January 25, 2016
Brad Mavin is the founder of PROO(f) (Paranormal Researchers of Ontario; the (f) is the unknown factor in the investigation: fear). He’s been interested in the paranormal since his early childhood. Ghost stories are part and parcel of growing up in Newfoundland, and this inspired him to begin investigating the paranormal when he became a teenager. In his 20s, Brad met others who shared his same passions and together they founded Dimensions of the North Atlantic (DNA) based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Brad has made appearances on Space, MTV, CTV, the CBC and the Weather Network for his work in the paranormal field. He was also a consultant for the National Film Board of Canada on a documentary called Guardian Ancestors.
He approaches every investigation as the voice of reason, and while he is intrigued by the possibility of the supernatural, his main role his to challenge the evidence and look for a more earthly explanation.
vp: What was your first experience encountering the paranormal?
Brad: As a child, everyone said my grandparents’ house was haunted. I wasn’t convinced until one night when I was about twelve, my best friend and I saw two men standing in their yard in the middle of the night. They were sawing this big tree and throwing the pieces they were cutting off against the shed. I knew this wasn’t possible. One of the men turned and faced us, removed his hat, and nodded at us. As he turned away, the whole scene disappeared! That was the beginning of my interest in the unexplained.
vp: Recall a powerful moment that occurred on a recent investigation.
Brad: I work very closely with my wife, who, while objective, takes a different approach to the paranormal and is a firm believer. Kt is sensitive to the environment and will often break down and cry during an investigation, affected by the resident spirits or events that occurred there. The first time my wife broke down on an investigation, I had no clue what to do. On the one hand, I’m the voice of reason and want to stay as neutral as possible, and then there’s my wife who clearly needs attention and comforting. We’ve learned to anticipate this happening but that first time was an eye-opener.
vp: Have you ever come across any spirits that seemed to have a sense of humour?
Brad: Well, we have been on numerous investigations where the activity seems to be more playful or mischievous rather than dark and dangerous. Over the years at the Bowmanville Museum, there have been reports of a little boy playing with the pantry door, holding it closed and preventing people from opening it. The next minute, the door would open without any effort. On a recent investigation of the property, I had the same thing happen. For the life of me I couldn’t get the door open, then one of my colleagues came up and opened it without issue. Maybe the little boy is just looking for someone to play hide-and-seek with.
vp: What is your favourite investigation technique?
Brad: With my team PROO(f), we won’t rule out trying anything to find evidence of the paranormal. I’m often called the gadget guy. I like to use items that can log data, film in different spectra, audio record in different formats, etc., in an attempt to have something physical to present as evidence.
vp: Is there a particular experience you’re seeking or something you hope will happen on a future investigation?
Brad: I guess for me, filming an apparition that is indisputable is my ultimate goal. People will always challenge evidence presented as paranormal; it would be great to finally be able to present something that will convince the masses.
Many thanks to Brad for sharing his experiences.