Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Fiery Furnace of Melvilles

The Fiery Furnace of Melvilles


A loud bang filled the night air, followed by piercing screams, and onto the street a man and a woman ran, covered in flames, flailing wildly, trying to extinguish the fire, and free themselves from the pain, but, the flames won, exhausting them of breathe from their lungs, the will to fight, and their very lives...
Sounds like some thing from a horror novel right?
This is in fact the very scene that shook King William Street on March 1920 out the front of “Collins & Greens” restaurant, just next to the Crown and Sceptre Hotel

It was an evening just like any other in what was known locally as “Melvilles Fish Shop” and the owners and staff were in the back Kitchen cleaning poultry for the evening dinners and tomorrows meals.
Mr Leslie Collins was dressing fowls in the kitchen with his brother Norman. The brothers worked well together, Leslie plucked the feathers, and Norman singed of the stubs.
Also inside the shop was Mr Green (co-owner), Normans Wife and 3 year old boy Norman Junior, one Miss Robinson (waitress) and young Miss Joyce Beckett who had come into the city to see her Aunt Martha.

At 5:45pm, as Norman was doing his “burning off”, which entailed him using a pan full of methylated spirits and holding the bird carcass above the flame, thinking the flame had died off, he poured more methylated spirits into the pan, which exploded in a massive ball of fire. The explosion was so great that it knocked the soot in the chimney of the adjoining “Messengers Ham Shop” into the pots and pans on their stove.

Confused by the explosion and the now roaring fire, which had set alight their clothing, the occupants tried to escape the now burning kitchen, only five of them made it outside. Leslie Collins and little Norman Collins were either trapped or overcome by the smoke and flames, and perished in the fire.
Norman and Martha Collins ran through the dining room out onto the street, where a crowd who had the explosions and ensuing screams, had began to gather – as soon as the witnessed the burning people they tried their best to put out their burning clothing, whilst others rushed to the rear of the shop to see if they could help.
Matters became more dire for the Collins and Green family when it was discovered the Police Ambulance was stationed out on Port Road, and nowhere near the city. Miss Robinson’s clothing was alight, and she had slipped into unconsciousness, Norman was seriously burnt on his back and his hands and Mr Green and Joyce Beckett seemed to escape fairly unharmed, and indeed, Ms Beckett was well enough that she did not need to be transported to the hospital


Ms Robinson died at the hospital around midnight that night, and Mrs Martha Collins a few hours later. Norman Collins Snr. lasted a few more days, but he too eventually succumb to his injuries, and passed away.

Norman Collins, whilst in hospital, informed a local constable that the entire situation was his fault, he had poured the methylated spirits, thinking there was no flame, and it had caught fire and exploded – he was heard running from the burning shop at the time screaming “I did it!, I did it! - I was the cause of it!” - It is thought, the weight of the situation played a part in his death.

The explosion and fire had been so intense that it took mere minutes for it to destroy the entire buildings kitchen, and partially damage the dining room, before the fire brigade managed to control it – from the road people reported being able to see two bodies lying in the kitchen...
Many of the fireman were distraught at the sight of the bodies in the kitchen and for the young 6 month old baby of Norman and Mrs Collins, who was now orphaned and without his brother....


Next week we visit King William Street again for a story from the neighbouring shop mentioned in this story “Messengers Ham Shop”....

© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net


All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, 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, 17 September 2013

Sexual Maniac

"Sexual Maniac"


Friday 8 October 1943, Adelaidians, and indeed other parts of the country, awoke to read in their morning newspaper a story about the death of Clarence Keith Seckhold

The Advertiser ), Tuesday  October 1943
Seckhold had come to Adelaide from Melbourne, he was 25 years old and an employee of the railway company constructing the railway line from East to west across the country.

At the time, Seckholds death was reported as “One of the most fiendish murders committed in this State”

Seckhold's body had been found brutally savaged between Government House and the Torrens Parade grounds, by the caretaker of the Torrens Drill Hall, still breathing, the caretaker called for help, and Seckhold was taken to hospital.
Seckhold had been badly beaten, and then slashed copious times with a sharp instrument, across his face and lower body. His face was swollen, and his clothing savagely cut and torn, with blood covering every inch of the man.
Discovered at 7:25am, Seckhold would last 3 more hours in hospital before his death from his excessive wounds.

Police began immediately to try and discover his attacker, who they tagged as a “Sexual Maniac”.
A ticket found in Seckholds clothing showed he had arrived in Adelaide only the day before on a direct train from Melbourne, other papers detectives found established that he had been in New South Wales visiting friends only days before that.
Nothing was found to suggest who his attacker was, but there was another case very similar to this in Adelaide, where a 22 year old man had been attacked in a very similar way on the banks of the river Torrens – did Adelaide have a serial sex offender in the 1940's, one who went unpunished?

No motive was ever put forward for the attack.


Seckhold was later cremated, his ashes were placed into a bronze casket and handed to his workmates at Loongana on the East-west line, where he was interred somewhere along the train tracks...

© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net



All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, 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, 10 September 2013

This week in Adelaide 100 years ago...

This week in Adelaide 100 years ago...

Stabbed To Death at the Port:

The Steamer “Australia”, a German-Australian owned steam shipped docked at Port Adelaide was to be the home of a grisly, alcohol influenced murder in 1913.
The crew, glad to be docked after some time at sea, went into the Port and made merry in some of Port Adelaide's best known pubs. Eventually they made their way back to the steamer.
Being very drunk, they made a lot of commotion and awoke the ships boatswain, August Bieseler. Mr Bieseler then remonstrated with the very drunk crew, one of the men, thought to be a man named Schiebat, struck Bieseler with a bottle.
In the ensuing struggle, Karl Richter was stabbed through the heart with a keen-pointed knife, it is though Schiebat was too blame, because, no sooner had Richter been stabbed, Schiebat cut his own throat.
Steamer "Australia"
Richter died almost instantly from his wounds, Schiebat on the other hand was conveyed to the Port Adelaide Casualty Hospital where he received medical attention for his injuries – he was later charged and brought to justice.
(Chronicle – Sat, Sept 13th 1943)

Beaten to Death:

Mr Frederick Stephens, a 47 year old labourer in West Adelaide was found lying unconscious in a field, with his head badly battered.
When police arrived they found Mr Stephens had passed from his injuries, a woman who was standing near Mr Stephens explained to police that the now deceased gentleman had been escorting her home, another man approaching from ahead of them, struck Mr Stephens as they passed and bludgeoned him.
An aboriginal tracker was brought in to study the scene but could only find the tracks of Mr Stephens and the unidentified lady.
The lady was detained for further questioning.

(Northern Star: Tues. 16th Sept. 1913)


© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net


All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, 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, 3 September 2013

Chateau Tanunda

Chateau Tanunda


In 1870 the wine world was hit by the spread of phyloxera through Europe causing a shortage of available affordable wine. In South Australia’s Barossa Valley, many little wineries had been established up to 20 years earlier, and were now beginning to find their way.



A consortium of 4 men in Adelaide, saw the potential for South Australian wines on the world market and founded a business called The Adelaide Wine Company, which a short time later changed its operating name to Chateau Tanunda.
The Building of the Chateau, which at the time was the largest building in South Australia and the largest winery in the Southern Hemisphere, took two years to complete and was finished in 1890.
It was inspired by a French Bavarian style of buildings. The building is 86 metres in length and 48 meters wide and boasts a 21 metre tower. It has a large cellar with almost metre thick walls, its south cellars were cut into the side of a hill for better temperature control.
It could store 5 million litres of wine.
Ownership of the winery changed in 1916 when the Seppelt family became owners of the winery,the Seppelts family remained owners until 1998 when the building was bought by current owners John Geber & family.
The Geber family has done extensive work to the building's and surrounding grounds, even installing their very own cricket pitch.
In an interview with John Geber in 2009, he states how he discovered the Chateau, which had a sign on the door stating “Do not enter”.
The building had been stripped of its inner workings and all records within its walls dumped.
John slept in the building, which was never designed for overnight stays and discovered that the building was haunted “I had some interesting nights!” he said in reference to the ghosts making themselves known, but he elaborates no further....




Have you seen or felt a spirit at Chateau Tanunda? If so please feel free to comment below and tell us your story!




© 2013 Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net
Photos by Karen Tiller


All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, 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.