The University of Auckland is old. And with being old comes creepiness. This week, Craccum’s resident psychic visited some of the oldest historic buildings on campus to see what vibes she could pick up.
UoA has a pretty colourful history. If you haven’t noticed walking around campus, we’re home to some pretty cool architectural gems. There’s even a heritage trail you can walk to see how the University has transformed over time. However, if you’re like me, you can pick up some pretty intense energies from some of the buildings at Uni. Based on my experience, I’ve curated a short guide to some of UoA’s most notable and most haunted structures.
UoA is home to New Zealand’s former Government House. This massive mansion was built in 1856, and the royals have actually stayed there six times. Nowadays, it’s used as the Staff Common Room (basically Shads, but for lecturers).
I was expecting this one to have higher levels of spiritual energy, but to be honest I didn’t really pick up much here apart from an overall slightly uncomfortable feeling. I think this can be attributed to rocking up to the Common Room in Lululemon tights and a Glassons sweater and looking very out of place amongst all the professors; I’m honestly surprised no one asked me to leave. Maybe the shivers up my spine were just the leftover creepy colonial vibes.
This one is pretty well known amongst the ghost hunters of Auckland. Multiple ghost sightings have occurred at AUSA House in recent years, including an old man reading a newspaper, a nurse walking the hallways and figures standing in the windows. It makes sense considering that the late 1800’s building used to be a doctor’s surgery; it’s definitely up there in terms of creepy backstories.
From the moment I first set foot in AUSA house, I could sense multiple energies here. It definitely felt like these spirits were not afraid to make themselves known; others have even reported sensations of being touched or hearing voices. Had I come at a better time when no one else was around, I believe that I would have been able to communicate with them. Good news is, these spirits did not feel like a negative presence, so I don’t think there is anything to be afraid of here.
Don’t let the ghosts deter you from coming to visit AUSA house—there’s always free shit here. And more importantly, the AUSA are the centre of representation for students, so come and visit your elected representatives!
Old Choral Hall is the oldest permanent building on campus, and is also the creepiest by far. Built in 1873, it was basically a town hall for about 40 years and has also served the University in a number of capacities, so who knows what people have gotten up to in here.
I stood outside Old Choral Hall one night when it was dark and mostly deserted. At first, I didn’t feel anything, but then I closed my eyes and really opened myself up to any spirits that might be present. What came next was a really overwhelming feeling of sadness. Whatever spirit was here was very lonely. However, I wasn’t sure whether I should trust this spirit. Something was making me feel uneasy. After researching online, I found out others had heard noises or felt similar energies around this building. Going inside was a no from me.
We put a photo of the Clocktower on pretty much every Craccum article—it really is an iconic UoA landmark. Designed by the American architect R.A. Lippincott, who also designed structures such as the Queen Street Smith & Caughey’s building, it was opened in 1926 and previously housed the University’s Arts departments.
I couldn’t feel any spiritual presence inside the Clocktower. No spirits here, but everyone should come and check it out—it’s open to the public for free, and the inside is just as beautiful as the outside.
R.I.P. HSB. I couldn’t visit this one since it’s currently in the process of being torn down, but it was definitely the creepiest building I’ve ever set foot in at UoA. Some of the words friends have used to describe it include “Soviet hospital” or “the house I built on the Sims when I was nine.” Many of us will have heard the rumours about the fire in the basement, and that they just stuck caution tape over the door of the damaged room. I’ve also had multiple lecturers tell me there’s asbestos in the building, so if ghosts don’t get you, the asbestosis will. Seriously, who the fuck designs a building where 90% of the rooms don’t have windows.
If you’d like to learn more about UoA’s historical buildings, you can check out the Landmarks and Facilities page on the University website. You can also find a map of the University Heritage Trail on the Auckland Council website.