Last week, a group of ghost hunters in Canada took a trip to Ontario's historic Mackenzie Hall—a 150-year-old building that used to be a jail—to search for lingering souls from the 19th century or whatever. And although the Listowel Paranormal Society left with what they claim to be photographic evidence of a ghost named George, or at least a funny smudge that might be George, they didn't make it out with an electromagnetic field meter (EMF), an important piece of their ghost-hunting equipment.
The small, handheld devices sense electric currents and are mostly used to detect issues with electrical wiring, but ghost hunters have adopted them as supposed ghost radar since the presence of spiritual beings causes weird electrical anomalies or something. Unfortunately, to the untrained eye, some EMFs can apparently look a little bomb-like, with a hard plastic shell and exposed wires—and the Listowel Paranormal Society's prompted a massive bomb scare in the area after someone stumbled upon it.
"Investigation revealed that a suspicious item was left in a room within the building," police said in a news release. "Officers from the Windsor Police Explosive Disposal Unit attended the scene and were able to render the package 'safe.'"
Listowel Paranormal Society's assistant director Jen Parker told BuzzFeed News that she didn't even realize the group had left the EMF behind until she got a ring from the cops, who told her that they had evacuated the entire building and destroyed the "suspicious item" with a bomb disposal robot before realizing that, you know, it wasn't a bomb at all.
"Our intention was strictly to go in, do our investigation, get some evidence for our viewers on Facebook and YouTube and call it a night," Parker told BuzzFeed News. "I apologize to anybody who was affected by this. It was not intentionally done. It was just forgetfulness."
The Listowel Paranormal Society may have caused a bad scare at Mackenzie Hall, but it wasn't completely in vain. The group posted on Facebook that the Hall has invited them back to do further paranormal research, so there doesn't seem to be bad blood there. Plus, they still have the photo of George the ghost, so... worth it?
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.