I have just spent a weekend at the historic homestead - Lochinvar House, just outside of Lochinvar in the NSW Hunter Valley.
This was, for me, a team bonding opportunity and a chance to get away from worries associated with Covid. It was also where members of my ghost hunting volunteers got to head onto this site before we invited in the public, to check out the stories of ghosts and alleged hauntings.
Now, as usual, not all historic houses are haunted.
And even more intriguing, it seems that not all historic houses are haunted for all the families that live therein.
Many times I have heard this - one family may experience seeing and hearing strange things happening at all hours of the day and night.
Yet, another family will move in and.....nothing!
And so it is..
Why is it like this? I don't know. Do the ghosts pick us?
Lochinvar House was built back in the late 1820's by Leslie Duguid who was granted a enormous amount of land in 1822. He was one of the first land owners in Newcastle too.
Leslie was a Scotsman and only 20 years old. What bought him all the way out here to the other side of the world?
As with many landowners at that time, Duguid was busy working in the big city and left the Estate to be handled by an overseer. This did not work well, especially with the prevalence of bushrangers in the area.
The property was robbed many times and Duguid eventually sold it in 1840 and it was subdivided.
James Forbes Beattie Esq, purchased the homestead and part of the property and it again changed hands in 1880 being sold to John Doyle who passed it on to his son James.
I wonder if any of them became the ghosts of this place?
Maybe they saw ghosts too?
Other families have lived and managed the property ever since, with the present owner looking after the Estate for about 20 years.
During our evening we had so much happening that it is hard to say it all in just a few sentences.
But first we took time our to watch the sun go down, pat the horses and dogs, watch the sheep, chickens and goats and throw off the shackles of home life and the problems we all carry with us.
I personally saw a full body apparition heading into one of the bedrooms whilst we sat waiting for dinner to be prepared. It was fleeting, and one moment there and then the next gone - but it existed in that moment.
One of our more skeptical team members saw a dog follow his wife into the dining room and sit next to her, but, when he asked where this dog had come from, she asked, "what dog?" and both looked to see nothing there.
One couple spent the whole night hearing people waking up and down the hallway, the husband seemingly sleeping through the numerous prodding and poking from unseen hands that was noticed by his wife who saw his twitching.
Two other couples, in different bedrooms kept on hearing the annoying ticking of a clock, that was not there. Both rooms, tick, tick, tick...endlessly.
Items were placed in different spots in the rooms from where they were left.
Spirit box sessions seemed to recount an experience long ago of the drowning of a child close to the property. Those on headphones were channelling small children who saw it happen but could not do anything about it. They were trying to tell us that is was an accident and that they tried but could not do anything about it.
And another story was of an accident involving an indigenous girl who also passed nearby.
It seemed to drain us all of our energy - or maybe it was just the fresh air!
We ended up all going to bed sooner than anticipated.
This was our first night on the property - but we intend to be back for sure!
Our first public event will be help this September, with Covid Safe restrictions in place.
If you are interested in this overnight stay please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org for details of dates and prices.
I will be joined by Anne from Oz Paratech provider of paranormal equipment with an on line store here: