This blog is about the paranormal/supernatural/ anomalous/whatever, with a leaning towards strange occurrences in New Zealand. There will also be reviews of books on the paranormal, from NZ but mainly elsewhere.

I am the leader and co-founder of the paranormal investigation team Strange Occurrences. We are nine-strong, including team members of scientific persuasion as well as from a range of other professions. Strange Occurrences was established in 2005 in Wellington, New Zealand, and is the longest standing active paranormalinvestigation team in the country. Our website www.strange-occurrences.com has plenty more info, as well as links to the other fine paranormal teams currently active in New Zealand. We also have a pretty lively Facebook group, which you are welcome to join (permission will be granted). We hope to promote a sense of community and cooperation among paranormal interest groups in this country and abroad.

The Strange Occurrences team, 2012: Denise, Jo, Rob, Scott, James, Patrick, Helen, Mark, Karen – photographed at Photospace Gallery

Since publicly declaring my interest in the paranormal, I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject. One of the purposes of this blog is to review and generally wade through the plethora of books on the topic, from those aimed at believers to the more skeptical and scientific texts.I believe this is important, because the subject is so widely covered in TV and the net, as well as in movies, that a lot of rather shallow information has got out there, resulting in many misconceptions about the paranormal. Books are generally more reliable sources of information (not always, and I’ll be pointing out some that are utter rubbish) and this blog will hopefully be of assistance in covering the field.

With Strange Occurrences team member Jo Davy (a Ph.D. who also has a masters in fiction writing) I co-authored our own book: Spooked – Exploring the paranormal in New Zealand (Random House NZ, 2011). The whole experience from first contact by the publisher to seeing Spooked in the bookshops was a total buzz.

Cover of “Spooked – Exploring the paranormal in New Zealand” by Jo Davy & James Gilberd, Random House NZ, 2011

I am a member of New Zealand Skeptics, and the position of Strange Occurrences is a little different to some other paranormal groups you may have encountered on TV or elsewhere. Although there is a healthy range of opinions in the team, we are not necessarily ‘believers’ in ghosts or other paranormal phenomena. We are agnostic, perhaps somewhat skeptical, but I hope in a good way. I believe this is the best position from which to evaluate instances of possibly paranormal activity or phenomena. We’re not about trying to convince people that ghosts exist, because we’re very much still asking that question to ourselves, and on a pretty regular basis.

The phrase, which is a quote from the film “Dean Spanley” – Only the closed mind is certain – best sums up our approach and position on the paranormal.

I hope you enjoy this blog, and will post comments and suggestions about books and other media concerning the paranormal.

Contact Strange Occurrences for all of your paranormal issues

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