All of this (considerable amount!) of information is included here not only as a way to get to know the current and past residents of Lawlor Avenue, but also as a tool for researchers. It is important to have access to historical information when researching reports of hauntings. One of the reports from PSICAN lists a ghost the witnesses have dubbed “Sophie”. So far as these historical articles can attest, nobody of that name is significantly associated with any address on Lawlor. She may be the ghost of a female resident, but it not likely to have actually been named “Sophie”. Perhaps someone with a report will find their address associated with a newspaper article here and the research provided will give clues to the actual identity of the “resident ghost”.
Hauntings research is so much more than simply sitting in a dark room. Before anyone even attends the actual site of a report, much must be done to learn about the general area and the specific location. Teams need to be chosen based on skill/specialty and availability. A good working knowledge of the statistical information on the type of haunting that has been reported must be gained. If a witness is fortunate enough to have seen an apparition, historical research such as the above is very valuable as a chance to match what the witness saw with the photos available. If there is EVP (electronic voice phenomena) or direct communication with an proposed entity, the information gleaned can be compared to known people and events documented through history not only to check that it (the communication) is factual, but also as a tool to help choose what questions to ask when collecting EVP.
As more areas become known as “hot spots” (areas where more than one report originate) more of these comprehensive articles can be logged. The Toronto Star “Pages of the Past” and genealogical websites such as Ancestry.com have become terrific tools not only for history and genealogy as they were intended, but also for paranormal research.