Camp Adair

Camp Adair - Aerial PhotographYMCA Camp Adair is located in Hunua, south of Auckland. It was first established in 1913 and encompasses over 100 acres, the camp was later purchased by the YMCA in 1938. The camp currently provides outdoor recreational facilities, including farmland and native bush. The historic School House located on the property can be hired for events and functions. Camp Adair is a popular location for camping trips for schools in the wider Auckland area and boasts a wide variety of outdoor activities including orienteering, wall climbing, archery, air rifle shooting, kayaking, along with a confidence course and mudslide. There are three self-contained villages on site; the Main Lodge, the Hugh Lambie village and the Graham Glaister village, each of which have camp-fire areas.

It is around these camp-fires that the legend of an event which supposedly occurred at Camp Adair have been told to children for many years.

Camp Adair Urban Legend

The legend surrounding Camp Adair centres on the historic School House, which is often the centre of gathering at the camp. Generations of children who have stayed at the camp have been told the tale of a group of children who while staying at the camp were murdered by their teacher in the School House building. The legend states that the murderous teacher, who is said to have had a fiery red beard, can be seen through lurking the windows of the school house late at night, waiting for his next victim…

It is worth noting that no such murders or similar events have ever been recorded as having occurred at Camp Adair, so it is likely these apocryphal tales have been invented and embellished over the years by children staying at the camp, and passed down through the years.


Camp Adair - Caretakers Cottage
Often captioned as the “Camp Adair School House”, this building is in fact a caretakers cottage on the property. The actual School House is a much larger building which seats 45 people.
Image Copyright ©2010 Henry Falkner (
Camp Adair - Entrance Sign
Entrance sign at Camp Adair in Hunua, Auckland.
Image Copyright ©2010 Henry Falkner (

More information on YMCA Camp Adair can be found on the camp’s website.


  1. hairy butt

    I went to this camp about 18 years ago and as kids we tried to call the spirits using the finger method, i actually belive it worked as my finger would move in directs by them selves as if some sort of force its hard to explain

    1. Samantha

      I just got Back from there three days ago with my school . A girl in the same cabin as me said she heard a piano playing at night as well , we all thought it was our music teacher but when we asked her she said she had fallen asleep straight after dinner time . The next day me and my friends did a scavenger hunt I think was called the orienteering activity , I’m not sure . one of our clues where on A tree right beside the school house , a girl I was with walked over to the house . We all didn’t believe in the stories the staff members were telling us but we all still decided to take a look . The house was locked up (obviously) you could tell that there was an attic but they got rid of it . It made us question as to why they got rid of it and what happened there . We all had to leave because one my friends said she could feel something there which made me more confused.

      1. Karen

        The old school house was moved down from Hunua School sometime in the late 1970’s or 1980’s. No one actually had lived in the house. It was the first school classrooms. It was built in 1875 or 6. There were never any murders in the School House/Classroom. I was taught in the classroom for a couple of years before it was moved. The attic was just the ceiling space, like most houses have nowadays. Camp Adair has lots of ghost stories, all of which are just Campfire stories, that grow like Pinocchio’s nose!!

      1. Anonymous

        Bro I’ve never heard of that stories so I think they’re just campfire stories. There is a story about that area though. No one has been murdered in that school/classroom.

      2. Anonymous

        It’s just a scary story people have made it to make others scared you’ll be fine :) I’ve been 3 times and only ever had one scary thing happen but found out the next day it was our parents help walking around banging things to scare us

  2. Aniese

    Omg we just went there today to drop off some stuff for my nephew whos caming there right now, and we drove past this school house. I honestly felt like something was watching me

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  4. Anonymous

    i went there in year 7 for my school camp, my dad came along as well. but i feel like I’ve been haunted for a while and i felt a bit nervous while there so i need to ask my dad if he felt or saw anything while on the trip

  5. Teaira

    i made freinds with girl she was white with long white hair and she had red eyes i remmbier her saying that the black sprits are bad and white ones are good but some times you will see kids running around

    1. Anonymous

      So theres a boy in my school that saw a girl with black eyes white dress and when she turned around she had rope around her neck
      also at the climbing i saw another ghost he had a hoodie on i guess he died around the rock climb

  6. teaira

    i do remember when i was doing the oriterring or however u spell it ther was a bule rope hanging around a tree it had red blood around it and webs i gusse uts what i saw that day..

  7. OML a lot of people said they heard a piano at night, before the teachers even told us the story. ohh and at my school there was this girl who started crying so hard, because after the teachers told us the story she remembered seeing a mans face through her cabin window, a lot of other girls were seeing the same thing too. Also my cousin was about to go for a shower in the boys bathroom (cause he’s a boy), but then he ran out saying that he saw a creepy girl in a white hoodie with a rope in her hands, then when she turned around she had a hole in her neck with blood dripping out. This is also a creepy part, Because no one else could see what they were seeing, and one of staff members said, if anyone can see creepy things around the camp then they were probably the next victims…

    1. Anonymous

      Hi, have read the many posts here today and seeing what most of the kids have experienced while on camp, I have found this very interesting, as I am a part of the YMCA fitness center in Northcote, I would only say that if this continues to happened then this place definitely needs to be blessed if it hasn’t already, because its so obvious that these souls have not passed over and need to rest. So sad. I hope they will one day rest in peace.

  8. Anonymous

    my friend she was singing and she also heard someone sing but every girl in our cabin was asleep inculding me and when she stopped it just continued..

  9. Anonymous

    so my friend she woke up and she saw a man face and it was just staring at her then she started to cry and i think most of the girl saw it and i think i was one of the girls that didnt believe it :)
    and when i first went there i had so many bad feelings that was gonna happen

  10. Anonymous

    the first day of camp someone got hirt not bad .the 2 day it was BAd.the 3rd Day It was REally Bad. BUt i did notice that the little girl said that she has sended help for us… I dont know why cabin X was safer then the others but NO ONE slept by the dark coner. but i did and i was the only one who did I woke up from someone opeing my door it was scary no one was there then the door sundeley SLambed it was bad then i saw something in the corner….

  11. Anonymous

    lol i had to sleep in the school house one night cause we were meant to be camping but it was too wet. it was fine i mean everyone was a bit freaked out but only cause i told them on the bus it was meant to be haunted whoops. i mean id been there before and nothing happened plus i thought it would be funny to scare them but i didnt know we would have to sleep in there so i did feel kinda bad. the only kinda weird thing that did happen was there was a bit of scratching and knocking late at night but i wouldnt be suprised if it was those year 7 and 8 boys who were staying in the big cabin area they were so annoying and thought itd be funny to try and scare us. tho i did hate going to the bathroom at night it was freaky not cause of ghosts but more serial killers but otherwise it was pretty chill.

  12. Geoff Pearson

    The real ghosts of Camp Adair are Cappy a friendly Chaplain who would run the sunday services at the bush Chapel ….still there today. his favourite trick was to turn on lights at midnight or ring the camp bell he was often seen making a cup of tea at the lodge kitchen .
    It is said he died and asked to be buried at camp…. there is no record of whether his body is interred somewhere near the Chapel his favourite Haunt.
    The other Ghost is a soldier who returned back to NZ in WW2 with PTSD he is said to have been suicidal but enjoyed assisting in Camp duties and became healed by the camp .
    These are genuine real friendly ghosts who watch over the children to keep safe.

  13. Jared

    We went there back in 99 for camp at Northcross Intermediate, I remember the tale of the schoolhouse which seemed to have an ominous vibe, we were told it was out of bounds, by the look of it through the windows there were kayaks stored in there at the time, we were also told of someone who drowned there and apparently you could hear the screams still? My memory is vague since this was over 20yrs ago, but do remember something to do with one of the cabins and that kids had to find another place to sleep and also to do with the showers and toilets from what I remember is i think that they flooded or something like that, or was it the teachers saying that as not to scare us… where I was we slept in tents to the north of that barn shaped gymnasium in the big grassy lot, I didnt get to have an experience but sure that stuff was going on there at that time too. Would love to know more about these spirits and who they were and how they died.

  14. Christian pech

    Hi my name is Christian and this is real when I lived in hunua I went with my mum for a ride to drop my sister off at camp Adair and I remember asking my mum if she had seen a girl that Waved at us and she said no so I looked out the window again and the girl was gone

  15. Jaq Tweedie

    This is my lived experience. It was a long time ago and I was a child so my memory may be flawed, but this definitely happened.

    I went to Camp Adair for a Baptist Easter camp in 1980. On the Thursday night (April 3) campers arrived from churches all over Auckland. We all assembled in a big building (it was a rainy night) and waited to be told what what to do next (cabin assignments,etc). The start of the assembly was late, we waited for ages.

    Then shocked adults announced that one of the groups had been in a car crash, some had died and some had gone to hospital. The kids who knew them were beside themselves, weeping and hugging, and they were triaged away for counselling.

    The camp went ahead (we were in their care for Easter weekend, and returning us home would have been a logistical nightmare) and for us kids it was a very strange few days. We were fed and watered and looked after, but all the adults were in grief and shock, and sort of on auto-pilot. We stopped asking the adults questions, because they were on the verge of tears all the time, and emotionally checked out. There was a pall over everything, and we tiptoed around looking after ourselves.

    On Easter Sunday morning there was a service, and instead of rebirth and joy the pastor talked about death and loss. But my strongest memory is of the final afternoon of camp, A group of us kids were in a big carpeted room, waiting to be taken home. We had found a pile of teen magazines, romance photo comics – ‘My Guy’ and ‘Oh Boy’ and ‘Jackie’ – and we were all lying on the carpet reading them voraciously because they were the kind of magazine we were usually forbidden to read.

    There were no ghost stories told that weekend. Death was suddenly very real for us. It was a very weird Easter.

    There must be other people in Auckland who were kids at that camp and remember it. I tried finding a report of the car crash on the internet, but it must be buried in library microfiche. I hope someone reading this remembers, or knows who the people who died were.

  16. Papi Champagne

    I remember going here it was a couple years ago now…I’m 24 now but I was around 16 at the time staying there for a week for rugby league nationals representing our district of bayofplenty waicoa and placed second in the whole tournament….anyways it was all our last day at the camp and we were all mingling with others from the tournament having rap battles sneaking ice cream into our cabins etc…me and a group of friends ended up walking off to the exact cottage middle of the night after hearing about the story of what happened there…who are we kidding the building jus looks haunted lol…we walked up to the door n all didn’t want to knock so I stepped up and did so….we waited 5 seconds n one of the boys I was with said he seen something inside and we heard a knock back they dashed and left me behind I look back n was like………bruh……ran as fast as I could and didn’t look back hahahaha was an experience I’ll never forget and the adrenaline I felt was definitely overwhelming….that’s my story

  17. Tiger

    I saw black shadow’s flashing and I’m not sure who they were and at 3am all of our cabin was woken up and my friend (James) and me saw a pair of red eyes in the corner and I pretended not to see it.

    1. Jared

      Its a great place, I have fond memories of the place its got its own vibe though, dunno about the schoolhouse and all of that. jaq tweedie, maybe because of what happened they are there and wanting to join in when they never got the chance to? Makes me sad but it could be part of it since someone else who had posted had seen kids in hoodies and appearing round the place. I never saw anything but when it started gettting dark it was a very sad place and as others have said there was problems with the cabins which I didnt stay in but heard about, if there is lost spirits there I wish I could help them move on or if they are happy where they are Id love to know their story but obv I cant as I am not a medium or psychic, the impression I get now is that they like it there and like hanging out with the people who go there. I dont think they mean harm or mean to scare anyone. I wish them happiness and good times and hope that they get that..

  18. Anonymous

    These girl in my cabin said they sore a man standing out side of the window but if you go outside and see the cabin there was no deck for it to stand on and also they ask the teachers if there were any boy on cabin control that night the teacher said no only girl take the girl so that hole night they were saying they were scared saying they sore a black figure standing in the corner and then they all slept on the floor and prayed to god but they were still scared

  19. Cherry Bubbles

    2015 year 7 I was made to walk in the nights with a rope, no lights at all with a group of people. Nec minute, I see white ghosts that were dressed up as Victorian or Edwardian clothes, top hats, fancy dresses. Just all coming through me as I walked, I even told an old friend from class and that scared her. I don’t know if I hallucinated or if it was real. I never hallucinate these figures at night time usually, even when very dark. Strange isn’t it. Never happened it again.

  20. Mandes

    I remember going for sports camp last year and me and my friends where kind of under the impression that we were being watched when we were doing orienteering. my friend was terrified because later the same day a lot of students were talking about how someone else said they felt like they were being followed in another activity but i thought it was nothing and later on the same night there was a announcement about someone going missing and we all had to get out and search for the person. We found him sitting in the tier swing near the campfire area but the funny thing was that everyone was so scared of the yaks which were mooing so loud it echoed through the whole camp. but yea that night was a unforgettable. The kid who went missing was joking around and ended up going back home on the second day of sports camp.

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