A British Columbia professor has spent the past two years hanging out with Sasquatch seekers, ghost hunters and UFO enthusiasts, trying to figure out what makes them believe. Now, he’s ready to share some preliminary findings.

Paul Kingsbury, a cultural geographer at Simon Fraser University, tells CTV News Channel that he decided to study committed paranormal investigators after reading a newspaper op-ed decrying the rise of reality TV shows on ghosts and aliens, which haven’t been proven by science.

Kingsbury didn’t agree with the op-ed writer that people who believe in the paranormal should be dismissed so easily, and he wanted to find out more. So far, his work has involved everything from Sasquatch conferences to UFO investigation websites to nights out hunting for ghosts.

Kingsbury’s study is only half finished, but he does have some preliminary findings that he presented Wednesday in Vancouver.

“Paranormal investigators are just like anyone else in terms of their socio-economic backgrounds, education levels or psychological well-being,” he told SFU News before the lecture.

“Most of them have had profound paranormal experiences and simply strive to learn more,” he added. “They are driven by passion and do not charge money for their investigative services.”

Kingsbury said ghost hunters, also known as mediums, “are not necessarily going to prove the existence of ghosts.” Instead, he said, “they're looking to give solace or closure to their clients.”

Kingsbury won’t say whether he believes in any paranormal activity, but he did have at least one experience where he “sensed” something “on the other side.”

He says he was in the basement of the Vancouver Police Museum with ghost hunters late one night, in a room where cadavers had been drained of their blood.

“One group was using a spirit box, which is a radio scanner that goes through frequencies at high speed looking for EVPs or electronic voice phenomena,” he explained. “My sense was that there was a possibility of an intelligent entity on the other side.”

However, he added that he was asked to “pose a question” and “politely declined.”

“I think that speaks volumes,” he said.

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim and Kendra Mangione