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Get Spooked: Auckland’s Haunted Spots

By Urban List Writers
11th Aug 2016

Everybody loves a good ghost story. And scary stories to tell in the dark come to life in all their spine-tingling, heart-thumping, adrenaline-spiking glory when you step foot into a place that’s known to be haunted. From fleeting apparitions and  tortured screams, to the sound of footsteps and the feeling of breath on the back of your neck... If you’re a lowkey ghost hunter or just want to scare the bejeezus out of yourself (or your friends) you’ll be pleased to hear Tāmaki Makaurau is home to some seriously spooky spots. 

And so you can get straight down to getting the heebie jeebies, we’ve rounded up 11 Auckland spots rumoured to house all the juju—good and bad. 

The Three Witches Statues

Auckland Domain 

Death is ever-present at the Auckland Domain, after all, it’s home to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and hosts the Anzac Day commemoration every year but it isn’t just the museum that has connections to the underworld. Wander the park grounds—at night if you dare—and you’ll come across a pond with three sculptures under a large tree. Listen closely and you might hear a low growl or a cackle. Officially personifications of strength, wisdom and fertility sculpted to commemorate Tāmaki Makaurau’s 100th anniversary urban legend suggests not everything is as it seems… Anecdotally the sculptures are known as The Three Witches and are thought to be a memorial of three sorcerers who were hanged in the 1800s on that very spot.

Carlile House 

Richmond Road, Grey Lynn

One of New Zealand’s most haunted spots is closer to home than you think. Sitting creepily along Richmond Road (just down the road from the shops) is Carlile House, a crumbling condemned heritage building currently owned by the United Church of Tonga. Originally an orphanage the building was built in 1886 and 43 young boys were tragically killed there during a fire in 1912. The souls of these children are said to still wander the corridors, with squatters reporting shrieks, ghostly figures and eerie rushes of wind. Yikes.  

Alberton House 

Mount Albert Road, Mount Albert

This Mount Albert mansion was once an epic party house for Tāmaki Makaurau’s elite during the 19th Century hosting all manner of shindigs throughout the 19th century. Owned by the Kerr Taylors until 1972 Alberton House is said to be home to a handful of ‘happy spirits’. One visitor reported seeing a lady dressed in Victorian clothes, and a stressed out bride who was getting married at the venue claimed she was chased out of the guest room by the Kerr Taylor sisters.

Camp Adair 

Hunua Road, Hunua 

If you grew up in Auckland, chances are you’ve stayed at or heard about the YMCA’s Camp Adair in the Hunua Ranges. But did you know it’s the location of a bloody urban legend? Rumour has it a group of children were murdered in the School House Building by their teacher. Apparently, if you peer into the windows, you can see the teacher lurking in the shadows. Jinkies! 

Carrington Buildings 1 & 76 

Carrington Road, Mount Albert

Once a psychiatric asylum and now a university campus…who thought that was a good idea? Students and staff have experienced a number of odd happenings at Carrington. Building 76 was a male ward for the most violently dangerous patients and, building one had around eight deaths a year, with one woman being burned alive by another patient. Eeek. Unusual activity includes shadows, voices, flickering lights, things flying across rooms, ghostly figures, students and tutors being ‘pushed’, sensations of being slapped, screaming…the list goes on and on.

The Queen’s Ferry Hotel 

Vulcan Lane, Auckland CBD 

Opened in 1865, The Queen’s Ferry Hotel on Vulcan Lane was thought to be one of Aotearoa's oldest pubs and with age comes ghosts. While the hotel was sold in 2019 the building still stands with Confidential Bar & Eatery at street level and Arak Junction one level up. There have been three natural deaths in the building, which could be responsible for the spooky happenings. Taps and lights are said to turn on by themselves and there’s a feeling like someone is watching you. Apparently a girl was smooching her boyfriend in The Gin Room (a bar that no longer exists...) and actually saw ‘people’ perving on their pash fest. Haunted Auckland did a wee investigation and gave it the a-ok, so you can sip easy knowing the only spirit you're likely to encounter in the building is the alcoholic kind. 

Kingseat Hospital 

Kingseat Road, Kingseat

The former Kingseat Psychiatric Hospital is revered for being one of the most haunted locations in Aotearoa. Today, it’s brimming with Spookers, a litany of monsters straight out of your nightmares. That’s right, somebody had the bright idea to turn a former psychiatric hospital into a haunted attraction scream park so you never really know if the spooks you’re encountering are actors or the real deal. Apparently back in the day more nurses died than patients, with staff suicides being common on the grounds. Visitors have noted ice cold chills when entering rooms, thick and heavy air, and apparitions of a ‘Grey Nurse’ in and around the former nurses’ home. 

The Civic Theatre 

Queen Street, Auckland CBD

Almost one hundred years old, the iconic Civic Theatre is bound to have some spooky stuff going on and it absolutely does—Haunted Auckland investigations reported a plethora of presences lurking behind its Rococo facade. Perhaps the most well known of these lively spirits is former Wintergarden dance troupe member Freda Stark who, during World War II, performed nightly wearing only a g-string and gold paint. 

Playhouse Theatre 

Glendale Road, Glen Eden

Another haunted spot in Tāmaki Makaurau harks back to World War II as well. Apparently it was at this time that a ghost known as Ernie took up residence at Glen Eden’s Playhouse Theatre. The puckish poltergeist is blamed for all manner of happenings around the theatre and has been witnessed in the lighting booth. Some have even claimed to have been pushed when walking down the stairs from the booth. NB: Don’t mess with Ernie’s booth.

Mahurangi Cement Works 

Wilson Road, Warkworth 

On the edge of Mahurangi River is an old cement works and quarry gone to flood and ruin. Functional for half a century, from the 1880s through to 1929, the works were the first Portland cement manufacturer in the Southern Hemisphere. Today the picturesque ruins are a favourite among picnickers but amongst the frivolities there have been reports of shadowy apparitions moving in and around the stones as well as strange lights, screams and a generator-like hum coming. 

The PumpHouse Theatre

Killarney Park, Takapuna 

As the name suggests The PumpHouse originally supplied water to settlers on the North Shore but came under threat of demolition in the 1970s. It would have been obliterated had a group of local residents not saved the building and converted it into The PumpHouse Theatre we know today. One of those residents was Cicely Margaret ‘Peg’ Escott who became a founding member of the theatre’s trust board when it opened in 1971. She died later that year but according to local legend Peg never left. In fact, she haunts it to this day, mischievously disappearing props and watching actors from the stage wings… 


Skin crawling? We're just getting started. Check out the most haunted spots in Aotearoa. 

Image credit: Andrew Wilson


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