15 Apr 2013
Castle owner fed up with 'ghost hunters'
'It's getting a bit ridiculous now'
ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY/ Fairfax NZ
BUMP IN THE NIGHT: The owner of Castle Claremont is fed up with trespassers 'hunting ghosts'.
The owner of Castle Claremont says he is fed up with would-be ''ghost hunters'' bothering visitors late at night.
Police removed four teenagers from the property on Saturday evening after the group claimed they wanted to see the ''ghost''.
Rob Young, the owner of the Mt Horrible property, said it was a semi-regular occurrence.
''It's getting a bit ridiculous now. We have to deal with these things every few weeks. It seems to be a bit of a rite of passage,'' he said.
''We sometimes get a whole rush of them at the end of the school year.''
Mr Young said the legend of the ghost might have started with the previous owner, John West.
However, stories of the property being haunted may have also stemmed from the the fact there were old Marist Brothers' graves on the property for many years, which were subsequently moved off site.
In 2001, Mr West offered $100 to anyone who could spend two consecutive nights in the castle's supposedly haunted shower block.
The first three participants failed to complete the challenge, prompting if Herald reporter Stu Piddington to spend the night - an experience he summed up as ''eerie rather than scary''.
Mr Young purchased the property in 2005.
''I think [Mr West] stuck a possum in the shower block to scare off the contestants,'' Mr Young said.
''I am utterly confident that if there were a ghost, it left in 2005. It's no longer there and people staying at the castle need their sleep.''
Mr Young was more concerned at the speeds some younger people were driving around the area, particularly late at night. ''That's scarier than any ghost,'' he said.
Castle Claremont was built in 1884 for £5000. The house was a wedding gift to pioneer settler George Hampton Rhodes' French bride Henrietta.
From 1981 to 1997, parts of the building were used for the Claremont Recovery Centre, rehabilitation facility for alcoholics and drug addicts.