Author Topic: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT  (Read 8154 times)

Offline Headless2

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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #105 on: July 23, 2023, 01:36:24 AM »
“There's a ghostly lady lurking in the shadows at the top of the stairway outside the honeymoon suite. We recently had some newlyweds staying here. They walked straight out and never came back,” recalled Rhondda, whose beloved dog, 'avoided the stairway like the plague.'

“There's the tale of a woman, many years before the Garsides arrived, who in a desperate attempt to flee a ghostly vision, jumped from the attic room. Her petticoat acted like a parachute and she walked away from the incident with a bruised modesty,” said Rhondda.

“In 2001, a group of trout fisherman hired out the hotel and said they saw ghosts outside the windows all night - we never saw them again.”



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #106 on: July 23, 2023, 01:38:04 AM »
Luckily, the ghostly goings-on didn't seem to annoy all the Garsides guests. “We had a couple of regular guests who returned several times a year - maybe they were drawn here by the paranormal activity,” mused Rhondda's daughter Heidi.

Not surprisingly, the century-old cellar is another popular haunt - “it's dark, damp and quite frankly not a nice place; even for a ghost. People have been scared out of their wits by many of the weird happenings down there,” said Heidi.

Grant and Diane Walker bought the The Royal Arms and now operate it as both a B&B and a house of prayer.

Who could be behind these alleged hauntings?



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #107 on: July 30, 2023, 12:10:32 AM »
Joseph and Mary McKee were once the licensees of Royal Arms Hotel. Joseph was born in 1825 in Dartford, Kent, and married Mary White on July 24, 1859 in Cooma, NSW. Mary was born in 1832 in Cork, Ireland and died on February 12, 1883 in Royal Arms Hotel, Nimmitabel, NSW at age 51, and was buried on February 14, 1883 in Nimmitabel, NSW. The cause of her death was pneumonia.

Was the face of a dishevelled lady appearing at the kitchen window and lurking at the top of the stairway Mary McKee?

As for a man and child, I found no reported deaths linked to the premises.

70km away is Pambula, a town in the Bega Valley Shire on the far South Coast of NSW. Located at 28 Quondola Street, the building began life as the Forest Oak Inn and has also been used as a general store, post office, court room, police barracks, doctor's surgery and residence, and in more recent years restaurants. Today it’s the Covington House Gallery-tourist attraction.



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Offline Headless2

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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #108 on: July 30, 2023, 12:14:17 AM »
Pambula is of such historic interest that it has been classified by the Heritage Council of Australia. But of most interest to visitors is the 'person' who shares the upper storey accommodation with the restaurant owners.

When former owners (1987) Anne and Wolter Hofstede bought the restaurant they were amused by the ghost stories, and the tradition of leaving off one of the chimney pots so that the ghost could get in and out of the building.

But since then they have learned to take the stories and traditions more seriously.

"Everyone in the area believes in the ghost," Mrs Hofstede said. "And people who work here are convinced that there is often something in the room with them. We have problems with the power, which no one is able to fix, and there are a lot of strange noises."



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #109 on: July 30, 2023, 12:17:40 AM »
It was Syms Covington who built the thick-walled rooms and wide verandas in the 1840s to serve as an inn, post office and general store. Covington himself is an intriguing character. He was Charles Darwin's right-hand man on his world voyages in the Beagle. His life reads like a colonial soapie. On one of his visits to Australia with Darwin he met and fell in love with Eliza. On his return to England he decided he could not live without her and returned to Sydney to marry her.

The couple moved to Pambula and built up their business. Covington became Postmaster of Pambula in 1854, and managed an inn called the Forest Oak Inn built on the coast road above the floodplain where the first Pambula township had been repeatedly damaged by floods. His original inn was licensed in 1855, and the building which still stands was constructed on the same site about a year later.

By 1848 he and his wife had eight children, six sons and two daughters. In 1861 Covington died of 'paralysis' at only 47 years old. The inn was then run by his widow, and later by her second husband Llewelyn Heaven. The license was taken over by John Behl around 1864, and the building became known as The Retreat in 1895.

Both the current owner, (1985) Mr Roly Hough, and previous owners have felt a ghostly presence.



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Offline Headless2

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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #110 on: July 30, 2023, 12:21:07 AM »
During dinner at the restaurant, trevalla was prepared by Mr Hough, he was at first reluctant to recount his experiences. Mr Peter Bruce, a friend who occasionally helps out in the restaurant, said he had not felt anything till Christmas, 1984. Then, during a function at the restaurant, Mr Bruce had gone upstairs to look for something.

“I felt a shadow behind me, two or three times it happened," he said. "There was somebody behind... I could feel somebody moving."

When he turned around he saw nothing. Mr Bruce also spoke of a particular door upstairs which has no lock. Normally it will open freely, but sometimes it cannot be opened at all, as if someone is holding it closed on the other side.

“The people who have lived here always remember something," Mr Bruce said.



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #111 on: July 30, 2023, 12:25:16 AM »
Mr Hough, who also lives in the building, said he had had to change his bedroom several times because he had felt someone trying to get him out of bed. While he was redecorating the building late at night he said that he also felt a presence. Sometimes a light flickers and guests occasionally feel a cold shiver, but the only evidence of Syms Covington is a photograph on the wall in the entrance.

Mr Hough is not intimidated by the ghost, and he and Mr Bruce have an avid interest in the history of the area. It is as if the ghostly legends adds a certain authenticity to the historical atmosphere which Mr Hough has recreated in the restaurant.

Does the ghost of Syms Covington still watch over the colonial building?

Next stop is a Hotel in Tathra, 25km north of Pambula.



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #112 on: July 30, 2023, 12:29:29 AM »
Tathra’s first hotel, The Brighton, owned and run by Mrs Jane White in 1875, was situated just above where the hall is now, and was in its infancy in 1870 when William J. White conveyed guests between The Brighton and his Victoria Inn at Bega. Members of the White family, who arrived in the Colony in 1842, and this district in 1852: White Snr was killed by lightning in 1854, his wife Ann died in 1888. The family at Tathra were called to an inquiry following the mysterious destruction of The Brighton by fire in 1881. Jane was tried for arson and found not guilty.
 


A second hotel, the original Tathra Hotel, once stood adjacent to the present post office. There are records of an inquest being held there in 1883 following the death of Alfred Swansen at the wharf the previous day. It was a requirement under earlier liquor laws that hotels had to be able to store dead bodies awaiting inquests, funeral arrangements etc – probably because of limited refrigeration at the time.

The existing Tathra Hotel was built by J.W. Twyford in 1888, who named it The Ocean View Hotel. It became the Tathra Hotel at a later date, probably after the Tathra Hotel closed. Mr Twyford apparently kept guns and boats for use by guests. In early years Tathra was a transport hub for passengers and goods – everything went by boat in those days.
 
Various additions were made in the 1960’s and the red brick motel added in 1975. The hotel was a popular place to see the live bands of the day during the 1980’s and 90’s.

For over a century there has been talk of a presence of a young woman at the Ocean View Hotel.



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #113 on: July 30, 2023, 12:32:33 AM »
The stories are many and varied, from patrons and staff, the sober and those that have enjoyed a few brews, those that claim to have glimpsed something, to the tales of opening doors and switching on and off of a light here and there, to the wafting smell of flowers crossing a persons path when no one or no breeze is around, to any number of other accounts and yarns. The young lady at the heart of all these stories is Bertha.

Now days Bertha is often blamed in good fun for slammed doors or any oopsy and dropsy moments. Bertha was a 23 years old young woman from the Bega area. Christened on the 24th April 1884.
 Her family had established strong roots in the area beginning with her ex convict grandfather on her fathers side and a minister of the church with an interesting head for business in the growing agriculture sector on her grandmothers side. The pioneering families had many businesses in the Bega Valley including the owning and operating two of Bega's popular hotels.

Bertha and her travelling companion were travelling back to Bega from a stay in Sydney where Bertha had gone to have some new treatment for her lingering illness. While in Sydney Bertha sat for a photographic portrait. At no time thinking this would be her last photograph.



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #114 on: July 30, 2023, 12:36:12 AM »
Boarding the S.S. Bega for the return sea voyage home Bertha and her companion (a family member) enjoyed the sea air and this modern transport link that shortened the time of travel significantly between home and Sydney. The steamer powered on toward Tathra and a tired but happy to be going home Bertha lapsed into what today is known as a diabetic coma.


Bertha passed away on 22nd November 1907 aged 23, just before the boat The SS Bega berthed at the Tathra Wharf. The coroners report states Bertha died at sea of heart failure due to diabetes. Bertha’s body was transported to the Tathra Hotel , then called The Ocean View Hotel operated by J. W. Twyford, a good friend of the family, to be laid out in the back shed /room until she could be transported to Bega for her funeral.

Years later the buildings and sheds at the rear of the Tathra Hotel were demolished to make way for the construction of the new kitchen, Bistro, Dining area, function area and dance floor on the 1st floor, ensuring the best ocean views and whale watching point in the area. The drive through cellars and store room area on ground level. The motel was at a later time constructed on what was the livestlock holding pens later to be the parking area.

We now head 55km north to Montague Island.



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #115 on: July 30, 2023, 12:38:27 AM »
While it's now an island paradise, 20,000 years ago Montague Island, located 10 kilometres from the New South Wales far south coast hamlet of Narooma, was an inland hill. Beside it were two other hills, now named Mt Dromedary and Little Dromedary.

Around 9000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, the sea level rose by more than 100 metres, encircling the hitherto inland hill in water and creating an island. These days, for most of the eco-tourists who brave the attimes rough crossing to explore Montague Island, their first experience is a stomach-churning odour.

'Yeah, they can get a bit on the nose,' confesses former Montague Island National Park guide Mark Westwood, referring to the pungent odour of the island's colony of Australian fur seals - the last remaining colony off the New South Wales coast. 'It's a potent mixture of their sweat, fur oil and excrement, all caked on the rocks,' explains Mark.

It's predominantly the island's wildlife - the fur seals, fairy penguins and thousands of nesting seabirds that led this Garden of Eden to become a wildlife sanctuary in 1953.



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #116 on: July 30, 2023, 12:39:58 AM »
Montague, however, is also a very special place for the local Aboriginal peoples who have their own stories about how Montague Island was formed. The popular story is that Gulaga (Mt Dromedary) had two sons who left to travel east. When they reached the sea she called to the younger son, 'Come back, come back, my boy. You're too young.' While the younger son who remained close to his mother's feet became Najanuga (Little Dromedary), the older son went on into the sea and became Barunguba (Montague Island).

Archaeological surveys suggest that for thousands of years Montague Island was a fertile hunting ground for the Walbanga and Djiringanj Aboriginal peoples who paddled across in specially made sea canoes to feast on the abundance of food available, including mutton birds and seabird eggs. Making seaworthy canoes was no mean feat.

Mark Westwood tells of a tragic incident during a food collection expedition by over 150 Aboriginal people in the late nineteenth century.



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #117 on: July 30, 2023, 12:41:26 AM »
‘Dozens of men toiled for months, laboriously constructing the 70 to 80 large canoes required to take 150 adults on the return trip to Montague Island. When the canoes (crafted from a large sheet of stringy bark tied at both ends with twigs and cords), were ready, there was great expectation and as the collection party set off at the crack of dawn those remaining on the mainland cheered and danced in jubilation.’

‘Later that day, the children and older women who had waited all day in anticipation of a feast to end all feasts became very excited, when just on sunset, the returning men and their canoes laden with culinary treats approached the mainland. Suddenly, when the canoes were less than a kilometre away, a nasty southerly blew up and one canoe after another became swamped by the raging sea. Not one of the 150 men was ever seen again.’

Today, despite most visitors being unaware of this tragedy, as soon as some set foot on the island they feel an overwhelming pang of sadness. The misplaced spirits of the 150 poor souls lost at sea aren't the only paranormal entities reported to roam this barren island.



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #118 on: July 30, 2023, 12:43:25 AM »
The job of lighthouse keeper is lonely at the best of times, but in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Montague Island was a particularly lonesome outpost for the keepers and their families. For most of these years there was no cable or wireless telegraph between Montague Island and the mainland. Contact with civilisation was restricted to a passing supply ship that would (weather permitting) stop off once every few months.

In the case of a medical emergency, the lighthouse keeper resorted to raising a distress flag, hoping that either a pasing boat or someone from the mainland would see it and raise the alarm. Sadly, the graves of three people in a small cemetery just to the south of the lighthouse are testimony to the shortcomings of this primitive SOS method.

One of the graves is inscribed with the name Charles Townsend, the first assistant keeper, who died on 3
December 1894. Townsend was on his way back from the jetty with a load of supplies, when the horse pulling his cart unexpectedly bolted. Charles was caught off-balance and was thrown into the air, falling stomach-first onto the guard iron that ran along the top sides of the cart, badly injuring him. Despite his family raising the distress flag, no one saw it in time, and 12 hours later, Charles died a most painful death.



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Re: Mysteries and Hauntings: NSW & ACT
« Reply #119 on: July 30, 2023, 12:50:29 AM »
There is one small cemetery on the island, set well away from the lighthouse and buildings and reached by via a dirt track. The cemetery is well cared for and contains two graves, surrounded by a white fence and a metal plaque set in front of the graves providing information on the burials as one of the headstones is now badly weathered. 



Two children are in one grave and a single burial of Charles Townsend the other. Mrs Burgess conducted the ceremony, burying Charles next to her children.

These graves represent the real isolation problem involved with these old lighthouses in that medical help could not be obtained for the three due to the rough seas and being able to contact the mainland (or passing ships) for help. 



The two children were part of the family of the lighthouse keeper, John Burgess, and his wife, Isabella (O'DELL). It is believed that one may have died from meningitis, but with no doctor being able to attend, the death certificate notes the cause as "Unknown" 



* BURGESS, John Sydney O'Dell; Died 9th July, 1888, buried 11th July, 1888, aged 2 years and 10 months. The length of illness was noted as 3 days.



* BURGESS, Isabella Millicent; Died 24th January, 1890, Buried 25th January, 1890, aged 1 years and 8 months. Cause of death noted as "Whooping Cough"

The Cobargo Watch newspaper on the 29th December, 1894 ran an article using information provided by Mrs John Burgess, mother of the two children, noting the problems of getting help for isolated lighthouse people. Ships did not respond to their distress fares and there was no cable or signal station on the island for communication with the mainland. 


There are also a number of reports of a female ghost that occasionally appears in the lighthouse's small window. 'It's a mystery, we don't really have any idea of the ghost's real identity,' says Mark Westwood.

We now travel to Bodalla, 25km from here.



To be continued…..

 


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