'Madame Linda' exploring the science behind the sixth sense

Linda Duford considers herself a skeptic, but says she has experienced things that aren't easily explained. 

"In my family, we do see and hear a lot of things that other people don't see or hear," she said. 

It's these experiences that have inspired Duford to explore extrasensory perception (ESP), more commonly known as the sixth sense. Now she's hoping to demystify the phenomenon for others. 

Under a full moon on Friday the 13th, a daring group of people will gather in Hay River to hear Duford — or Madame Linda's — talk "Science and the Sixth Sense." 

Duford stressed that Friday's event is just for fun. 

"Anything like this we have to take with a grain of salt," she said. "This is going to be a fun evening, but I think they're going to come out with a better awareness of the subject."

Ghosts upstairs

Duford, a longtime resident of Hay River, N.W.T., has plenty of creepy stories to share.

For example, as a young teen, she lived in an old apartment building with her grandparents in Charlottetown. One snowy winter's day, she said they heard the sounds of scraping furniture in a vacant apartment overhead.

"It sounded like someone was moving in. We heard people walking up the stairs … it was actually making our apartment vibrate." 

The noise continued until late at night, when Duford said her grandmother called their landlord. But he told them no one was in the apartment upstairs and even showed them inside. 

"There wasn't a stick of furniture. There was nothing," Duford remembers. "Three people don't imagine that over such a long period of time." 

We heard people walking up the stairs ... it was actually making our apartment vibrate. - Linda Duford, Hay River resident

Duford didn't reveal too much about what she has planned for the talk, but did say along with what she's learned from her research, people can also expect to hear some of her spooky tales from the Back Eddy, when her family owned the restaurant. 

"Everybody has a story of their own," she said. "What I want to try and say to people is, 'No you're not crazy, there is a scientific reason for a lot of these things and it's OK to talk about it.'" 

"It's just as normal as talking about something that you've seen, something that you've heard, this is something that you've sensed," she added. 

Duford isn't just looking into ghostly encounters or premonitions. She said she's also always been fascinated by the truth behind old wives tales.

Emily Blake/CBC

When she was younger, Duford said her grandmother would tell her to eat her bread crusts because they were good for her.

Then she read about a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2002, which said crusts contain higher amounts of an antioxidant than the rest of the bread, or the flour used to make it. 

Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Hay River Soup Kitchen, Hay River Animal Welfare Society and the Kole Crook Fiddle Association.