Home' The Wellingtonian : August 25th 2011 Contents 3
THE WELLINGTONIAN, AUGUST 25, 2011
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Exploring the paranormal
Spooked: James Gilberd, left, and Arlo Edwards, who have set up Spooked, an exhibition about the paranormal.
By LAURA WALTERS
The trail which led paranormal
investigation group Strange
Occurrences to publish their first
book was anything but normal.
Publishing company Random
House New Zealand approached
the group after a television
appearance and asked them to
write a book about their work with
Author James Gilberd said he
could hear his co-author, Jo Davy,
turning back-flips when he told
her of the book offer.
It was an opportunity of a life-
time, Davy said.
The pair, who met through the
group a few years ago, had eight
months to complete the work. To
add to the pressure, Davy was
pregnant during that time.
The marine biologist, with a
masters in creative writing, said
staring at the computer made her
But the book and her daughter
arrived healthy, happy and on
Both writers agreed writing the
book was a great opportunity.
It was an entirely pleasurable
experience, Davy said.
Spooked: Exploring the
Paranormal in New Zealand is not
sensationalist, unlike some books
and television programmes that
deal with the paranormal.
The book tracks the experiences
and findings of the eight members
of the Strange Occurrences group.
It does not come to a definite
conclusion about whether ghosts
exist. It does, however, give
readers the information to form
their own opinions.
Break-out boxes are used to
detail different aspects of the
paranormal, such as supposedly
haunted places and tools used on
These boxes add interesting
elements and colour to the book.
Author and photographer
Gilberd said he was open to the
idea of ghosts existing, but tried to
stay away from making claims in
We are eternal optimists.
He said a closed mind needed to
be tempered. We are very keen on
taking a scientific approach. Some
people watch too much television.
Strange Occurrences sceptical
approach to the paranormal is
what it believes makes it different
from other groups.
Davy said not many other
people were researching this sub-
ject in a scientific manner.
Gilberd said Strange
Occurrences were a bit of a
pointy-headed lot .
The group has eight members
including photographers, a statis-
tician, a marine biologist, and a
I don t think we come across as
fruit loops, Mr Gilberd said.
Spooked: Exploring the
Paranormal in New Zealand was
launched last week at Inverlochy
House -- the sight of many of the
group s paranormal inves-
tigations. The book costs $40.
For those interested in an all-
things-paranormal art exhibition,
Spooked will be running at 39
Dixon St until September 3. The
exhibition was set up by Gilberd
and Arlo Edwards.
A team of Victoria
University students is
travelling to Washington
DC to compete in the
Department of Energy
teams from around the
world to design, build
and operate solar-
The New Zealand team
is the first from the
southern hemisphere to
contest the US
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