Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Captain Johnstone’s Cottage – Murray Bridge

Captain Johnstones Cottage – Murray Bridge

Owned and lived in by the family of Captain Adam Johnstone, the Captains Cottage Museum in Murray Bridge has long been rumoured to be haunted.

 Captain Johnstone served under Captain Cadell in Europe in his early days as a trader between Leith and the Baltic regions. Later he began whaling operations alongside his brother in the Artic Seas.

 He arrived in South Australia in 1856 on-board the brig “Lady Emma”, which was also carrying the first two Murray Steamers the “Albury” and the “Gundagai”.

Captain Johnstone aided in the building of the two vessels from the parts imported on the Lady Emma, he then went on to be a ship mate on the Gundagai before earning him the distinction of being the first officer.

 Captain Johnstone in 1851, like many other people in South Australia at the time, soon moved east to Victoria to the gold fields to try and make his fortune, but returned soon after, and resumed his place on the river.

The Captain now took service under Mr S Hesiltine captaining his vessels, under his master undertook retirement and sold his vessels.

The Captain then went in to the service of Mr John Whyte, and Captained two of his steamers, the “Medindie” and the “Shannon”, and stayed with the firm until that owner passed away and his ships were sold off to contractors elsewhere.

Captain Johnstone passed away at the age of 71 in 1905. One of the most respected men to steam the Murray River ion his time.

 Ghost stories of the home are hard to come by, but it is said that a spirit lingers in the rear kitchen area of the old home. Links to the spirit being that of the Captain are few and far between with possibility of the spirit being a later resident of the property thought to be more likely.

 I am curious to know if any of you, constant readers, have had an experience in the old cottage in Murray Bridge – if so, please let us know over on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

South Australia's Weird Laws

South Australia has some unusual laws, most are very old and may have been reasonable in their time period, but seem out of place in this day and age. The following is just a few of them in no specific order

Living with person of “Bad Character”
A person who is the occupier of a premises frequented by reputed thieves, prostitutes, persons without lawful means of support or persons of notoriously bad character is guilty of an offence. Maximum fine $750.

Disrupting a wedding ceremony
Under the Summary Offences Act obstructing or disturbing a wedding ceremony in South Australia can attract a fine of up to $10,000 or two years in jail.
Asking for money or goods in a public place
Asking or begging for money or goods is an offence in South Australia, with fines of up to $250.
The act also includes a person going from house to house asking for alms, encouraging children to do the same, or exposing a wound or deformity with the objective to receive money or goods.

Dont sell ya big Fridge!
A person must not sell or hire, or offer or expose for sale or hire, a refrigerator, ice chest or icebox having in it a compartment of a capacity of 42.5 litres or more unless that compartment is so constructed or equipped that every door or lid can be opened easily from the inside of the compartment when any lock or catch that can be operated from the outside of the compartment is fastened. Maximum fine $750.

Gate crashing
Turning up to a party uninvited can provide unruly and uninvited revellers with a maximum $5,000 fine or one year imprisonment.
If a person trespasses on premises that are being used for a private party and does not leave when requested to by the owner or organiser, they automatically qualify for the offence.
If the person begins to behave offensively, an extra $2,500 fine can be added.
If the name and address of the person is then requested and the person refuses, the total maximum fine could reach $10,000.

Placing advertising posters
Sticking advertising posters or 'bills' on the side of buildings, structures, roads, paved surfaces or objects of any kind without lawful authority can attract a fine of up to $2,500 or six months jail.
The person who distributes the material is guilty of the offence unless it can be proven they took precautions to ensure the posters were not placed illegally on property.
Poster-placers can also be made liable for removal costs.

Drunken tattoos
Party goers are protected from waking up with 'I love ...' tattoos the next morning under the Summary Offences Act.
Tattooists can face fines of up to $5,000 or one year in jail for performing any kind of 'body modification' on someone who appears intoxicated as a result of alcohol or drug consumption.

Faking clairvoyance or medium
If a person pretends to be a clairvoyant, spiritualist or medium, and those involved in a reading believe they are fake, the medium can be charged under the Summary Offences Act with fines of up to $10,000 or two years imprisonment.
Those who pretend to have powers of telepathy or clairvoyance can be charged with the offence - those who actually can provide the service already knew this.

Offering a 'no questions asked' reward for the return of goods
Those posting public notices requesting the return of lost property with 'no questions asked' or 'no prosecution' can themselves be fined $500.
Any person who prints or publishes an advertisement can also be guilty of the crime.

Singing A song with Profanity
A person who uses indecent or profane language or sings any indecent or profane song or ballad in a public place or police station is guilty of an offence. Maximum fine $250.

Ring and run
A person who, without reasonable excuse, decides to ring a door bell or knock on a door is guilty of wilfully disturbing another person and can be fined up to $250.

Close you car door!
A person must not cause a hazard to any person or vehicle by opening a door of a vehicle, leaving a door of a vehicle open, or getting off, or out of, a vehicle. Maximum fine $225.

Pigeon power
Homing pigeons are a law amongst themselves when it comes to protection, with an individual clause in the Summary Offences Act detailing those found guilty of unlawfully killing, injuring or taking homing pigeons may face fines of up to $250.

The gate keeper
A person who opens a farm gate and leaves it open, or in turn closes a farm gate and leaves it closed is guilty of an offence that can attract a fine of up to $750.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

South-East Tiger's

 South-East Tigers

“They had short front legs, long hind legs, and were nearly as big as a fox, with long tails like a monkey” described Mrs G Breda in an interview with The Advertiser on August 13, 1971. Mrs Breda also described the creatures she witnessed as moving “With a loping action”
What were these creatures that were being spotted in South Australia's South-East in the late 1960's into the 1970's. Numerous sightings of these strange “cat-like” animals were coming in over the years, with most descriptions being similar to the “ Tasmanian Tiger”, or Thylacine, the last of which was shot in 1933.
The Thylacine had been extinct on the Australia mainland for over 2000 years according to scientific studies.

In 1966, Mr C. Barker of Mt Gambier witnessed a “great overgrown cat” in his headlights as he drove a stretch of road from Keith to Naracoorte. He described it as about the same size as a sheep dog, with “black white, or black grey vertical stripes across its back”. The animal bound across the road “like a tiger” according to Mr Barker. The report reminded some people of the earlier sightings of the Tantanoola Tiger – could this be a descendent?

The animal was sighted again in 1966 by a 9 year old boy named Richard Weckert in Kingston SE. Whilst on a hunting trip with his Father, the boy witnessed a cat-like creature in the wild, what was unusual, and stuck out most in his mind, was the very unusual tusks protruding from near its mouth.
In 1967, a sighting of the creatures happened near Naracoorte, when an animal fitting the previous description was seen “loping” across a field.
Reports followed over the years, coming from as far as Beachport, Robe and the Coorong.
The following year the creature was seen again near Naracoorte, and “Jumped on to a fence post like a cat”. It was then spotted by children on a school bus near Lucindale.
A witness described the animal as ““He was a large animal, a bit like a fox and a kangaroo, but neither ... he had a dog’s head and ran with a long, loping gait. His torso was striped in grey, the rest of his body was brown.” after watching it through a telescope near the Coorong.
The last sighting of these animals was in 1971 near Mt Gambier. Did they die out, were they hunted down...or did they go further into the scrub as humans moved into their hunting grounds?

Have you seen a cat-like creature in South Australia's South-East – we would lovwe to hear your experience over on our facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Halfway Hotel - Beverly

 Halfway Hotel - Beverly

With over 165 years of history, the Halfway Hotel at Beverly is one of Adelaide's longest licensed hotels, with only The Edinburgh Castle in Currie Street serving longer, opening it's doors in 1837.
The hotel has no only been a favourite drinking hole, but accommodation for many weary travellers, immigrants and dignitaries coming into Adelaide.

The hotel got its name from being the halfway point for travellers coming from Port Adelaide into the City – a pretty obvious name really.
The hotel has long been rumoured to have its ghosts. Reports of strange whisperings, lights switching on and off, alarms sounding when no-one is there, and sightings of a wispy figure floating through the bar. There are even reports of bottles flying off the shelves in the drive through of their own accord.

Urban legends have grown around this pub, with one being the rumour of a man hanging himself in the cellar in an unknown year. This unreferenced event is the alleged source for all the reported goings on in the hotel, unless you talk to former staff and caretakers, who cite a former patron they have named “George”

George has been reported to have the ability to move large objects, much like a poltergeist, his biggest move was to turn all the kegs in the cellar upside down one night, which was found the following morning by staff.

George is also attributed to disembodied footsteps heard walking through various areas of the hotel, and also loves to move furniture around, rearranging whole rooms.

Although most staff agree the hotel is haunted, George is not known for being evil, vindictive or nasty, but rather he is a jokester and a friendly ghost who likes a little recognition now and then.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Willamulka Brute a.k.a. "The Kadina Wherwolf"

The Willamulka Brute A.K.A. The Kadina Wherwolf

 The Yorke Peninsula in 1919 saw a loss of sheep happen in such a way, and in such a short time, that it drew similarities to the Tantanoola Tiger sheep killings 30 something years earlier.

For more than 9 months, sheep would be found slaughtered in
fields near Kadina. Farmers described the beast as being "wolf like, but immense in size". 
The beast was described in Sydney’s “The World’s News” on 19 June 1943 published article, "There Are Queer Creatures in This Australia" by V. Molesworth as the “Kadina Wehrwolf”

 Wolf like howls and shrieks would fill the night air, and in the morning, a farmer or two would find some of his sheep torn to pieces – this led to a reward of 10 pounds being offered to capture the beast, which was described in rural circles as “big enough to devour a child”.

 Farmers and hunters began to lay in wait for the beast, hoping to be the one who bagged it. The beast was heard, but never seen, until 21 days later Mr D Tully witnessed the beast.

 Mr Tully had set out to cover watering holes, drinking troughs and dams in his local area. With him a pack of stag hounds and greyhounds, he spotted the wolf, and set his dogs after it, but they flatly refused to chase the beast, being overcome with fear.

 Next he saw it whilst he was riding his horse. He chased the beast and got within 30 years of it, before its odour overcome his horse, which reared back and bolted from the wolf.

 Mr Tully was not one to give up, and set a number of rabbit traps about his farm. He found the beast, foot in trap near a fence and approached it as it snarled and gnashed in his direction. Mr Tully raised his shotgun, and blasted the beast in the mouth. Thinking he had killed the beast, he moved towards it, only to have it raise up and lunge at him again – this time he fired his barrels right down its throat – killing it.

 The “Kadina Wehrwolf” was no more. The beast weighed 30+ KG’s and measured 1.3 meters long from nose to tail. The animal stood at 68cms tall. It was remarked at how strong its chest and neck were. The head was described as being as wide and short pricked ears. The beasts coat was brindle coloured with coarse medium hair, with lines of that alternated black and tan on the rump and forelegs

 The Animal was female, and a small litter of its pups were found near a railway culvert, drowned by flood waters they couldn’t escape from. Mr Tully kept the hide of the beast, and had intentions to take it to the Adelaide Museum, whether or not this was done, has not been confirmed.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Legacy of Sir Sidney Kidman

The Legacy of Sir Sidney Kidman

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the death of Sir Sidney Kidman
(1857), once Australia's wealthiest man, and largest property owner, who conducted the worlds largest horse sale at the rear of the North Kapunda Hotel.
Kidman never swore, and instead would say "Jolly Tinkers" in the place of swears...
We thought it prudent to share some of the charities that Sir SIdney and Lady Isabel Kidman distributed their wealth too over their lifetimes, and after Sir Kidmans Death
May their legacy inspire and their memory live on....
The Will of Sir Sidney Kidman
Upon the anniversary of the death of Sir Sidney Kidman, here is a list of the benefactors of his generosity, in life, and also in death
During the First World War Sir Kidman donated 3 Ambulances, 2 Fighter Planes, 200 Horses, wool and meat for the Australian troops. He also promised all his workers who served, a job upon their return. His donations also extended to wives who lost their husband in war.
Donations were made to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross – and also the Royal Flying Doctors.
The Kidmans also donated their house and estate in Kapunda, “Eringa” to the education department in 1920 – to this day the grounds are still the Kapunda High School, with the old Manse the front office.
From Sir Kidmans Last Will and Testament:
£500 Salvation Army Adelaide
£500 Home for Incurables, Fullarton
(Adjusted for inflation this is equivalent to about $45,000 today)
£250 Minda Home
£250 Adelaide's Children Hospital
£250 The Institution for the Blind – Brighton
£250 The Protestant Children's Home
£250 The Royal Institute for the Blind at North Adelaide
£250 The Australian Inland Mission
£250 The Adelaide Benevolent and Strangers Fund
£250 The Queens Maternity Home
£250 The Adelaide Hospital
(Adjusted for inflation this is equivalent to about $22,792.68 today)
£150 Methodist Children’s Home at Magill
£150 The Angorichina Hospital for Tubercular Soldiers.
£150 The Adelaide Central Mission
(Adjusted for inflation this is equivalent to about 13,675.61 today)
£100 Kapunda Congregational Church
£100 The Kapunda Hospital
£100 The Orphan Home at Mitcham
£100 The Courthouse for Invalid children and Aged People
(Adjusted for inflation this is equivalent to about $9,117.07today)
£15,000 was distributed between old employees of Sir Kidman
(Adjusted for inflation this is equivalent to about $1,367,560.85 today)
Written by Allen Tiller
Calculations made via: http://www.rba.gov.au/calculator/annualPreDecimal.html

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Tantanoola Tiger

The Tantanoola Tiger

In the 1880's, South-East South Australia was over run with speculation about what could be killing so many sheep in the area. Reports of a mysterious predator with stripes on it's back began to be filed with local police. Rumour had it a large Bengal Tiger was on the loose, and soon fear spread that the wild beast may soon kill a human.
By 1893, reports were so common that they started to make it into local newspapers.

The Advertiser reported in 1895:
“The tiger is reported to have been seen again at Tantanoola.
An employee of Mr Wehl who was out hunting last week reported that he had seen a strange animal, but was some distance off and did not care to make a closer acquaintance. He, however, sent his dogs forward and says they returned in great fright.
He then proceeded homeward, believing that discretion is better than valour when an unknown danger is ahead.”

In August 1895, Thomas John Donovan managed to shoot and kill a beast thought to be the predator big cat. The animal, upon closer inspection, appeared not to be a Bengal Tiger, but resembled something closer to Tasmania's Thylacines.
The animal was inspected by by a zoologist, and was determined to be an Arabian Wolf, which then led to a lot of speculation about why, and how, an Assyrian Wolf came to be hunting in South Australia. It is thought the Wolf may have been a passenger upon a ship that wrecked off the coastline of Robe many years earlier.
The Wolf, somewhat of a trophy, become legend – it was duly stuffed and put on display in the Tantanoola Hotel, alongside the gun used to shoot it.
The mysterious Tantanoola Tiger was dead, but sheep in the district were still going missing. This mystery was solved however when the culprit was found. A local man, Charlie Edmondson was caught red handed stealing 78 sheep, and upon arrest admitted to stealing over 4000 more!
You can see the Tantanoola Tiger in the Tantanoola Hotel in South Australia's South East at 265 Railway Terrace East.