Monthly Archives: May 2019

A Haunting at Alberton

A Haunting at Alberton

A mysterious apparition was causing havoc in Queenstown, Alberton and Woodville in 1906. A young man returning home after a night out encountered the “awful spirit” and was cared out of wits. As he walked through Queenstown, the ghost sprang from a darkened corner, suitably garbed in white. It danced around with its arms outstretched and mumbled in a weird fashion, menacing the young man. Then, as suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone into the night.
 Every night from that time on, the ghost was seen by someone in either Queenstown, Alberton or Woodville, always dressed head to toe in white, waving its arms around frantically and making strange sounds.
 A local police officer set about to capture the ghost in the act, but the ghost must’ve heard of his pursuit, and disappeared for a couple of weeks. It suddenly reappeared in Woodville. A well-respected man of the area, who was riding his bicycle one evening, witnessed the ghost, arms outstretched, covered in white, mumbling. It was enough for the man to pedal home quicker than he had ever pedalled before!
 The ghost made an appearance one night in Port Adelaide appearing to the local conductor of the Albert Park Tramway Company. A few nights later the ghost scared women and children at Queenstown. The ghost was also spotted hanging around the Woodville and Alberton Cemeteries…and a few nights later it was seen on Torrens Road near the Cheltenham Racecourse.
 A posse of locals soon took to the streets to find and exorcise the ghost…but it miraculously never appeared again…
Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019


‘A MYSTERIOUS APPARITION.’, The Register (14 June 1906), p. 4., viewed 22 Apr 2019,

‘A MYSTERIOUS APPARITION.’, Evening Journal (13 June 1906), p. 1. , viewed 17 May 2019,

‘AN ALLEGED GHOST.’, The Express and Telegraph (13 June 1906) p. 1. (4 O’CLOCK EDITION.), viewed 17 May 2019,

1906 ‘General News.’, Chronicle (16 June 1906) p. 37., viewed 17 May 2019,

Ghosts of the Barossa: The North Kapunda Hotel

North Kapunda Hotel

The North Kapunda Hotel was built in 1848 by the North Kapunda Mining Company. ‘The Northern Arms Hotel’ as it was then called, was a small single-story hotel situated on Franklin Street Kapunda, the first publican was a man named John Bickford.


James Crase: 1879 – Photo SLSA: B76601

In the early 1850’s the hotel was sold to a local butcher, James Crase. Mr Crase was a wealthy local man with big dreams for the town of Kapunda. He also had big plans for his newly purchased hotel. His first step in changing the hotel was a rebranding from the Northern Arms Hotel to The Garland Ox Hotel.

 In 1865, Crase invested heavily in his hotel, expanding the basement area, and building the second story of the hotel, which also linked the previously built miners quarters at the rear (now referred to as the “Hallway From Hell”, but once known as the Bachelors Hall).
  The new hotel featured the most expensive kitchen in Australia at the time, located in the basement, which now also had living quarters and a rainwater tank. Upstairs now contained a living area for the Crase family, a new meeting room known as The Commercial Room, and hotel and display rooms for travelling salesmen. Crase also built a new two-story building at the rear of the hotel that could house banquet dinners and roller skating, as well as a small bowling alley.
 Mr Crase sold the hotel in the early 1880’s, but not after dealing with much controversy, with members of his staff caught selling alcohol outside of hours, prostitution, and gambling in his establishment.
 Later owners were also caught doing similar things, and in 1923, under the ownership of Mr Pearce, the hotel lost its liquor licence for a year. To survive, the downstairs and rear accommodation served as a brothel.
Basement North Kapunda Hotel 2009:
Photo by WISPA  Paranormal

 The Hotel has seen numerous deaths in its 165 plus years of service, including scissor grinder Martin Jansen who choked to death in the ground floor Parlour.
 Henry Binney Hawke, a very well respected man in Kapunda, who died in the billiard room of the hotel after suffering a heart attack.
 Joseph Caddy, a local music teacher and a politician who died of natural causes in an upstairs bedroom.
 In 1912 Mr Henry Fairclough, publican of the hotel for 14 years became very ill, and by November of that year had been confined to his bed as his condition worsened. On Monday 17 November 1912, Henry Fairclough lost his battle with illness and passed away in the upstairs bedroom he shared with his wife.
 Dennis Horgan, was publican of the hotel from 1913 until 1919, then again in 1925. Horgan died from a heart attack in the hotel in December 1925 in an upstairs room he shared with his wife.
 Other deaths reported include that of servants, at least two young prostitutes, a travelling salesman, and at least 3 young children.

 The North Kapunda Hotel was featured in the 2000 Documentary “Kapunda: Most Haunted Town in the Western World”, in episode 7 of Haunting: Australia, and in 2015 gained international attention when tourism website Travel MSN listed it as the 8th most haunted bar or pub in the world!
The hotel has numerous ghost stories, too many to cover here – so here are a few of my own personal experiences from investigating and visiting the hotel from 2009 until now.
Ghostly fingers across a guests face in 2015
(date in photo is incorrect)

I had many ghostly experiences in the hotel after tours and on private investigations, but the most memorable for me happened one night after a tour. As the last guests were leaving. Karen and I were doing our “after-tour” walkthrough, to lock up the hotel and make sure no-one had been locked inside. As I went to close the tour room door, I turned and saw a young girl, I would estimate around 7 years old, standing in the hallway looking at me.

 She didn’t appear “ghostly”, she looked like a real little girl, except her clothing was very old, much like a pinafore, similar in style to the clothing actress Shirley Temple would’ve worn near the beginning of her movie career. My first instinct was that someone’s child from downstairs had somehow gotten upstairs.
 The girl suddenly turned and ran towards room 1, a room we have now dubbed “The Nursery Room”. I quickly followed, knowing she was trapped as I had just locked from the outside the only other exit door to the rooms she was running toward. I made my way down the hallway, into the Nursery Room, the Dressing room and back into the Drawing room, to find no-one in there at all. I checked the windows, locked from the inside, I checked under the bed, nothing.
  This ghostly young girl did not glow, she was not misty, nor did she have any of the other attributes we associate with spirits or ghosts. She looked as real as my wife who was waiting for me at the top of the stairs in case the girl came back that way – it was an unusual encounter, but not the last time I would encounter this little girl.
 The Nursery Room proved to have other spirits. One spirit manifested and was witnessed by a young man, who during the evening, had thought it would be funny to jump out and scare other tour guests,

An apparition of a boy in the basement. Some claim pariedolia,
but later photos show the boy in a different position.

little did he know, the spirits were about to do the same to him.

 As he came into the Nursery Room the back way through the Drawing Room, he stepped through the threshold of the Nursery Room door and witnessed a partially manifested spirit of a woman standing behind the door. This young man had been sceptical all night, but this incident changed his whole perspective.
 It was also in this room a man was groped by a ghost on the backside, which also happened to another gentleman in the Hallway to Hell, one of the flirtatious prostitute spirits perhaps?
The Commercial Room on the first floor also proved to have several spirits, although these ones are passive, and at least one seems to be a residual haunting and not an intelligent haunting. It was in this room the tours originally started, and on one tour, a guest pulled me aside to let me know a man had been standing next to me the whole time I had been speaking. She described him as wearing a suit, about the same height as me, very thin, and amused and puzzled as to why I was standing in the hotel talking about ghosts.
 It was in this same room on another night, a young woman witnessed the spirit of a man, standing in the far corner facing the wall, looking rather morose and staring at an old tapestry that has hung on the wall for over a century.
 Another spirit was that of a man who has been witnessed standing in front of a window looking out into the Main Street below, transfixed by what he was looking at. In his right hand, he was continuously opening and closing a pocket watch chained to his inner pocket.
 On a tour, a young lady who went into the Commercial Room and witnessed this apparition, but it wasn’t until she entered the front bar and saw the mural of Sir Sidney Kidman it dawned on her who she had just seen!
(Video by Paranormal Spectrum – used with permission)

During the filming of Haunting: Australia, paranormal guru Gaurav Tiwari and I set up several ghost hunting devices given to us by Jason Dickson of Apparition Technologies. We placed REM Pods (a device that emits an electromagnetic field from an aerial, that if a spirit comes close to, will set off a warning alarm and coloured lights) as well as voice recorders, EM Pumps (a device that emits a very strong electromagnetic field thought to attract spirits) and Vibration Detectors in the downstairs hallway basement, a large side room that was once bedrooms, originally for the cooks, but eventually used by prostitutes.

 Whilst standing in the basement, a room once used to store dead bodies, kegs of rum and kegs of beer, we began to ask if there was anyone present who wished to communicate with us. It didn’t take long to get an answer. I was standing where I could see into the downstairs hallway to watch if the lights on any of the devices were turning on, all of the sudden, I saw a young girl, no more than 7 years old, walk into the dimly lit hallway, and into the doorway of the room Gaurav and I were standing in!
  Without hesitating (or thinking) I chased after her to find out who she was. She ran into the hallway and turned left into the arched hallway that led to the former basement bedrooms, an old decrepit room with damaged floors and no ventilation. Gaurav was following quickly behind. There was nowhere for the girl to escape too, but she was not to be found in the room.
 Whilst standing in the room, we noticed a small window that looks into a smaller room, which in turn has a doorway back into the hallway. Gaurav noticed some movement, so we ventured back into the hallway. At this point, the cameraman’s batteries failed so he radioed back to central control to get a go-fer to bring down a fresh battery for him.
As he did this, Gaurav who had turned to look back into the bedrooms noticed a large shadow jump across a doorway, which startled him enough to drop a few swear words! We re-entered the room, whilst Mick, our cameraman waited in the hallway, just as we entered the bedroom, Mick heard our REM pods going off and thinking it was the runner with the battery turned to say thanks, only to notice no-one there!

In the next few minutes, things really picked up. Gaurav and I raced into the hallway to see all our REM Pods and Vibration meters lit to full, every light in the basement, including our torches and camera lights suddenly drained completely and we were left in total pitch black. At the same time, Mick got a call over his headset to get the hell upstairs as the producers thought Ray may have had a heart attack in the Hallway to Hell.

 The three of us, in pitch black, found our way out of the basement hallway, and onto the stairs that lead back up to the ground floor hallway, only to find the metal bar doors locked. Just as we got to the top we saw Field Producer Lucy Connors and a camera crew walking backwards. Ian and Rayleen passed us supporting Ray and were heading into the beer garden. I tried the metal-bar door again, and suddenly it unblocked, and we were free of the basement!
 We followed them outside not knowing exactly what had happened.
 Ray was very pale and did not look good, he was crying and slouched over. Ian performed an exorcism on him. Ray was vomiting and pale and looked very unwell, but not long after Ian started his exorcism, Ray suddenly looked a lot better, got up, and left the beer garden to go back into the break area and away from the hotel.
 As Ray left, Rayleen was very suddenly and very vocally saying the Lord’s Prayer at break need speed, as she was overcome with whatever had just left Ray. Gaurav performed a cleansing ritual on her, and soon she too left to go into the break room and recover, with Ian following closely behind to make sure they were both OK.
 This left Gaurav, Robb and me standing in the beer garden wondering what had just happened. Without hesitation, Robb told Gaurav and I to go upstairs and find out what was going on.
Considering neither of us are psychics, it probably wasn’t the smartest move, but we’re paranormal investigators, right? Fearless to the end and go where Angels fear to tread. To lighten the very heavy feeling the hotel now had upstairs, Gaurav and I began to crack jokes about just how tough and manly we are. We then entered The Hallway to Hell, which felt very different from how it did earlier in the night, much more foreboding, but much more “alive”.
 It took only a few seconds for things to start to happen, within minutes of being in the hallway I witnessed a full-bodied apparition of a woman dressed in a period dress that I could only describe as from the “Victorian” era. The Dress was black and lacy, the woman was very white in the face, red full lips, but had a very sad look to her demeanour. She walked backwards into room 11, and I released a number of swear words in disbelief of what I was seeing with my own eyes!! (the edit on television was a few seconds, in reality, my swearing probably went for a few minutes).
In the next half-an-hour, Gaurav and I experienced 3 gunshot sounds, they were clear and very, very loud. The first, in room 11, was right after seeing the mysterious woman disappear into the room, it

came from the air in the centre of the room and echoed throughout the room. I suggested later during our reveal filming at the Old Kapunda Courthouse, that the noise may not have been a gunshot at all but could have been the sound of what psychics and mediums call a “portal” snapping closed as the spirit returned to her own realm.

 We heard the next shot only a few minutes later in room 12, which is the room in which Ray was partially possessed and fell to the floor. At the time we didn’t realise his voice recorder was still in the room recording. Later we would find out Ray had captured an EVP of someone saying, “hates blue eyes”, it also contained the gunshot sound we heard in the room.
 As we re-entered the hallway, I heard footsteps, so we turned to look in the direction they came from, as we did so, a stone was thrown at us. Next, we entered room 13, where we thought the footsteps had gone, only to hear another, and the loudest of the gunshot noises for the evening.
 This is also around the time Gaurav took a photo that he claimed later, looked like a shadow person standing on the stairs leading out of the hallway. In the reveal, I declare that I cannot see what he was talking about, and I honestly could not at the time see anything resembling a person in his photo, but a few months later, after filming, I would see for myself a shadow person in the Hallway to Hell right where Gaurav had claimed to capture his photo.
 As a side note, the Haunting Australia episode featuring The North Kapunda Hotel rated first place on Foxtel as the most viewed show the night it was broadcast, beating “The Walking Dead” and other popular shows – so on behalf of all of the cast – thank you to each and every person who watched the episode and supported the show.
Another very important thing that happened whilst filming Haunting: Australia which was never aired, occurred to my wife Karen and to “psychic bad-boy” Ian Lawman. Ian was in the basement under the front bar when psychically he picked up on a poker game being played.
  He described the gentleman running the game and even got his name and a few attributes associated with him. My wife worked in the hotel in 2009, and knew the name of the person as a former publican, but didn’t know anything about him. So, Karen made a phone call to her former boss who ran the hotel in 2009 and asked her if she knew anything about this man, who was named “Charlie”. As it happened, she did know him, and confirmed everything Ian said, even down to his description, his dog and the poker games!
Karen was subsequently interviewed as a witness for the show, in a portion that would have confirmed Ian’s psychic abilities, that was for reasons unknown to the cast, entirely cut from the episode, which was a great loss for the viewers as it would have proved that Ian does actually have psychic ability (even if he is a scaredy cat and runs from some of the ghosts!)
I may at some point reveal more about ghostly goings on in the North Kapunda Hotel, perhaps in a book.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019

An Alleged Haunting at the Cross Keys Tavern – Gepps Cross

An Alleged Haunting at the Cross Keys Tavern – Gepps Cross


SLSA: 1936 – B 31821
The Cross Keys Tavern was established in 1849 on the corner of Diagonal and Port Wakefield Roads. It was built to serve a large local Irish community that had built a community close by; the remnants of which are barely visible today.
Daniel Brady was the original builder. Brady was the seventh son of Daniel Brady of County Cavan, Ireland, who arrived in Australia in 1840, and took up farmlands near Snowtown.
 Daniel Brady Junior was educated at Seven Hills St Aloysius College, and was one of the very first settlers in Cavan, South Australia.
In 1873, Joseph Broadstock, who was once the owner of 1857 built, The Governor MacDonnell Hotel in Salisbury, at the end of John Street, bought the Cross Keys Tavern but didn’t last a year at the site before he sold it.
 The Cross Keys has been marred with controversy over the years. In 1850, Catherine Conarty was drinking wine at the bar when another local, Rose Reid entered swearing and accusing Conarty’s son of stealing a pole-yoke (a wooden or metal beam used to allow two animals to pull the same load).
 Conarty’s reply to Reid was that it was men’s business, and to let them sort it out.
Reid didn’t let up with her verbal assault, so Conarty threw her drink in Reid’s face, grabbed a metal quart pot, and started smashing Reid around the head with it, eventually taking her to the floor and knocking her out.
Catherine Conarty was fined £3, in the local courts with the Judge stating: “The fine is a lenient one. The quart pot might have caused death.”

 Another scandal erupted at the Cross Keys Hotel in 1923 when publican John Mulcahy was shot in the forehead.
  Mrs Mulcahy explained in her witness statement to police, that she had been in her room cleaning on the second floor when she heard a gunshot. She ran to her husbands’ room where she found him lying on the bed, covered in blood, and a revolver on the floor.
  Further depositions revealed the shot had been fired at 2 o’clock. A woman’s scream was heard almost immediately, then Mrs Mulcahy had run downstairs to get the help of the barman.
  While Mrs. Mulcahy bathed her husband’s wound, Mr Dadliffe, accompanied by Mr Klein, a commercial traveller, who happened to be on the premises, went in the latter’s car to the Gepp’s Cross Police Station, and told Constable Sessle what had occurred. He notified police headquarters, who sent Detective Dayman and Constable Bristowe to investigate.
 Dr Swift was summoned, and the wounded man, after receiving attention, was taken to the Adelaide Hospital.
  Mr Mulcahy had been shot in the forehead, the bullet passed just above the bridge of his nose, and penetrated down under his right eye, lodging near his ear. The bullet was later removed successfully in the Adelaide Hospital.
 Mrs Violet Jane Mulcahy was later found not guilty by a jury of her peers.

On the 12th of August 1915, Mary Rowe was found her dead in her bedroom, upstairs in the Cross Keys Tavern.

A woman is alleged to have killed herself in the front room above the bar but as of yet, this information remains unsubstantiated.

 A former manager of the hotel has told me they would often see the spirit of a woman, “dressed in white”, breeze down a hallway through the hotel towards the lounge room where she would swing the doors open, then vanish from sight.
Another ghost is thought to be a man who was shot in the head, he is seen upstairs from time to time. Could this man be Mr Mulcahy, returned in the afterlife to one of the most emotional times in his life? A point in time where he almost died?
Have you had a paranormal experience at the Cross Keys Tavern in Gepps Cross? Let us know via our facebook page

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019

1923 ‘ATTEMPT TO MURDER.’, Recorder (Port Pirie, SA : 1919 – 1954), 19 July, p. 1. , viewed 05 Mar 2019,

1923 ‘CROSS KEYS HOTEL SENSATION.’, The Express (Adelaide, SA: 1922 – 1923), 30 May, p. 1. (5 O’C EDITION), viewed 05 Mar 2019,

1923 ‘SHOOTING MYSTERY’, Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 – 1924), 26 May, p. 4. , viewed 05 Mar 2019,

A Haunting Near Pinery

A Haunting Near Pinery

 Between the months of June and September 1904, a ghostly apparition haunted the people of Pinery, Balaklava and Owen on the Adelaide Plains. The ghost made its first appearance near Pinery in June, when it appeared on the side of the road to a passing cyclist.
 A cyclist was riding along a road into Pinery when he noticed a light in the distance. Thinking it might be a vehicle, maybe a horse and cart with oil light, he slowed down and moved to the side of the road to let it pass. He soon noticed the light had become stationary.
 The cyclist thought it peculiar, so started cycling at a quicker rate. The light ahead did not seem to get any nearer, so he pedalled as fast as he could, only to have the light keep the same distance ahead of him. When he slowed down, the light slowed down too.
 Curious and frightened, the cyclist pushed forward towards Pinery. The light stayed at the same distance, but as the cyclist rounded a bend, the light moved off to the side into a field, and he safely passed it. The cyclist looked back once, to see the light was stationary again, and then hastily road back to his home.
The ghosts second appearance occurred the same month, on the same road to another cyclist.
 Mr Bennett was riding his pushbike home to Pinery from Balaklava one evening just after sunset. As he passed a derelict old home that, at the time, was frequented by tramps. He heard a very sharp whistle.  Alarmed, but curious he rode a little further and came across a ghost. Startled by the apparition, Bennett fell from his bike onto the pebbled side of the road. Keeping his senses after his fall, Bennett picked up as many stones as he could, and got to his feet. He then bravely confronted the ghost, throwing stones at its head.
 Bennett pelted the ghost with stones, then with all the strength he could muster, charged it and began punching at it… The ghost let out a howl of pain. Bennett took the ghost to the ground, and pulled its melon head, white sheets and lights from its body.
 From a neighbouring house, people came running to see what the commotion was, which distracted Bennett just long enough for the ghost to break free, and run off into a wheat field, with its identity intact as Bennett had not been able to see exactly who it was in the dark.
In July, A gentleman and his wife were riding in their horse and buggy when the ghost appeared on the side of the road. It ran at the buggy with its white arms flailing in the air. The horses reared and the buggy turned sharply sideways. The gentleman’s wife almost flew out the side of the buggy as it threatened to capsize on the couple. The gentleman grabbed at his wife, and only just saved her from death. He quickly pulled the reigns, calmed his horses, and his wife, then turned his attention to the ghost, which was still standing on the side of the road, taking in the spectacle of the near-death it had just inspired.
 As soon as the ghost realised that the gentleman was coming towards it, it swiftly turned, and with a flick of its sheets and ran off into the shadow world of the scrub.
The community in the Adelaide Plains, at first were fearful of the ghost, with many women and children afraid to go outside at night, lest they should meet the ghost. That fear soon turned to anger and after three months of terror, menfolk were willing to grab their guns and go shoot the ghost. There were calls in the community for the ghost to be caught and given a good horsewhipping… but the Pinery ghost soon vanished, whether it was afraid of being shot or of being horsewhipped, no-one but the ghost knows, but it was never seen again and soon became a distant ghost of the past.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019


1904 ‘A NORTHERN GHOST.’, The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA: 1867 – 1922), 15 July, p. 4. (4 O’CLOCK EDITION.), viewed 22 Apr 2019,
1904 ‘CORRESPONDENCE.’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), 15 June, p. 9. , viewed 22 Apr 2019,
1904 ‘OWEN.’, The Central Advocate (Balaklava, SA: 1903 – 1909), 19 August, p. 3. , viewed 22 Apr 2019,
1904 ‘OWEN.’, The Central Advocate (Balaklava, SA : 1903 – 1909), 17 June, p. 3. , viewed 22 Apr 2019,
1904 ‘OWEN.’, The Central Advocate (Balaklava, SA : 1903 – 1909), 29 July, p. 3. , viewed 22 Apr 2019,
1904 ‘THE COUNTRY.’, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), 26 August, p. 8. , viewed 22 Apr 2019,
1904 ‘THE PINERY “GHOST.”‘, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA: 1895 – 1954), 3 September, p. 10. , viewed 22 Apr 2019,
1904 ‘THE PINERY GHOST.’, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), 18 June, p. 12. , viewed 22 Apr 2019,