What’s going on in the walls of a 107-year-old Drumheller home has intrigued Justin Bolin right from the day he bought it. He has lived in the home since 2014.
“It wasn’t long before you started hearing things that make you question your hearing,” Bolin said.
The heritage home was built by Dr. Robert Johnston. He was a prominent Drumheller dentist who died in the home in 1936. He was 45 years old.
“He’s a resident here whether or not we see him. He is a part of this home,” Bolin said.
“I want to pay homage to him and simply by displaying his picture (above the fireplace) and allowing his other things in the home. It’s nice to honour him.”
Bolin said they affectionately refer to him as “Dr. Bob.”
He hears odd sounds all the time.
“You feel like the air is thick and your hair stands on end and the sensation you’re not alone. Every time walking up those stairs, you hear the foot falls of people going up stairs but nobody is there,” Bolin said.
“It’s not about convincing anyone else. They are here and I acknowledge them.”
Ghost hunters have been through the home and say they’ve collected what they feel is evidence that Johnston’s daughter Marjorie visits the home also. She died at the age of 14, just a few years after she lost her father.
Bolin said his children have seen her spirit in their room.
“A guest saw her praying, hands clasped, looking out the window.”
Bolin and the paranormal team said there’s a particularly strong presence in the basement. It’s the one part of the home where nobody goes.
It’s also where Johnston lost his life. He was getting ready for a hunting trip with friends when his 16-gauge rifle went off, killing him instantly.
Melissa Wilton, the head of the Calgary Association of Paranormal Investigations, is fascinated by the history.
But even she admits she’s not entirely convinced of every strange thing they capture.
“The more I investigate, the less I believe,” she said.
“I think a lot of the times things can be debunked. But I have no idea, I wish I did and that’s why I am doing this so I can find out,” Wilton said.
But for Bolin, the interest goes way past simple curiosity.
He lost his 18-year-old brother Chris. He said he’d always wondered what exists on the other side.
“My brother Chris passed away in an accident in 2005 and just like any family, it shook us to the core,” Bolin said.
“There is a belief that we don’t know everything and about what happens when we pass, but I am intrigued. Is there an afterlife?”