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Great Grandfather?


My story revolves around a flat that I moved into with my best friend a few years ago, in Auckland, New Zealand.

The flat that we moved into was on the back of a building that has been in my family for years, it was originally owned by my great grandfather (who has since passed away and the building got passed down to my grandfather) and has had many different purposes over those years. My great grandfather loved the building, and the most recent purpose it was used for was for his label business many years ago now. The part of the building we lived in used to be the workers staff room.

It was a very small flat with two bedrooms, a small lounge, a tiny toilet and a kitchen. To get to the shower you had to go outside onto the landing and through another door. The room that the shower was in had a door that led through to the rest of the building, and my bedroom also had a door in it that led through to the building also. We did not use these doors and had them locked from our side.

Underneath us my grandad now used that space as his band room. The rest of the building is now storage where all my family leaves their belongings - there is a lot of old things in there, even items that were my great grandfather's as a child.

We both experienced many things in this house that we could not explain and that really freaked us out, but seeing as we didn't pay rent we didn't want to leave. I'm just going to write about some of the experiences we had while living there.

When we first moved in nothing really happened, but we both felt a little uneasy about being in the house alone. We both believed in ghosts and spirits but neither of us had actually had an encounter with one. After the first couple of nights in our house I couldn't sleep in my room by myself. I felt like I was being watched every time I was in there. The door in my room that backed onto the rest of the building made me feel very uneasy and I would catch myself staring at it throughout the night. It just felt so much like someone was on the other side of the door watching me. Every night there was also a constant banging in the roof, we both couldn't explain it, but it would never stop. And it would only come back at night. A little while later my best friend and I started sleeping together every night because we both couldn't sleep alone.

After a few weeks of us being there we came home late after midnight one night and I saw someone standing in the window. (This particular window was a window that looked into the building - not part of our flat). It was a woman wearing a white dress. My best friend saw the woman too. It felt like she was watching us arrive. This happened to us many times when we arrived home late. We discussed this with my grandmother, who believes in spirits, and she said that before my great grandfather used the building for his business it used to be a hair salon. So maybe that could have something to do with how the woman kept appearing for us?

One of the scariest nights that we encountered there involved our tv, and to this day we both can't explain what happened. We tried to think of every possible reasoning for it, but we just couldn't. We had just finished watching movies and it was about 2am so we decided to go to sleep in our separate rooms (this was after about 3 months of living there and had finally gotten used to sleeping in our own rooms). After about ten minutes of getting into bed the tv turned on, full volume so it was really loud, and onto a static screen. We both got out of bed and turned the tv off thinking it must of been a power surge or something and went back to bed. A couple of minutes later the same thing happened. My friend turned the volume down to minimum and turned the tv off. Then we put the remote on top of the tv and sort of just shrugged it off as we were getting used to weird little things happening around the house. A few minutes later the same thing happened again and we both rushed out to see that the remote was on the ground this time. We both freaked out and unplugged the tv and he came to sleep in my room with me.

The next part really doesn't make sense and we both don't know how it happened. We were both in bed freaking out and my bedroom door slammed open, with such a huge force that it broke the lock on it. (It was one of those little slide across locks, that wouldn't be too hard to break). We had no windows open, there was no breeze in the house.

After that, not much else happened for a while. Apart from the constant feeling of being watched everyday and little things happening - like waking up one morning to my cactus plant on the ground all broken, even after it wasn't possible for it to fall over. And things being moved around the house. We also were constantly replacing lights around the house because they would blow after being used for a day or two. But then one night another scary encounter happened.

We were again watching movies really late and decided it was time to go to bed. I needed to go have a shower, which was always scary at night because it felt so secluded being technically not in the house. While I was in the shower I heard the strange banging noises coming from the roof again - I didn't think too much of it because they happened all the time, but tonight it made me feel really uneasy and I felt the feeling of being watched even more that night. I heard a bit of banging coming from behind the door that led into the building also. I went back into the house and got into bed. As soon as I touched my light switch to turn it off, the alarms went off in the building that was on our flat. My dad came to check out the building but no one had broken in or anything. The alarms just decided to go off - and it said that all of the sensors had sensed something that night. We found it hard to sleep after that.

Anyway my best friend and I moved out of the flat and haven't experienced anything ever since. But a year ago my dad was in the building by himself and he was in the kitchen in our flat and he said he felt really uneasy like he was being watched. (My dad does not believe in anything paranormal at all - he thinks it's all fake, but after this he doesn't really know what to think). He looked up from cleaning dishes and he said he saw a black figure. The black figure stayed there for a couple of seconds and then it just swooped towards him and left. My dad left the building so fast and he was terrified, I don't think I have ever seen him so terrified my whole life.

After talking with my grandparents about it, they think maybe it was my great grandfather that kept doing this stuff to us because he loved his building so much and maybe didn't want us living in it. Living in that house though gave me some of the scariest experiences I've ever had, and I don't think I would ever move back in.

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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, koa, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-22)
My brain was similarly confused. I think, Biblio that we both may have envisioned something like this (the one on the far right "Wharf Hill"):

I think I may have managed one solution. If it is indeed a similar building in question, these type structures can be incredibly deep - the shop front sometimes taking up as little as the first fourth of the ground floor divided from the rest by a partition. The remainder then becomes storage, stock rooms, office (s), workshops etc. I can see the original plans having placed the break room towards the rear portion of the second floor so any noise made would not disturb custom in the shop below.

*If* that was the layout (big big IF there), then the front windows of the second floor would not let onto the flat but additional storage or office space. Perhaps too, during the era of the beauty salon, they merely rented the front shop space area - that way, the printing equipment in the back needs not have even been moved.

That's how my brain works it out anyway - hopefully Koa will return and set us to rights.

I do wonder, however, why a great grandfather would visit such fear upon his descendents- the entity doesn't even seem to have liked your father. Have there been any breaks within the family tree, which may have caused some resentment? Biblio's chaos theory makes sense - I get antsy when I see my nieces making a mess in my home and... I have thus discovered that I'm not over keen of other people indiscriminately touching my things (even family) - perhaps he was the same way? Is there anyone left alive who might be able to give you some such insights into his character?

Or could be that the old gentleman has been falsely accused. Over all those years were there ever any employee accidents on site? It doesn't necessarily have to be anything that caused a fatality there in the building. Perhaps the unlucky individual died later in hospital or the injury they incurred made it impossible for them to make a living so they may have taken their own life. Maybe there was an accident or a crime committed in the road or on the sidewalk just out front. Any such scenario, I imagine, could yield a resentful haunt.

Perhaps, the root of the haunting predates your family's tenancy entirely. Perhaps even predates the construction of the building.

I would recommend talking to as many family members as you can about those who lived and or worked in the building then hitting the library and city hall to see what you can find.
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1091 posts)
6 years ago (2018-10-13)
Greetings, Koa, and welcome to YGS.

Unusually for me, I'm having a little difficulty with the architecture. I understand the size, location, and arrangement of rooms in the flat, which you described very well; I'm having trouble sorting out the rest of the the building. Initially, I was picturing a modest two-storey warehouse-type building (the kind of place you might see used as an independent mechanic's garage, or a rural animal-feed store). The age of the building is entirely compatible with your statement that it "has had many different purposes over those years." When converting part of the structure into a flat, using "the workers' staff room" makes the most sense, as it would already contain plumbing, possibly a stove, etc., that people need in a residence. I took your statement that "Underneath us my grandad now used that space as his band room" was confirmation that the flat was on the upper floor of the building. (Sidenote: your *grandfather* has a garage-band practice area? Cool!)

I saw no contradiction in the disused space becoming "storage where all my family leaves their belongings." Families have a habit of doing that, especially in a multi-generational building, with the attitude, "well, we should store it at grandpa's for now; we may need it again later," then never retrieving the item. I saw tarpaulins, wooden crates, plastic barrels, and boxes with labels so damn old that no-one can read the carefully-written lists on the outside. Perhaps something along this line is what has agitated your great-grandfather; he owned a label-making business for people to identify & organize their goods, products, and possessions, and his beloved workspace has become clogged with unidentified, *unlabeled* bric-a-brac...?

Where the architecture began to puzzle me was, "I saw someone standing in the window. (This particular window was a window that looked into the building - not part of our flat)." Ok, there are other windows opening from (disused?) rooms into the workspace *besides* the widows/doors from your flat. Where are these windows in relation to your flat? Are they on the ground floor or are they above that level?

You researched the apparition with older family members (smart move!) and your grandmother "said that before my great grandfather used the building for his business it used to be a hair salon." Now, I'm completely bewildered by what I had thought was a straightforward large workspace. How extensive were the renovations to turn a hair salon into a printing press? Have I misunderstood your description completely? Please let me know how the room/rooms were arranged when you lived there, as I felt rather thrown off by this detail.


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