News

Shepparton’s real-life ghostbuster

By Sharon Wright

Unidentified noises, appliances mysteriously turning on and off, doors opening and closing ...

Sounds like elements of a spooky movie plot, but for one Shepparton man, investigating these and other unexplained events is all in a day’s work.

Clive Woolley has a fascination with paranormal activity and has devoted countless hours undertaking Ghostbusters-type investigations in public buildings and private homes across the country.

The 59-year-old founded Country Assessment Study of Paranormal Activity — or CASPA Paranormal Investigations — six years ago but his own first-hand experience with the supernatural happened many years ago.

A personalised number plate advertises the not-for-profit organisation.

He said it all started when, as a teenager, he sensed a spirit attachment after witnessing an accident where an elderly woman died after being hit by a train in Hampton.

“In later years I’d be driving down the road, and maybe been a bit heavy on the foot, when I’ve heard a voice telling me to slow down. Immediately after, a semi has cut across in front of me,” Mr Woolley said.

“Listening to the spirit voice has saved me plenty of times.”

His not-for-profit organisation helps property owners identify paranormal activity and he calls on assistance from two experienced mediums to banish any unwanted spirits.

That can involve clearing the space of spirits by closing the portal through which they enter or smudging by burning sage to let the spirit know it’s not welcome.

Sophisticated surveillance equipment, such as CCTV cameras and audio devices, are used to record activity with the footage analysed and a report prepared for the owner.

Serviceton Railway Station has been the scene of many ghost expeditions.

“The cameras are set up in such a way that every angle is covered,” Mr Woolley said.

“People report the TV being flicked on and off, furniture rocking and seeing shadowy figures.

“We go back and fix it, if that’s what people want, but some don’t; if the spirit isn’t harmful, they just want to know what it is and what’s going on in their home,” he said.

Working behind the scenes are fellow real-life ghostbusters Rebecca Karpin and Jenny Alderton, who analyse the camera footage and conduct internet research about the history of the property under investigation.

“That helps us put together all of the pieces of the puzzle,” Mr Woolley said.

Like-minded people from Shepparton, Ballarat and Cranbourne are part of the 16-member team which regularly goes on ghost-hunting expeditions.

A room scene at Serviceton Railway Station.

Favourite destinations include Serviceton Railway Station, 4 km from the Victoria-South Australia border; Pleasant Creek Hospital, Stawell, which opened in 1850; and Scully’s Korong Vale Hotel in central Victoria.

Closer to home, the old Mooroopna Hospital is a usual haunt.

“You can actually build relationships with the spirits when you visit a place multiple times,” Mr Woolley said.

His vehicle is emblazoned with the company logo and ghost-like figures, which prompts many conversations when he’s out and about.

Clive Woolley en-route to another paranormal investigation.

“A lot of people come up and ask us what we do, it’s surprising some of the stories and experiences they reveal.

“I suppose we are real-life ghostbusters; we don’t use guns and lasers though, like in the movie, we use mediums and empaths,” he said.

● CASPA Paranormal Investigations documents its activities on its Facebook page.