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Alberta Book: Photographs by George Webber

As an urban explorer who holds a love for urbex photography, I am continually on the lookout for works published by professional photographers. My wife and I often find ourselves at the nearby Indigo/Chapters store as she is an avid bookworm who easily manages to read at least 3-4 novels a month. While she browses I always end up gravitating towards the photography/fine arts section to see what’s new. I then quickly glance through the local interest section which generally has few titles that peak my interest. However, on one of our recent “book dates”, I came across a photography book by George Webber simply called Alberta Book. I must admit that I’ve never heard of Mr Webber but the cover photo certainly caught my attention.

The book contains over 200 color photographs of Webber’s work compiled over 40 years of photographing and exploring the many forgotten Alberta towns that dot the Canadian prairies. An abundance of pictures depicting deteriorating signs, abandoned buildings, an…

The Giggle House: A paranormal experience?

I’m a huge fan of all paranormal shows and do enjoy them for their entertainment value. I was hooked on Ghost Hunters from the first season and became a fan of Ghost Adventures since seeing the original documentary. I’ve watched them all, from Paranormal State to Ghost Asylum and everything in between. After watching these shows for so many years I came to the conclusion that the world must be a very haunted place, after all, no matter what show you watched the “(insert name here) crew” were always able to document some form of paranormal activity whether through pictures, video or EVP audio recordings. Despite some very amateur “paranormal investigations” while exploring homes I was never able to document anything. In the over 300 homes that we have visited, nothing has ever moved on its own, nothing has turned up mysteriously in photographs nor did I ever see any shadow figures. According to television odds, at least 95% of the homes we have visited should have been haunted! Perhaps I’m lacking the $1500.00 “Spirit Box” or a FLIR device that some of the professionals use!

source Derelict Harvest
The "Giggle House"

I’ve always wondered what my reaction would be if something actually occurred while exploring. Would it be a “run like hell” situation? Would I be able to comprehend what I’m seeing or hearing? Would I simply pass it off as the wind or some other natural cause? I would find out while exploring the "Giggle House".

The two storey "Giggle House" sat far off in a field with several outbuildings. From the roadway it appeared that most of the windows were boarded up. We thought this would be a "no entry" home until we found an open side window, the boards having been removed long ago and the window open. A small stool had even been propped against the house making entry rather easy. Mrs DH choose to stay outside as the home was rank with the smell of cat urine. Apart from slightly sinking floors, the interior appeared to be in good shape as I heaved myself over the window sill. As I explored the bottom floor I noticed the home appeared much larger from the inside. I photographed the main floor, stopped to browse through several old newspapers that were left in the living room, before making my way to the second floor staircase. I was halfway up the stairs, slowly taking my time testing each step, when I suddenly froze in my tracks by what I heard. A very clear and distinct child’s giggle sounded from the second floor. As I was still processing what I had just heard, the giggle was immediately followed by the longest door creak and ended with the loud bang of a door being slammed shut. Oddly, I yelled out to Mrs DH outside and asked if she had thrown something against the side of the house. She once scared the crap out of me by throwing a stick through an open window while I was in a home exploring and thought it was extremely amusing! She said "no", and after a momentary pause, I continued up the stairs. I reached the top landing fully expecting someone to be in the house. The room at the top of the stairs was rather large with broken windows. There was an open doorway to my right. There was no door on the frame leading to the this room and I distinctly remember saying to myself "How the hell did I hear a door slam when there is no door?” I set up my tripod and camera in the doorway and snapped a few pics (hopeful to catch something). To my disappointment, the pictures from the doorway were out of focus when I reviewed them later on at home. I proceeded through the doorway and into the room. At the far back of the room, behind a chimney, I did find a closed door. “At least there was a door!” I thought to myself. It was one of those indecisive moments where I debated on opening the door or not. I did, slowly, and before me was a cramped hallway leading to a small room at its end. I snapped a few pics, occasionally peering over my shoulder, and quickly left the home.

source Derelict Harvest
There is a door behind the chimney!

source Derelict Harvest
The room at the end of the hall

On the way home I shared my experience with Mrs DH. Interestingly, while she was exploring the outbuildings she said she heard what sounded like a giggle coming from within one of the sheds. She passed it off as the wind just blowing through old buildings. Was it a ghostly giggle? I don’t know. Perhaps it was just creaks and groans of an old house. It was certainly an experience to remember either way.