‘Sceptic' leads ghost hunters
PARATEK founder Darren Davies is not the type of person you'd expect to talk to the spirit world.
As well as being a key part of the paranormal investigation team, he is also in the merchant navy, and is always on the move — constantly fiddling with wires and cables, explaining the technology that he uses to try and capture evidence of the paranormal.
He describes himself as “the biggest sceptic”, but he has spent a fortune on everything from hi-tech infrared cameras and night vision goggles right down to helium balloons, which the group uses to detect any movement of air and also in an attempt to attract child spirits.
“I'm prepared to be ridiculed, but I'm also prepared to stand up with evidence and say there's no other way it can be explained,” Darren said.
“We don't say ‘there is a ghost', we just say ‘please explain why it is happening'.”
Paratek secretary Susan Bowes, a personal assistant who lives in Brisbane, admits she has been considered “different” since she was a young girl.
“Even in childhood I believed in spirits and walked into apparitions,” Ms Bowes said.
“Growing up, people thought I was quite strange.”
The most openly spiritual of the group, Susan said she did not cry when someone died, even her own father.
“I feel they're just over the fence,” she said.
They were joined by Emma Sticklen, a hyperactive mum of three from Bundaberg, who runs her husband's mechanic business.
She started thinking about the spirit world after a personal tragedy.
“My husband is interested, but he doesn't get into it like I do,” she said.
Despite her intensity, she seems pragmatic and an unlikely candidate to be a “ghost hunter”.
“I say to people, don't fear the dead — fear the living,” she said.
“I know there's something there. I just want to prove it to the world,”
All three had supernatural experiences as children, ranging from dead relatives appearing in front of them, to ghosts grabbing their ankles.
But it wasn't until last spring that they met, through an ad posted on the internet.
“I don't know why, but one day I just looked up ‘supernatural' on the internet, and I found them,” Emma said.
“A lot of people came and went, but we're like family.”