'More ghosts' after earthquake
The "sheer strength and power" of the September 4 earthquake has more than doubled the number of reported supernatural events in Canterbury, a paranormal investigator says.
Christchurch Paranormal Investigators founder Anton Heyrick said his team had received an "interesting influx" of phone calls and emails after the 7.1-magnitude earthquake, with more than double the usual number of inquiries.
"People are calling us, saying that they had always felt like there was something in the house, but since the earthquake it had become more intense," he said.
Most cases related to strange noises, although one man said he had been attacked by a ghost.
Heyrick said the "sheer strength and power" of the earthquake may have been responsible for the increase in paranormal activity.
The number of old buildings damaged in the earthquake may also have been a factor, he said.
It was well known among investigators that when renovations on old buildings took place, "it tends to wake up dormant spirits, and activity tends to come out of nowhere", he said.
"With the earthquake, it literally smashed walls apart, and knocked down floors and ceilings, so you can imagine the effect that would have had."
The team, which did not charge for its services, had conducted two full investigations, and was planning to do several more.
New Zealand Skeptics chairman Gold said the reports may have been due to "people's minds playing tricks on them in the post-quake environment".
"You may not feel an aftershock, but it will still make things rattle. People's minds fill in the blanks, and they tend to fill in the blanks with fairytales, unfortunately."