Mystery at the asylum
Ghostly figures in photographs, batteries that die suddenly and slamming doors are just a few of the spooky activities occurring at Asylum Paintball.
Owners Vitaly Miheev and Anton Klimenko were worried enough to get Haunted Auckland in for a look at their business premises in the former Kingseat Hospital.
The paranormal investigation and research group is now making a documentary on its three-part investigation.
Asylum Paintball was set up last November in the former psychiatric hospital's maximum security ward.
Its two two-storey buildings have 20 rooms and are connected by a steel-caged security tunnel. They were locked up for 20 years before the paintball enthusiasts moved in.
Haunted Auckland's team members arm themselves with electromagnetic field metres, camera and torches to document the paranormal or allay people's fears by explaining the seemingly inexplicable.
They found "energy" in many areas of the maximum security units at Kingseat. The eastern wing and the caged walkways in particular had levels that were unexplainable.
Haunted Auckland founder Mark Wallbank says he was standing outside one of the cell doors and saw a shadow move quickly across the wall.
"It was roughly the shape of a person but I didn't notice any arms or legs moving. It just floated from left to right," he says.
Investigators also recorded something that sounded like a man laughing and a number of other strange sounds.
"It was everything I could've hoped for in an investigation location - soaked in history, rot and decay, signs of the past everywhere, no power, dark corridors, creepy stairwells," Wallbank says.
He won't go so far as to say there are ghosts in the building "but we know something is out there". "We need to learn more about it to understand and that's why we do these investigations."
Meanwhile, the strange incidents continue.
"Batteries on our cameras suddenly run out of power. Yet away from the building they last for hours," Miheev says.
The pair found a key in an old medical box on the windowsill and discovered it opened every door in both buildings.
Miheev says he's also captured a shadow figure in a photograph.
"This place may well have something," he says.
"It certainly has a very special energy. There is some sort of feeling that I just want to stay away."
The Haunted Auckland team wants to speak to former workers of Kingseat Hospital to share their experiences. Identities can be hidden.
Call Mark Wallbank on 027 413 3524 for more information.
Call Asylum Paintball on 09 277 0075.