Author Topic: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW  (Read 163 times)

Offline KANACKI

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The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« on: June 23, 2022, 05:55:47 PM »
Hello once again to those lovers of all thing dark and mysterious. Once again Headless has excelled in finding long forgotten ghost stories. The following story comes from the coal fields of the Hunter valley. The bridge is still there. However the hotel is long gone only a distant memory in history?

Can a grief stricken person haunt the scene of the death of a loved one?

If so perhaps the following story is an example of that?

So grab a favorite brew. sit back read the following yarn around the fire of lost souls.

To be continued.....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2022, 06:02:28 PM »
The following ghost story was published in Published by Sydney Mail NSW newspaper v Sat 29 Dec 1866

THE LADY WITH THE LANTERN


' Come on old fellow, tell us about your ghost.’

' Here it is then,' commenced Daly, ' and to begin as you've all given your ghosts a name, I shall call mine The Lady with the Lantern.’

'Oh, don't go back into the dark ages, Mr. Daly’, said a soft voice.

' Who was that spoke ?' asked Daly turning round. 'It was you Miss Lizzie Jackson, I know by the wicked turn of your eye. And what can a bit of a girleen, born as ye may say only yesterday, know about the dark ages?
But don't interrupt the speak and let me get on.’

I was going down to Sydney, and an accident to my horse compelled me to stop for the night at Black Creek. It wasn't Black Creek at all, however, for I'd gone through the township, and pulled up at Anvil Creek where an Inn hadn't been long built. Well, I had my supper, lit my dudheen, and 
took a walk out into the front to enjoy my smoke in the open air. Backwards and forwards I walked, just thinking of nothing at all except wishing I hadn't been bailed up in that lonely place.

To be continued,,,,,

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2022, 06:28:48 PM »
I'd walked nearly down to the roadway, and the Inn stands a good piece back off it, when coming along the road I see a light, swinging about like as if it was in a lantern. It wasn't a bright night, for there were heavy clouds threatening a thunderstorm ; but I fancied, and trust the eye of an Irishman for finding it out, I fancied I see the glint of something white like a petticoat behind the lantern. There was a bit of luck I hadn't reckoned upon, coming in the shape of a little native girl. When I caught the sight of the petticoat, may depend that I wasn't long in walking down on to the road, and sauntering to where I saw the light coming, just as if I didn't see it at all and was just walking along promiscous like.

I went about fifty yards when I came to a bridge or what they call a culvert, that carried the road over a bit of a creek that runs into Anvil Creek, and comes down with no end of a rush after a thunderstorm, or a heavy shower. Just as I got to one end of the bridge, the light got to the other and then I saw at the end of the lantern as pretty a slip of a girl as ever I'd wish to set eyes on, her black hair hanging in long glossy ringlets on her shoulders. She looked a trifle pale, but that might have been the light and the clouds and the roads. When she got to the bridge, she stopped and began looking about on the ground, holding the lantern down so that she might see the better.

To be continued......

Kanacki

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Re: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2022, 06:30:38 PM »
There was just the chance I wanted to scrape acquaintance, so over the bridge I went, and coming up alongside of the girl says I, What is it you've lost, my darlin? She didn’t answered me, and she didn't even look up, as if she'd heard me. Perhaps thought the poor girl's frightened at being met by a lump of a boy alone on the road, so I said, Don’t be alarmed, my darlin. You haven't anything to fear from me, and if you've lost anything I'll help you to find it, still not a word, and she went on looking and looking about, as if I hadn't been there at all.

Well, said I, its only manners to answer a civil question ; and you might have said, Thank you sir, or go to the divil, or any other civil answer. Not a word, or a turn of the head, but always the same eager searching. Thought I, at last, I have it, the poor craytur's deaf or she's an innocent.

With that I put out my hand with the intention to let her know if she was deaf that there was somebody there, when she made a sudden spring to the end of the bridge, raised the lantern high up into the air with one hand, and with the other pointed down to the opening under the roadway, and at the sametime turned upon me a face upon which was marked such mingled horror and hopeless misery as I shall never forget if I live to be as old as Mathuseley. I also went with one bound to the spot, looked down at the place indicated by the pointing finger, and could see nothing.

To be continued.......

Kanacki

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Re: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2022, 06:32:20 PM »
One look was sufficient to satisfy me of that, and I turned round to tell her so, when you may fancy I was a bit staggered at finding no traces of either girl or lantern. There was no place where she could have hid, for each side of the roadway was clear for a good distance, and her white dress could have been seen, even if she'd blown out her lantern. I listened, but I couldn't even hear the rustle of her clothes, and some of you young chaps I dare say can tell by experience how far a colleen may be traced by that.

However there I was, all alone and no sign of the female that wouldn't speak when she had a chance. Well, said I, to myself; there's better fish in the say than ever was caught ; and I'm not going to bother my head about a girleen that takes herself off in that indelicate manner, after making a fool of me into the bargain. So back I went to the Inn, consoled myself with a drop of whiskey, and got into a bit of a collogue with the landlady. 


To be continued.......

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 06:34:35 PM »
' Who is there living in these parts?' says I. 
' I'd have thought some one had been living close by, seeing that slip of a girl poking about the road, with a lantern in her fist, as if she'd lost a pound note and meant to find it.' 


The landlady stopped me with ? 'That's her!'

' What her ‘ I asked. 


' Biddy Nowlan, she that died. And did you see her ‘


' I don't know about seeing the girl that died, but I met a nate, good looking, black haired colleen, 
searching about the bridge with a lantern.' 


'That was her, I tell you. There's a many that's seen her, though more often its only the light of the 
lantern that's seen. She don't do no harm, bless you ; quite the other way, for whenever she's seen, its always a sign there'll be a flood, and when the water's up in the creek her lantern's always moving about at the end of the bridge to guide travellers safe across.' 


‘ That's dacent, anyway. And may I ask you, Mrs Butts, how it was that she came to make a ghost of herself.’


Kanacki

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Re: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2022, 06:36:54 PM »
She was engaged to be married to Phil Ryan, an overseer at Duguid's, and they were only about a month off the day. Phil used to come up and see her of evenings, and one night that he had promised particularly to bring her over something or other, I forget what, a heavy thunder storm came on, the creeks all run down bank high, and regular rainy weather set in for the night. Poor Biddy knew that Phil would come, in spite of all the rain and floods, and so out she went with a lantern to be a guide to him at the bridge. When she reached there she found that it was so covered with water that the roadway was not visible. She called and called, but received novanswer, and after waiting up to the time when he might be expected, if he was coming at all, 
she went home.

Some uneasiness, for which she could not account, would not allow her to sleep, so just before daylight she once more lighted her lantern and went out. This here creek, and the landlady pointed her short fat hand down to the bridge, comes down flooded half an hour after rain begins, but it goes down just as soon after the rain stops. The morning was fine and clear, the rain was all off, and the creek was down so that there was only just a narrow bit of a stream running in the centre of it.

Looking for she didn't know what, and led on by some awful presentiment of evil, she searched the ground, until reaching the bridge, she found her lover's body lying cold and dead, half drawn under the bridge which had caught it, and had at least prevented its being swept away to where it might have been long before it was discovered, of course she screamed and fainted on the body, and there she lay until found by some of the earliest passers by.

To be continued.....

Kanacki

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Re: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2022, 06:40:11 PM »
She never spoke again, and though everything that could be done for her was done, by her mother and us women, she died on the day that Phil's body was buried. Ever since then she's been seen down at the bridge whenever there's bad weather coming on, and as you've seen her tonight you may depend upon it that there'll be a flood in the creek before morning.


‘ And was there a flood, Mr. Daly?' asked one of the ladies.

'Sure enough there was, and a rare one too, by the same token, that I had to pass another day at the Inn, as the coach was unable to get along from Singleton.'

To be continued.....

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2022, 12:40:08 AM »
As always many thanks to Headless finding these stories. Some are sadly just stories, fabrications based on real people some times using different names. This story in gained into local legend around Gretna. The bridge in question still exists. The Inn sadly does not today.

Here are pictures of the location of this alleged ghost story? For those guests who cannot see the pictures below I suggest you sign up to the forum to get an unique insight into haunted Australia.

At least for the location of story existed and so did the hotel?

To be continued....

Kanacki




Offline KANACKI

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Re: The Lantern Lady of Anvil Creek: Gretna: Maitland: NSW
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2022, 01:16:39 AM »
Digging deeper into the key names of the story. Phil Ryan and Biddy Nowlan, I could not find any by those names connected with any drowning at the creek. Indeed there was many drowning on the creek children and elderly gent that in the pitch black walked off the steep bank of the creek and drowned. All at various dates.

On version of story was printed in 1866 and later in 1889 while various versions exist with slight variations over time, the general tale in consistent.

But old Kanacki has another theory. The story was and invention by  Mrs Butts the land lady of the Anvil Creek Hotel? The story was written by her in 1866 and posted to newspaper posing as this Mr Daley?

One strange thing in the picture below you see a gigantic lantern. Was it all just a story to attract the curious to stay at the hotel? A ghost story marketing attraction dreamed up in 1866?

Ghost stories as you are reading this facinate us and many more daring to discover what if? Some stories was created to exploit in one way or another either a morality tale or in this case a financial marketing agenda. If so it would of been one of the first marketing ploys based on a ghost?

If not perhaps there is a ghost haunting the old bridge carrying a lantern searching for her lost love or carry a warning of flood to others?

Whatever the case it is an interest tale that haunts our folklore?

Kanacki

 


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