The 'Brooklyn Dodger' relates neither to NYC nor baseball, but to Wellington, New Zealand. It was the moniker given to an alleged poltergeist, a prolonged, purportedly paranormal incident in 1963 in which a guest house in Owhiro Road, in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn, was pelted with stones of unknown origin. This mysterious case caught the public's interest due to extensive media coverage. (Maybe March, 1963 was a slow news month.) Several paranormal-type explanations were put forward, but eventually the stones ceased and so did the interest.
The Brooklyn Dodger case is mentioned in several good, reputable books on the paranormal in New Zealand, including Robyn Jenkins' 'The New Zealand Ghost Book' (AH & AW Reed, 1978, pp45-47), and Nicola McCloy's 'New Zealand Mysteries' (Whitcoulls, 2005, pp21-22) but none of these accounts offers an explanation for the mystery.
So, a year ago yesterday I spent some time on air in the Radio New Zealand studio in Wellington talking paranormal stuff. As preparation for the appearance, I was asked to present some kind of historic ghost story related to Wellington, so I chose the Brooklyn Dodger as it was one that was well documented, and I had plenty of reference material to hand for it. As well as the book references, paranormal aficionado Bruce Mahalski had provided me copies of newspaper clippings from the time. Here are just three days' worth.
Anyway, Radio NZ has this huge sound file, and something they unearthed and played on the afternoon show solved this mystery. If you listen to my interview/guest spot/thing, the sound file occurs 11:30 into the aired clip NZ Retro - Ghosts. (If you want to listen to the entire show from 20th July, 2015, go ahead. There's also an interesting account concerning Larnach's Castle - a famously haunted location in Dunedin, New Zealand.)
If you can't be bothered listening; in a nutshell, a witness says a boy was seen concealing a catapult (a slingshot), and after he was spoken to by the police the stone pelting ceased.
So, case solved! This information was broadcast at the time for all to hear, and in the 1960s people actually listened to the radio so there wasn't much chance of it going unheard.
Why then, is this information not presented in the newspaper stories of the time, or magazine articles and books published later? The answer seems obvious: once there's a probable natural explanation for a paranormal occurrence, you no longer have a story!
One wonders how often this happens in the world of the paranormal. How many famous, well-documented cases were actually solved but the crucial, revealing information was later ignored, skirted around, or merely hinted at, for the sake of preserving a good story?
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.