Professional ghost hunter Jason King is who ya gonna call if there’s something strange in your neighbourhood. He’s been chasing poltergeists around Parramatta for the past eight years after he first started conversing with the ghost of his dead brother.
It’s Mr King’s challenge to find out if the window that rattles has a screw loose or if it’s the plaything of a banshee with a bout of the mean reds. With an electromagnetic reader, a medium, a camera and a tape recorder, Mr King summons the often-shy ghosts from the cloak of darkness. “We are called out investigate when people think they have a haunted house. I try to go out and debunk basically everything they tell me – I check switches if they say the lights are going on and off. After that, I start trying to see what I can do,” Mr King said.
He’s hunted in the historic sites of Parramatta, including in the Parramatta Female Factory precinct and North Parramatta graveyard, and in a handful of homes around the area. He’s itching to turn the now closed Parramatta Gaol into his hunting ground after hearing rumours that there is a black shadow still locked behind bars.
“In one Carlingford home we hoped to move a ghost on. It was a creepy case. It turned out the ghost had been attracted to the female resident when he was young and he remembered her from the young days. He was a pest. We went into the house and it was really cold but after we left it, it was really warm,” the 40-year-old, father of one, said.
Ghost hunting transcends lawn bowls or stamp-collecting as a hobby but Mr King, who works as a security guard during the day, hopes to make a genuine difference to both the living and the dead. He said ghosts were often unhappy beings – and not simply because of unfair stereotypes that they were mean-spirited. “Most of the time ghosts are trying to pass a message on and people just can not read that message.”
Have you ever found a light switched-on after you turned it off? You might not have to buy a truckload of sudoku books out of fear your brain is degenerating, you could simply have a relative of Casper squatting in your house (this could also serve as a good excuse when the washing is not done, or the beds are not made). “It’s very, very common to have a ghost,” Mr King, who lives in Blacktown, said. Ghosts make themselves very obvious. “A lot of people have things happen to them and they don’t want to admit it. Sometimes they get the feeling that they are being watched and something doesn’t feel right but they just think their imagination is playing tricks on them.”