BY ANDREA O'NEIL
For someone who says she's not much of a people person, Kathy McBride has the wrong career: she's confronted by friends and strangers all day long - only they happen to be dead.
Ghost hunter, ghost buster, medium, psychic - call her what you will, Miss McBride says she has seen, heard and felt ghosts since childhood.
She didn't choose to be a medium. She had no choice but to heed her calling and become a fulltime spirit communicator 10 years ago, she says. It's not always an easy road.
"It would be nice to have a regular income."
Since then she has had a regular spot reaching spirits live on radio, has staged "Messages from Beyond" shows up and down the country and has worked with the police on cases, she says.
Locals will have a chance to put their faith in Miss McBride's abilities on January 28, by attending an event she calls "The Great Ghost Hunt". A group of 20 people will be taken by bus to a cemetery and the site of a murder, then to The Lodge at the Inlet to communicate with spirits.
She says participants can expect to see ghosts and orbs of light energy, be touched by ghosts, and feel extreme cold spots of minus-20 degrees Celsius to minus-30 deg C where ghosts pass by. There won't be a seance, which Miss McBride says are dangerous and encourage malevolent spirits, but the group will do some "table tipping", where spirits levitate a table half a metre in the air.
Cameras are welcome. Miss McBride says she has photographed spirits and orbs on many previous ghost hunt tours.
"We're quite scientific about the way we do this. I look for a real reason for the signs," she says.
"The real orbs - you can tell the difference."
Miss McBride uses a laser thermometer, spirit voice recorder and a gauss meter for measuring electromagnetic fields, which she says are disturbed by ghosts' presence.
Most ghosts are not evil, and while many people come on the tour to give themselves a fright, the point isn't to scare the living daylights out of them, Miss McBride says.
"It's not for people to be scared out of their wits. They want to experience the supernatural, the other side."
Many ghosts have a sense of humour and are happy to be "hunted" by tour groups, she says.
The ghosts themselves benefit from the tours too - Miss McBride can encourage them to move to the other side.
"It's about finding out who that spirit is, especially if they feel trapped or stuck."
For ghost tour bookings, phone 528 3506.