“I looked up and I just got cold.”
“Oh my gosh. I was scared.”
When Candis Kirkpatrick moved into an old farmhouse outside of Mortlach, she had no idea what she was getting herself into.
Kirkpatrick and her husband moved into the farmhouse in 1969, shortly after the couple got married. That year and for the next four years, Kirkpatrick would experience things that would make most people’s hair stand on end.
When the couple moved in, they were not aware of the house’s history. “It was a big house, but it was old and drafty,” Kirkpatrick recalled. “I was always a bit nervous being in the house.”
Then one day, the nervousness started to make sense. After a year of convincing herself that “it was just a breeze,” when a door slammed shut, Kirkpatrick finally had an experience that she could not blame on natural causes.
“Everything started to fall into place,” she said.
One evening Kirkpatrick went into her bedroom closet to get a dress shirt for her husband, to find that it was missing. As a farmer, her husband only had two dress shirts. One was in the wash. The other was missing. The couple tried to think where the shirt might have gone, but came to no conclusion. They borrowed a shirt from his father and eventually forgot about the missing one.
A few months later, his only tie was missing. Once again, they had no explanation for this disappearance. And again, they eventually forgot about it. A month after the tie went missing, Kirkpatrick had an experience that sent shivers down her spine.
“I got up in the morning and opened up the closet door to grab my clothes to get ready for work and I let a scream out of me,” she said, vividly remembering the incident. “All of the clothes in it were at one end or the other and right in the middle of the empty space in between was a hanger and the shirt was on the hanger, done up to the top and the tie was knotted around the neck.
"That's really when we knew the ghost had followed us."- Candis Kirkpatrick
“That freaked me out.”
This was the first time she really thought there might be another “being” in the house. She has also seen black sooty handprints coming from the attic, then across the ceiling. Strangely enough, an identical experience happened after the couple moved to a house in Moose Jaw.
“It was almost a mirror image of what had happened at the farm,” she said. “That’s really when we knew that the ghost had followed us.”
In yet another incident, Kirkpatrick had her keys go missing only to find them back in her purse three months later. She has also experienced a bizarre situation with a Christmas tree stand.
“We went to put the stand together and there were only two legs for it,” she remembered. “We hunted through all the boxes but couldn’t find (the third leg).
“The next day, I went downstairs into the workroom for something and here on the top of a box was sitting the third leg for the Christmas tree stand. The third leg was covered in dust and there were no fingerprints on it.”
Incidents like that have left Kirkpatrick interested in paranormal activity. She isn’t necessarily on the hunt for an explanation but she believes living in harmony with paranormal figures is best.
“I can’t honestly say that I’ve seen a ghost,” she said. “I’ve just experienced them.”
Jo-Anne Christensen, author of “Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan” thinks of Saskatchewan as a place with vibrant history that is bound to have left a “psychic mark.”
“I discovered that grain fields and prairie architecture can provide as creepy a backdrop as any European castle,” Christensen said.
When it comes to paranormal sites, Colin Tranborg, founder of Paranormal Saskatchewan, says there are thousands of active spots in Saskatchewan.
“It’s unchartered territory. It’s not a defined science but we’re just hoping to find something that might lead to something a little more concrete in the long term,” he said.
Paranormal Saskatchewan is a group of volunteers dedicated to sharing ghost stories and doing investigations on potentially haunted places. They try to naturally explain something before they call it paranormal, but if they find a place they are truly interested in, they will go check it out.
“It seems like every town has something. Even if it’s a local legend that people made up,” Tranborg said.
As for Kirkpatrick, she found out firsthand that it wasn’t just a “legend” that disturbed her house. After doing a bit of research, she came across stories that a young girl from the previous family living in the house may have drowned in a dugout near the farmyard. Whether or not this is true, Kirkpatrick believes the “ghost that followed them” was just someone’s presence who wasn’t ready to leave.