The Poltergeist of Ohiro Lodge, Wellington in New Zealand 1963
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Raymond Bayless - from Experiences of a Psychical Researcher
A curious bombardment of a guest home in Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand, continued for several nights and consisted of pennies and small stones. The bombardment began at about 9:30 p.m, March 24, 1963, and continued for seven and one-half hours. The owners and fifteen lodgers were disturbed by the strange missiles, and twelve policemen in addition to more than twenty civilians searched the area. In spite of their efforts, twelve windows were smashed, one policeman was struck on the arm by a stone, and a boarder was hit on the knee.
The second night the occupants of the lodge were again disturbed by flying stones which began at 7:30 p.m. and continued until after 1:00 a.m. Nine policemen and aiding civilians searched the area again in an attempt to apprehend the unseen attacker, but none could be found.
In the Evening Post, March 26th, the possibility of a poltergeist was mentioned. The Dominion, March 27th, stated that on the third night nearly two hundred people watched the Ohiro Lodge being bombarded again, and this time seven policemen investigated the disturbance. The attack began about 6:30 p.m. and increased in intensity until about 9:00 p.m., when the missile barrage decreased. During this attack, radar equipment and a police dog which had been used the previous night were not employed.
"Inspector McCallum, who is in charge of the investigation, said last night that he was quite confident there was no supernatural reason for the attacks as had been suggested by certain members of the public."
He also remarked that "he was quite sure the objects were being fired from a catapult somewhere on the hill overlooking the guest house."
I am always astonished when I hear official statements to the effect that no abnormal mechanisms are involved in such cases, considering that knowledge of poltergeist phenomena is so very widespread today, and when the overused and creaky catapult theory is trotted out as an explanation. As I once wrote in an article, "The Great Catapult Mystery," the enigma of these never-found, illusive contraptions is even more astonishing than is the poltergeist phenomenon itself.
It is really incredible that such a naive theory is still employed. I wrote to the owners of the beleaguered lodge and received a letter from Mr. R. A. Beatty, which provided additional elements of the odd case. An exotic touch was given when he mentioned that some believed that the rock and penny throwing was caused by the partial cutting down of some trees in front of the house, with the consequent angering of an evil spirit.
In one newspaper clipping, unfortunately missing its heading and date, Mr. Beatty in an interview mentioned that an elderly Maori woman and a youth had called at the lodge and said that they came to exorcize the evil spirit who was throwing the stones. She gave exactly the same explanation as had a Samoan who had called earlier, and upon being invited into the house performed an elaborate exorcism rite throughout the building. She also suggested that the trees be cut completely down to the ground. According to this newspaper article, Mr. Beatty stated, "I believe to the extent that I am now going to start putting the glass back into the broken windows."
And so ended what I think was a splendid example of a paranormal poltergeist bombardment.