Monthly Archives: April 2014

One Way to Lay a Ghost


One Way to Lay a Ghost


Burra, South Australia 1889.
 The Father of local, Bill Skimmins had passed away. Bill decided to bury his poor old Dad near his barn, in a manner some thought was unkind and very poorly done.
Talk of the burial spread through the town, and of the shoddy attempt at grave making by Bill.

The neighbours thought it was a shame the Old Man had been treated like this by his son, and one of them decided it would be funny to play a joke on Bill.
He hid himself near Bills barn and laid in wait for Bill to come walking past.
He didn’t have to wait long, and spotted Bill walking towards him. As Bill got near, he jumped up from his hiding spot and exclaimed in his loudest ghostly voice “ I’M YOUR FATHER BILL!”
Unflinching, Bill said “ Who said you warn’t?” “Git down thar inter yer hole whar yer belong!” and with a flick of his hand slammed a bridle he had been holding into the cheeks of his ghostly imposter Father

The joker, joked no more, and for the rest of his adult life could not hide the scars across his face from the brutal strike of that bridle in 1889…

Burra – Photo by Allen Tiller
© 2007 – 2014 Allen Tiller

One Way to Lay a Ghost


One Way to Lay a Ghost

Burra, South Australia 1889.
 The father of local, Bill Skimmins, had passed away. Bill decided to bury his poor old Dad near his barn, in a manner some thought was unkind and very poorly done.
Talk of the burial spread through the town, and of the shoddy attempt at grave-making by Bill.

  The neighbours thought it was a shame that old man Skimmin’s had been treated in this by his son, and one of them decided it would be funny to play a joke on Bill.

  The joker hid near Bills barn and laid in wait for Bill to come walking past.
He didn’t have to wait long, and spotted Bill walking towards him. As Bill got near, he jumped up from his hiding spot and exclaimed in his loudest ghostly voice “ I’M YOUR FATHER BILL!”

Unflinching, Bill said:,“Who said you warn’t?” 
 “Git down thar inter yer hole whar yer belong!” and with a flick of his hand slammed a bridle he had been holding onto the cheeks of his ghostly imposter.

The joker joked no more, and for the rest of his adult life could not hide the scars that marked his face from the brutal strike of that bridle in 1889…

Burra – Photo by Allen Tiller
© 2007 – 2014 Allen Tiller

Michael Magee – Adelaide’s First Execution

Michael Magee – Adelaide’s First Execution


May 2nd 1838 – The town of Adelaide was a buzz.
 In the park lands, just below the junction of Mills and Strangeways terrace, Adelaide’s first makeshift gallows, and old tree, was silently standing, waiting for a convict, to publicly lose his life for his crimes.

Michael Magee was an Irish born immigrant aged 25 years old when he was found guilty of his crime of willingly attempting to kill a man. That man was Mr Samuel Smart, the colony Sheriff.

Mr Smart had been sitting in his office on March 22nd 1838, busily writing reports, when two men, Magee, and another fellow named Morgan, burst through the door. Magee levelled a gun at Mr Smarts head, and without flinching fired. Magee, however, was not a good shot, and the bullet only nicked his ear and seared a line across his cheek.

Before Mr Smart had praised the Lord for his luck, his reflexes kicked in, and he stood and grabbed Magee’s still hot gun from his hands, the men had a scuffle, and the two villains escaped – but not for long.
The alarm was raised, and Magee and Morgan were dually captured, tried, convicted and sentenced, in almost record time.
Morgan was sentenced to “Transportation for Life” and Magee to capitol execution.

There was much fuss in Adelaide at the sentence of Magee, no-one had been executed in the colony up until this point, and there was no State appointed “ Jack Ketch”(a name used during the period for the masked executioner)

The job of executioner was advertised for 5 pounds, and no-one came forward, it soon blew out to 20 pounds, and still no-one came forward. It was at this point that the State charter was checked and it was pointed out that the Colony Sheriff, if no other persons could be appointed, would have to carry out the ghastly deed. In this particular case, the Sheriff carrying out such a task on the person who had assailed him, would have been unseemly.

On the morning of the execution a large crowd had gathered at the aforementioned location, everyone was uncertain of who would be executing Magee.
A horse and cart was soon seen coming towards the tree, on the back a coffin, and sitting on top, Magee and a man dressed in an executioner mask, which barely hid his identity.
Magee, remained staunch throughout the reading of his crime, and his public display of his own death.
The event was huge an era before movies, television and the internet, and most of Adelaide, including women and children had come to watch, but no-one could foresee what was about to unfold before their very eyes.
Magee, standing before the throngs of people, confessed his guilt to the amassed audience, but vehemently denied being an escaped convict, an accusation levelled against him at trial.
He stood on the card, hands tied together and a cap placed over his head. The executioner came forward and passed Magee’s head through the hemp rope noose, which had been hung from the old tree.
The executioner whipped the horses to drive forward, hence leaving the convicted criminal hanging to his death – but things got drastically out of hand, the know which was supposed be under Magees ear, had somehow slipped under his chin. Magees flailed wildly in the air, in his desperate attempts to save himself, his hands broke free of the rope that bound them, and he grabbed the noose rope and pulled himself up to release the strain on his neck, all the while screaming for mercy.
The Hangman, returned and grabbed the flailing legs of Magee, using his own weight to pull the hanging man down and tightening the noose, breaking Magee’s neck in the process…

Magee suffered greatly during his execution, and became the talk of the colony, for many many years afterwards people pointed out to visitors to Adelaide, the tree upon which Magee had been hung, and told the horrific story of his demise…

A hand drawn picture of the hanging:


© 2007 – 2014 Allen Tiller

All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013, 2014

All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act “fair usage” clause.

Some photo’s used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au – all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Michael Magee – Adelaide’s First Execution

Michael Magee – Adelaide’s First Execution

May 2nd 1838, the City of Adelaide was abuzz with the excitement of a predetermined death!
 In the parklands, just below the junction of Mills and Strangways Terrace, Adelaide’s first makeshift gallows, an old tree, was silently standing, waiting for a convict, to publicly lose his life for his crimes.

Michael Magee was an Irish born immigrant aged 25 years old when he was found guilty of his crime of willingly attempting to kill a man. That man was Mr Samuel Smart, the colony Sheriff.

Mr Smart had been sitting in his office on March 22nd 1838, busily writing reports, when two men, Magee, and another fellow named Morgan, burst through the door. Magee levelled a gun at Mr Smarts head, and without flinching fired. Magee, however, was not a good shot, and the bullet only nicked his ear and seared a line across his cheek.

Before Mr Smart had praised the Lord for his luck, his reflexes kicked in, and he stood and grabbed Magee’s still hot gun from his hands, the men had a scuffle, and the two villains escaped – but not for long.
The alarm was raised, and Magee and Morgan were dually captured, tried, convicted and sentenced, in almost record time.
Morgan was sentenced to “Transportation for Life” and Magee to capital execution.

There was much fuss in Adelaide at the sentence of Magee, no-one had been executed in the colony up until this point, and there was no State-appointed “ Jack Ketch”(a name used during the period for the masked executioner)

The job of executioner was advertised for 5 pounds, and no-one came forward, it soon blew out to 20 pounds, and still, no-one came forward. It was at this point that the State charter was checked and it was pointed out that the Colony Sheriff if no other persons could be appointed, would have to carry out the ghastly deed. In this particular case, the Sheriff carrying out such a task on the person who had assailed him would have been unseemly.

On the morning of the execution, a large crowd had gathered at the aforementioned location, everyone was uncertain of who would be executing Magee.
A horse and cart were soon seen coming towards the tree, on the back a coffin, and sitting on top, Magee and a man dressed in an executioner mask, which barely hid his identity.
Magee remained staunch throughout the reading of his crime and the public display of his own death.
The event was huge an era before movies, television and the internet, and most of Adelaide, including women and children, had come to watch, but no-one could foresee what was about to unfold before their very eyes.

Magee, standing before the throngs of people, confessed his guilt to the amassed audience, but vehemently denied being an escaped convict, an accusation levelled against him at trial.
He stood on the card, hands tied together and a cap placed over his head. The executioner came forward and passed Magee’s head through the hemp rope noose, which had been hung from the old tree.
The executioner whipped the horses to drive forward, leaving the convicted criminal hanging to his death – but things got drastically out of hand, the knot which was supposed be under Magee’s ear, had somehow slipped under his chin.
 Magee flailed wildly in the air. In his desperate attempts to save himself, his hands broke free of the rope that bound them, and he grabbed the noose rope and pulled himself up to release the strain on his neck, all the while screaming for mercy.
The Hangman returned and grabbed the flailing legs of Magee, using his own weight to pull the hanging man down and tightening the noose, breaking Magee’s neck in the process…

Magee suffered greatly during his execution, and became the talk of the colony, for many many years afterwards people pointed out to visitors to Adelaide, the tree upon which Magee had been hung, and told the horrific story of his demise…

A hand-drawn picture of the hanging:


© 2007 – 2014 Allen Tiller
 have no usage restrictions implied.

AN EVENING WITH SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S VERY OWN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR ALLEN TILLER

AN EVENING WITH SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S VERY
OWN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED
PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR | ALLEN TILLER


Allen Tiller is Australia’s leading Paranormal Investigator. Recently featured on Foxtels hit TV show “
Haunting:Australia” which showcased some of Australia’s most haunted locations to a worldwide audience.

Allen is also the founder and CEO of Eidolon Paranormal, the parent company of SA Paranormal and The Haunts of Adelaide which was recently included in Pandora the web archive of the National Library of Australia.

Allen is appearing to a private audience to discuss his years of paranormal experience, reveal the most haunted locations that he has personally investigated around South Australia and give some exclusive behind the scenes information about the amazing locations that they investigated while filming Haunting Australia.

Proudly Presented by
Ghost Crime Tours

http://www.ghost-crime-tours.com.au/ 


AN EVENING WITH SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S VERY OWN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR ALLEN TILLER

AN EVENING WITH SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S VERY
OWN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED
PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR | ALLEN TILLER


Allen Tiller is Australia’s leading Paranormal Investigator. Recently featured on Foxtels hit TV show “
Haunting: Australia” which showcased some of Australia’s most haunted locations to a worldwide audience.

Allen is also the founder and CEO of Eidolon Paranormal, the parent company of SA Paranormal and The Haunts of Adelaide which was recently included in Pandora the web archive of the National Library of Australia.

Allen is appearing to a private audience to discuss his years of paranormal experience, reveal the most haunted locations that he has personally investigated around South Australia and give some exclusive behind the scenes information about the amazing locations that they investigated while filming Haunting Australia.

Proudly Presented by
Ghost Crime Tours

http://www.ghost-crime-tours.com.au/ 


Accidental Death or “Spontaneous Human Combustion”



Accidental Death
 or
 “Spontaneous Human Combustion”


In July 1883, in the town of Gawler, about an hours drive north of Adelaide, on a somewhat wet Saturday morning, a young man living at one of the oldest parts of Gawler, Church Hill (which is so called because a number of Churches stand upon this hill that is situated near the Coles complex, and also contains the Old Courthouse and current Police station.) noticed smoke billowing for his elderly neighbour, Mrs Nicholls, cottage across the street.
Mrs Nicholls lived alone in her little cottage, and had been seen the night before about 11 pm by another neighbour with whom she was friends.
The fire alarm was raised this early Saturday morn, but before the firemen could come to put the blaze out, the young man and other neighbours kicked the front door down to try and rescue Mrs Nicholls.
They were horrified with what they saw in front of them. Mrs Nichols had been burnt to death.
A report from the Kapunda Herald newspaper at the time stated this “ all that remained of the poor woman was one foot and her head, charred like a mallee stump, the rest of the body being completely burnt to ashes”.


An inquest into her untimely death was held, which came to the conclusion that it was an “accidental” death, but the mystery of why her house hadn’t burnt down around her was not solved, and to this day remains just that, a mystery.
Of course in her era Spontaneous Human Combustion wasn’t a theory put forward for the death, but her case does indeed fit some of the known conditions that are usually associated with the phenomena, such as those listed below

  1. they are usually elderly females;

    An example of S.H.C.

  2. the body has not burned spontaneously, but some lighted substance has come into contact with it;

  3. the hands and feet usually escape;

  4. the fire has caused very little damage to combustible things in contact with the body;

  5. the combustion of the body has left a residue of greasy and fetid ashes, very offensive in odour.

Could Mrs Nicholls have been Gawlers first case of Spontaneous Human Combustion, or was her death caused from something else?
No-one will ever really know, as it is now far too late to conduct a proper investigation into the death, but the circumstances would lead sway me to believe it is possible.

© 2007 – 2014 Allen Tiller

All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013, 2014


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act “fair usage” clause.

Some photo’s used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au – all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Accidental Death or “Spontaneous Human Combustion”



Accidental Death or “Spontaneous Human Combustion”

In July 1883, in the town of Gawler, about an hours drive north of Adelaide, on a somewhat wet Saturday morning, a young man living at one of the oldest parts of Gawler, Church Hill, noticed smoke billowing from his elderly neighbour, Mrs Nicholls, cottage across the street.

Mrs Nicholls lived alone in her little cottage and had been seen the night before about 11 pm by another neighbour with whom she was friends.
The fire alarm was raised early Saturday morning, but before the firemen could come to put the blaze out, the young man and other neighbours kicked the front door down to try and rescue Mrs Nicholls.
They were horrified with what they saw in front of them. Mrs Nichols had been burnt to death.
A report from the Kapunda Herald newspaper at the time stated: 

“all that remained of the poor woman was one foot and her head, charred like a mallee stump, the rest of the body being completely burnt to ashes”.


An inquest into her untimely death was held, which came to the conclusion that it was an “accidental” death, but the mystery of why her house hadn’t burnt down around her was not solved, and to this day remains just that, a mystery.

In her era Spontaneous Human Combustion wasn’t a theory put forward for the death, but her case does indeed fit some of the known conditions that are usually associated with the phenomena, such as those listed below.

  1. They are usually elderly females.

    An example of S.H.C.

  2. The body has not burned spontaneously, but some lighted substance has come into contact with it.

  3. The hands and feet usually escape.

  4. The fire has caused very little damage to combustible things in contact with the body.

  5. The combustion of the body has left a residue of greasy and fetid ashes, very offensive in odour.

Could Mrs Nicholls have been Gawlers first case of Spontaneous Human Combustion, or was her death caused by something else?
No-one will ever really know, as it is now far too late to conduct a proper investigation into the death, but the circumstances would lead sway me to believe it is possible.




© 2007 – 2014 Allen Tiller

Belair Train Tunnel

  Belair Train Tunnel


Singleton Argus  , Saturday 4 February 1928, page 1

A horrific accident occurred on February 2 1928 during the building of new train tunnels that were going to extend the Belair train line through the Adelaide Hills




Six men lost their lives, and three men were injured when a landslide hit the tunnel as men were working on it.

The men killed:
Mr Charles Wilkinson
Mr William Kilmartin
Mr Robert Cafferty
Mr Paul Patt
Mr Charles Smith
                                 Mr Garrett Costello

The men injured in the incident also included two rescue workers, the injured workers were Mr John Whittenbury, Mr Arthur Newcombe, Mr Ambrose Gledhill, and rescue workers, Mr Gallaghan and Mr J McCarthy.

If the incident had occurred any later the tragedy could have indeed been much worse as the heavily-laden express train to Melbourne was able to be rerouted as news of the accident hit Adelaide Railway control, any later and the train would have crashed into the site, unable to stop.
There is every possibility that one, or all , of these men now haunt the currently used train tunnel, which has become the home of urban explorers and graffiti artists but as with all ghost stories, there is probably an element of urban legend that has grown around the area due to old fireside tale telling…

© 2014 Allen Tiller

All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013, 2014


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act “fair usage” clause.

Some photo’s used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au – all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Belair Train Tunnel

  Belair Train Tunnel


A horrific accident occurred on February 8, 1928, during the building of new train tunnels that were to extend the Belair train line through the Adelaide Hills.


  Six men lost their lives, and three men were injured when a landslide hit the tunnel as men were working on it.
The men killed:
Mr Charles Wilkinson
Mr William Kilmartin
Mr Robert Cafferty
Mr Paul Patt
Mr Charles Smith
 Mr Garrett Costello

The men injured in the incident also included two rescue workers. The injured workers were; Mr John Whittenbury, Mr Arthur Newcombe, Mr Ambrose Gledhill, and rescue workers, Mr Gallaghan and Mr J McCarthy.

  If the incident had occurred any later in the day,  the tragedy could have been much worse. The heavily-laden express train to Melbourne was due to pass through the cutting, but was rerouted as news of the accident hit Adelaide Railway control. Any later and the train would have crashed into the through the worksite, unable to stop!

  There is every possibility that one, or all, of these men, now haunt the currently used train tunnel, which has become the home of urban explorers and graffiti artists. As with all ghost stories, there is probably an element of urban legend that has grown around the area, and that plays a heavy part in the traditions of hauntings in the tunnels. 

© 2014 Allen Tiller

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