Night noises stump Christchurch crime busters

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2013
BUMP IN THE NIGHT: Senior Constable Gary Malzard shows where the Hornby police station ghost can be heard walking around in the dead of night.
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ

BUMP IN THE NIGHT: Senior Constable Gary Malzard shows where the Hornby police station ghost can be heard walking around in the dead of night.

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Christchurch's crime busters may be in need of some ghostbusters.

Officers at the Hornby station say there have been paranormal occurrences in the building for many years, but there are no clues on who the phantom may be.

Senior Sergeant Pete Laloli, who has run the Hornby station for 20 years, said the night-time spooks had been present as long as he could remember. "If you're in the station by yourself, strange things happen."

Staff who worked there were well aware of a "presence", he said. At night, footsteps could be heard upstairs and, when they investigated, officers would find doors open that had been closed.

Lights and electronics would come on for no apparent reason.

"One of the guys had finished work after one of our student operations and he went in, then walked out, walked back in and the radio was going," Laloli said.

"I'm not talking a police radio; this was a transistor radio that was on the desk."

One staff member had refused to go into the station on his own, Laloli said.

The station was built in 1989.

Laloli understood a Catholic church had been on the site, but there was no graveyard there.

Senior Constable Gary Malzard has worked in the station since 1993, and although he never saw anything, he had often heard "the noises".

He recalled one occasion where he was at the station alone at night and the watchhouse lights came on while he was upstairs.

"From time to time you hear things. Lights will go on. It's really strange," he said.

"It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up."

On one occasion, he and his partner heard someone walking in the corridor upstairs. They went up separate stairwells and met upstairs, but found no-one there.

There was no record of anyone dying in the station or any prisoners held there overnight, he said.

Senior Constable Fiona Clark said she had heard someone walking around "from time to time" and would have a look upstairs and find no-one.

Malzard said that of the staff at the station, the believers and non-believers were split about 50-50.

None of the police officers at the station had considered bringing in ghostbusters - that is, "not yet", Laloli said.

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