KIM DE LEIJER
They're not ghostbusters but a paranormal investigation group could be in for a spooky encounter when it investigates the old Napier Prison tonight.
Late this afternoon members of Phoen-X Paranormal Research and Investigation (Phoen-X P R I) will drop a high-powered night-vision camera down a 15.8m well in the prison's old infirmary.
Group founder Clinton Lawson was involved in the initial investigation of the prison, now used as a backpackers, in July. He said there had been high electro magnetic field (EMF) readings in the room with the well, which has since been turned into a bedroom.
Mr Lawson said readings indicating a base ranged between 0.3-0.5 but they had been getting readings upwards of 4.0 in that room.
``That's usually an indication of paranormal activity,' he said.
The non-profit group was contacted by prison owner Marion Waaka. She had shone a torch down the well several years ago, before it was boarded over, and recalled seeing something down there _ but she could not tell what it was.
Tonight Pheon-X P R I will also take readings throughout the whole prison using sensitive electronic equipment worth about $4000.
Mr Lawson said the group tried to disprove people's fears about paranormal activity and turned to ``illogical' answers only when they could not find a logical explanation.
``We're not ghostbusters, we're not exorcists, we're investigators and researchers,' he said.
Mr Lawson is a believer in spirits and demons and said he had a paranormal experience during his last visit to the old prison.
At the time he was sitting in a chair in the infirmary collecting readings when he heard footsteps approach him, stop as if they were turning away and then continue walking. When he radioed the other team members to get their locations they were all on the other side of the prison.
The group was also given approval this week to investigate the iconicHawke's Bay Opera House in January next year. Mr Lawson said he had always been keen to investigate the opera house because it was internationally known and there had been reports of spiritual activity.
KIM DE LEIJER