Skip to main content


 Evening News (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1924 - 1941), Friday 4 August 1939

                   Yarralumla - The Governor General's House Canberra

Canberra "Ghost" Haunts Home Of Kents


Yarralumla, House, which is to be the Canberra home of the Duke of Kent, has a ghost. 

It has never been seen, but half a century ago there were tales of a shadowy spirit of a murdered aborigine—' which used to flit uneasily about the countryside on dark nights.

In the dusty archives at Canberra an old letter purports to give the history of the ghost. 

Unsigned and dated 1881, it was discovered when the Commonwealth Government took over the old house in 1920 for use as Government House. 

It told an interesting but probably entirely romantic tale of the theft of a valuable diamond, 

bushrangers, loyalty of a faithful blackfellow, and the burial of the gem beneath a giant deodar in the . gardens of Yarralumla. 


In 1820, a convict' stole a large diamond from James. Cobbity on an obscure cattle station in Queensland. 

Captured in 1858; the convict refused, despite floggings, to reveal the hiding place of the stone. 

He had given it to a groom, who passed, it to. his son, fearing to try to dispose of it during his lifetime.

With a trusted aborigine the son eventually left Cooma, about 60 miles south of Canberra, to take the diamond, to Sydney. 

They, were attacked by 'bushrangers and the black was captured.

Angered when they could not find the .diamond, which the black had swallowed they, shot him and left the body in the bush where it was found by a wandering tribe.

 The old manuscript says, "He was buried in a piece of land belonging to Colonel Gibbes, and later Mr. Campbell.

I believe the diamond to be among his bones. 

It is of great value. Believe, and receive a fortune -  Scoff, and leave .the jewel in its hiding place." 

                                              A deodar -  SPRUCE TREE

The majestic deodar, which is about 100 years old and the parent of the Canberra deodar avenues, is about halfway along the south western : side of Yarralumla's magnificent new reception room. 

Colonel Gibbes built a homestead near the site of the present Government House and Mr Frederick Campbell built the central three-storied portion of the present Yarralumla in 1891.


Popular posts from this blog

Diary of a Ghost Hunter - Lochinvar House in the Hunter Valley NSW

 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 N

Diary of a Ghost Chaser - Beechworth Lunatic Asylum

Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, VICTORIA The abandoned grounds of Beechworth Lunatic Asylum - also known as Mayday Hills - is a hot spot for ghost hunters, with regular and consistent accounts of unexplained figures walking the halls. Visitors recount an 80-year-old man tugging at their clothes, children laughing in the distance and the murmurs of a young girl who desperately tries to speak but can't be understood. The asylum closed in 1995 after 128 years of operation. However, hundreds of patients were buried on-site in unmarked graves and it's believed their spirits remain. Opened in 1867, the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum was one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in the state. Legend has it that doctors would restrain patients with shackles, conduct electro-shock treatments en masse, and pull teeth when patients self-harmed. The Beechworth Lunatic Asylum was one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in the state, home to 1200 patients at its peak. Very few are said to have left al

Diary of a Ghost Hunter - Cockatoo Island

A stone’s throw from the waterfront mansions lining Sydney Harbour, Cockatoo Island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — has a grim and varied history. It was a brutal colonial prison — like an Australian Alcatraz — between 1839 and 1869, where numerous prisoners died in custody and others died trying to flee. One famous story involves a guard being murdered by an inmate. The island became a colonial jail to take in the overflow of prisoners on Norfolk Island. After 1900 it became a crucial shipbuilding yard and naval dockyard, where conditions were better, but tough. Workers were killed in gruesome industrial accidents and at least one person mysteriously vanished. Tourists and even staff have reported various kinds of paranormal activity on the island, which draws ghost hunters from around the world. And while the grisly stories — and alleged ghosts — from the prison and dockyard eras are frightful stuff, they don’t seem to leave visitors as unsettled as those from a thi