Nathan Giba is a haunted man.
He says that spirits follow him. One in particular, a young child, has been with him for years, and taken up residence in Giba’s house.
“It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, but I still hear footsteps in my house at night, and my dogs can always sense it,” he said.
Giba’s haunting didn’t happen by accident. He’s a ghost hunter. He goes looking for spirits in haunted places all over Whitehorse. By day he’s a delivery driver. By night he ventures into the dark, armed with infrared cameras, energy field detectors and laser grids, looking for signs of former life.
He’s been at it for more than 14 years. It started when he was a kid living in the Northland Trailer Court.
“I remember seeing my mom doing dishes. She had long hair, and the back of her hair got picked up, and not just like a little breeze went by, but until it was level with the top of her head, sticking straight out. She swore that thing would get into bed with her. She was afraid for her well being,” Giba said.
Giba said the presence in the trailer park tormented his mother until she finally left, but it also piqued his interest in the afterlife. After the trailer park, Giba started doing investigations of his own.
“I actually got serious about it when I was about 16 or 17. I was dabbling in it, and reading up on all kinds of methods like the spirit phone that Thomas Edison invented. Back then there was no digital recorders, so I started using a regular old microcassette recorder and listening in my own house.”
When he was 16, he teamed up with Anthony Guy and started doing his hunting in earnest under the name The Paranormal Project.
“He was my first paranormal partner, and he was fearless. Anywhere he’d go, I would go.”
Their first investigation together was at the old steam station on the railroad near where Wal-Mart stands today. They crept through a hole in the fence and started nosing around, switching on their cameras and equipment as they went.
“It was a dangerous place to be, but we were getting some results. There was a woman’s voice that said her name was Anna. There was another voice that just yelled. We didn’t hear it, but the equipment picked it up. It just said, ‘Go!’”
It sounds fantastical, and Giba concedes that he doesn’t have any explanations for the things he sees and hears, but he at least is convinced.
“You could be a skeptic. I will never try to force your beliefs on you, but I may try to show you something. I’ll say, look … my camera picked it up, my audio recorder picked it up … how do you explain that?”
Giba started posting his videos on YouTube and attracted the attention of Brian Young, who runs Doorways Investigations Group, a paranormal investigations company out of Ohio.
“Brian got in touch with me when he saw the videos, and said I was doing some good work. I was surprised, but I said it, ‘It’s not really me, man. It’s the place we live in.’
“We live where the Gold Rush took place, you know? This place was built around the Capital Hotel and White Pass and it was built on greed and suffering,” Giba said.
On an investigation, the first thing Giba does is scope the location for dangers. After all, tripping down a set of stairs in the dark is most dangerous part of his work.
Then he sets up his equipment: infrared video cameras and lights, radio scanners, audio recorders and EVP detectors that light up when an energy signal is near.
Then, he kills the lights.
Walking through the darkened building, Giba simply starts talking, asking for any presence to give a sign.
The floor creeks as he moves cautiously. The only light comes from the LCD of his camera, illuminating his face with an unearthly glow.
Things really do go bump in the night, and in the darkness when you’re actively looking for ghosts, it’s easy to see why Giba is a believer. Your eyes catch a reflection in a mirror of something that isn’t there. A face materializes in a window, only to vanish when you take a second look. The green laser grid picks out its own constellation on the wall, a visual trap that will hopefully pick up movement that human eyes can’t see.
Giba said he’s encountered all manner of spirits, many of whom likely died in their blind pursuit of gold. But one ghost in particular has stuck with him for years.
“You don’t want to be like me. What I’ve done over the years has affected me. It usually affects the people around me,” said Giba. “Everything on this planet dies alone. It all does eventually fall, but for me it’s different. My girlfriends are afraid to be in my house. Whatever it is that follows me, maybe it can’t stand the idea that I could be happy.
“I recognize a voice on every investigation. It’s very mean. It always swears at me. It’s just negative. It’s very negative; it’s dark.”
This voice, Giba’s own personal poltergeist, comes from an investigation years ago when Giba tried to get a spirit to leave its home.
A pregnant woman in Lobird called Giba for help. Her home was full of negative energy, she said. Things would move around on their own. There was banging and footsteps at night.
“She was afraid for her child.”
Thirteen seconds into the investigation, Giba turned on the voice recorder and heard a voice say, “Get out of my house!”
Watching the video after the investigation, Giba said he saw a floating orb cross the screen and could hear a child laughing.
“I told it in very firm terms that, ‘You cannot stay here. You must leave. You can come with me, I will welcome you, but you can’t stay here.’ I guess that’s it. That voice is still with me.”
As much as he wishes he could be free of this albatross, Giba said for him it’s too late to turn back. Leaving this work and its otherworldly companions behind isn’t possible at this point. He’s resigned himself to his fate, one that seems inextricably linked to that of the ghosts he meets.
“My motto is ‘Brave the Darkness,’ and that’s what I try to do.”
Contact Jesse Winter at