Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A Ghost in Thebarton



A Ghost in Thebarton


In June 1906 The Register Newspaper of South Australia reported a number of disturbances of ghostly vision seen in the suburb of Thebarton.  The ghost was described as being dressed in a luminous white gown, and having in his hand a coffin like device which displayed a number of Bible scriptures and semi-scriptures.
 On Friday the 15th of June 1906, a man called in to the Thebarton Police Station in a state of panic, having just witnessed the ghost.
 The victim was riding a bicycle down Henley Beach road, and in his efforts to escape the clutches of the ghost, almost drowned in an invert at the intersection of Henley Beach road and Taylors Road.
On Saturday night a young lady witnessed the same spectre in the street as she made her way home.
 The rumour of the ghostly sightings spread very quickly around the region, and many people became afraid to venture outside, so much so, that a circus that was nearby watched its patronage numbers drop considerably as the reported ghostly sightings went up.
 As the fear spread, a wave of anger began to sweep through the area’s young men, who took to the street, vowing to find the ghost and teach it a lesson - which would have been an interesting fight if the ghost was indeed a real one!
 As citizens tried to rationalise the ghost appearance, a skeptical group arose that stated that the ghost was nothing more than the weak minds of the “victims” creating the phantom – but police soon dismissed this, as the original few reports that had not been made public, had almost identical descriptions of the ghost.
Instead, the police began to undertake a little ghost hunting themselves to try and find the young man they thought was responsible…
The ghost disappeared into the ether, and was never heard of again!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Ghost of Bentley’s Hill



The Ghost of Bentley’s Hill


Still in the Southern Flinders Ranges, only 4.5km’s from Wirrabara is a local landmark named “Bentley’s Hill”.
 The local legends insists the hill is named after the Bentley family who owned the land in the region back in the late 1800’s.
 Apparently, Mrs Bentley died very suddenly, much to the surprise of friends and was buried. A rumour took hold in the local area that her death may not have been accidental. The Police began inquiries, which led the detectives to exhume Mrs Bentley’ body. Upon inspection of the body, it became evident that Mrs Bentley had been smothered to death.
Mr Bentley was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife, he was released on bail, and absconded, never to be seen or heard of again.
It has been said, that the ghost of Mrs Bentley haunts the property upon which she was killed, and is seen around the anniversary of her murder. It is reported that whenever her spirit is about, the water in the creek will refuse to flow!
Mrs Bentley is buried in the Mount Remarkable Cemetery
Whilst there may be truth to the story, I have not, as of yet, found a newspaper article or police report that confirms the arrest of Mr Bentley, nor the murder of Mrs Bentley

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Six O'clock Shot – Wirrabara Hotel



Six O'clock Shot – Wirrabara Hotel



Wirrabara, a small town on the banks of the Rocky River in the Southern Flinders Ranges, is located about 135kms north of Adelaide. The town is name is Indigenous in origin, coming from the Kaurna peoples, but is actually a misspelling – In Kaurna the word Wirra meaning Water and Birra meaning gum trees.
 The town saw European settlement in 1844 when the White Brothers took up leases just north of where the town now stands. The Brothers named their station “Charlton Run” after their home town in England.
 An old mining air intake chimney can still be seen where the old Charlton Copper Mine once operated in the 1850’s. The station was later renamed Wirrabara, and this is where the town adopted its name from in 1874.
 The Wirrabara Station was once owned by A.B. Murray, the man who made the Marino Sheep famous!
Wirrabara was a means to an ends for the South Australian Government. The State of South Australia had no natural forest like other Australian states did, so the Government decided to create its own, and Wirrabara was chosen as the site.
 Much of our States practices for Emergency Bushfire plans that we use today, were founded in the forest nursery of Wirrabara. The nursery spawned a huge industry locally that supported the growth of early colonial South Australia.
Like all good South Australian towns it didn’t take long for a pub to be built in the town. Mr Farley built the hotel at 65 High Street, and leased it to Sam Miller. The hotel has had about 23 publicans since that time, all of which are displayed on an honour roll in the Hotel.


 One of the more interesting thing in this hotel is an old clock which adorns a wall. The clock is stopped dead on 6 O’clock. As the story goes, back in the late 1800’s a local man by the name of Malcolm Murray, who was described as a good natured fellow, went on a bit of a bender at the hotel. At the time of his bender, it was state law for hotels in South Australia to close at 6pm – Mr Murray did not like this idea at all as he wanted to drink, so he whipped out his revolver and shot the clock, dead on 6.
 Mr Murray, the next day, no doubt hung over, and feeling very sorry for his outburst, went and bought a new clock for the hotel – the old one was left in the hotel as a memento of Mr Murrays bender!


The Hotel is also reportedly haunted with an unknown phantom who likes to move things around in the hotel, and has on occasion, held people down in their beds when staying overnight!

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/90630882