Darren the ghost hunter takes on haunted houses

A team specialising in paranormal activity has found plenty of activity surrounding the Valley Rattler.
A team specialising in paranormal activity has found plenty of activity surrounding the Valley Rattler. Craig Warhurst

APPARENTLY there are plenty of things around the Gympie region that go bump in the night and there is one man who has experienced more of it than anyone.

Founder of the Paranormal Paratek group, Darren Davies, 44, has travelled all through Queensland investigating supposedly "haunted" houses and buildings, more than a few of those in Gympie.

Shadows, eerie voices and all kinds of strange things have happened at the Railway Hotel on Station Rd, on board the nearby Mary Valley Rattler and at the Empire Hotel in Mary St.

People living and working there heard doors open by themselves or saw the silhouettes of - it was enough to make them call the Paranormal Paratek team to research the history of the locations.

The investigations took place in 2011, revealing no evidence of paranormal activity at the Empire and only minimal activity at the Railway Hotel.

But the Rattler proved to be the scariest "place" of them all.

The team of four used a range of different equipment, worth more than $20,000 and including energy monitoring systems, meters, audio recorders, shadow detection devices, surveillance cameras and trigger devices.

They carried out their investigation overnight and saw and heard some weird stuff.

The team experienced flashes of white shadows running through the old carriages.

"The carriages were locked up and no one but my team and I were inside the Rattler. We could hear loud bangs from one end of the carriage then suddenly at the other end.

"It was definitely a spooky place at night time," Mr Davies said.

Mr Davies has been interested in spirits since he was young, when he had a terrifying personal experience.

We all have had those nightmares about ghosts and then being too scared to hang our feet or hands over the side of the bed in fear of someone or something was going to reap us out of the sheets.

When he was just 13 years old, Mr Davies experienced his worst nightmare in a haunted lighthouse in Sydney where his family lived.

He was sleeping peacefully in his bed when suddenly icy, cold, hands ripped him through the sheets to the end of his bed.

"My experience when I was 13 was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me but it intrigued me to learn more and start up an organisation," Mr Davies said.

It wasn't until 2010 that he created the group and bought the equipment.

The team is taking a break at the moment but still researching locations.

Paranormal Paratek would love to return to Gympie to see if any other places are haunted but in the future they plan to investigate away from the coast in North Queensland.

Gympie Times

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