During the late summer of 2015 I was approached on our Facebook group Haunted Nova Scotia by a staff member of the Veith house, who was interested in gaining publicity for a ghost walk that they gave at the building close to Halloween. At this point in time our team had hosted in several successful fundraising events and I was eager to visit a new building an start planning for another event. We planned to meet and have our team investigate the building for an evening to see what evidence we got, and to get a rough idea on how many guests an event at Veith could accommodate.
Leading up to our investigation of Veith house I began researching the background of the building, and immediately noted that there were several ghost stories shared about the building, and that it had every right to be haunted. The present building pictured above was built to replace the original building that was known as the Halifax Protestant Orphanage. In 1914 when the Great War began, men living in Halifax began to leave the city to fight in the war with the British Commonwealth. At this time it was common for children to be signed into an orphanage until their father returned home from war.
The original orphanage was destroyed by at the catastrophic Halifax Explosion of 1917. It is said that the matron of the orphanage heard the first sounds of panic that heralded the larger blast, and ushered the children and staff members to the buildings sub level, fearing that the city was under attack. All but six were killed in the explosion, an explosion that was the largest recorded man made explosion prior to the detonation of nuclear weapons. Over 2,000 people in Halifax and Dartmouth were killed, and another 9,000 people were injured. A memorial plaque was placed at the site of the original building in the year of 2000, just down the street from the current building.
During WW2 many families were again separated as the men left for war, and children were again signed into orphanages until their fathers returned home. Orphanages are rarely places of happiness, and Veith house was no exception to this. The matrons were given very little training by the superintendent of the orphanage, which meant that discipline and punishment were left up to each individual matron. As a result, cruelty and abuse did happen frequently. When children would be signed in to the orphanage they would be assigned a fourteen day stay in the isolation room, which the children referred to as the horror room. They would be in this tiny room for the duration of two weeks to ensure they had no head lice, illness, and that they had been given new clothes if needed. Often there would be four or five children in this room at any given time, a room that is no bigger than a spare bedroom. There were beds and a slop bucket and that was as far as the amenities stretched.
One example of a punishment at the orphanage was being restrained in your bed at night if you were caught roaming the building after lights out. The children would be put into a jacket that buttoned in the back, with straps that the matrons tied to the frame of the bed. The child would lay on their back, unable to switch positions or move until morning. If the child happened to wet the bed when they were restrained, further punishment would be given.
While the staff and our team know that there are several spirits attached to the building, there is a famous one, the spirit of a small boy named Harvey. A photographer captured a photo of what looks like a young boy playing in the building, and during our initial investigation of the building we recorded evidence that supported the presence of a spirit named Harvey. During a visit to the building a medium informed the staff members that there were also the spirits of children residing in the basement, and that she felt a gift should be placed down there to please them. A small Christmas tree was placed and decorated, and stands down in the sub basement year round.
After getting a tour of the building we split into two separate groups and began our baseline readings and full investigation. My group started in the sub basement, which consists of a long hallway and two rooms, one of which the Christmas tree is in and is mainly used for storage. Before we began an EVP session beside the tree I set up a Canon rebel with a laser grid attached to it in the adjacent room. The laser grid covers the area in small green dots, which instantly detect movement if something moves through the beams. In this video clip below, you can see the grid is pulsing slightly, which is very odd. In the other room, you can hear Darcy ask if the spirit needs us to help them. at the 0:10 mark you can clearly hear a male voice that belongs to neither Darcy or I say 'help' in the room with the Rebel. Just before this happened the audio on the Rebel also picked up what sounded like light shuffling footsteps, as if a child came in the room.
We often leave objects around that a spirit might identify and interact with, known as trigger objects. In the audio file below we are discussing a flashlight that we had used as a trigger object. When we weren't looking, the flashlight had moved slightly and now had a power cord from a nearby television wrapped around it. At 0:14 you hear a female say 'it was me' from our ITC device.
Shortly after this audio clip was recorded, we switched areas of the building and began baseline readings of the top floor, and decided to investigate the Remembrance Room, a small room that houses several items from the first orphanage as well as reading material and framed photographs of the Veith House. In the video clip below our group heard my name called from our ITC device at the 0:08 mark. At 0:22 after asking if the spirit is the young boy named Harvey our flashlight turns on. At 0:34 after asking it to shut off the flashlight the flashlight turns off. This is a technique known as light source communication.
As we continued to investigate the top floor, I again asked if a spirit in the room could tell me their name. At 0:13 of the clip below I asked if the light turning on was a positive answer to letting us know who we were communicating with. at 0:33 after asking if it would speak into our ITC device we recorded a female voice saying 'Tina' twice.
As the investigation went on, we were discovering that more and more spirits were interacting with our equipment and data. Before we concluded our investigation, we recorded an irate male voice telling us to 'get out' the EVP clip is at 0:09 of the video below.
During both our investigation and our public event that we held with twenty guests the activity picked up throughout the evening as we continued to investigate. Several of the guests felt that there was something quite nasty in the sub basement, particularly in the room that we had our Canon Rebel and laser grid set up. The Veith House is a location that we will definitely be returning to for future investigations and events.