Haunted South Island Monastery up for sale


A building near Timaru that has a Historic Places Category 2 listing with Heritage New Zealand is once again up for sale.

Robert Young, the vendor, says he has researched the history of Claremont Castle.

But he hasn’t traded on any ghost stories as has the former owner, Mr West.

In 2001, West offered $100 to anyone who could spend two consecutive nights in the castle’s supposedly haunted shower block.

The ghost story is believed to have followed the decades in the mid 20th Century when Claremont castle used to accommodate St Joseph’s Noviate (sic),” according to Colleen Hawkes writing on Stuff.

“It was a silent order that was entirely self-sufficient, growing all its own food in the grounds.

“The chapel was built and there were old graves on the property, but these were subsequently moved off.”

Some of the surviving brothers, now in their 90s, have visited and talked about the good times they had when it was St Joseph’s Novitiate, Young says.

“I give them a cup of tea and a scone and we have a lovely time. They tell me stories.”

But stories get longer as the years pass: The Marist Brothers Novitiate was located at Claremont in 1932.

Claremont House built was in 1884.

Additional buildings on the property include two two-bedroomed units for visiting clergy, now used by staff.

Stables have been turned into garaging and the former 40-roomed dormitory is now a reception hall.

The centre used the chapel as a gymnasium only and held Christmas carol nights in the main foyer below the wooden stairway.

The property is currently used as a wedding venue, bed and breakfast, conference facility and as Young’s private residence.

However, he has reluctantly decided to sell as he is looking to downsize and retire.

The property has been on the market for some time.


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