Monthly Archives: September 2019

The Sea Captain’s Ghost – Anchorage Hotel, Victor Harbor

The Sea Captain’s Ghost – Anchorage Hotel, Victor Harbor


Warringa Guest House, Victor Harbor 1920: SLSA: [PRG 1316/12/207]
  Victor Harbor’s Anchorage Hotel is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the seaside town. It is rumoured to be haunted by an old Sea Captain who haunts an upstairs bedroom. Visitors report the room smelling of cigar smoke, and in the morning find a pile of sand at the foot of the bed.
 Another spirit is said to be that of a little girl, the daughter of a former manager, who drowned nearby.
 The hotel is also alleged to be haunted by an apparition who appears as a “blue light” that likes to play with electrical equipment. Staff also report impressions of bodies left on beds when no one has slept in them.

 Three women in spirit have been seen on the ground floor. One described as being tall and slender wearing a dress with a high neckline. Another as a beautiful woman wearing a large sun hat and sunglasses, seen in the dining room. The third woman has been identified as a former maid who is still performing her duties today in the afterlife.

  Perhaps the most disturbing haunting in this hotel is that of a young boy who it is alleged committed suicide in a cubicle in the ladies’ toilets. Since that time, women will instinctively not use that cubicle. There have also been reports of its door opening and slamming shut continuously of its own volition, even when there is no wind movement in the entire hotel. A smell of rotten meat also emanates from the toilets from time to time and moves through the hotel. On one occasion as this smell moved through the hotel, several electrical items suddenly broke down at once!
 The Anchorage Hotel was built by James Holliday in 1906, and originally opened as the Warringa Guest House. Extensions were added in 1912 and 1952.
Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019
Anchorage Hotel, (2019),

The Haunted Jens Hotel – Mount Gambier

The Haunted Jens Hotel – Mount Gambier


Jens Hotel – 1893 – SLSA: B21810
Jens Hotel in Mount Gambier which was established in 1847.  The hotel we see today is the completion of construction in 1884 for Johannes Jens. 
 It is alleged the ghost of a very large man named ‘Maurice’ haunts the Jens Hotel. It is believed Maurice died inside the hotel in 1905.
 Maurice likes to play with electrical items in the hotel, and to protect women who are vulnerable to men trying to take advantage of them, by suddenly appearing to men and threatening them with his intense energy.
 It is not known who Maurice actually is, but many people have died in the Jens Hotel.
In 1933, well-known local grazier Edgar Learmonth was found dead in an outhouse at the Jens Hotel. He had taken his own life by shooting himself in the temple with a small calibre revolver. An inquest later found him to be of unsound mind.
 Another unfortunate death at the Jens Hotel was that of Mr H. Smith. Smith had been fishing when a hook had become stuck in his hand. The wound became infected, and gangrene set in. His blood became septic killing him suddenly while staying in the hotel.
Another alleged spirit in this hotel is a little girl. She is believed to be around 4 years old and is alleged to haunt the ground floor. It is believed she is waiting for her mother to return. The basement of this hotel is also alleged to be haunted by a man who committed suicide by hanging in this hotel.
Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019
‘Death of a Well-known Mount Gambier Grazier.’, The Naracoorte Herald, (11 July 1933), p. 3.
‘OBITUARY.’, Border Watch, (13 July 1933), p. 4.
‘The Tragic Death of Mr. E. T. Learmonth.’, The Naracoorte Herald, (14 July 1933), p. 3.
‘A PAINFUL CASE.’, South Australian Weekly Chronicle, (7 March 1885), p. 21.

Hotel of Haunted Dolls – OCT 2019

Hotel of Haunted Dolls

After a successful debut, “When the Lights Go Out Paranormal” returns with another “Hotel of Haunted Dolls” at the ‘Tea Tree Gully Heritage Museum’ Old Highercombe Hotel (3 Perseverance Rd, Tea Tree Gully SA 5091) on the
Saturday 26th Oct 2019 – 10 am until 9 pm
Sunday 27th Oct 2019  – 11 am until 4 pm
At Their first Haunted Dolls Museum, Karina Eames and James Larson flew in special guests, Evelyn and Kerry Walton, and their internationally famous haunted doll ‘Letta Me Out’
(  to accompany her haunted dolls collection. The first event saw over 1000 people attend this unique and terrifying event. With one-woman reporting being scratched by an unseen hand, and many others feeling spooked at this creepy-cool event!
This time, Karina’s haunted dolls are the stars of the show for this Halloween Spooktacular event!
 Among the haunted dolls on display at this special event are three new haunted dolls; a new “Grave Doll” a “Minerva Tin Head Doll (1800’s)” and ‘Tuppence’ a doll found in a basement in Moonta, which had been given a burial. When retrieved Tuppence new owner began to experience paranormal phenomena such as hearing a child giggle, toys left out in strange places, disembodied footsteps in a passageway…and he even witnessed a ghostly child’s figure…
When The Lights Go Out Paranormal:
Karen Tiller, Evelyn Walton, Kerry Walton, Karina Eames, ‘Letta Me Out’ (on Karina’s lap), James Larson, Allen Tiller
front: Bowdie-Jason Ciro Papagni at the first; “Hotel of Haunted Dolls”

Previous Media Releases:
This Morning (ITV – UK TV) –

The Demise of Henry Samuel Augustus Von Unna

The Demise of Henry Samuel Augustus Von Unna


The Old Spot Hotel circa 1910. SLSA: B14954
In 1859, Henry Samuel Augustus Von Unna was a German immigrant living in Angas Park with his wife and six children. He had earned a government position to look for water in the area between Port Lincoln and Port Augusta and had stopped into the Old Spot Hotel in Salisbury hotel a rest on his travels back to Angas Park.
  The government department which had hired him had done a background check on Von Unna, and cancelled his contract due to a previous crime he had not disclosed. H was now without a job and very depressed. He had planned to move his wife and children from Angas Park to Kensington but was so upset that his past was now affecting his future, that he decided on a different outcome.
 That night, before retiring to his room, Von Unna requested paper, pen and ink, and a nightcap of brandy and water.
He went to his room and locked the door and began writing.
A few hours later, other residents in the hotel were woken by a man shrieking “God Have Mercy!” and “Christ have mercy upon me!”. The noise was coming from Von Unna’s room, his door locked, the other residents smashed a window to gain entry. Inside they found Von Unna laying on the bed with only his shirt on, convulsing and writhing in pain.
 Despite his condition, Von Unna was coherent enough that when asked what was wrong he replied that he had accidentally taken strychnine instead of calomel (a mercury-based solution used as a laxative), but shortly after, between gasping breathes, he admitted he had taken a large dose of strychnine to kill himself.
 A Doctor was sent for, as was a Wesleyan Reverend requested by Von Unna.
Remarkably, Von Unna, who had swallowed a very large dose of the poison managed to cling to life long enough to talk to the priest and tell him there were two letters which explained his predicament.
 In one letter Von Unna offered a prayer for himself and his family, and one for his persecutors, of which he blamed for his act of suicide, and another prayer for his people, the Jewish.
 The second letter contained a long-winded denunciation of society and all the injustices of crimes following, and ruining a man, long after he has paid for his crimes. Von Unna’s letters were held in police evidence after his death.
 During an inquest into the suicide of Von Unna, the jury declared at the conclusion: “the said Von Unna died from the effects of strychnine, administered by his own hand while labouring under extreme disappointments of a worldly nature.”

 It is believed that Von Unna is one of the many spirits haunting the Old Spot Hotel at Salisbury.
 Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019

‘EXTRAORDINARY CASE OF SUICIDE.’, South Australian Weekly Chronicle, (19 November 1859), p. 2.

A Haunting at the Tea Tree Gully Hotel

A Haunting at the Tea Tree Gully Hotel

1884 -SLSA: B 8076

The Tea Tree Gully Hotel was the third hotel to open in the area. It opened in March 1854, and for a short time between 1937 until 1954, it was known as The Euston Hotel.
 Originally the road through the area crossed the front of the Highercombe Hotel, and travellers would stop there for the night. This caused the Tea Tree Gully Hotel to be disadvantaged in money making opportunities, which led to the hotel having 14 owners in 20 years.
 That all that changed when the road to Adelaide was diverted, and the Tea Tree Gully hotel gained the customer lodging by now facing the main road. This loss saw the Highercombe Hotel shut its doors due to poor patronage.
 Underneath the Tea Tree Gully Hotel is the original living quarters of the hotel owners and staff. This is the area alleged to be most haunted with workers becoming paranoid they are being followed or watched.
  Some staff have claimed to have had their names called out whilst locking up the hotel, with others claiming to smell sweet odours in areas that usually smell sour or ‘off’. There are claims of machines and televisions turning on and off by themselves, and loud, mysterious bangs heard throughout the hotel.
  The most often seen ghost is that of a young girl dressed in white, which ties in with what Mr Gibblens of the Highercombe Hotel saw in their meeting room. The young girl has been seen in the bathroom of the Tea Tree gully lying on the floor sobbing. No-one is sure who she might have been, or why she haunts the hotel
The hotel is known today as The Gully Public House and Garden.
© 2019 Allen Tiller
‘A Brief History’, Tea Tree Gully Hotel (2019),
‘A Short History’, Tea Tree Gully & District Historical Society, (2019),