Ghostly goings on in Hastings

By Lawrence Gullery

21 comments


An alleged ghost sighting in the Hawke's Bay Today Hastings office has inspired a raft of claims surrounding other potentially haunted buildings in the city.

A contract cleaner was working in the Hastings office on Thursday night when she was "notified about a presence in your building".

She had been working in the building for a few weeks but could not manage to finish her Thursday night shift as the presence, which was not pleasant, scared her out of the building, she said in a message to the paper.

"I will never return to the building as this presence did not want me there. I hope the next person does not experience the same thing for it's a horrifying thing to go through."

Hawke's Bay historian Michael Fowler said part of the Hawke's Bay Today building, the brick section on the corner of Karamu Road and Queen St, survived the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake but no one died inside at the time of the disaster.

Darby Ryan was a popular reporter at the Hawke's Bay Tribune working at the newspaper office at the time of the 1931 earthquake.

He died during the quake, hit by a falling clock tower while standing on the corner of Queen St and Russell St where he was waiting for an interview that morning.

Mr Fowler said initial thoughts that the tower building of the current newspaper office may have been built on a morgue proved incorrect as pictures showed nothing on the site before the office's construction in the 1960s.

"But down the road, where Forbes and Co use to be, there is an art shop now and the top floor of that building is reputed to be haunted," he said. "There's been a long-time rumour about something being up there."

Messages left on social media websites suggested there were also ghosts at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings including a report that said one often looked out of a top floor, small window of the historic building towards St Joseph's School.

Other popular places for ghost sightings include the former Napier Prison, the former Napier Hospital site, certain homes on Napier Hill, cemeteries and the old Waipukurau Hospital which closed in 1995.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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