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Tales of the Supernatural in Aotearoa

By Grant Shanks with Tahu Potiki

When New Zealand Grant Shanks first visited Scotland, the land of his forebears, he visited the battlefield of Culloden where he experienced for the first time a real sense of the paranormal - the ghosts of the Highlanders who fell were all around him.

Few people speak about them, but there are similar sites in New Zealand, where Pakeha as well as Maori fear to treat. There are places in the bush where the trees stand bare and lifeless, and no birds sing. In some towns there are houses erected on told tapu sites where even the most sceptical of householder are either forced to leave or to seek Maori assistance so that the ghosts can be exorcised from the area.

With the assistance and advice of Tahu Potiki, Director of Maori Studies at Christchurch Polytechnic, Grant Shanks has gathered together 38 stories of people - both Maori and Pakeha - whose lives have been changed as a result of their coming upon such sites or experiencing events for which they can offer no rational explanation.

When the events recalled in each of these stories took place, the narrators were generally left in a confused state of mind. On the one hand they were firmly convinced that what happened did in fact happen: that the image of the waka was clearly visible on the river, of that the rapid drop in temperature between rooms was distinct and uncanny. But on the other, they found themselves quickly searching for logical answers: the waka may simply have been mist on the water, and a room that receives no sunlight will of course be a little chilly.

This book attempts to capture that moment just before the doubt sets in.

Paperback - 175 pages

Published 1998

Very good condition
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