Home' The Wellingtonian : July 7th 2011 Contents 3
THE WELLINGTONIAN, JULY 7, 2011
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THE FAMOUS GROUSE
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Art School's ghostly reputation
Ghost busters: Mark Marriott, photographer and ghost hunter, who is at home in Inverlochy Art School's haunted
Photo: LAURA WALTERS
continues her series
looking at Wellington's
Inverlochy Art School takes a
lighthearted approach to its resi-
dent ghost by selling a
promotional T-shirt with a
Casper-like cartoon on the front.
But the ghostly stories are far
from a joke.
The school -- which is tucked
away among apartment buildings
in Aro Valley -- is well-known for
its abnormal activities.
However, it does not have the
spine-chilling feeling of other
The house was built for Well-
ington politician Thomas Mac-
Donald in 1878, but was later
converted into two luxury flats.
In the 1920s there was a fire in
the back of the house, which is
said to have claimed the life of a
Since then there have been
numerous sightings of a Maori
woman in the back half of the
house, where the servants'
quarters were likely to have been.
The manager of Inverlochy Art
School, Mark Marriott, said he
was a bit of a sceptic, but did not
disregard the sightings.
Mr Marriott -- a photographer
and a member of the ghost-
hunting group Strange
Occurrences -- said some people
seemed to be more sensitive than
Maybe I'm completely and
utterly insensitive to ghosts,'' he
His group had been through the
house to conduct electro-magnetic
field tests several times.
Numerous people who took part
in the testing picked areas in the
house where unusual things had
happened. But the findings were
very tenuous'', Mr Marriott said.
The Maori maid had shown her-
self to artists at Inverlochy and
even meddled with printing equip-
ment when no-one was around.
Although there had been a fair
number of strange occurrences in
the house, no-one found the place
too spooky, Mr Marriott said.
The house has been blessed
more than once since the 1980s,
when some peculiar activity took
During the 1980s, businessman
Arthur Williams threatened to
knock down Inverlochy to make
way for the expansion of his
Mercure Hotel. In protest, some
art students staged a sit-in.
One night they were going to
leave the building when a mirror
flew across the room, smashed
against the door, then the pieces
slowly slid to the floor.
The artists took that as a sign
not to leave the house, Mr
I'd take that as a sign to run
The leader of Strange
Occurrences, James Gilberd, said
it was important to understand
what a sceptic was when it came
to ghost hunting.
A sceptic will look at evidence
before they proclaim it to be true.''
He described his group as
open-minded and neutral'', but
was dubious when it came to
supernatural reality television.
They are edited entertainment
programmes,'' he said.
It was hard to create something
entertaining when nothing
happened for hours, he said.
It's like fishing; some days you
don't get a bite. You're blimmin'
lucky if you get something.''
Strange Occurrences' book,
Exploring the Paranormal in New
Zealand, will be out in August.
By EMMA BEER
have poured into
Council about the
proposed Mitre 10
We reported last
week that resid-
ents met Western
Andy Foster and
and expressed con-
cern that only 10
notified of the
The new store is
to be located
between Curtis St
and Old Karori
Rd.It was agreed
the council would
would look at
said the email
issues they felt the
have considered in
the first place.
A decision on
whether to extend
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