Picture yourself in an old theatre. You arrived with your colleagues hoping to investigate strange sightings in the night, armed with the latest technology money could buy. An amorphous mist clings to the ceiling above one of your peers, silently shifting and changing as your torches pass over it.
You've heard the stories: Before this was a theatre it was a railway workshop, and one of the workers hanged himself from the eaves. As you descend into the main hall, towards the stage, a black shadow writhes behind you, shaped like a man. A haunting, disembodied voice echoes, "Get out."
If you heard a voice in a haunted place telling you to get out, would you run?
When New Zealand paranormal investigators Core Paranormal NZ decided to investigate Palmerston North's Centrepoint Theatre recently, these are just a few of the unexplainable events they witnessed.
Opened in 1974, Centrepoint Theatre is the only professional production house outside of the country's four major centres. And what is a theatre without its phantoms?
Group founder George Shiels set up a variety of equipment to monitor paranormal activity alongside Core Paranormal group members and two Centrepoint staff. They utilised thermal imaging cameras, infrared thermometers, night shot cameras and full spectrum cameras. The group set up inside and stayed until 3 a.m., documenting some of the highest activity they have ever seen in a building.
Alongside the above, they also saw numerous floating orbs, a common sighting in haunted places, as well as mysterious shadows and a chain that was so determined to move by itself, it even continued when someone grabbed it.
Much like many of the historic buildings you can visit on a ghost tour in Australia, it would seem there are denizens of Centrepoint with unfinished business.
"We can never prove a haunting but we can show that in the case of Centrepoint, there was strong evidence of paranormal activity," Shiels told the Manawatu Standard.