Author Topic: Fishermans Wraith: Ballina: NSW  (Read 185 times)

Offline KANACKI

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Fishermans Wraith: Ballina: NSW
« on: July 27, 2022, 10:09:14 PM »
Hello once again all lovers of the ghoulish takes of the dark side. What is in a word? a ghost or ghost Wraith whose dictionary definition of that word is like image of someone, especially one seen shortly before or after their death.

Today yarn with many thanks to headless with the following story must be remember in pantheon of Australian ghost stories lost to folklore. The following story came from Published by Northern Star Lismore, NSW, Mon 13 Mar 1939.

BALLINA GHOST

No ordinary ghost this; but one endowed with ethereal transience and, at the same time, possessing power to knock down an 18 stone man and strike terror in the hearts of nearly 30 people.

To be continued.........

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: Fishermans Wraith: Ballina: NSW
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2022, 10:11:20 PM »
The debut of the supernatural visitant at Ballina coincided with the encampment of a contingent in the colourful costumes of gypsies. Their "caravans" comprised three of the most modern cars. Feeling secure in River-street and, with his band sleeping peacefully in the cars believing that no ghost had walked upon a State Highway, the leader related a remarkable story.

The party arrived from Coolangatta shortly after 5 pm yesterday and, after making purchases in the town, commenced to make camp near the Ballina baths. The atmosphere proved their contentment with their lot as wanderers as the children played unconcernedly about the camp and fires, where their mothers sang as they prepared the meal.

Suddenly, from out of the dark of the evening a wraith-like figure appeared. It lacked substance but approached with a material purpose in ghostly steps that glided over the ground without sound. Over six feet in height, with the white transparency of the arms showing clearly against the night, large white eyes and drooping white mouth, the ghost approached the camp.

Children screamed and ran for the protection of their mothers who had stopped singing as the leader's challenge "Stop, for God's sake, stop ! Who are you ? Stop, or I'll fire" was called. Still the figure approached and added the leader. "My brother Joseph fell to the ground. No hits but just like a puff of wind and he fell and rolled over three times while the ghost passed over him."

To be continued......

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: Fishermans Wraith: Ballina: NSW
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2022, 10:12:28 PM »
The camp was broken and, thoroughly terrified, the gypsies moved their cars to the bright lighting of River-street and the women completed the preparation of the half cooked meal over the stove of a cafe. Children continued to cry, but were soon comforted and the party slept in the cars until this morning, content with the assurance of the police that the patrol of the streets would prevent the appearance of further ghosts.

The leader stated that he had never believed in ghosts before last night. A proposal to return to the scene met an emphatic refusal.

"The ghost is there and the land is bad. He will knock you over and roll you in the river. It is the
ghost of some person who has been drowned," he said.
The mystery of the sudden fright of the band is still unsolved. Who or what is Ballina's ghost?

To be continued........

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: Fishermans Wraith: Ballina: NSW
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2022, 10:18:11 PM »
While it could be argued that the culprits was practical joker playing a ghost trick on the Gypsies that might of been eyed with suspicion while they camped there? The comments below does not seem to sport a solid practical joker?

My brother Joseph fell to the ground. No hits but just like a puff of wind and he fell and rolled over three times while the ghost passed over him."

So did they real see a 6 foot tale Wraith of a drowned Man?

If so who was he?

To be continued........

Kanacki


Offline KANACKI

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Re: Fishermans Wraith: Ballina: NSW
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2022, 10:25:28 PM »
While historical speaking there was quite a few drowning before 1939 story come out? Quite a few double drownings most was on south beach or near the lighthouse or women or children. So one reason or another could be ruled out being the ghost that haunts where the Ballina baths public swimming pool is today. Right next to the river in river street.

There is one story however that might be the ghost behind this haunting. The Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), Tuesday 19 February 1929, page 4 reported the following story.

BALLINA DROWNING CASE

Although a regular search has been maintained no sign of the body of the late Alfred Johnston has been found. Mr. Johnston overbalanced into the river when fishing from a punt recently.

To be continued......

Kanacki

Offline KANACKI

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Re: Fishermans Wraith: Ballina: NSW
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2022, 10:29:39 PM »
The Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), Monday 25 February 1929, page 4 newspaper gave more information.

BALLINA DROWNING CASE

In connection, with the search \for the "body of late Alfred Johnston, the services of Diver Eeale, of Broadwater. were secured yesterday. After a survey of the river bed and the surrounding piles the search proved fruitless. It is regrettable that no tidings of any kind of the body can be found. Diver Eeale had three assistants with him aiding in the work by pumping air and attending to operations from a pontoon.

So no body was found?

To be continued.....

Kanacki

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Re: Fishermans Wraith: Ballina: NSW
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2022, 10:46:52 PM »
The Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), Monday 11 February 1929, page 4 newspaper gave even more information.

BODY STILL MISSING BALLINA DROWNING VICTIM

BALLINA, Sunday.

The body of Mr. Alfred Johnston, of Alstonville, who was drowned , at the end of Martin-street, Ballina, about 11.30 o'clock on Friday night, has not yet been recovered.

Quite a number of anglers had been on a coal punt moored at the wharf during the night, Mr. Johnston and his son being of the party. One by one they drifted home until only four remained, Mr. Johnston, his son, and two visitors from Rous.

Mr. Johnston had apparently moved to go home and was at the up-stream! end of the punt waiting for his son when by some means he fell into the water and was not seen again. He was wearing an overcoat at the time. which would be a hindrance to swimming.

He was a good swimmer, but He is thought that in falling he struck his head on the wharf piles or the fluke of the anchor on the punt, which, was hanging well out and pointing up stream. The alarm was given and a boat was lowered from the dredge and a search instituted.

The police were notified and they joined in the search but without any success. During Saturday dragging operations were carried out around the adjacent area of the river but the body was not found. It is difficult to account for Mr. Johnston's fall, but as it was very dark he could have tripped on a rope or a large lump of coal. He leaves a widow and six children, the eldest being about 21 years of age and the youngest about 11
years.



You could imagine how sad and depressing it must of been to leave a widow and six kids behind at the beginning of the great depression.

Perhaps there is solution to this mystery? The ghost that was seen by the gypsies was white eyes and drooping mouth? Did  Alfred Johnston have a stroke and as he collapsed fell into the water and drowned?

The coal punt was at the end of Martin st. His body could of floated down and incoming tide washed it back near the area of the Ballina baths.

Stranger still the date of death and date of the ghost encounter was almost exactly 10 years?

Perhaps Alfred Johnston stroke prevented him understanding he was dead and his ghost still haunts the rivers until til his earthly remains are recovered?

 


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