Barbara Caisley

 

I1000497_10151506726001951_1730745557_n was born in Rotorua and from a very early age was interested in ghosts, spirits, and all that was paranormal.   I can vividly recall reading my first ghost story at seven years old, and soon after being absolutely fascinated when I read an article about a medium in one of my mother’s magazines.  These stories fanned my budding enthusiasm, as did surreptitiously listening into the many séances that my mother, her friends and neighbours held in our lounge. These both fascinated and petrified me and there was many a night that I would fall asleep on the hallway floor after peeping under the door at the assembled adults attending that nights séance and then finding myself too scared to walk down the hallway to my own bed. Later I started to hold my own séances in order to try to satisfy my curiosity about ghosts and the paranormal.  Needless to say, I was often sent home from my playmates’ houses when a parent would find a group of children huddled around my homemade Ouija board “trying to find ghosts”.

In those days I knew something existed and did see some strange things occur in our home but had no way of knowing how to go about investigating or what to do about it.  I was also aware that although my mother and some of her friends believed that there were spirits around us, most other people did not, and were not at all interested in discussing my ever-increasing interest in them. In those days I had to rely on reading to glean information and avidly scour library books even while at primary school and sucked up any information I could find on the paranormal. Arthur C Clarke was my first hero but then I “discovered” Harry Price and spent many adolescent hours reading his work and scrutinising the fascinating photos in his books.
By the time we moved to Auckland when I was eleven I was hooked on “ghost-hunting” so you can imagine my delight (tinged with delicious terror) when we moved to an old, haunted house in Sandringham.

We seemed to have a lady ghost and a ghost cat in our new home.  The lady was seen by both my parents and we all would hear her moving around occasionally. Everyone in the house would feel t he cat sometimes jump up on our beds at night!.    School friends would ask who the old lady was who was often sited sitting in a rocking chair on our balcony when they passed our home. Of course there was no old lady who lived with us but she was seen by many. Being in this house and around these ghosts turned my curiosity into a lifelong passion but I was still very unsure on how to share this passion with others.
By the time I was fourteen we were living in Papatoetoe in an extremely active house.  I had read that some investigators were having success in recording spirit voices and oBarbara Caisleyther sounds by using tape recorders so I began EVP experiments at that stage. I’d leave a cassette recorder running when the house was empty in an attempt to capture the footsteps and sounds of movement that we would often hear if we were home alone. I also recorded the numerous teenage séances which my siblings and I held with our college friends.  I experimented with religion, the occult, witchcraft and spiritualism and recorded it all.  The results were encouraging with some great Class 1 EVPs being captured. Unfortunately in those days I had no clue what to do with these EVPs!!
My experiments always led into other experiments. Throughout my adult life I have lived in a number of possibly haunted houses and have spent many hundreds of hours investigating these houses, the houses of friends and family, as well as reputedly haunted areas, buildings and cemeteries in various locations around the world.  As technology has improved and become more accessible to the general public my passion (although perhaps over the years it has become an obsession) has become to find a way to document these experiences and research just what a ghost or spirit is.

I joined a very loose-knit team of ghost hunters in around 2010 and got my first taste of investigating with a team. However, this group, although highly enthusiastic, was short-lived and after an initial flurry of investigations the members all went their separate ways. I was very pleased to then be asked to join Mark Wallbank and the newly formed Haunted Auckland a couple of years later.

Although then a new team, Haunted Auckland felt like home. The members were like kindred spirits to me and were also very passionate about researching the paranormal and I enjoyed the environment of serious paranormal investigations (rather than simply ghost hunting). We all bring different aspects and interests to the team and have a good range of specialties. I spend a lot of time trying to develop different ways that the spirits or energies can more easily communicate with us, but without knowing exactly what a ghost or spirit it is very much a hit and miss, with luck being a h10647079_883616671648325_6497827593535672064_nuge factor in the success of investigations. One of the many things I enjoy about being a member of Haunted Auckland is that everyone is very careful to be open-minded and we encourage each other to think critically about our experiences (or perceived experiences). We don’t jump to conclusions and will always attempt to find a rational explanation for reported or suspected “paranormal activity”. I think it fair to say that as a result of having been a member of Haunted Auckland for around 8 years I have a belief in the paranormal but also have a healthy dose of scepticism and will always look for a rational explanation before going down the “paranormal” path.

At Haunted Auckland I’m in charge of the private home investigations and enjoy helping people who believe they have ghosts or spirits in their homes. It is very satisfying to go into a home where everyone is sleeping downstairs because the entire household is terrified to sleep upstairs in their beds, and assist these people. As a result of attending these private investigations I have become interested in energy clearing and cleansing ceremonies and can help with advice on how to go about this or, if you prefer I can guide you in how to do this yourself.  I also have a lot of compassion for the people who live in houses or areas where there is activity as I know first-hand that it can be extremely unnerving to experience any sort of activity (especially where children are concerned).

In my busy everyday life I am a wife and mother and own a 150 year old ex miners hotel which we run as a bed and breakfast.  Before this I had worked in childcare and nannying for 20 years so have an interest and affinity with children and babies.  I am more than happy to advise or help you if you have issues or questions regarding private home investigations and/or children.