Warning: contains topics that may cause an uneasy feeling. Advised to not read at night or rather with someone when easily feeling unsettled.
New Zealand has many buildings that behold ghost stories, or well, paranormal ones. I’ve always been interested in such stories, including abandoned buildings. Sure, the question will always be the same: are such stories true? Multiple buildings have been visited by paranormal scientists, and they said it was true. In several parts, I’ll be telling all paranormal stories and the history of New Zealand’s buildings! Today: the second part!
- The Abel Tasman coast
This legend dates back to the late 1820s when Maori chief Te Rauparaha and his allies sacked the Waimea pa in Appleby and found the hiding place of the magnificent waka Te Awatea. A phantom Maori canoe, with a warrior crew chanting, can be seen in the area on still nights. Sightings of the canoe are often accompanied by the sound of wailing women, representing the laments of the Ngati Apa people as their beloved waka was paddled away.
2. Waimate Hospital
Waimate Hospital is closed, but a tortured spirit dwells within It’s the Grey Lady, and she’s restless. Locked doors were found open, the sound of breaking glass was reported but nothing was found, and ambulance officers had told of disturbing encounters with a spirit. Former nurses believe the Grey Lady is the spirit of a former woman patient, who died at the hospital, seeking company in an afterlife. It’s said the woman was beaten at home and spent many weeks at the hospital in the 1960s. The woman was afraid to leave the hospital for fear of further beatings and sought the company of those she knew would not hurt her. The nurses believe there has been a ghostly presence at the hospital for many years, and say night staff would often find doors inexplicably open or closed. Another theory is that it might be that of a woman who hanged herself from a toilet chain in a ward in the 1940s.
3. St. James Theatre
There have been numerous unconfirmed reports of several ghosts haunting the St. James Theatre. The ghost most commonly referred to in these narratives is that of Yuri, a Russian performer who supposedly fell to his death from the flies several metres above the stage. There are even rumors Yuri was pushed by a female Russian performer named Pasha. Yuri has been encountered playing with the lights, in particular switching them all back on again once the theatre has been locked up for the night. Yuri also saved the life of a stage projectionist twice. Other spirits reputed to haunt the theatre include the “Wailing Woman”, the ghost of an actress who was ready to make her comeback. She’s a frequent apparition who’s said to wail and moan about. Unfortunately, she was booed off the stage. She committed suicide by slitting her own wrists either at the theatre or at her own home. The Wailing Woman targets female actresses most of the time. Some have sprained their ankle on stage, one fell off a ladder without a reason and some actresses suddenly become hoarse on stage, unable to sing or perform. The American actor Stan Andrews is said to haunt the theatre. People say they can hear him wheezing in the backstage corridors. There’s also the ghost of a tall, thin man in his 30’s. He has been seen frequently as well. Perhaps the most impressive paranormal phenomenon at the theatre is that of an entire boys’ choir. The choir had its final performance at the St. James Theatre during WWII before setting off on tour by boat. The boat never reached its destination, and the boys were never found. The staff hears them singing in the auditorium, but when they try to find the source of the sound, it moves to another location.
4. The Masonic Hotel
The Masonic was built in the 1860s, then rebuilt after a fire in the 1890s and again after the 1931 earthquake. In the hotel rooms, there have been several natural deaths as well as suicides – and a chef once died in the hotel’s bath. A guest returns to that same room, at the same time, every year. He perished in the newly installed elevator. The ghosts of the deceased have been sighted and employees and witnesses have reported that mysterious music comes on by itself, lights that turn on without being touched, apparitions that appear in the night, and cold spots.
5. Spirits Bay
Spirits Bay is believed to be a jump-off point for spirits leaving this world. According to Maori legend, during the night hours, groups of spirits and individuals can be seen moving down the beach to a certain point and then disappearing. The bay is the location where spirits of the dead gather to depart from this world to travel to their ancestral home (or afterlife) from a large old pōhutukawa tree above the bay. These spirits are very focused on reaching a particular part of the beach and will not be distracted from their goal.
Which story had you heard before? And which one seems the most ‘creepy’ to you?
Love, Skye Lewis/Deem ❤