out the home, however. Michelle Davey, curator and site manager, shared that in 2017 another group called The Caretakers Paranormal contacted her to see the house and investigate. To Davey’s knowledge, no one has ever died in the home and she or her staff haven’t experienced any sightings but as it is a very old and storied home she understands why so many want to look into it.

“Of course, we want the ghost of Dr. Thomas McCulloch to visit, or present in the house; but as far as I know, he has never revealed himself to us (me or any staff member, or visitor for that matter),” Davey said. She predicts that as a man dedicated to the church this could be because he transitioned peacefully. The same could be said of his wife, who also happened to be a minister’s daughter as well as married to one. Davey said that she was a homemaker and was attached to the house strongly in this way.

Davey shared, however, that over the years she has had some strange issues with the home’s alarm system frequently going off in the night, which she would attribute to mice or other rodents, as the home is so old.

“However, there have never been any signs of any mice or animals being in the house. No mice holes/no droppings /nothing ever caught in traps … It is a constant problem with the security at the house. Fortunately, I am not afraid of much — including a 2 a.m. visit to the house by myself. I have never felt threatened nor have I ever felt anything ominous,” Davey said.

The caretaker also added that she and other staff and guests would see lights flickering and she had even called an electrician because she was worried about fires, but they were never able to find anything wrong.

“It was at this time that the motion sensor alarm started going off on a regular basis and calling me to the museum at night. I also called the alarm company to service the equipment. Nothing concrete was ever identified,” Davey said.

Calls have eased off from security over time but Davey shared that other staff members have definitely felt like they may not be alone there.

“Other staff members have felt like there was another presence with them in the house. Often staff members are alone in the house, and some have said that they have heard noises — a recent summer staff person has told me that they have heard singing,” Davey said. “I always say that if you look for signs you will see them.”

With restrictions permitting, Davey shared that she would like to have a viewing of the episode at the Centre, just beside the home, when the episode is set to air. She added that she had heard that there may have been enough footage to make two episodes on the home.

“If there are any lingering spirits, they have all been kind souls (so far). We have no reason to believe that there would be anything sinister,” Davey said.