by Michael Lee
Nestled in the backroom of Plan B (2180 Gottingen Street), past the stuffed birds and a Pokémon board game, you’ll discover the unexpected: hot dogs, cappuccinos, bacon grilled cheese and maybe the cheapest breakfast in Halifax ($3 all-day for one egg, bacon and toast). It's the newly opened Gateway Cafe.
But it’s a cafe with a certain twist. Owner Leslie Bailey and her new husband Andrew have emerged from their Halloween-style wedding to share their eerie passion with anyone brave enough to venture in—they're paranormal investigators.
Spreading knowledge is their goal and they’re more than happy to indulge anyone willing to hear-in on their chance encounters with the unknown. A tax collector, Leslie grew up in an “extremely haunted” Victorian mansion, the perfect setting for unexplained happenings (i.e. things moving around and doors opening at will). “It was a really spooky house.”
Andrew serves as head of the hobby-group Gateway Paranormal, ghost hunting Haligonians celebrating the art of spirit study. Among his collection of phantom-seeking machinery are peculiar pictures and strange recordings: a woman floating across a set of lockers, a man giving him the finger, a hostile apparition telling him to “screw off.”
But he knows he’s not alone. With books on ghosts and horror films constantly playing in the background, future cafe plans include a logbook where people can drop in, have an espresso and record their own supernatural experiences because as Andrew says, “Everyone has a story.”