Investigating at 10 Years Old — my first ghost hunt

By: Michelle McKay (founder of
Originally written: Dec 18, 2014

Some of you may already know I began investigating the paranormal when I was a young girl. In fact, I was just ten years old.

Most assume it was my great-uncle, pioneer UFO investigator Henry McKay, who encouraged me to get into investigating. At the time, I knew he was interested in UFOs but I wasn’t aware he was an investigator, let alone the very first director of MUFON Canada. Mind you, back when I was 10, I didn’t even know what MUFON was.

My family was a little ‘different’ (read this). But, believe it or not, my family background wasn’t what influenced me to become a paranormal investigator — not directly anyway.

Which brings me to this: I get asked all the time how I got into ghost investigating. Here is my story…

The house I lived in at the time in Toronto was active. Doors would open and close on their own, footsteps were heard walking up and down the stairs when nobody was there, voices heard throughout the house, etc…

My grandmother and mother also witnessed the strange occurrences.

Grandma, a staunch Catholic, had the priest over many times to conduct exorcisms and blessings on the house. [Later, when I was 22, the Catholic Church put me through an exorcism which I will write about in my next blog post.]

I will never forget watching the priest as he stood in our living room while thinking to myself how ‘weird’ it was to see him inside our house instead of the church.

After a brief conversation with my mom and grandma, he headed up the stairs, the rest of us following close behind. Into my room he went, flinging holy water from his fingertips at every turn. He went through every room in the house administering the same treatment.

Every so often I would come home to find a priest in the house, repeating the process with my grandmother in tow. But nobody ever had any sufficient answers that appealed to me, so off to the library I went, to study ghosts.

Back then, all the books on the paranormal were kept in the library’s basement — hidden away in a far corner, unlike today.

I remember coming across scary entries in encyclopedias about demons, so I quickly passed over ‘those’ pages.

One of the books mentioned the term EVP, but it didn’t really explain it so I searched the rest of the books looking for more information. The idea of recording voices of the dead sounded brilliant — and handy.

I kept searching until I found detailed instructions on how to record EVP. I took notes and tried to remember all I could because my library card had maxed out and I couldn’t take the book home with me that day.

The second I got back home I begged my grandmother to let me borrow her cassette tape recorder and she finally gave in.

I kept the tape recorder in my room, waiting until I had the chance to be home alone before using it because I didn’t want her to know what I was up to or she would call another priest in again.

My mother and grandmother finally left the house. Now was my chance. I went down into the basement and before I knew it I was EVP-ing…

I pressed record on the tape recorder and said something to the effect of, “Can you hear me?”

Then, just like my notes from the book said to do, I waited a few moments, stopped the recording and quickly pressed rewind. Oh god, what if they said something back?

It took me a bit, but I finally worked up the nerve to press play.

To my shock and delightment, I heard voices talking on the playback. It worked!

I would be hooked forever.

For the life of me, I can’t remember what the voices said. And I can’t tell you how much I wish I had kept those recordings.

After that, I continued with the EVP sessions every few days or so and kept getting a woman and man answering my questions on playback. Sometimes they would even talk to each other, which I found amusing.

To me, at just ten years old, it was normal to get ghosts on your tape recorder. After all, the book said you could get them on your tapes so every house must have them.

About a month later I eventually got BORED of all the talking ghosts, imagine that. So I just started singing on the tapes instead and gave up recording EVPs in my basement! And besides, I had gotten a new microphone and one day I was going to be a great singer… Uggg!!!!

But, I did end up spending almost every day that first summer in the library reading everything and anything about the paranormal (hello automatic writing and Ouija board).

The study of ghosts gradually became more important to me than riding my banana-seat bike. Eventually, I even worked up my nerve to read those scary encyclopedia sections I previously skipped over.

My friends were mad at me for not bike riding with them, all I wanted to do was “play with those ghosts” they would say. They didn’t understand, I had discovered an entirely new world.


That’s me in the middle wearing the silly hat, hanging with my gang. Sorry, no bike riding today.


However, a few weeks later one of them called me on the phone saying she had a friend who needed me to come over right away because they thought a ghost might be in their house. I was finally being taken seriously by all the other kids. So off I went, with my cassette tape recorder and newly-found ghost ‘expertise’.

After that, another friend-of-a-friend wanted me to check their house. And so on and so on.

And to this day, I still get people asking me to come to their house to check for ghosts, it just never stopped. Word gets out quickly…


Michelle McKay is a Canadian paranormal investigator of 30+ years. Former TV host: Destination America, Discovery, A&E. Founder of Her great-uncle, Henry McKay, was a pioneer UFO investigator and the first director of MUFON Canada. 


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