Found this page using The Wayback Machine - a very useful net service. Sorry, most of the pictures didn't come through, and some (or many of) the links might not work. I'm not going to bother testing them, as there are heaps.
The first item relates to something that never happened for a host of reasons - a paranormal convention in NZ. We were just putting the idea out there. Other stuff down below actually did happen. It's a bit of a recent history of paranormal happenings in New Zealand, covering 2008-2012, so I thought it was worth regurgitating.
STRANGE OCCURRENCES NEWS -
July 2012: New Zealand Paranormal Convention in 2013
Members of Strange Occurrences and two other NZ paranormal groups have formed an organising team to plan a paranormal convention - the first ever in New Zealand. At this stage, the planned venue is The Waitomo Hotel. We are looking for expressions of interest in presenting at and attending the convention. Please contact James Gilberd email@example.com with regard to the convention.
07 June 2012: New Paranormal Blog
James Gilberd is now blogging on the paranormal as TheEvilMoriarty. The domain name theevilmoriarty.com goes to the Wordpress blog.
The blog will feature reviews of books on the paranormal, from those written for believers to the more scientific & skeptical texts. It will also include some site investigation reports, when there are no privacy restrictions.
29 March 2012: Strange Occurrences office in Wellington CBD
We now have a central Wellington office for research, client meetings, book sales etc. It is small but perfectly formed! The address is available on request, for postal delivery or meetings.
January 2012: Spooked now on Kindle
The Kindle version of "Spooked - Exploring the Paranormal in New Zealand" can be purchased from Amazon at a ridiculously cheap price - Kindle edition
Do us a favour? If you've read and enjoyed Spooked, please go and post a review on the book's Amazon page. This would help us immensely on the sales and marketing front, and is also a great review forum. Post review
HEY - WE'VE BEEN BURGLED! - See this page for list of paranormal investigation equipment stolen from our place in Wellington on 30th December 2011.
We would dearly love to recover this equipment, so if you come across it, please email us and/or contact Wellington Police.
28th November 2011
Two Paranormal Teams in Auckland Now!
Ever wondered why our biggest city had no operational paranormal investigation teams? OK, Auckland has always had some experienced investigators operating alone or in small groups, under the radar, but no one had managed to put together a full team, a website, and gain a significant presence. Until now.
Barely a few months ago, Andrew Farrell founded Ghosts of Auckland. At last. Hooray! Mark Wallbank's name appeared on GoA's team page, briefly.
Now Mark has founded his own team, Haunted Auckland, and it looks like he's assembled a pretty interesting bunch of people with a wide range of useful skills and experience between them.
Auckland should be big enough to support two fairly active teams. We at Strange Occurrences wish both Mark and Andrew all the best, and we look forward to meeting and perhaps working alongside them and their teams in future.
(Sorry about the Python photo - no offence intended, I just couldn't resist it :-)
20th November 2011:
NZ Herald article on the recently-formed Ghosts of Auckland paranormal investigation team. (Article posted 6/11/2011.)
This team also appeared on controversial TV show The Jono Project. Have your humour dial turned up for this one. It's all in good fun!
Our links page now shows a healthy range of links to teams in New Zealand that collectively cover much of North and South Islands. Although one of the teams listed does not appear to be currently active, the others certainly are, and they're getting our there, helping people and investigating paranormal stuff.
31st October 2011:
The Ghost of St Bathans
- TV One Close Up - James Gilberd investigates the possibly haunted Vulcan Hotel, Central Otago, on Halloween.
Thanks to Megan Martin and Dan the cameraman from the TV One Close Up team for putting this story together. It was great fun working on it, and it was fantastic to revisit the historic Vulcan Hotel, possibly New Zealand's most haunted watering hole! Spending the night in Room 1 on Halloween was a trifle disconcerting.
Although I had a fairly quiet night in The Rose's room, Dan possibly experienced a presence of some kind, which sat on the side of his bed in Room 2, at around 5am.
Jo Davy talks to Jim Mora on National Radio, 28th October 2011
Podcast of interview
22nd October 2011:
New article on Inverlochy House haunting:
This article on the Inverlochy Art School site sums up the history of strange occurrences witnessed over the last few decades at Inverlochy House, Wellington. There are some good links at the end, including to a video documentary.
15th October 2011:
The Journal of Anomalous Sciences eZine returns.
Due to popular demand, editor Jari Mikkola and his team have brought this very cool and beautifully-designed publication back to life with a new issue.
October-December 2011 issue
13th September 2011:
TV One Good Morning interview:
This interview with Sarah Bradley was screened live on 13th September 2011.
We would like to thank the team at TV One's Good Morning show, who were all friendly and cheerful, making the ordeal of a live TV interview as painless as possible.
The coverage was also a great plug for our Spooked book and it brought in quite a few emails afterwards.
TV3 Nightline clip - 17th August 2011, Inverlochy House & Spooked book
18th August 2011:
TV3 Nightline story:
In this TV3 Nightline clip, which ran on 17th August 2011, James Gilberd of Strange Occurrences discusses some of Inverlochy Art School's haunted history, and talks about the book he co-authored with Wellington writer Jo Davy.
13th August 2011:
Dominion Post article:
Following the Wellington launch of 'Spooked', this article by Tom Hunt appeared in Wellington's metropolitan daily.
It lists Wellington's top paranormal sites, with Inverlochy Art School at No.1.
As discussed in the book, 'Spooked', Strange Occurrences has been involved in a long-running investigation of this possibly haunted building. The frequently-occurring EMF spikes remain unexplained, and could be part of the reason for the continued ghost sightings and other strange events reported by art students and tutors in this 1860s building.
26th July 2011: Magneto interview.
Massey University student magazine Magneto ran an interview with James Gilberd of Strange Occurrences, in their July issue.
There are a few typos and misquotes in the article, (We are not members of any Spiritualist church! We attended once for research purposes.) but otherwise it puts our group position across fairly well.
We regularly get labelled Ghost Hunters, and worse - Ghostbusters - all in good humour though. But for the record: we are paranormal investigators.
Update - July 2011: Release date for Spooked - Exploring the Paranormal in New Zealand, co-authored by Jo Davy & James Gilberd, is 5th August 2011. The book has now appeared in the "Coming Soon" section of the Random House NZ website.
We're planning a big event in Wellington on 12th August to celebrate the launch. More info about that will be posted here soon.
There will also be a paranormal exhibition, along with special events, at MYGALAXI gallery running from mid-August through into September.
July, 2011 - Haunted Inverlochy House in the news again.
Wellingtonian article on Stuff site.
Sloppy journalism, misquotes, getting the book title wrong, and calling us "ghostbusters"! Well, there's no such thing as bad publicity...
Inverlochy Art School is actually a private, non-profit art school with great tutors and art classes for adults and children. Wellington's greatest little haunted art school!
Documentary New Zealand film about haunting of Inverlochy, on YouTube.
20th April 2011: Don't Jump to Conclusions about Ghosts
This story on Stuff.co.nz tells of an elderly woman frightened by blue lights in her house in the middle of the night. The two different people she asked for help from did not check thoroughly for natural reasons for the reported events. Instead they made things worse for the woman by telling her she had some pretty scary ghosts in her house. Luckily the woman managed to solve the mystery herself.
Verdict: don't jump to paranormal conclusions. Most ghost-like events occur for normal, man-made or natural reasons.
9th February 2011 (updated from 23rd Nov 2010):
Research participants needed for a Strange Occurrences investigation in Wellington, March 5th 2011.
If you would be interested in taking part in a survey-type experiment we're running on Saturday March 5th, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put SURVEY in the subject line. Also,please indicate the approximate time you are available, between 4pm and 9.30pm, allowing an hour to do the survey. We are unable to provide transport to or from the venue, which is in Te Aro, Wellington Central. Parking is available.
Participants are asked to fill out a form, and then to sit in each of six rooms in the building for five minutes apeice with a member of Strange Occurrences. We are collecting impressions of the site in the form of numerical data and comments, the intention being to build up a picture of perceived activity (or lack of it) through a number of observers over several months.
It is important that participants know nothing of the history of the site they are observing. We will let you known the location when you email. Please do not then research it on the net!
We also ask that participants declare they have not drunk alcohol or used drugs beforehand, and if currently on prescription medications, we need to be informed.
The results of the experiment will be published but the data will be anonymous, and individual personal information will remain confidential.
Update 6th March: Thank you to all the participants, for giving up your valuable time to help us with paranormal research. We have now completed this research investigation, and the statistical analysis will be published in hardcopy in August, along with a lot of other stuff. Watch this space!
8th November 2010:
Increase in Paranormal Activity in Christchurch Since Sept 4 Earthquake
The Stuff Article says that Anton Heyrick of Christchurch Paranormal Investigators NZ has noted an increase in reports of paranormal activity lately. This morning TV1 Breakfast reporter Charlotte Bellis was sceptical, thinking that it's the strain of the continuing aftershocks and the disruption to normal sleep patterns making people edgy.
Geological pressure can also cause static electrical discharges, especially if there's quartz in the ground. More likely, though, it's the low-frequency sound (infrasound) preceding seismic activity creating psychological disturbance. Whichever, it's certainly helped put our colleagues in Christchurch on the map with their recently established investigation team. All the best guys.
23rd October 2010:
Meet Strange Occurrences at the
MYGALAXI Art Market on Halloween
MYGALAXI Art Market #5 is on over Halloween weekend, Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st October, at 39 Dixon St, Wellington, in the basement. The market runs from 11am to 5pm both days, and artist's stalls will have a Halloween theme.
On the Sunday, members of Strange Occurrences will be there to hear your paranormal accounts and generally chew the fat on ghost issues. If you're curious about what we do and how we do it, this is an ideal opportunity to ask us in person.
21st June 2010:
A TV3 News story aired on Midday News about the Strange Occurrences investigation of the Wellington Town Hall. Tova O'Brien did the interview and the footage of the former security guard was lifted from the site www.fullcodeghost.com.
Our 'unfettered access' (my words) unfortunately didn't extend the the WCC chambers or offices on the first floor level (re. Cr John Morrison's ghost comments) for obvious security reasons, but we were very happy to be given the degree of freedom we had to roam the building all night.
13th June 2010: www.fullcodeghost.com (Sorry, link no longer active.) This is a special paranormal investigation to be conducted by Strange Occurrences. It will be a 24-hour live-to-web event starting Saturday afternoon June 19th and winding up Sunday morning 20th June, 2010.
This will be the first ever paranormal investigation of the Wellington Town Hall. The venue will be closed to the public but you can follow the investigation live on the FCG website.
6th June 2010:
Paranormal Activity Claimed at Backpackers
Anton Heyrick's new paranormal investigation team are shown in this TVNZ Close Up item conducting an investigation of the former Addington Prison in Christchurch. The venue is now run as a backpackers' hostel - Jailhouse Accommodation.
Anton will have a website for his team up soon, so check the links page mid-June.
27th May 2010: FullCodeGhost investigation 19th June
The covers are off! The website created for the Strange Occurrences live-to-internet 24-hour paranormal investigation of the Wellington Town Hall is now officially live.
Painting ca.1905 by Charles N.Worsley.
So far the site mainly consists of background information and videos of James Gilberd talking about paranormal stuff, but when the Full Code Ghost Hunt begins we will be uploading investigation data as it comes in.
You won't be able to attend the Town Hall event, sorry, as the building will be locked down (please don't take this as a challenge - there will be security guards) but we would like as many people as possible to follow the investigation event live on 19th June (18th June in America). You can interact with the investigation site via a live Twitter feed.
1st May 2010:
Another new essay added to this website.
This is a discussion of strange photographic effects occurring in (mainly) digital photography, such as they affect the practise of paranormal investigation. The essay is an extension of the presentation James Gilberd gave to the 2009 NZ Skeptics conference in Wellington.
2nd April 2010:
A new essay on the nature of ghosts added to this site.
Just some initial thoughts on what a ghost might actually be, prompted by seeing the Dr Who episode "Blink", which contains his "Wibbly-wobbly, timey wimey ...ball" scene, this morning. It got me thinking, and six hours later...
9th March 2010:
Bottled Ghosts Sell for $2,800
The bidding was up to $5000 last night when the auction closed but the highest bids turned out to be illegitimate.
The winning bidder was finally the company Full Life, makers of an electronic cigarette substitute. Visit www.fulllife.co.nz to vote on the fate of the ghosts in vials.
The story on Stuff site
Expired TradeMe auction for the two ghosts.
TV3 Campbell Live interview with ghost vial auction winner
5th March 2010:
Ghosts in Bottles Auctioned on Trade Me
The auction for two ghosts allegedly trapped in small bottles of holy water - the spirits of a man and a girl - is running on Trade Me (the NZ equivalent of Ebay).
As I write, the bidding has passed NZ$1500 and the auction runs until Monday night, 8th March. Profit from the sale of the bottled ghosts (after the cost of the exorcism is covered) will be donated to the SPCA.
There are pages of interesting questions and comments on this auction, which the seller has done a terrific job of answering.
Although we at Strange Occurrences are sceptical about the nature of the item being sold, we offer the seller and eventual successful buyer our support and best wishes for donating to a great cause. Well done.
31st January 2010:
Facebook Group Tops 100
Well the Strange Occurrences Paranormal Investigation Facebook group page hasn't existed long but membership numbers have mushroomed. There are now a couple of discussion threads on there too, so it's a good place to discuss your own paranormal experiences and/or places you know of that have had strange things happen in them.
And the spot prize for posting the number of Jones's went to... [drum roll] Denise Durkin, with the correct answer of 5.
17th January 2010:
New Ghost Photos Received
Here's one of a series of photos we've just had sent in for analysis. It's not a competition of any kind, but this is one of the coolest photos we've seen!
Our preliminary analysis here.
Other very cool photos we've received here.
If you or someone you know has a possibly supernatural photo, email it to us: email@example.com
12th January 2010:
Practical Photography Magazine Ghost Photo Article
Pick up this mag for the article. It's on the bookshop shelves now.
They are looking for more photos from readers for possible future publication.
Practical Photography Magazine
29th December 2009:
TV3 Nightline video clip passes 10,000 downloads
In less than three months this clip of Strange Occurrences investigating paranormal activity has reached over 10K internet viewers!
6th December 2009:
Radio NZ Documentary by Justin Gregory
Spectrum radio programme
23rd November 2009:
Radio NZ Documentary to Air on 6th December
The 25-minute radio doco made by Justin Gregory during our last investigation at Inverlochy House will air on Radio New Zealand at noon on 6th December 2009, just after the news. This is a thoroughly professional production, not without humour, and with a strange event at its centre.
Alia, Justin and James conducted an EVP session during which one of our EMF meters seemed as if it responded to questions. The jury is still out, but the event was caught well enough in Justin's commentary. We intend to repeat the experiment with additional meters and a video camera in the near future.
Spectrum radio programme
23rd November 2009:
New Strange Occurrences Group Page on Facebook
The New Strange Occurrences Facebook page holds astounding images such as those from our first ever barbecue. Join now, before it's too late!
But seriously, we'll use Facebook to put up photos and events relating to our more public investigations and other work, material that's too loose to put on this precious website :-)
11th October 2009:
Podcast of Skeptics Conference Paranormal Talk
OK, this has been live for a few weeks but it's taken me this long to get up the courage to listen to myself speaking. Decided it's not as horrendous as expected so have posted the link: James Gilberd's talk.
Most of the photos referred to are here and a more detailed explanation of orbs can be found here. I am in the process of writing up the photographic analysis stuff, which may eventually appear in the NZ Skeptics Journal. If that happens, a link will be posted.
www.skeptics.org.nz has links to podcasts of some of the other talks at their onference.
5th September 2009:
TV3 Nightline features Strange Occurrences
A huge Thank You to Angela Varelas of the Museum of Wellington City & Sea for swinging things at very short notice to make the museum available for us to investigate and film in, and for staying at work very late while we all did our stuff.
This was our second "night at the museum" and we feel that the history of the building and its contents are very much alive in the present and it is a fascinating place to visit both at night and during the day. Futher investigation is warranted!
John Watson and Tori (behind the camera) were both a pleasure to work with and showed great interest and curiousity in what we were up to. There's a lot more work than you can see behind that final clip. Cheers.
"But there are sceptics..." Yes. James Gilberd will be talking at the NZ Skeptics Conference in Wellington, September 25-27, about that very thing!
TV3 Nightline story of Strange Occurrences investigating two Wellington locations in September 2009, or go straight to the video.
3rd September 2009: Strange Occurrences appearing on TV3
We've been busy lately, boosted by coverage in Wellington's Capital Times (Aug 26th-Sept 1st edition), and that's been picked up by the TV3 Nightline crew. All going well, The Nightline feature should run either this Friday, 4th September or over the weekend on TV3 News.
We revisited the Museum of Wellington City & Sea last night, and we examined an inner city basement on the Tuesday evening - a location that has shown signs of a possible ghostly presence. We don't know what is really going on down there yet so further investigation is being scheduled.
Link to video/story is now on item above this one.
17th August 2009:
Crystalshed Investigators give public talk in Masterton on 26th August
"We spent some 2 years ghost hunting mainly in Masterton and Tararua regions with groups of clairvoyant and spiritual people. We had much success with these groups, including seances and table tipping.
"My wife, clairvoyant Kathy McBride, will be giving a public talk and slide show of 80 or so of our best photos in Masterton on the 26th August."
The venue for the evening the Red Cross Centre, 30 Church St, Masterton. It's opposite the police staion( almost). 7pm - Admission $10-00.
Sorry, no links or graphics, as the site www.crystalshed.co.nz is no longer on the net.
14th August 2009:
Paranormal Themes Explored in Photography Exhibition
While artist Pippa Sanderson makes no claim of actual paranormal content in her photographic works, they are an exploration of the supernatural dimension that is possibly present in any situation, especially in rooms, hallways and staircases of older buildings.
By using outdated Polaroid film and a Polaroid "Spirit 600" camera, and including or encouraging lens flare patterns and other photographic 'faults', Sanderson's photographs attain a spooky quality suggestive of the presence of entities and atmospheres normally unseen.
'Quest' (the title comes from the Quest Hotel in Wellington) shows at Photospace Gallery, 1st floor, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington from today until 12th September 2009. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11am-4pm. Free admission.
Photospace Gallery home page
9th August 2009:
NZ Skeptics Conference in Wellington 25-27 September
If you're the kind of person who likes to weigh up the available evidence and arguments before reaching a personal position - a critical thinker - then you musn't miss the NZ Skeptics Conference.
This year, James Gilberd of Strange Occurrences will give a presentation on paranormal investigation methods
and the photography of ghosts.
More info, registration form etc
27th July 2009:
Another Ghostly Art Exhibition!
Vent #8 - Spirits, Ghosts and Gremlins - shows at Thermostat Art Gallery, 186 to 187 The Square, Palmerston North, 1st August to 20th August. It features many works by many artists, all on the theme of the supernatural.
Go to www.thermostat.co.nz for location, contact details, gallery hours. At the time of this posting, there doesn't seem to be any info about this particular exhibition. Perhaps after 1st August...
See below (21st June) for info about supernatural-themed exhibitions at Te Manawa Gallery, P.Nth and Photospace Gallery, Wellington.
16th July 2009: NZPI hosts Radio Talkback
On Wednesday nights from 22nd July, NZPI will host a talkback show on New Zealand's Access Radio.
The NZPI Paranormal Radio Show with Brad Scott
Wednesday night at 11:00, Access Radio 783AM
www.accessradio.org.nz nzparanormal.com - posting
16th July 2009: Most Haunted Ghost Girls clip
Ghost Girls Caught on Tape
YouTube video from Most Haunted TV show.
We're not great fans of the Most Haunted TV prog. currently screening on TVNZ TV1 Friday nights, but this is uncanny.
From some the 3000-odd comments to date, the feeling seems to be it's a heat reflection picked up by the Infra Red camera being used. (The IR camera makes heat sources appear lighter, hence the two girls walking are white.)
Thanks for putting me onto this clip Brad.
8th July 2009:
"From outer space to out of this world"
TVNZ TV1 Close Up piece on (i) the shadow-ghost videoed in Michael Jackson's house, and (ii) Close Up speaks to Donna Sowerby and skeptic Felicity Goodyear-Smith about Hawera tape showing (allegedly) the ghost of a neighbour's fluffy cat.
View the piece and see what you think. Our opinion is withheld :-)
2nd July 2009:
UFOs Over Wellington Harbour?
This photo was taken by a student on one of our Photospace photography courses.
Go to our Strange Photos page for larger photos and our analysis.
We are always interested to receive your unexplained photographs for analysis and opinion.
21st June 2009: Spooky Exhibition at Te Manawa Gallery, Palmerston North
Artist/curator Pippa Sanderson's exhibition The Blue Room featuring 13 artists' interpretations of the supernatural opened yesterday at Te Manawa, Palmerston North. The exhibition runs until October 11th, with an artist's talk on July 11th at 2pm.
See article on Stuff.co.nz
Photospace Gallery in Wellington will be showing Pippa Sanderson's exhibition 'Quest'. The photographs were taken on outdated Polaroid film and are suggestive of supernatural events and presences. This exhibition will run from 14th August to 12th September 2009.
8th June 2009: NZPI Podcast
Friday night, with the remains of a terrible head cold and sounding like Deirdre Barlow from Coro St, James Gilberd spoke to Brad Scott of NZPI (mostly) about Strange Occurrences old school approach to paranormal invesigation. Go to NZPI Podcast Issue 3.
"Whatever equipment you use, it's only a bit of gear. You have to have it connected to your brain."
The first half of this is an interesting discussion with Ben Green. Looks like Brad will be recording these regularly, so it's a spot to watch.
6th June 2009 : Square Orbs!
Took this shot recently on a Sony Cybershot DSC P32, 3.2 megapixel digital compact with a fixed f2.8 lens, f=5mm. The orb (a highlight reflection from a dust particle or other tiny object close to the flash) takes on the shape of the lens aperture, which is usually round (full aperture, not stopped down), but in this case the aperture has closed down a stop, to f4, (from the file metadata) and the orbs have become the shape of the aperture blades, a square or diamond.
27th May 2009: NZPI expands, new website
NZPI now adds 'New Zealand and Australia Paranormal Investigations' to its title, and has a totally new website. Check out http://nzparanormal.com.
Founded in Wellington by Brad Scott, this group has grown to cover much of NZ and is now expanding operations to Brad's native Australia. Auckland-based Dan Robinson has taken over managing NZPI's New Zealand setup.
We extend our goodwill to NZPI and hope to offer our support and assistance to them when called upon. In the spirit of competition for territory, we have had our differences in the past. Now those differences are laid to rest, we can all get on with what we're doing and help each other out. All the best guys.
4th May 2009: New Zealand's ghostly photos.
Unimpressed by the international "Ghostly Photos" competition, Keith Lynch of The Press, Christchurch,
is scouring NZ for our own ghost photos.
Here's what he has so far:
10th April 2009: Due to the way that paranormal investigation has become popularized this century, through television and many websites and publications, a number of rather unscientific assumptions have taken root and are frequently held up as truths. Here are just a few of them: ...[read more]
29th March 2009: BBC News, Scotland:
Castle figure wins 'ghostly' competition
Without seeing a higher resolution image, it just appears to a person standing in the window - probably a tourist. 'Period costume' is a bit of the stretch of the imagination, yes? Or, as suggested, it could be light hitting the rough stone wall just inside the window, picking out something that looks like a human face - a pareidolia effect - see Strange Photos.
CNN version, also showing some other "ghostly" photos.
SKY News article - as above.
27 March 2009 (updated 29th March)
- Strange happenings in Mt Cook tramping hut: www.Stuff.co.nz - Oddstuff
Here is the Radio NZ Checkpoint interview. "Just an editorial note: Checkpoint doesn't believe in ghosts."
Page 99 of Unexplained New Zealand has an account of an unusual experience in the very same hut, in 1913 (The author found this account in the book 'Peter Graham - Mountain Guide'):
"I carried on, and eventually arrived at the hut, opened the door and entered. I lit the lamp and as I did so there was movement in the inner room like someone moving about on the bunk...
I flung the door open - no one there...
When I put the billy on to boil the Thing in the next room moved again. I went to the window to look down the path I had come up and as I approached it there was a curious sound. I stepped back, and then forward again. Again this sound. I later discovered that the floorboard was slightly loose.
Feeling better, I sat down, but the Thing moved again...The sound continued: for all the world like a man turning in his bunk. This was too much. I took a candle in one hand and my ice-axe in the other, and then I hesitated, thinking someone might rush me when I opened the door. I pushed the door open very steadily and walked in. My hair really stood on end then - again, nothing there. I looked under the bunks; I couldn't get over it. I went out, closing the door firmly."
Later, and still aware of the presence, he continues:
"I was just dozing off when I felt it was moving again and this time there was a difference. I could feel it was creeping up - those bare feet were creeping slowly, slowly and quietly towards me. Turning, I jumped quickly out of my bunk, striking a light as I did so. I did see something by the door - but only a tea-towel strung across the piece of string provided. I removed this and looked out the window before returning to bed. The movement next door started again...."
The book then mentions that three other guides and some others back at The Hermitage had had similar experiences. So, with this historical context, it appears there is a genuine mystery!
3 February 2009 - Collaboration with Phoen-X PRI
As a result of recent publicity, there has been an upswing of interest in paranormal investigation. And while it may happen that we agree to disagree with Phoen-X on some aspects, (notably 'orbs', see below, and apostrophes! - sorry Clint :-), our two groups continue to work together closely. We will be cooperating on a number of investigations over the next few months and we regularly consult each other on other issues, such as submitted photographs and investigation methods and data.
And both teams are growing, with Phoen-X PRI now having a geographical spread covering much of North Island. This, and the range of skills and experience we now have, is of benefit to those who consult either investigation team.
Strange Occurrences and Phoen-X PRI look forward to many fascinating and exciting investigations together.
28 January 2009
Television NZ's TV1 Breakfast news programme has picked up on photographs taken during an investigation of the Hawkes Bay Opera House on 24/1/09.
This investigation was led by the Phoen-X PRI team, and James and Mark from Strange Occurrences were also there by invitation. The investigation was very well reported on by several articles in Hawkes Bay Today, including a front page piece.
Strange Occurrences have seen but not examined the televised photographs in question, and we are not at this stage offering an opinion on them. We feel that they must be considered within the context of other data recorded during the investigation.
Sean Aitkin from Wellington Photographic Supplies went on the TVNZ Breakfast show to explain the orb photos in question. See the item here.
We would just like to make clear the Strange Occurrences general position on orb photographs; that is, we feel that most are not indicators of paranormal activity, but rather are caused by the camera flash reflecting off dust particles or other airborn objects. This page has an explanation, and the other site pages linked from it go into more detail.
(The cropped-in photo on right was created at home by fluffing a pillow in front of a compact digital camera, with flash. The orbs are in no way connected with the departed dog!)
24 January 2009
The Canvas magazine supplement of the Weekend Herald, 24th Jan. ran an article on our investigation of Inverlochy House, Wellington, as its feature article.
Thanks are due to journalist Alan Perrott who travelled down from Auckland to spend the afternoon and night with us as we worked on the investigation.
We enjoyed reading "Everything but the Ghoul" and we feel the tone makes it amusingly readable at the same time as conveying a lot of good information. It is a fair assessment of the way things went on the night.
Of course, we don't actually refer to ourselves as Ghost Busters; that's just used tongue-in-cheek :-)
Copy of full article
Part of the article on the NZ Herald site.
We are proud to announce our association with Clinton Lawson's Manawatu-based investigation team Phoen-X Paranormal Research & Investigation
We are now fully cooperating with Phoen-X PRI, with the complementary makeup of our two groups bringing a wider range of knowledge, experience and skills to investigations. We work together well, and we believe this association will benefit all who approach either group for assistance.
Some of you may have seen the article on our group in The Dominion Post Indulgence supplement, October 25th 2008. We would like to thank Nikki MacDonald for her writing and Phil Reid for his excellent, creative photographs. The publicity was a boon to us.
We hope that readers appreciate the humorous tone of the piece, as it was always intended as a Halloween feature. Although we are doing this work essentially as a hobby, we do take our paranormal investigation seriously. And just to clarify, the equipment referred to as an 'electromagnetic flare meter' is actually an EMF meter.
Copy of full article
The following was posted to the Strange Occurrences closed Facebook Group on 9th March.
Welcome, new group members!
981. Wow. It's not a numbers game though -- ha ha.
You may notice, scrolling down through the posts, that this group (and Strange Occurrences in general) has a more skeptical view of the paranormal than some other groups. We hope this doesn't put you off. We try to be balanced, looking at things paranormal from various viewpoints including the scientific/skeptical.
We want to encourage people to think for themselves, ask questions, and not just believe in everything that 'sounds nice if it were true'.
Being neutral and balanced is a difficult position to maintain. Most of us are members of groups such as this because we have a personal interest in or a deep curiosity about things paranormal, be they spiritual or other. Many of us have experienced things we cannot explain by rational means.
Others will say that there is a natural explanation for everything, one that is already well known (which actually will explain many paranormal experiences) or one we are unaware of or haven't yet found. There is no 'paranormal' - it's just a bunch of stuff waiting to be found to be 'normal'.
We at Strange Occurrences are agnostic about a lot of things that are currently termed paranormal. That means that we haven't yet made up our minds, we're just waiting for more and better evidence to show that the phenomenon exists, or that it doesn't. We're prepared to say 'We don't know, yet.' Or, 'We may never know for sure.'
In the meantime, the world of the paranormal holds us in its thrall. There are so many huge questions that, if answered positively, will be world changers. If we're too critical or unaccepting of experiences, if we can explain away everything without leaving the comfort of our home and/or computer, we will never find out anything new.
We are all trying to remain open minded to our own and others' experiences of the paranormal, and without prejudice. Please be patient with us if you don't think we're achieving this. It's hard.
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is a blog by James Gilberd - leader and co-founder of Strange Occurrences. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Strange Occurrences team.
James Gilberd is an amateur paranormalist, writer and musician, and a professional photographer, living in Wellington, New Zealand.