Parts 1 and 2 of our 3-Part Investigation
As Haunted Auckland has spent the past couple of years field researching some of the many looming structures and private villa residences on this oppressive and overwhelmingly large and sprawling piece of sinister real estate, we were thrilled when contacted by the new lease holders of the Maximum Security building at Kingseat Hospital, Asylum Paintball.
The solid red bricked and iron fenced two building complex had been on my paranormal bucket list for many years. It closed its doors around 20 years ago and hasn’t had any visitors since (except the occasional young thrill-seekers breaking in and trespassing)
Locked up and abandoned, this location was unable to be leased out due to its unsafe and unstable condition. Time has not been kind to this old ‘Matron’.
Since its official closure in 1999, whereby the remaining 16 patients were moved to be housed in Otara, various other businesses have and are now operating there. These include Spookers, for the past seven years and more recently, Asylum Paintball. Many of the buildings are also now being used as private residences.
There are plans in the pipeline for the construction of approximately 2,500 houses to be erected before 2050 which will increase the population by an estimated 5,000 people.
It is reported that during its operation many cases of abuse happened at Kingseat.
During its history Kingseat had several incidents of patients disappearing after wandering off the facility. Some of these were been put down as drownings. It is assumed having been caught in the mangroves in the nearby harbour. Bodies have never been recovered or found.
It is unknown how many deaths occurred in Kingseat by misadventure as it is alleged that many deaths were covered up.
Although Kingseat has a dark past and obviously a troubled history, it is still a place of great beauty. There is public opinion that the buildings should be kept as a place of national interest and historical significance.
Some say this is the opposite of what the buildings stand for and that with it’s chequered past the buildings need to be demolished. Whatever the outcome, with the eerie beauty of the buildings and gardens people are still intrigued by the place and it is still the chosen venue for weddings and functions by some. There are many reported sightings of shadows, noises, apparitions and the Kingseat Grey Nurse.
“Ghost” Tours were conducted at Kingseat sometime between 2000 and 2005, prior to the arrival of Spookers, mostly with pranks and scares to thrill the punters, however, cameras set up to record people’s reactions began to pick up figures which would sometimes follow the tour groups. Dark figures with no distinguishing features which looked very different to the real-life people in the tour groups.
A building inspector working in one of the buildings photographed what is claimed to be the Grey Nurse.
One resident reported her five year-old child relating stories of seeing people in the woods at night near the old Dental Surgery, being escorted by a nurse. People who “weren’t allowed to come inside.”
Staff at Spookers (located 200 metres from the Maximum Security building) have reported unusual activity, cold spots, object manipulation, and furniture being moved.
A resident of one of the Kingseat Villas wrote in 2009 “Every night without fail the cupboard doors will shake and stuff will tap on the windows on the second floor and the bottom floor…the toilets will flush by themselves and the taps will turn on…”
In the Kingseat Villas there have been reports of shadow figures, the smell of sulphur, moving furniture, voices, and outright poltergeist activity.
Here, in the Maximum Security building, claims of doors slamming, feelings of being watched, feelings of being touched, and in once case a full bodied apparition of a male seen by two people which asked “Have you been through my room?”
Maximum Security Building Layout
Two, two storey, brick and concrete buildings. One has security fencing around it.
The floors in the second building have been covered in shredded rubber to make a soft and less dangerous surface to land on whilst dodging fired paint balls. In some places water was dripping through the ceiling resulting in wet and rotting floors.
In one area in particular we had to be very careful where we placed our feet as the floor was giving way beneath us.
The buildings were in such a state of disrepair that it was not possible to identify what some of the rooms were once used for but there were the remains of cubicles with small storage cupboards, bathrooms, toilets, cells with concrete sleeping platforms, mess rooms etc.
Some of the rooms had been altered so there were no corners, thick shuttered windows and steel ventilation grates. These rooms also had concrete platforms (presumably used as a bed!).
The first building has access from the drive and contains the shop for Asylum Paintball.
As you walk into the building there are two small rooms branching out to the left and right of the doorway. Continuing straight forward brings us to a large main room with the shop and a few couches and a fireplace. To the left is a staff only area which we did not go into. To the right is a small room with exits to our base room which we imagine would have been a recreation room.
The toilets, another hall like room and upstairs.
Continuing on through the ‘hall’ room, there is to the right, another little annex and to the left, another medium sized room with access to the outside. Continuing straight forward again we come to a set of around 6 cells. Most of these cells have raised beds in the room (built into the floor) and they all have very heavy solid doors with little window slits in them. With the doors shut these rooms have little mirrors on the walls which allow the entire room to be viewed by the guards from the narrow window. These rooms also have heavy lockable shutters on the windows which black out 90% of the light.
The staircase has paint falling off the walls and the roof. At the top of the stair case there is a central room from which all the little sections upstairs branch off. The floor in this central room is falling away from under foot and makes it very difficult to walk and navigate. We mainly had to stick to walking as close to the walls as possible.
The roof in this central room is missing in a few places which allows the rain and wind unobstructed access. To the left of the top of the stair case is a little storage room and next to that is what we imagine is a patients property room and a little kitchenette. To the right of this room is a room with a set of open rooms which are set up like a hospital ward and at the end of these are 6 or so cells with lockable doors like the rooms below. There is an exit to the outside at the end of the cells. This goes onto a little deck with stairs down to the courtyard below. Continuing around the central room the next doorway to the right of the last room is another recreation room.
This again has the roof missing in sections and is open to the elements.
Continuing to the next doorway is another “ward” with the open rooms at the front and the cells at the back with access to the outside down the end of the cells. The next few doorways off the central room are toilets and showers.
Heading back downstairs and through the hall room and past the cells brings us to a caged walkway which takes us into a large almost prison like courtyard area which has further gates to take us into the second building.
The second building unlike the first is fully fenced with very high fencing all around the entire building with the only ways in or out being through large locked gates or through the main building.
This building has a very similar layout to the first building, the only few differences being that this building is used as a paintball arena so there are spent paintball casings everywhere and rubber shavings covering the floors of the building for safety. There is also one section of the cells in this building where the entire wing is locked door cells.
There was very little power or lighting working in the buildings so as it got dark the decaying rooms formed a labyrinth which was very easy to become disorientated in.
First Investigation – 26th January 2014
Members attending Barbara, Matt, Jessie, Mark, Pam, Kris and J.P (guest)
Luna Cycle - Half way between last quarter and new moon.
Weather – North-east wind gusting to 50 knots. 23.4mm of rain. High Humidity.
Temperature ranging from 18-24 degrees.
During the day the weather was partly sunny but a warm 22deg.
By 4.20 it had become very cloudy. By 5.00pm it was raining heavily with thunder and lightning in Central Auckland.
At Kingseat by 6pm it was heavy cloud and light rain but the thunder and lightning had passed by and apart from one flash while driving out to Kingseat we didn’t see or hear anything all night.
By 7.30pm the Sky cleared in that part of the country. A very windy evening.
The team did an initial walk through both buildings to familiarize ourselves with our surroundings before it got dark.
Pam - My first impression on entering the building was that it was in a sad state of repair. The first, I’ll call our ‘base’ building, is where the Paint Ball company houses its headquarters. So this building is slightly better maintained as in most of the windows have been covered in perspex and is a lockable location. So the feeling for this building was it was grubby and obviously disused but not at all scary. The second building, with its windows removed and a lot of the building open to the air, had much more of a damp dark feel to it, however again not a scary building.
Kris - When I first entered the property, whilst the place was done up as a paintball shooting place, felt very much like the scene when you first enter the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The first building we entered was the Admin building, which had wards upstairs. This place, at least the admin parts of it, seemed like shelter from the storm, but on entering the wards, and particularly the main Maximum Security building, felt like the mouth of Bedlam.
Mark – I loved it! 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… add in a secret attic or a hidden basement cellar / dungeon and I’m in heaven!
Jessie - the building was still very original. A store had been set up in the main entrance room but there wasn’t much physically done to the room. The buildings felt rather empty even when we were all in there. There were a few rooms where I felt a tad uneasy such as the top left had room upstairs in the main building.
Barbara – For some reason I wasn’t expecting it to be wet inside, or for there to be so much muck!
I was also shocked at the conditions that people were kept in. The thick concrete walls with rounded corners, Perspex windows with steel ventilation grates and heavy wooden shutters, concrete beds and heavy wooden doors! Even when it was clean and newer it must have been a very hideous place to be. Once I got past that, I was surprised that the buildings actually felt quite calm and serene.
Kel – (Medium) When I first arrived at Kingseat, I felt someone watching and following me. I also felt a negative vibe. After a while I did not feel this. Building number one when we went upstairs the floorboards were very damp and we had to watch where we were stepping and standing. The building was very run down inside and there had been signs that there had been some squatters. Half the windows were either missing or broken. The second building where they play paintball was in better condition however the ceiling was coming away from the roof and part of the roof was missing.
Rooms Of Interest
Jessie – On the first night it was the wing upstairs in the main building to the left. We had many unexplained little occurrences. Mark saw a shadow in this wing. I heard the floor creak behind me after I had stopped walking, EMFs were doing strange things up here and Barb saw an orb like thing in this wing too.
Kris - The place was rather uniform in its shell, but noticeably different in subtle ways. Each wing, had a general ward, and off each ward, which would have held, if using one bed per bay, about 18 beds or so. Then there was an isolation wing, each with ten or so individual cells, each with a lockable door, using a key, to cover all the windows, leaving the cell in darkness. Whilst the wings were all pretty much the same, the difference was in the size of the holes in the doors that covered the windows. Some doors let no light in at all when the door was closed, so I imagine these were the places with the highest level of lockdown. These would have been in plain view of the people in the main wards, separated by 6 inch thick concrete walls.
Pam - I felt uneasy in the bathrooms, possibly because I got a real sense of how people were probably treated like cattle and herded in and showered and washed, rather than any for any other physical unease. I was surprised by how comfortable I felt in the cells. They felt warm, safe and secure. This surprised me.
The team set about taking base ambient temperatures, surface temps and base EMF measurements the first night. This was done in every room in both buildings. We then proceeded to take measurements throughout the night. Pam experienced a couple of spikes in the EMF meter in the first building on the right hand side wing whilst standing in the middle of the room. It went from baselining to around 1.5mG whilst we were talking and then when Mark suggested we move to another room it just dropped and the whole room was back to zero.
In the upstairs eastern wing of the Maximum Security building, there was a change in EMF from one end of a large room to another. As far as we know, this building was no longer connected to a power supply, however there may have been wiring or other infrastructure in the building which generated a static EMF field.
An apparently moving EMF field was also detected in the caged walkway which connects the reception building the maximum security exercise yard, however this was debunked as being underground cabling which seemingly, when combined with the metal cage around the walkway, caused unusual readings.
Also in the upstairs wing, in the cubicles, Barbara reports seeing a light come down the wall behind Pam’s head as Pam is asking if “anybody wants to hold my hand?”
They tested various reflective surfaces to try and replicate the incident, but were unsuccessful.
At the same time, a minute or so afterwards, there is a possible male voice on audio recorder. Jess and Pam both ask ‘What was that’. A minute after, there is a possible EVP saying ‘What the….?.’
At 8.30pm one team moves into the upstairs cell to spend some time.
Jess suddenly picks up fluctuations in temperature readings.
Three minutes later, Mark is standing outside the cell door and sees a shadow move from the left side of the room across to the right side of the room on the wall at the far end of the room.
The room was a little light with some natural light coming in from outside.
Mark checked out the situation to see if it could have been car lights or a reflection from outside. On inspection and measurement, it was thought that the shadow was taller than the average person. Perhaps around 7 / 8 feet tall. No obvious explanations found.
We resume our surveillance in the dorm room where Mark saw the shadow.
Mark – I was standing in a corridor outside of the cell room where we were holding an EVP session in the hopes of recording some interesting audio. I had heard what were thought to be footsteps somewhere near the outside of the cell, sounding like it was on the same level as us, followed by a ‘thud’ sound. I stood outside the room to try and hear more sounds and to determine where they may have come from. This is when I saw the tall shadow figure down at the other end of the dorm room area. It was slightly taller than the average man. It moved quickly from left to right and behind a 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. On inspection, we found nothing, but set up a DVR camera in that area in the hopes of capturing it if it happened again.
Jess reports further temperature fluctuations in this area.
Note: there is no power supplied to this building.
Two minutes later there is a loud click that is heard by all. When asked for a confirmation repeat sound, there isn’t any. We were unsure at the time where the loud sound came from.
Barbara - There were a number of noises and bangs which we were unable to find a definite explanation for. Some were very close to us and seemed to be in response to our communication attempts.
Barbara claimed to have seen an ‘orb’ of light moving above Pam and in the same area she had sensed someone walking behind her.
It was around this time that Barbara reported battery drain on her equipment.
Barbara - I also had set up my video camera in the “cubicle room” and left it running while we went to the other building. Upon our return to that building a couple of hours later my recently charged video camera had run out of battery power. I thought nothing of these things until I went to review the video footage and found the camera had only run for a few seconds. The camera should have run for a couple of hours and upon recharging and testing the camera the following day it was in good order. It appears that the battery drained almost immediately, although when I set it up it was working fine and not showing any sign of the battery being low. It had been freshly recharged for the investigation.
Jess and I also heard a laugh as our group was leaving the second building. I caught it on audio and you can hear from the reaction, that Jess and I seem to be the only ones who heard it.
Matthew conducted an audio session in an upstairs locker-room in the “reception” building. This did not result in any unusual audio however.
Pam - I spent around 20 minutes in a cell in the base building during which I asked questions and listened quietly. I heard knocks, some of which I didn’t hear when I was actually in the room, but heard later on my recorder. Some quite loud. I can confirm that at the time nobody was moving outside the rooms, however one of the noises could have come from outside the room, but not by any members of the group as you could hear them coming and going for quite a distance.
Upstairs in the base building Barbara hears what she thinks are footsteps. This is heard by other members also. However, Mark arrives shortly thereafter, so it could have been him coming up the central staircase. Oddly, at the moment the audio is heard, the thermometer reads 19.4, a sudden drop in temperature.
Pam, reports that she hears something that sounds like a voice in the upstairs base building. To her it sounds like ‘Put it on’. This is directly after the team is having a brief discussion about ‘turning the torch off’.
Pam states “I can hear it on the recorder and I did ask at the time of the recording ‘What was that’.”
There are lots of chickens around the buildings and on several occasions we had to stop to ascertain whether or not the noises we heard were chickens clucking before roosting.
Also in the same building about ten minutes later we discuss having heard something. We talk about it could have been the sound of the camera turning on/off? However on the recording it sounds like a cat meow. The camera sound can be heard but this is separate to the cat noise. One minute later I say to Mark that I thought I heard a man’s voice, He and Barbara say they thought it sounded like footsteps but on the recorder I feel it says ‘Edward’.
Some of the rooms have been extensive ceiling damage with small pieces of ceiling open and/or hanging down. Occasionally a small piece would fall and this was the reason for some of the noises we heard.
Temperatures were taken in most rooms, however due to there being many rooms and alcoves (and lot of them looking very alike) it was extremely difficult to note what temperature was in which area. Also there were a lot of open doors, missing and broken windows, ventilation grates etc, which meant that there were some unusual temperatures noted.
The surface temperatures ranged from 18 to 21 C and the ambient temperatures ranged from 20 (in a large glassed room with several broken windows) to 23 in a smaller internal room.
Barbara – It felt as if there was someone walking behind me in one of the rooms in the entrance building. That was the same room that Mark saw a shadow and Jess had some interesting EMF fluctuations.
Also in one of the rooms we heard some odd bangs which we could not find an explanation for.
We heard what sounded like footsteps overhead while doing a communication session in the “hole in the wall” room in the second building. The group split to investigate the upstairs area (with some remaining in that room and the others going upstairs to where the noise appeared to be coming from). Once up there we heard some strange noises and what could have been footsteps. We also heard a loud bang as we were about to go upstairs in the entrance building and once up the stairs we saw a door close slowly in front of us.
Upon further investigation we discovered that the door lead to a small room with a broken window. We concluded that the bang was probably the door slamming due to the vacuum I the room caused by the open window and drafts.
In one area I felt movement (a few times) on the bottom of my leg. I looked down expecting to see a rat or similar but saw nothing. It happened a few times within a couple of minutes while in one area but it didn’t happen again.
At one point Jess is startled by what she describes as a black and white cat suddenly jumping out at her.
At 10pm one team were in the downstairs corridor of the base building. At the end of a dark corridor with a bathroom on the right, which Mark is looking in, a storeroom on the left with a grated metal door shut over the open door and in front of them, an open door to the outside.
Pam - Mark had pushed the door open into the bathroom on the right, Jess was right behind him and I was right behind her. Jess jumps to the right, gasps, swears and says she felt a cat push past her leg.
She jumped out of the way. After she yelled, I looked down and saw the metal door and asked if she had rubbed against it, she said no, not that. She saw a cat coming towards her with a solid body and eyes and, as she is scared of cats, as it ran past her, she jumped.
Neither Mark nor I saw the cat at all. The corridor was long so we should have seen it running away. Mark commented he had seen cats around the buildings previously. My only observation would be that if you saw a cat coming towards you why would you get such a fright when it actually touched you? We didn’t see any cats otherwise all evening.
Around 11pm, moving from the base building to second the building, Barbara claims to have seen an orange light glowing in the downstairs window. It was brief and fleeting. However, there was no power on in the building. We discussed possible reflections. No conclusion.
11.08pm Possible EVP recording captured. A child humming a song perhaps?
A neighbouring pet dog on a chain is disturbed and starts barked uncontrollably. Mark investigates in case it is someone breaking into our cars. Nothing is amiss outside
11.20pm, downstairs, Mark hears movement, suggests could be rats. We go in search of the noise but nothing discovered. It could have been outside as all the windows were broken.
11.40, Mark sees a flash of light on the wall outside the cell, downstairs 2nd building. We establish there is a hole in the wall inside the cell and it would have been lights from our torches reflecting.
Soon after, Both Barbara and Mark report sudden battery drain on their cameras. Fresh batteries were put in a short while earlier.
Kris - In the upstairs, southern wing of the Maximum Security block area, JP said he kept hearing shuffling, and seeing shadows. I did not see any of this at all. I did however, get strange reading when I was doing EMF readings. At one end of the ward, the end closest to the entrance, and furthest from the isolation cells, read at being high, highest part being by the toilet door, on what we knew as the ‘Bathroom of Doom’ which I will mention more later. It went gradually low (200mG) from the isolation wing, to being at its highest point underneath this doorway (1000 mG).
The average in the place I took as being 400mG. The strange thing to me was, Matthew had exactly the opposite reaction with his gauss meter. I did, strangely enough, get the feeling that someone died at that spot, hanging, bedsheet through the window that was on top of the door. This has not been confirmed, but the owners told me a strange story about the bathroom of doom, that I will go over in a following section.
Members attending : Barbara, Mark, Kel, Kimberley and guests, Natalie and Amy
Weather – Warm, had rained previously. Windy.
Jessie - On the second night when I walked in, I was rather excited and walking in felt like going home. It still felt rather welcoming and it wasn’t until we started going into other areas of the building that the uneasy feelings and watched feelings started. With this second session, the uneasy feelings increased and was felt in a few rooms in the second building. There felt like there was more going on. The top left hand room upstairs in the main building made me feel very anxious and on edge and the second building gave me more of a “being watched” feeling.
Pam - Because there is not instrumentation of bedding or signage within the rooms they could very much be a room anywhere so the ‘Kingseat location’ didn’t kick in. You actually had to remind yourself of what type of people had resided there and what kind of sad events would have occurred.
Barbara – I can imagine it would have been like a living hell to have been put in this unit when it was running as a Maximum Security psychiatric unit. While the conditions seem to have been extremely crowded by the look of the cubicles it would have been far preferable to have been in one of those than in one of the single cells with their heavy doors, window shutters and concrete beds!
Jessie – This night that room stood out again but a few rooms in the second building stood out too. On the right hand side cells down the bottom of this building there is a cell with a hole in the wall. While doing an EVP session in this room we could hear footsteps pacing above us. There were a few more odd things that happened but that whole wing stood out.
On the first session I just felt a general new-environment wariness. No super odd feelings. But on the second night it was almost like if there was something there and it wanted to know why the hell we were back. I had the feeling of being watched the whole night and had a few moments where I felt like something was just one step behind me.
Kel (Medium) – When I was walking to the second building, I felt entities watching and following me. I tried to communicate with the entities. Unfortunately no entities wanted to communicate with me. The room that stood out to me was upstairs in the 4th cell on the left. I received from an entity “Help us”, Barbara asked “What do you mean? Do you mean crossover”. Barbara thought that maybe they didn’t realise they were dead. I happened to look out the window and noticed figures standing near the building watching us.
During this time, Jess, who was listening to amplified audio whilst recording with headphones, commented that she could hear footsteps in the floor above. A few others in the room confirmed they had heard the sounds too. It was described as ‘somebody pacing erratically and then quickly turning around, pacing slow, then quick, and then slow again.’
Jess also noted bassy music being heard at the time. On checking outside, no music was playing.
Around this time, Barbara mentioned that she thought she had heard a growl. Unfortunately after listening to the EVP, it turns out that it was a car off in the distance.
As we were there for only a few hours this time, we did not have time to take full location temperatures in all of the areas.
Barbara, was specifically focusing on the upstairs cubicle dormitory and noted readings there at the beginning and at the end of the investigation.
Barbara – It felt as if there was someone in the upstairs corridor and one of the cells in that area. They seemed to be moving around and may have been trying to avoid us or were playing with us. I also physically felt something move beside my ankle when there was nothing there!
The cells ranged between 20 and 22 C surface and ambient temperatures between 25 and 26 C.
Barbara - While in the two areas we were focusing on I could feel a “sense of quietness” which is how I feel sometimes when spirits are around. It feels to me as if there is another person (or people) in the room but that they are being very still and quiet and I can’t see them.
I left my studfinder in front of my video camera as a trigger test. If anything came close to the studfinder it would have set the lights and alarm going and the video camera would have caught it. Unfortunately the batteries seemed to have drained almost immediately on the video camera (it had been freshly charged and worked fine after this night) and upon my return a couple of hours later I discovered the studfinder had fallen from its position. I thought the studfinder had been fairly stable but with no video of what happened I have to assume that the event is not paranormal.
Some of the team went into an area where we had felt that there may be some form of energy present and held a short communication session. During this time, Jessie (who was listening to the session amplified through headphones and audio recorder) reported that she could hear footsteps which sounded as if they were pacing on the floor in one of the rooms overhead. Several of the team could also hear these footsteps even without headphones on and there were also sounds that seemed to coming from the hallway outside the room we were in. At this stage the group decided to split, with half going upstairs to try to isolate the area the footsteps were coming from. Once upstairs we found that the rooms there were single cell type rooms with hard floors. Although there were many noises we were unable to work out the exact room where the footsteps were coming from. A number of the group were drawn to one room in particular and reported feeling very uneasy there.
As we were packing up and leaving this area we noticed a possum sitting up in an upstairs room window so this could have accounted for some of the noises the team heard.
Our concluding summary will be on the third investigation report, along with a full photographic gallery from all 3 investigations. Coming soon.