ESTEVAN - The Purgatory Adventures YouTube channel started about 18 months ago, but Curtis and Nathan Riersgard's interest in paranormal activity has a much longer history.
Curtis has been a paranormal investigator for eight years, and for Nathan, Curtis's uncle, it was a hobby for 12 years.
"We went to a place called Criddle Vane Homestead near Brandon, Manitoba. And I started investigating with my uncle. I have a video up actually where I showcase some of the evidence I captured there," recalled Curtis. "I started investigating the Criddle Vane Homestead. There was some awesome stuff happening and that's what got me started."
The first investigations were more of just adventures for the team, but then Curtis got into video editing, and later they decided to try capturing some evidence of paranormal activity and to video journal their investigations of the area to share with others.
"One day we're just sitting around as a family. Me and my uncle just got back from an investigation, and we were telling them about some of the awesome evidence we have captured. And I think it was my grandma. She's like, ‘Why don't you guys just go and start making videos about this? This is cool, this is really awesome,’" Curtis recalled.
The team started the YouTube channel called Purgatory Adventures to share the results of the research with a broader audience. While making videos is time-consuming, and both men have full-time jobs, they still do their best to let others know how interesting life around is.
"It takes a long time to edit a video. I could spend a month editing a video, just one video. Sometimes there's six hours of footage," Curtis said. "But it's been always my life dream of just going to these different places throughout southeast Saskatchewan, investigating all these places. And that's what we did."
Bekevar Church in Kipling was the first and very interesting investigation the Purgatory Adventures team did. They couldn't go inside the church at night but could check out the property.
"We had a gentleman come in, he was the historian, and he grew up with the building. He came in, and we investigated with him for a bit when we were capturing voices that were calling out to him through our spirit box. We have a device where spirits can talk through it," Curtis shared. "Jack was his name. And we're actually capturing his name come through it and if you watch the video, you can actually hear it too. It was crazy. And that's how I got started."
They acquired the equipment through the years of investigations, learning what is out there and what they may need to find the evidence of spirits present. For example, the spirit box they have rapidly scans through radio frequencies, "and it said that spirits are able to talk through the radio frequencies and project their voice, which is what we hear," Curtis explained.
They also have an electromagnetic field (EMF) meter, which detects EMF activity, as "ghosts are said to give off EMF rays when you're near them, and it's supposed to set off the device," Curtis pointed out. Another item is called a REM pod – a special ghost hunting piece of equipment with a light.
Curtis said that one of their favourite investigations was at the Moosehead Inn they conducted this summer.
"I've always wanted to investigate it since I was 15. That's been a location that was always at the top of my list. And when I called Dale (Orsted, the owner), Dale was so awesome, such a great guy. He's like, Yeah, come on in, come investigate … We spent the night there ... and had such a great experience. We captured a lot of evidence there, a lot of stuff," Curtis recalled.
The most exciting part captured in the video was the voice coming through the spirit box that calls "Archibald" – the name of the original owner.
Curtis said the investigations are mostly exciting, but sometimes even researchers get spooked by spirit activity they come across.
"I had experiences when spirits go through you. You can feel the energy just come at you, and your hairs go up. It can be an exciting experience. That's all I can say, it's really exciting when that happens to you, because it's like, wow, this is actually happening. And to have three people in the room experience the same thing, it can be a really exciting experience," Curtis said.
Another great investigation occurred at the Alameda Museum.
"It was haunted!" Curtis said with passion. "It's our best video."
They captured a great amount of evidence there, including a door opening, a figure sitting on a chair in a living room and potentially a vocal communication.
They also recently went to do some filming at the Government House in Regina and a paranormal investigation inside the Hotel Saskatchewan.
Curtis said before going anywhere, they first research the place and any reports of paranormal activities. Then they get in touch with owners of the property, and if they get the green light they proceed with the investigation and filming. Not all places open their doors, but they keep trying and searching for new ones to investigate and share with others.
"We just love it so much. It's our passion," Curtis said.
The interest and feedback from the community encourage the investigators to keep going and get better at what they are doing, Curtis said. And so far, they heard a lot of positive words about their work.
They don't have any solid plans for further investigations, but Curtis said they may look into the possibility of doing some work in Weyburn.
"We stopped at the Soo Line Historical Museum, and we're walking around, and I could feel the energy in that building. I feel the spiritual energy. I've been doing this for a long time, so I know when there are spirits in a building, and there's definitely something there worth checking out," Curtis said.
For all their videos and latest updates, go to Purgatory Adventures’ YouTube channel.