Centrepoint brings in the ghostbusters

George Shiels from Core Paranormal NZ sets up equipment to monitor paranormal activity at Centrepoint Theatre.
Grant Matthew/Fairfax NZ

George Shiels from Core Paranormal NZ sets up equipment to monitor paranormal activity at Centrepoint Theatre.

Whizzing orbs, mists and shadows - no it's not the special effects for Centrepoint Theatre's latest play, but what was captured on camera when a paranormal investigation took place at the theatre recently.

Stories abound of ghosts at the Palmerston North theatre, prompting a paranormal team to visit and check out the things that have been going bump in the night.

Core Paranormal NZ is a Palmerston North-based service which investigates paranormal behaviour.

They camped out with an array of hi-tech gear and were joined by the theatre's marketing manager Darcy Lloyd-Miller and front-of-house manager Vanessa Barnes.

Many stories of ghosts have arisen since the theatre moved into its Church St premises in 1978. The building was previously a children's model museum, a factory and a railway workshop and it is rumoured that a railway worker hung himself from the eaves.

George Shiels spent a few hours setting up his gear, including full spectrum and night-shot cameras, thermal imaging and infrared thermometers. The team stayed until 3am and Shiels said that out of all the investigations they have done, including Hastings Opera House and Napier Prison, Centrepoint Theatre was the most active place they had ever been.

"We captured a lot of activity.

"There's lots of orbs whizzing up and down some of the corridors, giant mists floating over and changing size and shape around Vanessa.

"[Then there was] the chain in the props room swinging in a jerky circular motion and even when we held it still, it carried on; loud footsteps across the stage, a voice saying in the theatre "get out"; a black man-shaped shadow appearing next to us at the back of the theatre . . . and probably most interestingly, a misty torso and arm appeared on the right-hand side of the theatre steps walking up the seating block and then disappearing."

Shiels said the investigation team was made up of a mixture of people who were sensitive to paranormal activity and his own scientific approach with technical equipment.

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"We can never prove a haunting but we can show that in the case of Centrepoint, there was strong evidence of paranormal activity."

Every good theatre needs a ghost and many will be relieved to hear that if indeed a ghost exists at Centrepoint Theatre, it is by all accounts a "good one".

 - Manawatu Standard

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