The Smithfield Hotel
The Smithfield Hotel is situated on the corner of Anderson Walk and Main North Road about 35 km’s north of Adelaide, South Australia.
The town of Smithfield was originally known as “Smith’s Creek” and was entirely owned by John Smith, who designed the town and was forced by the government to sell allotments to the public.
In 1854 Smith sold 9 allotments in his planned town, and thus, Smithfield was established.
John Smith had designed his town down to the minute detail, including a small hotel that would be on the outskirts of the village. The hotel, which featured horse stables, overnight accommodation and a bar, was situated right on the edge of the “Great North Road” as it was called in those days.
Smith chose his location well, and soon his hotel was a mail stop on the route to Gawler. Once copper was discovered in Kapunda, “The Wheatsheaf Hotel” (also known as Smith’s Inn) became an overnight stopping point for travellers and bullock drays transporting copper.
It took up to twelve hours to travel between Gawler and Adelaide in those days, so Smith’s Inn became the outer most stopping point before Gawler when heading north.
By the 1860’s Smithfield, as it was now known, had a Blacksmith, Post Office, Schools, Churches and an Undertaker and was a thriving northern outpost of metropolitan Adelaide.
The Smithfield Hotel is allegedly haunted by a former worker named “Matilda”.
Matilda seems to come and go as she pleases and can disappear for years at a time, only to reappear and begin her haunting once again.
Matilda can be seen in the front bar on occasion, but is also seen in the kitchen and sometimes in the accommodation sections, although this is much rarer. Descriptions of her appearance are few and far between, but she is described as being an “older lady” by witnesses.
I have had a drink in this hotel when I lived in the area in the late 1990’s. There was talk at the time by the local barflies of another ghost haunting the nearby intersection.
This ghost was to do with a car accident that happened at the intersection in front of the hotel. For a short while, the young male victim would be seen by patrons, standing on the centre verge of the road at night, until one day, he was seen no more…
Witnessed a ghost at The Smithfield Hotel? Head on over to our facebook page and tell us about your experience!
Marshall, G, 2013. ghosts and hauntings of South Australia. 4th ed. Australia: self-published
Playford's Past: Smithfield. 2016. Playford's Past: Smithfield., viewed 12 September 2016, http://playfordspast.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/smithfield.html.
State Library of South Australia, 2017, John Smith [B 1301], SLSA, viewed 14 July 2017, http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+1301
State Library of South Australia, 2017, Smithfield Hotel [B 31816], SLSA, viewed 14 July 2017, http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+31816