The Newton Ghost


Auckland Weekly News 22nd August 1901

One historic ghostly encounter that apparently terrorised many inner city Auckland revelers back in 1901, was known simply as ”The Newton Ghost”.
This alleged spectre was said to haunt the central Auckland areas of Grafton, Eden Terrace, Newton and Western Park. The elusive phantom was described as being ”clad in a white sheet which seemed to emit a phosphorescent glow”.
The Newton Ghost, evidently rather fit, was said to ”leap out to terrify men and women walking the district’s streets at night, then bound away”.

Witnesses reported the ‘ghost’ ”ran away at speed, bounding over high fences to escape.”
At one point a local constable nearly captured the assailant. However, the agile ”Newton Ghost” pulled a swift ”leapfrog” manoeuvre over his head and escaped.
Newspapers, like the popular and much-read Auckland Star, got in on the ghost hype, calling for vigilante action. Suggesting the perpetrator be delivered a ”non-fatal wound with horsewhips and rifles loaded with rock salt”. Another newspaper, The Observer, demanded he or she is “soundly thrashed” when captured.
A special patrol team was set up to search the streets in order to locate this mystery menace, whose reputation and stories were swiftly starting to spread.
The notorious Newton Ghost had caused quite a stir, appearing in numerous places around the inner and even the outer-lying CBD areas, all in one night. To the point, it was thought that a few others had taken on the guise, in a copycat effect. How could this mystery person be covering so much range and frightening so many unsuspecting people in such a short time?
Despite the many hours put in by local police and the community patrol, no one was ever caught or arrested for the strange incidents. The mystery ghost eluded many for some time, then seemed to just disappear forever. The Newton Ghost to this day remains a mystery.

Who was this agile and physically remarkable individual that terrified and escaped so many for so long? What the heck was used for its alleged ”phosphorescent glow”?
If it is in fact not a ghost, then I’m assuming he or she that successfully pulled off this stunt would be long deceased by now; but if anyone knows anything, this enthusiastically inquisitive paranormalist is dead keen to listen!



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