Monthly Archives: October 2020

The Adelaide Ghosts and Ghouls and Walking Tour

The Adelaide Ghosts and Ghouls and Walking Tour

Back in 2016, I was invited by the Adelaide City Libraries to undertake a world fist
history study into ghosts and hauntings in the council area of the City of Adelaide. Titled “Haunted Buildings in Adelaide”, the project encompassed inviting members of the public to come into the City Library and North Adelaide Library to express their own personal encounters with ghosts in the City of Adelaide.
I then took those stories and investigated them, as well as a number of already well known Adelaide ghost stories, and investigated their history. In the first year, we had over 90 people attend, and at least 40 of those stories ended up being added to the libraries catalogue under the heading “The Allen Tiller Collection: Haunted Buildings in Adelaide”.
In 2017 I returned to the library to turn those stories, and some new ones into 5 self-guided walking tours through the City of Adelaide.
At the end of history month this year, we launched one of those tours, titled the “Ghosts and Ghouls and Self-Guided Walking Tour”. The difference between this tour, and other tours, is the City Library invited a professional sound recordist, Mr Anthony Frith, to record me speaking the tour stories.
The tour is a downloadable, free self-guided walking tour which you can find via this link:

https://www.cityofadelaide.com.au/explore-the-city/visit-adelaide/maps-trails-and-guides/adelaideghosts-and-ghouls-walking-tour

The tour starts at the City Library, so I thought I’d share with you all the starting story of the tour: A Ghost in the Library Harris Scarfe’s city store sat on this site previous to the current Rundle Place building.
The Harris Scarfe’s building was constructed in 1917 and, in an unfortunate accident, a concrete worker fell into the foundations as they were poured. He was sucked down into the mix, suffocating, and crushing him at the same time. It was deemed too difficult and risky to save the worker, and after the concrete had set, too expensive and labour intensive to remove his body – so he was left in the foundations.

In 2012, McMahon Services was engaged to demolish the previous building and construct the new one you see today. As part of their plan, they decided to recycle as much of the original building materials as possible.
The old steel, glass and concrete were stored, crushed or melted, and reused in the construction of the present building. Including the concrete in which the worker had died.
So the remains of that worker, that was previously in the foundations, can possibly be found across the entire building today, and perhaps, that explains one of the hauntings associated with the building … but perhaps, more interesting, and relative to the city library is another more modern death.

In the 1970s, Harris Scarfe’s had a sports section on level three, and within that section was a department selling guns. In 1975, a man entered the store, went to the gun counter and asked to look at a gun. He loaded it with his own bullets, then in front of staff and customers, put the barrel
against his head, and shot himself dead.
The store was on level three, the same level that the City Library now sits on. Is it a coincidence that a black shadowy figure is sometimes reported whisking along the hallways towards the elevators today, in the general vicinity that a black shadowy figure was seen whisking along aisles when Harris Scarfe’s stood here previously?

Lifts are also said to be haunted in Rundle Place, just as they were reported haunted in the old Harris Scarfe’s building. Are the ghosts that haunted the former building, lingering in the new building?

In an interview in the Advertiser in 2011, a former employee of Harris Scarfe’s named Rod stated the following:
“I’ve been here at two o’clock in the morning, by myself, and the goods lift would start-up and just go by themselves,” “You’d see them drop to the second flor, you’d hear the door open, you’d hear footsteps and then the lift comes back down to the basement and you’re thinking ‘well, I know I’m the only one here’.”

You can find the City Library at Level 3, Rundle Place, Rundle Mall (Enter via Francis
St – off Rundle Mall or via Da Costa Arcade) The Adelaide Ghosts and Ghouls Walking
Tour, a different way of seeing Adelaide!

 

Allen Tiller is Australia’s most recognised paranormal investigator, eminent paranormal historian, and star of the international smash hit television show “Haunting: Australia”.


Allen is also the founder of Eidolon Paranormal, South Australian Paranormal and the author of book and blog, “The Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal”.
Allen was awarded the 2017 “Emerging South Australian Historian of The Year Award” as presented by The History Council of South Australia.


Allen has also been employed as “Historian in Residence” in 2016/2017 with the Adelaide City Council Libraries and employed by the City of Port Adelaide Enfield Council to write the
popular, “Ghosts of the Port Self Guided Walking Tour”


You can find Allen online at:
http://www.twitter.com/Allen_Tiller
http://www.facebook.com/AllenHauntingAustralia
https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide

First published in MEGAscene issue 13 2018

© Allen Tiller

Mendelsham Robe Terrace Medindie

Mendelsham “Stonehenge” Robe Terrace Medindie

 Designed by iconic South Australian architect; John Quinton Bruce for Fred Scarfe, A Director of South Australian department store icon, Harris Scarfe’s, ‘Stonehenge’, as the building was named, is a beautiful building located just north of Adelaide on Robe Terrace at Medindie.

 Often it is reported that Frederick Norman Scarfe, former Mayor of Kensington and Norwood is the man who had the building erected, but by the time it was built, Frederick was a very old man.    Frederick George Alexander Scarfe is the man who built the impressive house, he was a director of Harris Scarfe’s at the time, and a very wealthy individual.

 The building consists of 15 main rooms and includes a gracious reception hallway and a sweeping grand staircase. There is also a ballroom, a formal lounge-room, a library and a formal dining room, plus five bedrooms and a wine cellar.

  The house was often featured in local newspaper stories as Mr Scarfe would host events at his home. Scarfe was well known for throwing grand balls and parties, in which Adelaide’s elite would gather.

  In 1919 Frederick Scarfe sold the house for an impressive sum, citing in advertisements that he found the housekeeping tasks laborious, with it being such a large manner. Scarfe was not keen on paying maids or cleaners.

 During the 1930s the home was owned by and lived in by Mr Ernest Jolly, his wife Evelyn and two sons, Derek and Dennis. Jolly was a well-known for importing and racing thoroughbred horses. The Jolly’s were high-society members, and their functions were often reported in local newspapers.

 In 1994, The Adelaide Advertiser (April 24th, 1994) published a story about the house featuring a local businessman, Tony Syrianos, who had purchased the manor for $1.2 million dollars. After the purchase, the businessman out that the house is haunted by a young lady.

 The spirit of the young lady appears in an upstairs bedroom known as the Blue Room. It has been stated that she only appears during the hours of 11pm and 5am. She is said to walk from the Blue Room, to a bathroom, sometimes with the variation of walking up or down the extravagant staircase. She is dressed in a white nightgown with an overly frilly neckline.

The haunting of the Robe Terrace Manor (called Mendleshamon the show) appeared on 1990s television show “The Extraordinary” (episode 38). In the show, Mr Syrianos claims he is terrified of the ghost, and won’t enter the house at night. O the show they describe the spirit as being aged between fifteen and twenty years of age, with shoulder-length hair.
 Another witness reported a foul smell emanating from the Blue Room, doors slamming, windows opening and closing, and cold spots in the room. All these events occurred when the room was redecorated.

 Another witness, returning from a party reported all the paintings flying off the walls, and lights turning on by themselves.

 It is thought the spirit is that of a young girl who died in the house from the effects of tuberculosis around the 1920s, when the disease was making itself felt in North Adelaide.

 

 

 

Allen Tiller ALIAtech, DipFamHist is Australia’s most recognised paranormal investigator,
eminent paranormal historian, and star of the international smash hit television show “Haunting: Australia”.
Allen is also the founder of Eidolon Paranormal, South Australian Paranormal and the author
of book and blog, “The Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal”.
Allen was awarded the 2017 “Emerging South Australian Historian of The Year Award” as presented by The History Council of South Australia. Employed as “Historian in Residence”
in 2016/2017 with the Adelaide City Council Libraries and employed by the City of Port
Adelaide Enfield Council to write the popular, “Ghosts of the Port Self-Guided Walking Tour”

You can find Allen online at:

http://www.twitter.com/Allen_Tiller
http://www.facebook.com/AllenHauntingAustralia
https://www.facebook.com/

This story was unpublished but written for MEGAScene Issue 20 2020

© Allen Tiller

A Ghost in the Little Pub

A Ghost in the Little Pub


 On the corner of Hindley Street and Gilbert Place sits The Little Pub also affectionally known as the ‘Littlest Pub on Hindley Street’ to some. The upper section of this hotel is now known as the Tattersalls Backpackers (or Hostel).

The first building on this site was the Bank of Australia built-in 1851 by builder Mr Botting.[1]The bank was managed by Mr Samuel Tom.

 In 1851, the bank became the Blenheim Hotel (known as the Weiland’s Hotel from 1879 until 1882).   The Blenheim Hotel was an iconic hotel in Adelaide’s past for many things; including being used as the City Council Chambers (until the structure of the Town Hall in 1866), but perhaps most famous for, or perhaps infamous, the 1855 Hindley Street Riots.
  The Hindley Street Riot happened on the 20th of September 1855 during the election for the Legislative Council voting for West Adelaide. The nominees, chosen by the Governor of the day, were James Hurtle Fischer and Anthony Forster.
  At the time voting was often done in hotels, and was public, meaning there were no secret votes, no partition between voters and no secrecy. “Touters” stood either side of the door to polling booths, and could see the colour of voting slips, red and blue, and would signal to the crowds a person’s vote. [2]
  This, of course, caused great tension between friends and enemies and led to general unrest in the large crowd of onlookers. The first signs of violence came from a report by watchmaker Mr Griffin, who told police he had been knocked down and mistreated, without provocation, by a group of ruffians with bludgeons.[3]

  Closer to the end of voting, it became known that Forster was in the lead, but a murmur of protest had gone through the crowd that many of Fischer’s supporters had not been allowed to vote.  Suddenly, a large contingent of men (described as “Irishmen” in the newspapers of the time, perhaps as they were considered “the working class”) stormed the Blenheim Hotel and made their way to the balcony. They tore down all the banners, and ripped them shreds, breaking the banner polls and turning them into weapons.
 The men returned to the street, where they met with over one hundred other men, all carrying bludgeons, and began to herd the crowd down Hindley street toward King William Street, opposite the Exchange Hotel, where Forster had his headquarters.

 Some men tried to climb the balcony of the Exchange Hotel, but were pushed back by Forster’s supporters, choosing instead to throw rocks and bricks at the balcony. All the windows were smashed, and a table was placed against the windows to stop the ongoing barrage of debris hitting the men inside.
  The rioters then began to violently attack and hit with bludgeons, Forster’s supporters outside the hotel, with many men sustaining head injuries. The wounded began to seek refuge, with some finding their way to the nearest police station.
  The mounted police soon arrived on the scene, along with the foot police as led by Superintendent Tolmer.
 Tolmer had been waiting nearby with his men, and before proceeding into the fray, read out “The Riot Act”, the first time it was read in South Australia. [4]
  Rioters had reached the balcony of the Exchange Hotel and had begun to throw rocks into the crowd indiscriminately, striking friend and foe.
  Tolmer decided his best attack to quell the riot was to stop the men on the balcony. As he began to climb a balcony pole, a man grabbed him from below, and for his efforts, received Tolmer’s right boot, including spur, squarely on his chin, sending him sprawling to the ground below.

 

The Blenheim Hotel was renamed Tattersalls Hotel in 1882 after the Tattersall’s Club moved into the building from its previous home at the Globe Hotel. The owners of Tattersalls decided to demolish the old building in 1900 and rebuilt over the following two years. Its architects were Garlick & Jackman, with building undertaken by R Seller.[5]

 There have been many deaths since the rebuilding of the hotel in 1900. In 1922, Walter Smith dropped dead of unknown causes in the street outside the hotel.[6]
 In 1927, the former Postmaster and Harbour Master of Edithburgh on the Yorke Peninsula, Mr FW Allen passed away from a heart attack in the front lounge of the hotel.[7]
 Only two years later in 1929, publican at the time, Mr Harry Richards also passed away in the building.[8]
 

 The Little Pub is reputed to be haunted, but you may not have heard the most recent ghost story to surface from this location. During my tenure as Paranormal Historian in Residence at the City Library for the ‘Haunted Buildings in Adelaide’ history residency, I asked the public to come forward with their ghost stories.
 A gentleman came forward and told me that he had a friend who had worked in the hotel for many years. His friend, the worker, was very well known by patrons and easily recognisable due to his unusually distinctive hat, clothing and mannerisms.
 The former worker passed away, and not long after his death, he began to haunt to Little Pub. One afternoon, weeks after his death, a staff member entered the basement, and to his surprise saw his former colleague sitting on a keg staring off into the distance. He knew it was his former colleague as the hat and clothing was the same he had worn when alive, and was very distinct (I am not going to tell you what he wore, but if you claim to see this gentleman and contact me, I’ll know straight away if it was him or not, as will his former friends and co-workers!)

 No-one knows why he would return to the pub. Who wants to go back to work after they die?  Perhaps he just wanted to say goodbye to his former colleagues, or perhaps his best memories are in that basement. Either way, we will never know, but to this day, he is seen from time to time in the basement of the Little Pub on Hindley Street.

 

 

Allen Tiller ALIAtech, DipFamHist is Australia’s most recognised paranormal investigator,
eminent paranormal historian, and star of the international smash hit television show “Haunting: Australia”.
Allen is also the founder of Eidolon Paranormal, South Australian Paranormal and the author
of book and blog, “The Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal”.
Allen was awarded the 2017 “Emerging South Australian Historian of The Year Award” as presented by The History Council of South Australia. Employed as “Historian in Residence”
in 2016/2017 with the Adelaide City Council Libraries and employed by the City of Port
Adelaide Enfield Council to write the popular, “Ghosts of the Port Self-Guided Walking Tour”

You can find Allen online at:

http://www.twitter.com/Allen_Tiller
http://www.facebook.com/AllenHauntingAustralia
https://www.facebook.com/

First published in MEGAScene Issue 19 2019

© Allen Tiller


[1]‘Fifty Years Ago’, The Register, (3 February 1923), p. 9.

[2] Corinne Ball, ‘Hindley Street Riot’, SA History Hub, History Trust of South Australia, http://sahistoryhub.com.au/events/hindley-street-riot, accessed 18 June 2017.

[3]  ‘An Historic Building Demolished.’, South Australian Register, (20 July 1900), p. 3.

[4] ‘THE RIOT ACT.’, The Express and Telegraph, (17 October 1911), p. 3.

[5] George Boeck & Erika Esau, ‘South Australia, A Tourist’s Guide to Australian Culture and History’, (2017), http://www.esauboeck.com/guide-sa.

[6] ‘Casualties.’, Observer, (14 January 1922), p. 20.

[7]‘MR. F. W. ALLEN DEAD’, News, (15 October 1927), p. 9.

[8] ‘Death of Well-known City Publican’, The Register News-Pictorial, (12 February 1929), p. 24.

The Haunted Barossa Junction Motel

The Haunted Barossa Junction Motel

 

In 2014, my paranormal investigation team ‘Eidolon Paranormal’ were invited to conduct a paranormal investigation at a remarkable location, The Barossa Junction Motel. The motel was somewhat of an icon on the road between Nuriootpa and Tanunda, with its train carriage hotel rooms, and train-themed restaurant. It also contained a large motor vehicle-related museum.

The hotel was the idea of John Gordon, who was also behind the Buffalo Family Restaurant in Glenelg. Gordon set up the location in conjunction with his good friend Bruce Hoffman, after their winery, Hoffman’s Wines were purchased by Peter Lehmann.

The site of the motel was originally the Barossa Drive-in Theatre. The screen from which was incorporated into one of the large halls inside the museum.

Gordon and Hoffman sold the location to Eric Parker in 2003, but due to ongoing overheads and lack of interest, the site was sold in 2014. Woolworths purchased the property to extend their Dorrien Estate Winery which sat alongside the property. This led to most of the contents, old trains, cars and other memorabilia being auctioned off and removed.

The Barossa Junction Hotel had long been rumoured to be haunted. Legend had it that in the train carriages the spirit of a girl had been seen. She was said to be a young teen who could be seen inside the carriages, or sometimes walking between them in the yard. No-one could identify whom she might be, but there was speculation she either died by falling off a carriage or drowning in the onsite swimming pool. Another train of thought (pun intended) was that she may have died on one of the train carriages before they were converted into hotel rooms at the Junction. Either way, there is no proof of her history or her ghostly presence.

 

 We investigated the site the night before the auction. We were granted access to every location inside the property and made the most of it by investigating every train, room and vehicle we came across.

 The swimming pool which was located inside a building was also rumoured to be haunted. We entered late in the night to find the pool virtually empty. The room looked as though it had not been used in some time as cracks were starting to appear with plants in them. Dust and cobwebs were everywhere, and with our night vision lights reflecting off the remaining water, it created a spooky and creepy effect. Even though we had heard this area might also be haunted, on this night, no one came forward.

We came up with absolutely nothing. Not a thing from a train carriage, the pool area, or the car museum! This isn’t entirely unusual in investigating the paranormal, but we were granted the privilege of investigating a truly iconic location in the Barossa Valley!

After the auction, Mr Parker moved what was left of the collection to his museum in Greenock, located in the old Perry’s Electrical site. It is not known if the alleged ghosts moved with him.

 

 

Allen Tiller ALIAtech, DipFamHist is Australia’s most recognised paranormal investigator,
eminent paranormal historian, and star of the international smash hit television show “Haunting: Australia”.
Allen is also the founder of Eidolon Paranormal, South Australian Paranormal and the author
of book and blog, “The Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal”.
Allen was awarded the 2017 “Emerging South Australian Historian of The Year Award” as presented by The History Council of South Australia. Employed as “Historian in Residence”
in 2016/2017 with the Adelaide City Council Libraries and employed by the City of Port
Adelaide Enfield Council to write the popular, “Ghosts of the Port Self-Guided Walking Tour”

You can find Allen online at:

http://www.twitter.com/Allen_Tiller
http://www.facebook.com/AllenHauntingAustralia
https://www.facebook.com/

First published in MEGAScene Issue 18 2019

© Allen Tiller