Central Hotel – Dargaville

On July 29th the team headed off on another road trip, this time up north to Dargaville, to spend the night investigating ongoing paranormal activity within the Central Hotel. The Hotel sits directly opposite the mighty Northern Wairoa River and is located at the corner of Victoria and Edward Street Dargaville.

Constructed in 1901, during the Kauri logging and ship building era, the first hotel on the site was known as the Kaihu Hotel until it burned down on the morning of Saturday 16 February 1901. One man, named James Carmody, didn’t escape the fire. The victim’s bones were discovered amongst the ashes after the fire and an inquest was later held to determine the cause of death. The hotel itself was completely destroyed. The licensee of the hotel, Edmond Moriarty, had previously been the publican of the Pahi Hotel which coincidently had burned down in September 1897, when he had been in charge of that establishment.

Auckland based Architect John Currie designed the new hotel and had advertised for tenders for the erection of the new replacement hotel in March of 1901. Currie was also the architect for the new Pahi Hotel and also possibly the Maungaturoto Hotel.

A full report will be released once the long arduous chore of review and analysis of all our many hours of audio and video footage is complete. For now though, here are a few photos of this stunning old beauty. Enjoy. Photos by Mark, Marlene, Sam and Barbara.




  1. There has, over the years that the Central Hotel has been haunted. One story has it that just after the bed was made in one of the rooms and no one else was in the hotel beside the bedmaker, a trip back into the room revealed a clear impression of someone having sat on the bed.
    The Northern Wairoa Hotel in Dargaville, also has some paranormal stories attached to it. Look forward to your reports. Robyn Downey-Facebook.

  2. Pingback: Abandoned Dairy Factory - Ruawai | Paranormal NZ

  3. Lisa

    I used to work here in the 90’s. The thing I remember is unplugging the jukebox from the wall, then it started playing; the sound of the beer taps in the sports bar clicking on and off (after the bar was closed and everyone gone), the publicans dog not going into the bedroom, a travelling sales rep staying in the room and telling us never to put him in that room again. I also remember having heard of the impression on the bed that someone had sat there.

  4. Emma Janlar

    As an ex-worker/lodger at the hotel and not a paranormal fanatic, I can confirm that it is indeed haunted. Not as frequent as the locals make it out to be (doesn’t help that it’s the most hideous building/decor I’ve ever seen), but enough to notice happenings here and there.

    Throughout my time there (7mths) I’ve seen a glass shatter in another waitresses hands, a shadow glide past the bathroom door where I was brushing my teeth but when I turned around to peer around the corner to check, nobody was there (considering the building’s over 100 years old; it’s impossible to walk around without creaking every step. 4 years later, I now always keep the bathroom door closed when I brush my teeth), heard the tv blaring all night in another workmates room when he wasn’t home (he was staying at my dads cos they’re workmates), and although I’m not a big believer in shadow people, I have seen shadows peer over my head and whispering to eachother with no sound in the middle of the night the day before I quit (reasons weren’t for the odd incidences btw, just work-related).

    Yes, it can be quite eerie walking down a hallway which resembles The Shining, but overall it’s harmless. Never saw any apparitions but just strange oddities every once in awhile.

  5. Annie Bland

    I worked there for a few years as Housekeeper, breakfast/ lunch cook. I loved the place… The end bedroom was ‘definitely’ occupied, permanently… If we had to use it due to being full, anyone who ended up sleeping in that room at the very end of the passage opposite the storage room did not have a good night sleep… I’d call out ‘morning Jimmy. Just popping in to tidy up for you’ ..and I’d carry on vacuuming and cleaning… I never had a problem, but there was a certain feeling in that room where you would know that you were being watched… He just didn’t like sharing his room with others :)

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