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Showing posts from April, 2020

Strange and Bizarre Stories - Women Murderers 29th April 1885

This caused so much gossip and absolute intense focus in the early colonial history of Maitland township - two women, who allegedly planned the murder of the younger woman's husband and another woman. Did they? Let's try and get some answers tomorrow night!!! Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), Wednesday 29 April 1885, page 3 The Condemned Women, Mary Anne Burton and.Sarah Keep. The prisoners Mary Ann Burton and Sarah Keep, mother.and daughter, confined in Maitland Gaol under sentence of death, for poisoning Henry William Keep, husband of the younger prisoner, have shown a determination to starve themselves. We, (Morpeth Times) understand that whatever belief the younger prisoner might have had in her conviction, Mrs. Burton was horribly astonished at her own, as she maintained (and indeed it was proved) that she had always been kind to the deceased. Prisoners, ( not legible ) their condemnation, have become reserved, and suf


Maitland Gaol accepted it's first prisoners on 30th December 1848. Here is the announcement of it's opening in the local Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser. Maitland became the centre of the Hunter region, with most of the wealth arriving by steamer from Newcastle and Sydney heading to the Hunter Valley and occupying the available land there. Newcastle Gaol was by this stage no longer acceptable - even for prisoners and so maitland Gaol's 150 year history began. I am so excited in a weird and strange way you may think, of being able to head back in tomorrow, Friday 1st May 2020 to do a VIRTUAL ghost hunt for you to follow and we will be examining A WING - the first building open to hold prisoners at the GAOL. Head to my FACEBOOK PAGE over at to take a virtual tour with us at 7pm and 8pm tomorrow night. Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), Saturday 30 December 1848, pag

Strange and Weird Stories - Haunted by a Ghost Dog

As a ghost hunter I am someone who always tries to keep an open mind. I do believe that people sense animals that have passed. I've even been privy to helping those meetings between human and animal happen, so it is no surprise to me that ghost stories about animals exist. This one comes to us from the World's News APRIL 1938 THE GHOST OF A DOG  True story - Sent in by A.B., Gatton, Qld. Although I have never professed to believe in the supernatural, I once had a peculiar, and unexplained, experience. I had secured a job in a country district, and once a month, on my week-end off, 1 used to ride to a friend's place, five miles away. About half-way was a cemetery, and as I was passing the spot one Sunday night, I heard a faint patter of footsteps behind me. I looked round, but could see nothing, although I could have sworn that 1 heard heavy breathing, almost like a dog panting. Feeling a little eerie, I had set my horse into a canter, when suddenly, the

Strange and Weird Stories - Haunted Theme Park

Just a little out of the area but these haunting images came through to me on TROVE today whilst researching some new stories. I remember Australia's Wonderland at Eastern Creek. Very sketchy memories - I think it was where I got on my last roller coaster ride. Not doing that sh*t again!! Do you have any memories or photos of Australia's Wonderland? And..more to the point... was it really haunted? Tharunka (Kensington, NSW : 1953 - 2010), Monday 26 April 2004 Eastern Creek's new haunted amusement park opens. The suburb of Eastern Creek has a new and exciting piece of infrastructure: Sydney's newest 'the old amusement park on the edge of town'. With the closure of Wonderland Sydney, developers have leapt at the opportunity to create a derelict funfair that will provide world-class facilities to vandals, reclusive evil geniuses, organised crime networks and - of course - ghosts. One of the park's exciting new 'themed lands'

Strange and Weird Stories - Maitland's hairy man gets clean up

This story may not be paranormal - but it is strange and weird and very sad. This is just one case where going to Gaol was a good thing and probably something that allowed this person to have a decent clean up. Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954), Saturday 28 July 1928 MAITLAND'S HAIRY MAN SENT TO GAOL FOR CLEAN-UP For many years a 'wild, hairy man' has been frequenting the scrub and the outlying parts of East Maitland. Following many complaints that women had been terrorised, the police have arrested the man, and he was brought before the court on Thursday on a charge of vagrancy.  His name was given as William Cook, and his age 58.  The police said that during the day Cook was in the habit of roaming through the bush and foraging among rubbish tips for scraps.  His hair had not been cut for eight years, they said, and his body and clothes were filthy, and in this state he begged from women living on the outskirts of the town.  The women, they

Spooky and Weird Stories from Newcastle - A Lambton Seance in 1898

Before you think for a moment that we were not intrigued by all things weird and spooky before the age of 'Ghost Busters' let it be known that we were and in a very big way!! In fact there was a huge amount of interest in seeking out the supernatural in Australia in the late 1800's and early 1900's. This short story tells us that seances and clairvoyants travelled near and far to show off their skills to waiting audiences all over Australia and even to Newcastle. Psychometry  (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, "spirit, soul" and μέτρον, metron, "measure"), also known as token-object reading, or psychoscopy, is a form of extrasensory perception characterized by the claimed ability to make relevant associations from an object of unknown history by making physical contact with that object. Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate 20 October 1898 LAMBTON A SEANCE A seance under the auspices of the Newcastle spiritual Research Socie

Spooky and Weird Stories from Newcastle - Headless soldier

Ghost ships are part of spooky lore all over the world. Who would have thought that we would encounter our very own ghost story right here in Newcastle!! Part taken from a story that appeared in the Daily Telegraph May 1952 Australia is poorly served with sprites, wraiths, visitations, and suchlike. But is this true? For a young country, unfledged in ghost lore, we seem to be building up a fair kitty of spectres. LAST November the ghost of a headless Nazi soldier in uniform "walked" the docks, of the Norwegian ship Templar, berthed at Newcastle. By an old-fashioned process known as "separating the ship from the ghost" (later corrupted to "sheep from the goats") the Templar managed to sail without the Nazigeist. He's probably wandering New South Wales looking for accommodation. He should be happy enough in Sydney. The ancient occult cantrip for ghost-raising — "fyre and fleete and candle-lighte" —is now a suburban commonpla

Strange and Weird Stories from Newcastle - Hamilton Scare

Continuing the theme of local ghost stories, I today turn to Hamilton and a story about a ghost who scared a few local lads stiff! Ghosts that walked in a Hamilton house Original story appeared in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate-August 1949                   Photo: Newcastle University Cultural Collections    Walking out of Beaumont Street into Lindsay Street Hamilton one night about half a century ago a man chanced to look up at the attic window of a house. In that instant he felt as though every ounce of blood had been drained from his body. He began to tremble. Then he turned and hurried back into Beaumont Street. The house was empty. Yet at the attic window he had seen something move – something vague and spine chilling – in a sudden strange glow. He had seen ‘the ghost’. Night after night people who dared gathered on the Beaumont Street corner where they could look across to the window and gasp as the filmy aura fading and reappearing time

Strange and Weird Stories - The Monster Mervin Garvie

Today I change topics slightly - as this is a story I found via Trove about 'Skulls' Garvie who may/ or may not be one of the ghostly characters we still find at Maitland Gaol. One thing is for sure - he was a very nasty, despicable person in life. Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 - 1956), Saturday 5 November 1955, page 10 A MAN WHO HATES "SKULLS" GARVIE REVEALS THAT - An armed sex monster plans gaol break (From our Special Representative) Mervyn 'Skulls' Garvie, one of Australia's most monstrous sex slayers, is reported to be planning an armed escape from Maitland Gaol. Garvie plans to shoot his way out with a shotgun, taking with him the prison payroll. An ex-convict claims that the rapist-murderer has the shotgun hidden in the blacksmith's shop at the gaol. Garvie, he says, made the shotgun him-self, and is "full of hate." He boasts continually that "it ,won't be long now." The ex-convict is Francis Fr

Strange and Bizarre Stories - The Ellalong SWAMP Ghost

It seems our swamps are haunted too! Of course in days gone by you can imagine the bush at night and the sounds and and emanations that would have befuddled and scared early settlers!! I can't even imagine the life and struggles of those trying to live in the bush. Here is a story set in Ellalong near Cessnock NSW. Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder (NSW : 1913 - 1954), Friday 23 January 1942, page 4 THE GHOST OF ELLALONG AND EARLY SETTLERS By ARTHUR BIGGERS. Just near the little old village of Ellalong is situated Catchaboy Swamp. This is a large and deep swamp, that is never known to be dry. This swamp, many years ago, first came into notoriety by reason of a peculiar and weird sound like a moan being heard at night time in the centre of the swamp. Many people shunned this particular spot at night time. The name of Catcha-boy was given this swamp by the aborigines over a hundred years ago. This story was told to the early settlers by the black

Strange and Bizarre Stories - Ghost near Maitland

My search for ghostly encounters takes me out of Newcastle today and out to Maitland. This story appeared in my NEWCASTLE GHOST STORIES book I bought out a few years ago and will be included in the updated version coming out on Kindle very soon. Singleton Argus and Upper Hunter General Advocate  (NSW : 1874 - 1880), Wednesday 4 December 1878 A Ghost near Maitland Correspondent of Newcastle Herald A SENSATIONAL story comes from Four Mile Creek.  One of the supernatural has been paying nocturnal visits in the vicinity, and if all said is true, the nightly visitant—whether of the spirit world or some one of the number of those in the flesh, playing up some pranks, has been the cause of frightening a gentleman belonging to a party of surveyors now engaged in that neighbourhood in such a manner that he has been very ill, and under the care of a medical man ever since.  The event mentioned happened about a week of ten days ago.  The ghost was said to appear nea

Bizarre and Strange Stories from Newcastle - East Lambton GREMLINS!

Easter Monday - no end in sight from Covid 19 lock down. However irritating this is we have the most successful lock down numbers in the world. So it's got to be all about the GHOST STORIES right now. This one is from East Lambton and a little more recent than the previous stories - this one is from 1950. BRISBANE TELEGRAPH 8th JANUARY 1950 GREMLINS? Newcastle: Mrs Alice Atkinson, 82,of Griffith Street East Lambton has to keep replacing pieces of glassware and crockery broken by an unknown force. Mrs. Atkinson, a widow, who lives alone, said that for a number of years her glass, china wear and window panes have been exploding or just quietly  cracking. "One night recently a jug an inch thick went off like a gun," she said. "In the morning it was cut clean in half as though with a knife". Mrs Atkinson produced pieces of glass wear and crockery in which the cracks were developing. About half the window panes in Mrs. Atkinson's house are

Strange and Bizarre Stories from Newcastle - Wallsend Appearance

I am a ghost hunter - a very, lonely, isolated, stuck at home, ghost hunter!! The Covid 19 ISOLATION, which has been in force for a few weeks now (seems much longer), means that I cannot go our physically looking for ghosts, but I can still look through my many collected ghost stories from the past. I want to share some of these with you. Some end up being ghostly sightings - and some end up being a wild goose chase! But, it seems whether it be right now or 100 years ago - we all LOVED A GHOST STORY!! Here is one from 1925, with a ghostly appearance at Wallsend, NSW, Australia. SOUTH COAST TIMES DECEMBER 1925 NEWCASTLE                                     Photo from the collection at the University of Newcastle An unoccupied house of five rooms in Hope Street, on the western outskirts of the town, is the centre of attraction just now, as the result of reports of an apparition within it's walls. It is alleged by several people that they have plainly seen the fi

Strange and Bizarre Stories from Newcastle - New Lambton Ghost

New Lambton had it's own ghost sighting in 1914. Was it a ghost or was it just the creaks and knocks of a house settling after a hot day? As a ghost hunter and researcher into the ghost stories of my local area I love these articles as they show me that ghosts and apparitions were on everyone's mind the moment strange and bizarre unexplainable things happened. People have not changed - they are still intrigued by the noir and weird. Here is today's story. Singleton Argus (NSW: 1880 - 1954), Saturday 3 January 1914, page 8 "COTTAGE ON THE HILL" MYSTERY. Dry Weather or Ghosts New Lambton is a suburb of Newcastle, that, ordinarily, is quiet in the fullest sense of the word; but for some days past the residents have been cised over mysterious sounds and occurrences in a cottage on the hill near the public school. Attention was first called to the matter ; by some of the inmates of the house hearing distinct sounds of tap

Strange and Bizzare Ghost Stories from Newcastle - Ghosts Alive!!

Sandgate Cemetery has been known as the 'dead centre' of Newcastle for too many years to count. Here is a very interesting view from the curator of the cemetery who, I gather, had a gut full of 'ghost stories' and really didn't believe in them.  What do you think? Ghosts ALIVE!! And Walk in Cemeteries   -The Curator's Adventures World - Hobart Tasmania, 28th September 1922 Arc you afraid of ghosts? asks H.J.C. in the "Sun."  These formless wraiths, are said to haunt cemeteries, but a talk with Mr. W. J. Gibbs, who for 30 years has watched over 30,000 sleepers at Sandgate Cemetery' near Newcastle, will dispel any illusion on this point. He can casually detect a human agency at the back of most ghost stories, or at least a fertile imagination. In fact he rather delights in unravelling ghost stories. "Why", he says, "the cemetery is a much more homely place at night than anywhere else outside." He an

Strange and Bizarre Ghost Stories from Newcastle - A LOVELY Ghost Story

                                                      William  Nicholas                                                         England 1807 – Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 1854 - Inspector or Nuisances                                                                                            Hunters Hill - 1847                                                                   I am a very lonely ghost hunter - forced to sit on my couch, due to COVID 19 Lock down, and take the only walk I can back deep into my researched archives on tales of ghost and strange happenings in and around Newcastle in it's early history. Even though I rather be outside chasing the mysteries - I cannot, and neither should you! So let me entertain you, for just a minute, with another story, this time from Morpeth back in 1885. Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner's Advocate July 1885 LOVELY GHOST STORY It is not often we (Morpeth Times) h