OK, this one fascinates me. I found it in a NZ paper, The Daily Post.
The story by Abigail Hartevelt describes how residents feared that they were experiencing a poltergeist when their electrical equipment suddenly tuned on…
Residents spooked by appliances turning themselves on can rest easy – it wasn’t a poltergeist.
People living in the Taupo suburb of Richmond Heights rang the Fire Service with an unusual complaint on Monday night – their appliances were turning on by themselves.
But it may simply have been acase of too much voltage going through to their properties becauseof a fault in a power cable.
Taupo Fire Service station officer Al Green said the service was called out to the Richmond Heights area just after 7pm on Monday after concerned residents reported their meter boards were heating up and appliances were turning themselves on.
Unison’s customer relations manager, Danny Gough, said power had to be cut to 26 properties in the suburb from 8pm on Monday to just before 1pm yesterday after they received reports of a power surge causing overheating in meter boards.
Contractors were still investigating but Mr Gough said it appeared there was a fault in a cable which led to excess voltage going into the properties. There were reports of excessive heat going through meter boards at residents’ homes and there was a danger of fire.
No fires were reported but Mr Gough said Unison did not want to take any chances.
He said it was unfortunate the power had to be switched off for so long but residents’ safety was paramount.
“We’d rather shut the power down than have a fire during the night.”
Mr Gough said he could not confirm reports of appliances turning themselves on but that could have happened, given the high voltage going into the properties.
I have never heard of this happening before, but guess it may be a uncommon problem with electricity supply: certainly I think it’s worth noting for would be poltergeist investigators, simply because a misdiagnosis of a wiring fault as a spook could so easily have tragic consequences. Luckily Al Green found the problem quickly — and i thought worth updating the blog to mention it!