The Ghost of Travus Klinkwort
Just 6kms from the western Barossa Valley town of Greenock sits an old ruined homestead in a field. The house was lived in by the Klinkworts who had to Australia from Hanover Germany and settled in the region, establishing their farm. The couple had two daughters, Josia and Esther.
Travus was a hardworking man, who was known locally as a hard worker but with a mean streak, and often, people would state he was a cold and heartless man. Sadly, Travus’ wife passed away, and he was left to run the farm and raise his daughters.
Travus was a harsh man. He worked his daughters hard and allowed them no pleasures in life. Their only social interactions away from the farm occurred at church. They came to resent and fear their father.
The girls soon reached maturity, and curiosity about the other sex soon overcame their raging hormones. One night, Josia invited a young local boy named Randall out to the farm. The girls had lied to their father and said they were going for a walk around their farm. Instead, Esther stood watch between the house and the field, while Josia and Randall explored each other in the field.
Travus sat in the house. He grew suspicious of the girl’s claims and grabbed a double-barrelled shotgun. He left the house, and under the moonlight, spotted Esther. He headed toward her quietly, then rushed forward as he drew clearer. Esther cried out to her sister. Josia and Randall jumped up and tried to get their clothes back on. Two almighty booms rang out across the field as Travus fired both shots from his gun.
Josia and Randall were never seen in town again.
The following season, Travus had the biggest and best potato crop in the region. Rumours began to spread throughout the town, but nothing could be proven.
Esther, forced by her father to keep the family secret, became a deranged and crazy old spinster, who eventually lived, and died by herself at the farm.
In recent years, many people have been to the old homestead to take photographs. Most don’t know the history of the house, but many have reported the image of a man appearing in their photographs of the home.
One witness, a real estate agent, reported that he had visited the property when he been driving past. He saw it as a potential saleable property and decided to go have a look inside the building. He casually walked through, and all was quiet. He suddenly heard a low growl sound, much like a dog ready to attacks make, and became scared.
He was relieved though, to turn and see a man standing in the room too, with the sound coming from him. He looked at the man, an older gentleman wearing a torn great coat, baggy trousers and a battered old hat. The man continued to growl. The growl suddenly filled the room, as if it was coming from everywhere, and with it, a smell of rotting potatoes assaulted the agent’s nostrils. Then, suddenly, the man raised an ancient shotgun at the real estate agents head, and with a small click, and a mighty bang fired it at him.
As the flash of the blast filled the room with light, the estate agent thought he was done for, but in another instant, the room was empty and silent. The estate agent ran back to his car never to return.
Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019
This story first surfaced in Valerie Laughtons’True Barossa Ghost’s book, in which she stated that she changed the names of the people involved.
Davis, Richard & Davis, Richard Michael, (editor.) 2014, Great Australian ghost stories, ABC books, HarperCollins Publishers, Sydney, N.S.W
Laughton, Valerie Joy & Falkenberg, Darren, (photographer.) 1991, Valerie J. Laughton’s true Barossa ghosts (gathered together with good spirits), Laughton, Nurioopta, S. Aust