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My Shed


I have never seen a ghost nor do I wish to see one. I am very sceptical about anything to do with the paranormal. I like mundane explanations because they are answers I can understand and get my head around. However, recent events have led me to searching the internet for not so mundane answers and this is where I have chosen to start. I know nothing about these things, so here goes.

I live in a small town called Taipa in Northland, New Zealand. My wife Claire and I moved here about 6 months ago from the city. The house we bought is old but it was in our price range and we're slowly fixing it up piece by piece. It's a nice quiet place with plenty of room for our two dogs to run around on. We're close to the beach and we're far enough away from our neighbours to still get all the privacy we enjoy.

In the backyard we have an old building near the fence line where I decided to keep my tools and gardening equipment. I'm not sure what the structure was used as before, but the design is different to the main house and it looks much older. When we first arrived, I spent a good two days cleaning it out as it was full of junk and smelled like a rodent was decomposing in there somewhere.

We'd been in our new house for a little over two weeks before Claire experienced what may have been the first incident. It was a sunny Sunday morning and I decided to spend a couple of hours out fishing on the beach while Claire had planned to do some much needed gardening. When I returned home from another fruitless morning of fishing I found Claire in the garden pulling out weeds.

As I approached, I noticed a nasty dark bruise on the back of her arm just above her elbow. It was very dark and roughly 3 inches in diameter. She said it happened in the tool shed while she was getting the lawnmower out. At first we thought it may have been an insect bite of some sort as she described feeling a painful pinch on the back of her arm. We decided to get the doctor to have a look at it but he didn't find any bite marks and said that it was just a bad bruise. The bruise eventually went away and we didn't think any more of it.

Several weeks later we were in the back courtyard having a barbecue when we heard a loud bang coming from the tool shed. The noise sounded too loud to be something falling over. It sounded like it had some force behind it. There was no lock on the tool shed so I naturally assumed someone was in there messing with our stuff.

I quickly grabbed the nearest weapon I could find (which happened to be my barbecue fork), told Claire to call the police and ran down to investigate while yelling, "Who's in there!" The dogs were going nuts barking at the shed. I'm not sure what my actual plan was or if I even had a plan, but I was pumped full of adrenalin now and ready.

When I reached the shed I flung the door open, and braced myself. There was no one in there. In fact, everything was in place except one of my spades was lying on the floor and a dent in one of the walls. I checked around the back of the shed but didn't see any sign of the intruder. Even if they ran, there was no way they could leave the property without crossing my line of sight.

Eventually the police arrived and I showed them to the shed. They asked a few questions and looked for fingerprints but didn't find any accept for mine and Claire's. No one was hurt and nothing was missing, so they didn't seem too concerned.

A little over three months went by with no further events, then about a month and a half ago I was watering the plants in the courtyard when I noticed that the shed door was open. I had purchased a padlock after the last incident so it should have been locked.

After I finished watering the plants, I went over to the shed to close and lock the door but I couldn't find the padlock anywhere. I thought perhaps Claire was in the middle of something and had left the door open, so I went inside to ask her if she knew where the padlock was. She said she had no idea, she hadn't gone near the shed all day.

I decided to go back and have a look in the shed just in case I had absentmindedly left the padlock in there. As I was walking through the backyard towards the shed, I saw the door open. It was a still day and there was no wind to blow the door open and I was absolutely sure I had just closed it.

As I reached the door to the shed it slammed shut. I called out and quickly opened the door, hoping to catch whoever it was in the act. Once again, there was no one in there. As I stepped through the threshold I was overwhelmed with unfathomable dread. It was an unshakable feeling of such despair that seeped into my soul. The shed reeked of decomposing flesh.

My immediate reaction was to back out as quickly as possible. The door slammed shut again. I was rather shaken to say the least. I made my way back to the house to sit down. Claire was in the kitchen doing dishes when I came in. She noticed straight away that I was rattled. I poured myself a bourbon and told her about what had happened.

Since then I have only ventured into the shed a handful of times. Mostly with no incidents. Last week I got most of my tools and equipment out of the shed. It wasn't until I went to put a new padlock on the door that I again felt the unmistakable dread. That padlock is now missing too. I try to avoid going into the shed now. The door still randomly slams shut on its own. It's not often but we hear it every now and then. The dogs won't go anywhere near the it.

Not quite sure what to make of it all, so I'm hoping someone can give me advice on what it may be and how to get rid of it? I'd really appreciate getting my shed back. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Sake, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Sake (2 stories) (5 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-10)
Hi Tweed, Thanks for your comment. I must say I have received quite a mixed response to my situation. I agree with your point about the right perspective. It is easy to get caught up in all this and think the worst, but we also need to remember to remain somewhat grounded.

My lawns are quite long now, so I will need to head out there this weekend to do some work. This is when I intend to have a wee conversation with my shed. I'm a little nervous, but I'll give it a try.

Claire has agreed to carry out the cleansing of the house. I will do the shed. She was a little offended when I first suggested this as she assumed I was having a dig at her housekeeping!

Anyway, I will post an update after the weekend and let you all know how it goes.

Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-10)
Hi Sake,

I read your story about a week ago and feel the same as Rookdygin. However I am not well read on the subject of spooky comings and goings so felt I should probably shut my trap.
Everyones comments about your shed really got me thinking about perception. I went through something similar and assumed they were trying to protect what was dear to them. I spoke out loud whenever I got the sense they were watching. After a couple of weeks there was no nonsense, only peace and quiet.

Anyway I wanted to throw this in the mix as well. Sometimes the right perspective is key.
That said, your shed dweller may turn out to be very nasty. But based on what has happened so far, it's possible they're only frustrated and scared of something they love being lost for ever.

On a different note I was confused by everyones adoration of 'Sake'. I had no idea what it was until I ran a search. Never been a big drinker. I was so confused, ha!

Must be shocking to become more open from something like this. Hope you get things smoothed out soon. Would love to know how it goes, please keep us posted. 😊
Sake (2 stories) (5 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-09)
Hi Rookdygin, Talking to it sounds like a very simple idea! I will definitely try it. Getting assistance from the Tribal Elders may be a little more difficult as we are not of Maori decent and normally would have no affiliation with them. I will approach them if it escalates.
Thanks for the advice.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4458 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-09)
Sorry I am late for the party... Just what part of this experience SCREAMS evil spirit? Is it the horrid smell or the pinching and bruising? Is it the banging or the slaming shed door?

I have read through this 4 times now and I think that this is an earth spirit of some type... Nothing bad or evil... But something that wants or needs to protect either the shed or more likely something on the property so it is scaring you away from your yard equipment.

Check with Tribal Elders and see what may be done to show this entity you mean no harm or disrespect to the property or it. You may go so far as using some of the suggestions that have been made, incense and sage are Cleasning, peaceful and soothing. When you are working in the yard explain what you are doing and why. Just speak out loud you do not have to direct your comments to anyone or anything... Just speak out loud.

Anyway, thanks for sharing and please keep us posted.


Sake (2 stories) (5 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-09)
Thank you everyone for the helpful comments and well wishes!

I have conducted a little online research on the property and surrounding area, but unfortunately have not found out much about our specific address. I may have to go down to the local council to do a bit more digging around.

The couple who previously owned the property are going through a nasty divorce (hence why they sold the place), so I would prefer to leave them alone to sort out their business.

I did manage speak to the gentleman that lives next door. He is quite an elderly man and I thought perhaps he would know something about the property or the previous owners. He didn't really get to know the last owners as they mostly kept to themselves. The owners before that were a nice Maori family with two young boys. They made the move to the city so that the boys could go to University. They were a good Christian family with nothing out of the ordinary to speak of. He did mention that our house was one of the first houses to be built in the area, but knew very little about the shed.

Notjustme - Claire isn't entirely sure how she got the bruise. When I initially asked her she said it was when she was in the shed getting out equipment. She remembers a sharp pain on her arm like a really hard pinch, but hadn't bumped or jammed it in anything. She didn't notice the bruise until I pointed it out later.

Not sure how I would go about "making peace" with my shed, but will definitely try the incense burning. It will probably help with the smell too.

I am trying to be a little more open minded about this whole thing so if there is anything there I hope they take notice!

I love sake too! It's particularly nice when gently heated over a fire (not microwave).

Miracles51031 - It could possibly have been a very small one room home for someone at some stage. There is a creek in the adjacent property which could have been a water supply.

Wish-Not - I agree it is very much in my face, but we moved here to create our new home and start a family so we're in it for the long haul!

Jemiance - The supermarket only has pre-packaged dried sage. Will this work or does it need to be fresh sage?

WiniPu4 - I checked Google. By far the most frightening response I've read so far. Not sure what to make of it, except that I hope you're wrong.

Spockie - After the Google search suggested by WiniPu4, this advice is sounding quite sensible!

Radish54 - Thanks for the advice. Claire and I would prefer not to get the church involved, but if things don't get better it may have to come to that.

Carrielover617 - We have most of tools out of the shed now so have little need to go to the shed any more. I would still like to have this issue dealt with as we plan on having kids one day and it's not the sort of thing we want our kids around.

Vonboeckmann - Thanks for the advice. Sounds like I've got a lot of scrubbing and cleansing to do. Not sure where I'm going to get all these ingredients from. I hope Claire knows! I lived in Melbourne, Australia for several years prior to meeting Claire, it's a lovely place!

LostInTranslation77 - Would a bucket of sea water be suitable or even more potent? We are close to the beach so this is quite convenient. I have considered speaking to a Maori Elder, but would prefer to make this a last resort at this stage.

Sam222 - I have certainly entertained the idea of burning the shed down. It is old and I could quite easily build a new one. Claire certainly agrees with you.

Once again, thank you all for your comments and advice. This whole experience has certainly opened my eyes to an entirely whole new world.
Vonboeckmann (guest)
8 years ago (2015-02-09)
Hi again
My suggestion of removing and cleansing has come about when we had a nasty experience of discovering a body bound in barb wire and a bed sheet on our property. After the authorities had done their thing. We felt we needed peace. On advice we burned the ground. Scattering roses lavender blue salt sage into the flames. As there was a nearby building we washed down all we could inside with sandlewood. Ringed the building with blue salt and buried large chrystal quartz at each corner. After 12 months a rose garden was planted. The ground was sour and needed sweetening.
I like the suggestion of salt inside to protect yourself. And remember we were not dealing with a spirit. Await your outcome. Regards J
Sam222 (8 stories) (461 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-09)
I'm not quite sure what it might be, perhaps you should do a bit if research on your property, ask some of the people who likened the area if they know anything.
If it was me, I would burn the shed down in mid day and dump the ashes in a river and build a New shed away from that area.
I hope no one gets hurt again like your wife did, that was horrible.
LostInTranslation77 (1 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-08)
I know some people have suggested you try some things but my advice would be don't do anything to the shed. Its very much like needing a doctor, you wouldn't preform surgery on yourself would you? Anything you do will only make the situation worse. Typically when you remodel or throw things away, like cleaning out a garage or attic it can upset them. They don't like change. The strong putrid scent of rotting flesh maybe a sign that a death has occurred at that site. I would research the history of your property and who owned it in the past. Also and I know this maybe embarrassing but if you can talk with the previous owners they might tell you more about it. I'm no expert but my long time fascination with this subject and my own experiences have taught me to tread lightly. I'd think about contacting a Maori shaman as I doubt NZ has a large paranormal community. While many people say talk with a priest/pastor I can assure you most will not want anything to do with this. Also if I were you I would do one simple thing to make sure this doesn't spread to your home. Both you and your wife should take a new broom and sweep out your entire house, from top to bottom. Then take some hot water and sprinkle sea salt into it and mop your floors, from top to bottom. Once that's done simply take a pinch of sea salt and sprinkle it in the four corners of every room. I know many will think its crazy and to each their own but I promise doing that will provide a measure of protection and won't cause any harm. God bless and good luck.
Vonboeckmann (guest)
8 years ago (2015-02-08)
Hi thanks for your story. I tend to agree bad odour equals bad spirit...
After doing the history check and a little clean house. Smoke gum leaves leave everything open. Sage sandlewood settle old homes. I have washed woodern floors down with rainwater and sandlewood before. I would think of taking the shed down and cleansing the ground. I have used lavender salt roses chrystal blue. After burning. If you are intending to stay in your new home. Dont know what others think of that idea they are knowledge than myself.
We are in austraila our police would not have turned up. Llove your meat folk idea. You have beautiful country. I used to travel over every month on business with my late husband.
Take care protect your family. Regards J.
Carrielover617 (1 stories) (3 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-08)
The smell is inflicting a bad sign. I would try to avoid the shed for now, and get someone religious to check it out to avoid harm.
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-08)
Very creepy story, Sake. Thanks very much for sharing this.
PagalLadka (1 stories) (27 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-07)
Nicely narrated I must say.
It may be true that something paranormal is happening in your shed
So it will be better for you to consult a religious person and fix that place and hope you will get back your shed
radish54 (1 stories) (51 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-07)
I don't like the foul smell aspect of this haunting one bit. That and the pinch/bruise to your wife seem to me to put this into an alarming category. I would avoid attempting to communicate in anyway with this entity. If you practice a religion or faith, I would ask for a blessing from someone with experience in these matters.
Spockie (8 stories) (202 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-06)
If I were you, I would let it be and try to ignore it. If you start investigating or trying to cleanse the shed, you might stir up a bigger problem.
WiniPu4 (207 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-06)
The foul odor is universally accepted as a very bad sign. Simply google rotting flesh and paranormal entities. If in your shoes, I don't know that I would even acknowledge it much less attempt anything else without the professional help of someone very experienced. But, that's just what I would do.
Seriously research this and give it careful thought before proceeding.
I wish you both the best and please be careful.
Kind Regards,
Jemiance (1 stories) (18 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-05)
Judging by what you experienced in there and the feelings that overwhelmed you. I think someone may have been killed in that shed, there are times when the spirits feelings seep into you. You were most likely feeling their last moments, what I recommend is contacting someone who can help the spirit move on. In the mean time, I suggest you get some sage, and smudge around your house and inside the shed. It's like a purification, but you have to do this every few days.
Wish-Not (16 stories) (534 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-05)
Sake- I guess it would be really hard to be skeptical after that. That was pretty much IN YOUR FACE. Some times that is what it takes though. Problem is it is something you will have to deal with.

As each has mentioned before me, see what you can find out about the property. Not sure how New Zealand keeps land records. One could talk to neighbors to find out what they might know about previous owners names and such.

I do feel for you and your family's position. Don't give up hope. I am sure if there is an answer you will find it.

Please keep us updated.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
8 years ago (2015-02-05)
Sake - I agree with notjustme's theory that something tragic/bad happened in your shed. Since the events appear to be centered on the shed, I can only wonder if maybe at one time the shed was a home for someone and he resents you being in his space 😕

Anyway, as notjustme mentioned, maybe tracing the history of your place, not just your home but the land, could lead to some ideas of who it might be.

Welcome to YGS and thanks for sharing this with us.
notjustme (19 stories) (852 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-05)
By the way I love sake 😆 😆. I also want to add, I believe that entities can feel what we think. So if you're a non believer, maybe it wants to show what's up. Like I said previously, I would try to make peace with it first. Let it know you know that it's there and you're willing to share the property and you will take good care of it from now on... Just my opinion.

P.s. Did Claire explain HOW she got the bruise?
notjustme (19 stories) (852 posts)
8 years ago (2015-02-05)
omigosh that sounds very scary! Sounds like a really mean residential haunting to me. I would suggest a cleansing but sometimes that can back fire... And I wouldn't want you or Claire to get hurt. I've never suggested this before but maybe try to light an incense at the door of the shed and talk out loud to it. Perhaps try to make peace with it before you try a cleansing. Sometimes certain spirits just want respect and attention. If the peace making doesn't work, then I would try a cleansing because afterall it is your shed now. I wonder if you can find any background history on your property. Maybe something bad happened there before, or the previous owner or someone died int here tragically. All guesses... Keep us updated! And Please take care

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