Private Residence, Herne Bay

Haunted Auckland were asked to help a family who were having problems at their home in Herne Bay. The family had moved into the house earlier in the year and had initially not noticed anything unusual. However within a few months odd things started happening. Strange unexplained noises were heard.

A television was turned on during the night, items that had been on shelves overnight were found on the floor the next morning and both of the occupants cars were constantly having their batteries drained. The oven door opened while people in the kitchen had their backs turned and footsteps were heard in the home by various people but no-one could be seen. The nanny reported seeing a man move through the kitchen while minor renovation work was being done at the house. However the workman was actually upstairs at the time and there was no-one in that area where the man had been seen. The lady of the house reported several glimpses of a small white figure moving in the hallway/kitchen area.

Haunted Auckland conducted 2 full all-nighter investigations on January 4th and 6th, plus a 3rd day for a cleansing ritual on January 26th, in this Herne Bay home.

Members that attended the investigations: Mark, Barbara, Kris, Heather, Matthew, Kel and Lisa

This beautifully kept house is about 40 years old and in its time has been extended and remodeled into a sun-catching mansion. We were told that there was once a lot of children in the house as the now lounge was originally a dormitory. This was the reason there are power points every few metres around the large room. Downstairs has a storeroom, a large cupboard under the stairs, double garage, foyer, hallway, playroom, large lounge, guest room, toilet, bathroom and laundry. First floor has a huge master bedroom, two children’s bedrooms, a large toilet/bathroom, hallway and sunroom/bedroom. There is crawl space under the house.

Kris – “It deserves to be mentioned: There is a cell phone tower just outside the property boundary. I didn’t notice it when looking around, but snapped one in a picture. It is on the northern side of the property. Didn’t check EMFs as I didn’t know it was there, until afterwards.”

Alleged Activity

  • The T.V turns itself on in the lounge in the middle of the night. The owners have had to get up and turn it off numerous times.
  • The two family cars have both been having regular battery drains and usually on the weekend.
  • While the children were away for the weekend, Christmas presents were taken from a shelf in the storeroom and left on the floor.
  • The Mother has seen a figure, which she says, is the size of a child in the foyer/hallways around the kitchen area. She also has seen movement through the frosted glass in the hallway. She has seen this several times.
  • Both adults in the house report hearing footsteps when there is no one there.
  • The little boy is very fearful at night and has frequent nightmares.
  • There are always noises heard around the house, but due to the size of the building and the fact that there are neighbours, a reserve and a Petanque club quite close, it is impossible to ascertain where the noises are coming from.

Experienced by team member Barbara, whilst working in the house…

  • Saw a figure (for some reason thought it was a man in black) walk past kitchen door and then through kitchen (I saw him move through the kitchen through the frosted glass wall in the hallway).
  • Oven door opened while I was in the room but not looking. (This was accompanied with the same feeling I get in the spare room ie like someone is there but is keeping so still and just watching.)
  • While sitting with two children in the playroom (the other was in the lounge) I heard footsteps of an adult wearing hard shoes in the foyer/hallway. They continued for a couple of minutes before I realized that they were not right. (Just thought it was the child who had been in the lounge!!) Called out and the steps stopped. Upon checking it turned out that none of the children had been there and that the little boy who was sitting with me had also heard the steps. We checked the area but nothing could be found.
  • I personally get a feeling that the storeroom, hall/foyer and spare room have something there. The storeroom and spare room in particular I have to sometimes make myself go into them as I go about my daily duties.
  • Daughter’s bed often looks like someone has sat on the end of it. I straighten in up and often (sometimes several times in a day and other times once a week) it will be mucked up.

First Session
Luna Cycle: Half moon waning
It was a clear and crisp night. Mild and fine, with rain the night before. Stars were visible all night. Calm with minimal wind.

Second Session
Luna Cycle: Full Moon
Windy, overcast. No rain

Cleansing Session
Average Temp on 26 Jan was 19.4C (Min:14.8C, Max:24.0C) Average wind speed 9.6km/h, gusting to 15.8km/h 

Temperature Readings
Interior temperatures were noted at quarterly intervals. We experienced no overly exciting temperature fluctuations at either investigation at any time except for a very slight one or two degree drop as the night went on into early morning. Coldest rooms were the downstairs areas. Kitchen and garage at 18 degrees. Warmest was upstairs in the children’s and parent’s bedrooms, 20 degrees maximum.

Heather – “Parts were hot and stuffy (the spare room downstairs when the door was closed) The house cooled down during the night, like any other house.”


First Impressions

Private Investigation, Herne BayBarbara – “The house had an empty, lonely feeling to it. The spare room and the storeroom are the two rooms in the house that I don’t like having to go into. They always feel really artificially still, like someone is hiding and watching. I have seen something in the kitchen and have heard someone walking around in the foyer and hallway on the ground floor. The storeroom has a spooky feel to it.”

Kris – “Non-Psychically, first impression was: ‘oh look, another Ex-State House turned into a mansion’. First impression was a tad over-whelmed, but I think most of that was down to the huge entry way. By state house, I should clarify, I don’t just mean Housing Department houses. They can also be institutional, like army, school and dam building, state built places.”

Heather – “It was bit of a weird place with the addition of the lounge and the upstairs floor. You could still see the older part of the house in the garage, storage room and spare room under the stairs. It would be nice if we could find a photo of the original place to see the difference. Maybe one day we will.”

Matt – “Felt like a reasonable modern home. Was surprised to learn the original building was quiet old, as the modifications have been extensive.”


Investigation / Experiences

Mark – “Whilst conducting a communication session in the little girl’s room, I was suddenly alerted to hear, quite clearly, someone walking down the hallway towards the room I was in. I assumed it was Barbara or one of the team coming to check on me, but suddenly realized that I hadn’t heard any of the stairwell floor boards creaking as they always do very loudly when someone ascends the stairs. I could hear the footsteps coming closer, so stood up and peaked through the door to see who it was. There was no one there. It was very clearly the sound of someone walking along the carpeted hall way. I asked if there was anyone there. Received no reply on my audio recorders when reviewed. I then rushed downstairs to ask if anyone had just been up there. No one was.”

“One other incident that I found rather exciting. I had been up in the daughter’s bedroom taking photos and setting up some equipment. I took a photo of her bed and noticed that the little red folded duvet on the end of it was messy, so tidied it up and smoothed it out. I then went downstairs to join the others. 10 minutes later I went back upstairs to check on the I.R lamp and video camera and was shocked to see that the duvet on the bed had been messed up again. There was a big indentation on it, like someone had just been sitting on it. No one had been up there in the 10 minutes I had left the room. I flattened it out again and positioned a static video camera aimed at it for the rest of the night. Typically, the activity never happened again that night. There was no cat in the house, which might’ve explained it.”

Private Investigation, Herne Bay   Private Investigation, Herne Bay

Mark was sitting alone in the boys bedroom attempting some sort of communication. This interesting EVP was captured on audio recorder we are unsure as to whether this is the same voice repeating itself, or perhaps two voices saying ‘hello’ in unison. The audio was not heard by Mark at the time. However it seems that Barbara heard voices at that moment as she was coming up the stairs, to which she reacted.

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Lisa – “While alone in this area (approx 21:00) heard a distinct rustling sound from near the door leading into the garage about where the night vision camera was first placed (on the shelf). Initially thought this was rodent activity but no obvious evidence of rodents found.”

“Also, while the whole group was doing an EVP session and I was closest to the door leading to the main living/kitchen areas, heard what sounded like metallic impacts/clunks. These could have been from the oven or the baking tray cooling. Also heard what I would describe as a “movement” pressure right outside the door on the living room side.”

Kris – “E.M.F (Electromagnetic field) levels seemed rather high all round, but there are a lot of cables in the walls, based on the amount of power sockets there are in the house. EMF meter jammed and malfunctioned every time I was in the parent’s room. And I mean EVERY time, where as this didn’t happen anywhere else. I mainly focused on doing E.V.Ps, with 2 recorders, as this is what I like to concentrate on. Got one outstanding hit in the parent’s room, which I think is cool, because this is where my EMF was going nuts. I caught a few other interesting results; however, none of it seemed intelligent, or relevant to questions asked.”

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The following is the same sound filtered and reversed.

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Barbara –As I walked down the ground floor hallway I heard something rustle loudly either in the spare room or laundry but I could not find anything to cause this. There was several times throughout the night that I could hear someone moving but when I checked discovered that there was no one in the area. While doing the clearing water droplets twice appeared on the little girl’s bed.”

Private Investigation, Herne Bay

Kris – “I didn’t really get much, to be honest. Downstairs, I got nothing. Just the general feel (and this by no means meant to down grade the place, as it was fabulously set out) of a 50 year old tart dressing up like Miley Cyrus. Upstairs I noticed a difference, and that had nothing to do with what Barb was saying.”

“Upstairs, I mentioned that in the Parent’s Bedroom, I felt like I was being drawn up from inside my eye sockets. That surprised Barb, as she got nothing in there. The other place I had feelings, was in that room in the corner, I think maybe the babies room. One other place that made me feel different when I walked in, was the laundry. It made me feel awkward and off balance. There is a 1cm drop in height between the hallway and the laundry, which was enough to make a difference, but not enough to make a real difference. Even when I knew about this drop, purposefully checking out the drop, it always made me feel off balance and awkward. I don’t know if there are any claims regarding this room, but would seriously take this step into 

Heather – “When I was by myself in the spare room I thought I could hear voices, but it was probably some of the rest team talking as the house seemed to echo a bit, or the neighbours. Also heard some jingling which we worked out later to be my bracelet.”consideration in relation to it.”

Matt – “There was a noise in the fireplace. May have been a stick dislodging from the tree outside and coming down the chimney.”


Seated at dining table

05:09 Upstairs recorder dies
05:11 (Approx) Tingly / goosebumps feeling in my right and then left thigh and knees
05:11  Commenced an EVP setting at 05:11 as noted above after feeling the cold spot. Did not pick up any of the shuffling noises I heard and no other anomalies were picked up.
05:12 Air feeling colder around me
05:14 Shuffling noise from kitchen or entrance area at the bottom starts. Sounded like skin on skin or fabric
05:15 – 05:45 Possible movement upstairs

(Note: Barbara was upstairs during this time in the master bedroom, so the noises could have possibly been her)


Trigger Tests

The team conducted many trigger tests throughout the two part investigation. Children’s toys were offered, Electromagnetic field generators were used, magnetic ball bearing tests etc.

Kris – “Did torch tests, asking it to turn them on and asked for entities to come closer to be noticed by EMF testers. Didn’t get anything obvious enough to say. Maybe 100 milligause fluctuations when it would be more normal to have fluctuations of about 50 milligause.”



Barbara – “I was extremely surprised that we got so much upstairs!! I have always thought that the bulk of the activity happens downstairs. The mother has also told me that they have never had anything happen upstairs so I think she may be a little shocked when she finds out about the footsteps, EVP recordings and photos captured upstairs. I do spend most of my time downstairs so that explains why I hadn’t noticed much happening upstairs, but she sleeps up there.”

“Personally, I know it’s an intelligent haunting. I am now thinking that it is a male spirit who may be having the owner of the house on by pretending to be a child when it shows itself. Even if I hadn’t known a lot about the house to begin with I think I would still say it’s an intelligent haunting. Both Lisa and I, at different times and in different places, heard a rustle as we approached an area, which indicates that something was either playing with us or trying to get out of the way. Kris’s EVP capture was very interesting and the footsteps that Mark heard were of interest.”

“Also all the random noises that we all heard around the house that night, to me indicated that there was someone there and moving around. Whoever it was seemed aware we were there and was able to interact when it chose to. I enjoyed the investigation at this private home. I was surprised at the level of activity seemingly in all areas of the house! I think the only places we didn’t have something happen was the garage, playroom, lounge/dining, bathrooms, laundry and in the boy’s room.”

“As the house was so large it took teamwork to cover the whole area although we did manage to get together as a group and do a few group EVP sessions in the wee hours of the morning. I think between us we managed to use a lot of equipment. The draining of the car batteries – Lisa felt the story about the Volvo car battery could be debunked by a very common issue with this model car. However the other car does not appear to have the same weakness.”

Lisa – “I felt and heard nothing to suggest any paranormal activity for certain.”

Heather – “I’m not sure if the place is haunted, but the young boy that lives there was very frightened when sleeping in his room and would wake up. Maybe there is something residual from the past occupiers. But we are not sure when the second floor was added, or where it came from. Did something come with it? The same with the lounge when it used to be the dorm, there’s history to it and maybe there is something still lingering from that time.”

“It was an interesting place to stay in, wish I could find more history about the place as it may help answer some questions. The sensitive’s were feeling and sensing a lot more than I felt. I would like to go back and spend some more time there and see if there have been any changes since the cleansing.”

Kris – “I think the investigation went well. I don’t think the place is intelligently haunted. I think this is a case of a little bit of residual haunting, solid walls and creaky floorboards, and maybe a bit of discomfort due to living near the cell tower. Maybe sounds have been heard, discomfort felt and everything gets put down to being the ghost. However, I don’t exactly know what the kids say about what happens. I think once folks get scared, some things are drawn to that fear, as dogs and sharks are.”

“I also think, it would be worth trying to find out what was at Salisbury park, before it was a park. That might give some insight to what this house actually was built for. This is a back section house, joined onto a park, which is another back section park. Often, these parks are created by the demolition of old institutional buildings (no I don’t just mean mental) are no longer needed.”

Private Investigation, Herne BayMark – “Whilst I did hear what I’m sure were footsteps coming up the hallway towards me and the duvet movement in the daughters room were fantastic to experience at the time, I still don’t feel that I could label this place as ‘haunted’ just yet. More time needs to be spent in the house. I think continuous multi surveillance camera filming would be the way to go in this situation as the activity seems to be happening quite regularly, but randomly, making it all very elusive and difficult to document. If it is in fact haunted, then for now I’d be leaning more towards a residual haunting than an intelligent and interactive one.”

Matt – “It was quiet, other than the brief flurry of activity around 05:00 things were relatively settled. The datalogger on my phone was logging 3-axis magnetic field reading at regular intervals while sitting stationary in the hallway upstairs where the footsteps were heard.”

“There were 3 spikes during the evening, however these do not appear to correlate with any other activity. Video recorder covered the kitchen and through to the small lounge. No noticeable audio or visual anomalies. Other than the random cold-spot (could feasibly be caused by airflow from some of the floor vents, or my body/mind playing tricks on me), I did not detect anything which I could conclusively say pointed towards a haunting at the property.”


  1. Daniel Urlich

    Hi my names Dan,and just reading some of your finding and I was thinking its maybe just characteristic of the area I had a house in Westmere and the same things happened with the TV and car batteries thing flying off the shelf and apparitions and i know other friends in the area have the same so maybe some electrical fields in the area.Saying that I live in Remuera now and have a ghost of a young girl that visits all the time and has come part of the family she’s even come down the stairs to the astonishment of 50 guests(they are all believers now lol)

  2. Pingback: Private Residences: Return to Herne Bay Residence | Haunted Auckland

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