There's little doubt that Harold Whidden arrived primarily for the story. The popularity of his earlier article had ensured his return. No shame was attached to that. It was his job.
But he emerged from the MacDonald Homestead as a believer. So shaken, that he was willing to finance, from his own pocket, a $100 reward for anyone who could successfully explain what he had experienced there.
Alongside him, Detective Carroll (pictured) probably had more to lose, in terms of his reputation, by opting for a supernatural explanation.
But he also declared his belief that a ghost was in the homestead.
The pair arrived in Caledonia Mills in early February. Making contact with the McGillivrays again, they were introduced to the MacDonald family. It was agreed that seventy-year-old Alex MacDonald would accompany them to his home. He stayed with them for as long as they kept the vigil.
Initially the idea was to be there for three days and nights. It actually turned into two.
The MacDonald Homestead was icy cold. Fire damage had gutted much of the furnishings and rendered the range unusable. Whidden, MacDonald and Carroll instead piled on layers of clothing and survived the frozen winter conditions that way.
It wasn't until the second night that anything strange occurred. Whidden told how he was sitting in a chair, with Carroll occupying a second chair to his left. Farmer MacDonald merely lay on the floor. The laws of Gaelic hospitality saw him refusing anything else.
Above their heads came 'strange sounds', which neither Carroll nor Whidden could place. The noises were quickly joined by footsteps, as if someone was pacing in the bedchamber.
The two men waited, listening in the full knowledge that nobody was up there. The homestead was deserted but for the trio in the living room. A glance at MacDonald showed that he'd fallen asleep.
All was quiet, when Whidden felt the blow. It seemed like something had punched him hard in the left forearm. Startled, he stared at Carroll, who had not budged an inch. The detective appeared perplexed at phenomena of his own. Something had apparently just pulled at his own left arm.
The sensations felt by both men were strong enough to have cut through (in Whidden's case) 'two shirts, an inside coat, a heavy sweater, a fur-lined overcoat and a new horse-rug'.
Whidden woke Alex MacDonald and asked the farmer if he'd hit him. MacDonald was naturally confused. He'd been asleep.
Whidden knew this. He would have seen the farmer the second that he stirred, as the old man wasn't far away. The reporter stated that he had to ask for the sake of exhausting all reasonable possibilities. But they all knew it wasn't that. Low level panic was galvanizing his tongue into asking ridiculous questions.
For the next 'fifteen to twenty minutes', Whidden became convinced that a 'strange presence' was in the house. He sat tense and expectant, waiting for it to show itself or for the violence to escalate.
It was there! It was watching them! It was with them! But after the aforementioned time had passed, it was like a switch had been flicked on Whidden's sensibilities. He no longer felt that the entity was there. Finally he could relax.
Neither MacDonald nor Carroll experienced that tingling anticipation at all. Weeks later, a paranormal investigator would test Whidden's psychic ability, and find it stronger than most.