Author Topic: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW  (Read 274 times)

Offline KANACKI

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Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« on: May 06, 2022, 09:09:25 PM »
Greetings readers of yarns of the paranormal. Grab a brew and pull up a chair next to the fireplace of forgotten ghost stories.

The following yarn I must commend Headless for his time and efforts bringing this ghost yarn to my attention. So please give headless a thumbs up. The following yarn is in middle of the oldest city in Australia Sydney.

A large collection of approximately 1000 Aboriginal artefacts and artworks was exhibited in the purpose-built Garden Palace for the Sydney International Exhibition in 1879. Tragically, on 22 Sept 1882, a fire engulfed the building, destroying “every publicly-owned artefact of the Aboriginal tribe, Eora, who inhabited the area before European settlement” as well as the results of the 1881 Census and other assorted government records along with sculptures and works of art.
While arson was generally suspected, the cause of the fire was never determined and remains a mystery to this day.

The Garden Palace, a reworking of London’s doomed Crystal Palace itself destroyed by fire, the former site is now enclosed within Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens at the southwestern end near Macquarie Street.

Although there is little trace of the Garden Palace where a Cupid statue now stands, it is among several sites in the Botanic Gardens reputedly haunted by various spectres. Rathborne Lodge, the 1856-built former residence of the Governor’s gardener towards the south-east corner, is reportedly haunted by a female ghost.

To be continued.....

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2022, 09:11:12 PM »
“I don’t like being here by myself,” a Royal Botanical Garden (RBG) staff member says of the 1856 built Rathborne Lodge, tucked away within earshot of the constantly rumbling Cahill Expressway.
“I’ve just heard so many ghost stories. Last week it was thundering and so dark I was like, ‘Any ghosts in here today? Well we’re hanging out OK.’”

In this lodge, a mysterious woman has been sighted; another is said to haunt the Garden’s main building; elsewhere the so-called “umbrella man” has been seen wandering around after dark looking for somewhere to rest.

“The history of this place is very deep,” the Garden’s librarian Miguel Garcia tells “The Gadigal people had a dreaming place here; Aboriginal ceremonies were held here. And the Garden has been the centre of science, society and culture and Sydney itself since the First Fleet.

“You could say the survival of the colony was dependent on the Garden because the first nine acres of corn were planted here.”

To be continued.....

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2022, 09:14:15 PM »
The Garden was established in 1816. And perhaps some echoes still remain of the people who have passed through the area during its illustrious two century history.

“Look down there,” says Mr Garcia pointing towards the dimly lit and silent corridors of the National Herbarium of New South Wales – housed within the RBG’s administration block – where plant specimens are packed in airtight crates and stacked floor to ceiling.

“Imagine at night when all the lights are off. It’s really kind of spooky.” Indeed, one unsettling spirit is said to haunt the Herbarium. Right now the 1.4 million plants that are stored in the Herbarium are being moved to a purpose-built new facility at the RBG’s site in Mount Annan, near Campbelltown in the city’s southwest.

A herbarium is like a physical encyclopaedia of plant life. Specimens are carefully dried, pressed and stored so they can be examined decades, even centuries, later. Some of the specimens here date back to the 18th century and Captain Cook’s voyages around the Pacific or were collected by botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander.

As the plants are moved, around a million of them are being digitised – carefully photographed – so the Herbarium’s delicate contents can be accessed online. When the last staff member takes the last specimen to its new home later this year, they will leave one thing behind: a very unwelcome visitor.

To be continued.....

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2022, 09:32:26 PM »
“People have told me that working here late at night that they have heard odd noises and a couple of people actually told me about seeing a half torso image of a woman,” Mr Garcia says.
He has never seen or sensed the legless lady of the Herbarium. But Juliet Scrine, who runs the Garden’s ghost tour, tells news.com.au she feels a tingle in her bones in certain corners of the park.

“I would say a third of the people who come on the tour feel something,” she says. Twice a month she takes Sydneysiders and tourists on a circuit of the park – a mostly outdoor exploration of a side of the Garden few get to see.

After dark, when all the other visitors have left, it’s just her, her guests and whatever ethereal figure decides to join the group that evening.“We know there’s definitely one body in the Garden, and others that have been documented,” Ms Scrine says.

Botanist Allan Cunningham’s remains have been interred in an obelisk in the grounds. Arabanoo, an Indigenous man who was kidnapped as part of a somewhat brutal plan to aid understanding between the colonists and the locals, is also thought to be buried in the area. He lays somewhere between the RBG and the nearby site of First Government House. It’s possible he ended up entombed beneath the Cahill Expressway, Ms Scrine says.

Neither Mr Cunningham nor Arabanoo are thought to haunt the parklands. But it’s possible a women called Eleanor does.

Potentially she resided at Rathborne Lodge, and that’s where Ms Scrine sometimes feels a chill.
Like many of the other modest but beautiful old lodges that pepper the park, it was mostly used as accommodation for grounds staff before they became today’s offices or events spaces. Rathborne Lodge was the grandest of the lot, having been built as a residence for the Governor’s gardener.

It was a gardener who first saw the woman, clad from top to toe in Victorian garb, framed in one of the lodge’s windows, gazing out. It’s an almost impossible feat as when you enter the lodge the window is on a staircase and not somewhere you could easily clamber up to.

“I can feel something in my fingers in this room,” says Ms Scrine as we enter what would have been the lodge’s lounge. One guest, she says, told her they thought the presence was of a women called Eleanor who loved music.

“Some people, they can feel things. One guy felt a hand on his shoulder. I’ve had people come in this room and they have had to leave.”

To be continued.....

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2022, 09:38:19 PM »
Whether an Eleanor ever lived at the lodge isn’t known. Indeed there’s not much history to many of the spectres; few seem to have links back to known residents of the Garden. But that’s not the case with the so-called “umbrella man,” said to be the apparition of a homeless man who instead made the RBG his home until his untimely demise.

“He had a little shack down in the Domain (next to the RBG). But because it was unsightly, it was torn down,” Mr Garcia says. “So he had all of his personal materials loaded into a shopping trolley and when he wanted to bed down for the night, he would take out the umbrellas and make a little shelter for himself, hence the name ‘umbrella man’.

“And unfortunately, the poor man was murdered. I don’t know if the police ever found out who murdered him. I don’t think anybody cared enough really, which is very sad,” he says. In November 1998, the body of a man identified as Adam Murray was located at the Domain. Mr Murray was a former art dealer and technician who found himself on the streets after his marriage broke down.

“Rangers have told me stories about how sometimes in their wanderings they have seen somebody walking around with a trolley, very much like this man, and when they go investigate, there would be nobody there.”
Mr Garcia isn’t necessarily taken with such flights of fancy. But there’s no doubt the park is rich with history of the colony and the Indigenous people who lived there long before the British arrived.

“Some people say that these are psychic footprints, echoes of dramatic and highly charged emotional events. “If you believe that,” he adds.

To be continued....

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2022, 09:42:02 PM »
The Sydney Morning Herald October 10, 2003 reported the following…..

On Saturday, November 28 1998, council rangers found the body of Adam Murray, his head bashed in with a blunt object while he was in his sleeping bag on the lawn of the Robbie Burns garden at the Domain. Murray, 59, was a former Victorian art dealer and computer technician who lived a hobo's life and was known as "The Umbrella Man" because he would construct a tepee from umbrellas for shelter at night.

Murray had turned his back on society two decades before, following the break-up of his marriage; unlike many vagrants, he shunned alcohol and even social security.
Several years before his death Murray, who had changed his name from David to Adam, told a magazine he resided at the "Starlight Hotel".

He described himself as "just a poor, down-and-out hobbledehoy" whose favourite sport was watching the "nine-to-fivers" surge out of their city offices in the rush hour after spending his day rummaging through bins and walking the city. He also told of the perils of living in the Starlight - of the nights when drunken louts hurled bottles and the times when he returned to his base to find belongings stolen, scattered or thrown into Woolloomooloo Bay.

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2022, 09:43:47 PM »
n a city that shouts prosperity, most pedestrians ignored the the sad, gaunt, lonely face as they hurried by or took a short cut through Regimental Square from George Street to catch late night buses.
But Anthony John Wood was a regular sight. Regimental Square was his home.

When it was not raining he bunked down over a footpath drainage grate in front of the Royal Australian Regiment monument. Using his most valued possession, his running shoes, as a pillow, he had a blanket and a piece of polystyrene packing board to cushion his body from the hard bitumen; heat rising from the grate from the underground gave warmth. Often, passers-by left bags of fruit as he slept.

On Tuesday he died violently as he slept. Police believed somebody used a hammer to smash him into oblivion. Wood has become the latest of about 200 unsolved murders on police books, dating back to the 1970s.

The Rocks police and the Homicide Squad believe Wood, known to them for the past three years as a harmless vagrant and one of 100 who would regularly doss down for the night in the CBD, was attacked sometime after midnight, possibly by a young man seen loitering in nearby Martin Place an hour earlier.

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2022, 09:51:33 PM »
The attack has scared the other homeless and rekindled memories of the unsolved killing of four vagrants in the CBD over nine months between 1998 and 1999. The murders shared common characteristics: the victims all died as they slept, were bashed with heavy blunt implements that were never found, and suffered mental illness or alcoholism.

The first was Joanna Peta Franklin, 30, a Victorian suffering from schizophrenia who was attacked on Friday, November 6, 1998, as she slept on a mattress in an alcove at the rear of shops in Wattle Place, Ultimo.

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2022, 10:04:33 PM »
The next victim was Ronald Cross, 59, also known as Keith Kettley, a former Navy seaman who made his home in an alcove near the underground entrance to the Domain car park off Sir John Young Crescent, complete with mattress and some makeshift furniture.

On Sunday, June 20, 1999 he was found dead with massive head injuries, lying on his bed just 250 metres from the Robbie Burns garden where Murray died.

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2022, 10:12:06 PM »
Then Reginald Thomas Mavin, 65, was murdered in the predawn hours of Tuesday, August 24, 1999, while he was asleep on a discarded mattress in a grandstand overlooking an oval in Glebe's Jubilee Oval.

A former ambulance officer, Mavin had been one of more than 100 homeless people whose names and photographs were taken by police searching for clues after the third murder. The executive director for Shelter NSW, Mary Perkins, says fear is a constant state of mind for the vulnerable homeless.

"The fact of the matter is in this dark, expensive city a lot of people, the young and old, can't afford housing," she says. "They are people on the lower income scale who haven't got housing options because they can't afford them."

The homeless include people with mental illness, the unemployed and low-income earners, and those with substance abuse histories. "Either they get into hostels or, if they can't, the alternative is boarding houses, which are declining so fast in numbers because increased property values are seeing them closed for redevelopment," Perkins says.

Meanwhile, as police check security videotapes from commercial premises around Regimental Square for clues to the Wood killing, Sydney's homeless sleep uneasy.

Was there a serial killer stalking the homeless around Sydney in the late 90's ? Perhaps the ghost of the umbrella man, Adam Murray is trying to tell us some thing?

Kanacki

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Re: Phantoms of the Royal Botanical Gardens: Sydney: NSW
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2022, 12:27:06 AM »
Was there a serial killer on the lose? Killing homeless people in late 90's?

Why did the killing stop? Was the killer arrested and jailed for some thing else or did he die?

They say serial killers never stop unless they are jailed or killed or die of natural causes?

Kanacki

 


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