All Hallow's Eve is upon us and if you're on the road this weekend you might just see some ghoulish goings on.
However there are some places in Aotearoa where a spectral sighting is significantly more likely.
With all the through traffic and things that go bump in the night, it's not surprising that holiday homes and inns collect their fair share of ghosts. These hotels are some of the most haunted buildings in New Zealand.
While a more cynical mind might see some of these apparitions as grizzly grasp for custom and hotel publicity, there's something truly spooky about these rooms.
As it is Halloween we'll suspend our disbelief.
Either way, we love a good ghost story.
The Riccarton Racecourse Hotel, Christchurch
Considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in New Zealand, there is a troubled past to this Christchurch hotel by the racecourse in Riccarton. Supposedly the ghost of former licensee Donald Fraser continues to walk the halls, the site of his murder in 1933. His wife claimed not to have shot Fraser in the middle of the night with a double barrelled shotgun and was acquitted of his murder, but for some reason this disembodied spectre is determined to find her.
Larnach Castle in Dunedin
Larnach has the novel claim of not only being New Zealand's only castle, but being "New Zealand's only haunted castle."
A clan of poltergeists occupy this Dunedin relic. There have been over fifty reports of guests being pushed by invisible hands and things going bump in the night.
The hotel is a popular employer for Otago students, more than one of whom have ghost stories from late night shifts and mischievous rooms that 'untidy' themselves.
Waitomo Caves Hotel
Near the spectral lights of the glow worm caves, Waitomo Caves Hotel is one of the most haunted in the country. While you'd think it'd be bad for business, the hotel is booked out by those seeking answers and the paranormal.
But whatever you do, steer clear of room 14 and it's self-filling bath of blood!
The Central hotel Dargaville
Burnt down and rebuilt in 1901, the hotel on the Wairoa River has a constant ghostly occupant. James Carmody didn't escape the fire and is still there haunting the hotel today. The Licensee by all accounts was just as unfortunate. His two other hotels burnt down in similarly mysterious circumstances around the same time.
Carmody is said to be summoned by open fires and the lit matches of guests. Smokers beware!
Cambridge Hotel, Wellington
Named after the founders' alma mater – the Cambridge sounds a thoroughly respectable place. It even played host to the Queen in 1963.
However it's not just royalty gracing the halls. According to Paranormal New Zealand guests have complained of "pressure on the bed, like a cat has just jumped up", or an uneasy feeling at the top of the stairs, "as if you are about to fall, or be pushed."
It's best to hold the handrail.
Foveaux Hotel, Bluff
The art deco Foveaux is home to one permanent resident. It would appear a ghost called Mary is there indefinitely.
The current owner Ms Shelton claims to have seen Mary on more than one occasion.
Supposedly she is the ghost of Mary Cameron, owner of the Temperance Boardinghouse which was demolished to make way for the Foveax.
She is said to be "a friendly" ghost, but is known to slam doors when upset.
Best to leave the booze alone and be on your best behaviour when in the paranormal presence of the old Temperance mistress.
This article was first published in The New Zealand Herald October 26 2018