Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Para-Para: Ghosts of Gawler: Part 6





The Ghosts of Gawler
Part 6
Para-Para

Para-Para Mansion, an icon of Gawler situated in what is now Gawler West. Having grown up very near by, it wasn't unusual for myself and my friends to wander onto the Para-Para estate as boys, walking along the river, we would find ourselves in the backyard of the mansions property on occasion and marvel at all the farm equipment strewn about the place.
Of course, having grown up in Gawler, and going to school nearby, I inevitable heard the rumours of the Mansion being haunted, there were a great many stories to tell, most coming from when the building was unoccupied for many, many years, my favourite one isn't so much a ghost story but a practical joke of sorts, that could well have been an urban legend, it went something like this.

A group of older school boys led some younger schoolboys to the mansion to tell them some ghost stories, and generally spook the younger lads. They peeked through windows at the somewhat derelict insides, room by room, telling the boys stories of murders and suicides, when they got to the last room, the younger boys would freak out and run away...of course the older boys would fall on the ground in hysterics, because much earlier they had broken in and nailed all the furniture to the roof, making it seem in the gloom of the evening as though it was floating up there!

Two other ghost stories I can remember, one involves a young lady committing suicide, she had fallen for a young man but had found him sleeping with the Mansions maid, she flung herself down the staircase and broke her neck, it was always rumoured that if you peeked through the glass of the door you would see her white face peek back.

The other notable story from my childhood involved a man of the house, who was someone of importance, being found by his wife, having sex with the housekeeper in front of an open fireplace on the bottom floor, in her shock she grabbed a fire poker and stabbed him through the back with it, killing him, she then hit the maid over the head with a wooden rolling pin, killing her, pushing them into the fire...she then threw herself down the stairs and broke her neck landing on the floor...

So were any of these stories true?

Most likely not, the only death recorded in the house in local newspapers was that of the original builder and owner Mr Walter Duffield, who died on November 5th 1882. It is most likely that the stories sprung from periods when the house was empty and local kids would find their way in, however, saying that, in 1939, The Bunyip, Gawlers local newspaper ran an article that mentions the rumour of a ghost "floating up and down the staircase”.
Another article, an extract of which is published here also mentions a lady on the staircase.
Para Para in 2012 - photo by K. Tiller

Other than it's infamous ghost stories and urban legends, Para Para also has a royal connection, with His Royal Highness, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, staying at Para Para in 1867.


Plenty has been said about the history of Para Para, and rather than rehash what is already written, those of you who want to learn, or discover more are welcome to follow the link provided below.
http://www.hosking.wattle.id.au/~laurel/parahtml/parahistory.html



Para Para is now a private residence, and should be treated as such. The legends of it being haunted, are just that, legends which seem to be attached to any old large house anywhere in the world.
If you wish to view Para Para, please do so from the road and DO NOT trespass as it is private property.


© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net



All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” site, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.





Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Pioneer Park: The Ghosts of Gawler: Part Five







Pioneer Park
The Ghosts of Gawler
Part Five

At the northern end of Gawler's main street, across the road from the Coles complex, is a very pretty park featuring a rotunda and a memorial garden, it is bordered on one side by a shed owned by the Exchange Hotel and the Gawler Tourist Centre.
The "Old Cemetery"
The park has been a meeting place for Gawlerites for decades, being used annually for local events, outings and picnics.
Having grown up in Gawler, I know the park and the stories associated it with very well. I can remember when a canon used to stand on the north west facade and was fired during an annual street party, I remember all the youth of the town meeting on the hill during weekends, because there really wasn't much else to do in the town, most of those kids were totally unaware of the bodies buried beneath their feet, but not me, I knew better.
The cemetery was first established when the the town plan was drawn by Colonel Light, it is not entirely clear who the first person buried was, but by 1870, the cemetery was closed except for those who had already bought a plot to buried in.
The Cemetery sat at the top of the street, pretty much unused, as the bigger Willaston public cemetery had been opened and was being used, as well as the Anglican cemetery in Gawler East and the Loos cemetery in what is now Buchefelde.
It wasn't until the late 1920's that someone decided something should be done with the now decrepit cemetery who's headstones were cracked and falling over, who's fences were broken and unpainted, the “old cemetery” as it was now referred to, was in a state of very bad disrepair.
A Rotunda on the park in 1914
The first idea to clean the place up came in 1925, but it took ten more years before anything was actually done by the councillors.
Work began, the fences were removed, the headstones were taken down (and now sit inside the front gates of the Willaston cemetery), land was levelled, trees planted, garden beds were laid, and a rotunda was built, the name was changed from the much used “Old Cemetery” to “Pioneer Place” and Gawlers most used green square was born.
The McKinlay monument after being hit by a truck
Now one would not know a cemetery stood there, other than the large monument on the western side dedicated to John McKinlay, which had to rebuilt at one stage due a semi-trailer truck demolishing one side of it, and the memorial stones with lists of names in the centre of the gardens, but yes, many people are still buried there.
This was proven in the late 1990's when a most interesting event happened in Gawler, one I remember well, A worker was in the shed of the Exchange Hotel next to the park, when two coffins slid through the cracked and broken wall into the shed from the old cemetery, you can imagine the gossip this caused in the town!
I have heard many ghost stories associated with the place over the years, even back in the day when it was a cemetery there were stories, one of which was a sighting of Spring-heeled Stephen, but mostly they were the typical ghost stories, ladies with lamps, gentlemen standing in the shadows etc.
One of the more recent stories I have heard is a man in an older styled suite standing looking out towards the Coles complex, who simply disappears. I am sure there are many more stories that I am yet to hear, and I invite you to share them in the comments section below


© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net


All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” site, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Bunyip: The Ghosts of Gawler Part Four





The Bunyip
The Ghosts of Gawler Part Four


"The Bunyip" newspaper began its existence in 1863 as a monthly pamphlet published in collaboration with  "The Humbug Society". Editor Dr George Nott and Printer, William Barnet teamed together to create what was to become South Australia's longest running family owned newspaper.
When the paper began it was a satirical look on life around Gawler, but later, it was to become a weekly "orthodox" styled newspaper, still with a strong community focus, but expanding into further suburbs and country areas surrounding Gawler.
 The Bunyip Newspaper, in its early life, was situated in a shop near the Baptist Church in Murray Street, Gawler, later it moved further along the street to be situated near the Prince Albert Hotel, but after those premises were destroyed by a fire, it was relocated to its present location, of which it has remained since 1885
The Bunyip newspaper was sold to the "Taylor Group" of newspapers in 2003 by the Barnet family, ending the families long ownership of this local icon (September 1863 until April 2003).
The haunted staircase
Since the sale, The Bunyip  has seen many changes in formatting, design and presentation, including the adding of colour to its format. The Bunyip continues to be one of Gawler's most respected icons and sources of news and entertainment, The Bunyip contributes to a great many of the towns events with sponsorship and support and continues to be the best resource for local news and events.
Karen and I were lucky enough to be invited by the newspaper's General Manager, Margaret, to investigate the Bunyip office and printing area. We had a tour of the location including the cellar, which still contained a lot of the old printing tools from the beginning of the 1900's. We also found another room adjacent to the basement that had long been sealed off, no doorways were visible into the room from the old hole in the wall through which we looking.

Karen in the Basement
The majority of the phenomena reported to us seemed to be taking place upstairs in the offices. We headed up stairs and started recording a number of EVP's, with questions tailored to the research we had previously done. We heard a couple of loud knocks during our EVP session, but they did not appear on the audio recordings, in their place however was the low pitch sounds of a dog bark, which no-one in the room with us heard at the time.
The other active area was a downstairs office, where chairs have moved by themselves and the sounds of someone sitting at a desk writing have been heard by numerous witnesses, this was intriguing, but on this occasion we didn’t manage to capture anything on video or audio.
Perhaps the most intriguing is the sound of someone walking up the walking staircase in the centre of the building with no-one present. We ruled out the expansion and settling of the wood and building, and set about conducting a number of experiments to try and recreate the reported sounds, with no success. It would seem the person (or Ghost) that is responsible for the noise has some large heavy boots and really wants to be heard!


© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net


All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” site, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.





Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Old Spot Hotel: The Ghosts of Gawler, Part Three



The Old Spot Hotel
The Ghosts of Gawler Part Three




Gawler's oldest hotel, the old spot hotel was known as the “Golden Fleece hotel” when it first opened its doors on April 1st 1840. It originally consisted of one room hut, a bedroom and a tent, and was Gawler's very first building.
A drawing of the Hotel in 1845
It saw three distinct rebuilds over the years, from being two rooms and a tent into a single story structure featuring a billiard room (which still stands today), then in 1903 the hotel was rebuilt and added too into a two story structure, in 2012, new building works began, where shops of the northern side of the hotel were demolished to make way for a reworking of the hotel and its surrounds.

The original publican was one David Scheibener, who eventually saw the inside of the Adelaide Gaol for money owing to Francis Dutton, the hotel was then sold on to its next proprietor.
In its early days the back section of the hotel was also used as Gawler's first morgue until the construction of better facilities.

The Old Spot in 1890
The Hotel has seen its fair number of deaths, in 1868, Charles Donaldson a 35 year old local passed away in the hotel.
In 1889, a serious accident occurred directly in front of the Hotel when an 8 year old boy hitched a ride on the horse drawn tram which ran the middle of Gawler's main street, the boy jumped on the back of the tram, but was spotted and told to get off, he jumped without looking, and landed under the hooves of horses pulling a cart,the carts wheels ran over his head, crushing it. The boys own Father, working just across the intersection witnessed the grisly accident. A pool of blood sat in the road, near the entrance of the hotel until late the next day.

A horse drawn tram in 1915 - Old Spot Hotel in the background
The most notable of all ghost stories associated with the pub has been from much more recent times, in approximately 1993, Scott Pearson, a professional photographer took a photo in the hotel that showed three distinct images, thought to be spirits that were haunting the hotel.
The hotel had just had renovations completed and a number of patrons and staff had started to see apparitions of a small girl and an older gentlemen. Noises were being heard, voices, and other strange phenomena.
Mr Pearson stayed overnight in the hotel, and set his camera up, taking many photos during the night, only one photo showed anything of interest. You can find the photograph at :http://www.castleofspirits.com/website/old/Australianghosthunters/oldspothotel.html and decide for yourself if you think Mr Pearson did indeed capture something paranormal.



© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net


All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” site, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.