Tag Archives: barossa valley

Shot of Spirits: Episode 1: Ghost Dogs of Moculta


Shot of Spirits: Episode 1: Ghost Dogs of Moculta

Do otherworldly demon dogs haunt an old mine near Moculta in the Barossa Valley?

My thanks go out to Daniel James Down from Gawler In Photographs for allowing me to use some of his photographs of the very bridge I talk about in this video!

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:


First published in MEGAScene Issue 18 2019

© Allen Tiller

The Angaston Hotel

The Angaston Hotel


Angaston Hotel 1940 SLSA PRG 1356/4/52

  George Simpson was the first licensee of the Angaston Hotel in 1846.[1]The original hotel consisted of 11 stone rooms, a large well, a large cellar and stables. It also contained a large garden where food was grown to be served in the hotel.
 Simpson advertised his hotel in The South Au
stralian (newspaper) on Christmas Day 1846 as:


 GEORGE SIMPSON respectfully informs the public and inhabitants of the above town, and gentlemen visiting the Poonawurta and Angas Mines (which are in the immediate neighbourhood) and the River Murray, that he has opened a house of accommodation, called the “Angaston Hotel” where he intends to keep a constant supply of the best wines, spirits, and other liquor, and solicits that support which it will be his study to merit.”[2]

 In 1847, the Angaston Hotels publican changed from Simpson to William Hughes.[3] In 1848 the license transferred to Nicholas Player who also owned the hotel.[4] Friedrich Otto Windschied was the next publican, from 1855 until 1859.[5]

 Nicholas Player returned as the publican during 1859 and early 1860, before leasing the hotel to George Fuller until 1861, then James Nolan from 1862 until 1863. From 1863 until 1865 the hotel publican was Richard Milson, followed by AR Preston in 1870, and CF Beaumont from 1870-71.

  In 1871 the Angaston Inn changed ownership when Mr Beaumont sold the hotel to Mr Buckerfield of Kapunda.  The hotel then went through various publicans including James Klotz 1879-1884, George Lawrence 1884-1886 and Arthur Worby 1886-87.

  The hotel was then bought by Frederick Leach in 1887, as owner publican he ran the hotel until 1901.
 He then leased the hotel to Albrecht Borchers until 1904, followed by Thomas Davies from 1904-07 and Edward Cummins from 1907 until 1910.
 In 1910, Leach sold the hotel to William Mitchell who leased the hotel to its first female publican, Janet Bleechmore. Mitchell is credited for building the upper level of the hotel in 1914, which is also the same year the hotel licensee, Albert Lambert was taken to insolvency court by creditors.[6]

 Mitchell later sold the hotel to William Birdseye who owned it from 1917 until 1951. In 1950, Birdseye, now 80 years old, planned to buy more land behind the hotel to extend the accommodation wing.[7]
In 1951 the hotel was put up for sale after the death of Birdseye.  A move was made for the Angaston Hotel to bought by the local community, but the executors of the sale of the hotel could not reach an agreement with the community purchasing committee.[8] In late 1952, Mr and Mrs Nicholls, former owners of the Truro Hotel took over the Angaston Hotel.[9]

 This area was originally occupied by the indigenous Peramangk peoples. In December 1838, Colonel Light and his party are recorded as the first Europeans entering the area. In 1939, South Australian Company Geologist, Johannes Menge wrote to George Fife Angas in England of the suitability of the area for vineyards. Angaston was originally known as Angas Town in the region of German Pass, often people cite German Pass as being the original name, but there is evidence in newspapers from 1843 that this was not the case.[10]

 The rear yard of the Angaston Hotel also contains walls that were once part of the Angaston townships original council pound for stray animals.

 The Angaston Hotel is allegedly haunted by a spirit that likes to torment kitchen staff. It has been known to upend tables, push objects off benches, slam cupboard and kitchen doors, and rattle metallic objects!
 It is not known who the mischievous spirit might be. The hotel was often used for inquests on dead bodies, but there are few records of deaths or suicides in the building.

Research and written by Allen Tiller © 2019


‘Advertising’, South Australian, (25 December 1846), p. 3.


‘ANNUAL MEETING OF MAGISTRATES. Monday, March 13.’, South Australian, (14 March 1848), p. 2.

‘COUNTRY NEWS.’, The Express and Telegraph, (17 February 1871), p. 2.[11]

‘COURT CASES.’, The Advertiser, (2 September 1914), p. 14.

‘MITCHELL’S ANGASTON HOTEL.’, Saturday Mail, (10 June 1916), p. 2

‘NEW GENERAL LICENSES.’, South Australian, (15 December 1846), p. 6.

‘QUARTERLY MEETING OF MAGISTRATES.’, South Australian, (14 September 1847), p. 3.

‘THE AMATEUR CONCERT.’, South Australian Register, (8 November 1843), p. 2.

‘Truro Farewell to Mr and Mrs F. Nicholls’, Leader, (9 October 1952), p. 1.

[1] ‘NEW GENERAL LICENSES.’, South Australian, (15 December 1846), p. 6.
[2] ‘Advertising’, South Australian, (25 December 1846), p. 3.
[3] ‘QUARTERLY MEETING OF MAGISTRATES.’, South Australian, (14 September 1847), p. 3.
[4] ‘ANNUAL MEETING OF MAGISTRATES. Monday, March 13.’, South Australian, (14 March 1848), p. 2.
[5] ‘ANGASTON.’, South Australian Register, (14 March 1856), p. 3.
[6] ‘COURT CASES.’, The Advertiser, (2 September 1914), p. 14.
[7] ‘PERSONAL’, Leader, (6 April 1950), p. 3.
[9] ‘Truro Farewell to Mr and Mrs F. Nicholls’, Leader, (9 October 1952), p. 1.
[10] ‘THE AMATEUR CONCERT.’, South Australian Register, (8 November 1843), p. 2.
[11] ‘COUNTRY NEWS.’, The Express and Telegraph, (17 February 1871), p. 2.

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

Ghosts of the Barossa Valley: Old Freemason’s Lodge

Ghosts of the Barossa Valley: Old Freemason’s Lodge

 Angaston’s first public library was founded in 1856. Due to its small size, it was found inadequate by locals who needed space to read and learn. A meeting was held in town, and it was decided a Mechanics Institute would be built. The local Oddfellow’s society of the ‘Loyal Park Lodge, Manchester Unity of Oddfellows’ (founded in Angaston on Dec 14, 1855) was also in need of bigger premises. The Oddfellow’s put a motion forward that they would like to pool their monies with that of the Mechanic Institute and build one large building to meet the needs of everyone.
A ‘Mechanic’s Institute’ is an archaic term used to describe a ‘working-class’ place of learning. In the late 1700s, early 1800’s, “mechanic” was anyone who worked as a tradesperson, craftsperson, artisan, and was generally working-class people. They were dubbed ‘poor man’s universities’ and later became known as trade-schools.
Mr G.F. Angas donated land, and a large two-story building was erected. It contained a library, a reading room on the upper floor, a school in the basement and a large room on the ground floor for the Oddfellow’s Lodge, and a large institute hall. The building was officially opened by J.H. Angas in 1870.
Over time, the library moved from the top floor into the basement. Other sections of the building were used as a Sunday School. Balls were held in the hall, the basement was used for meetings, flower shows, weekly dancing and elocution recitals. An upstairs room was utilised by local barber Tom Dawson, after losing his premises in a fire.
 In 1905, The Barossa Masonic Lodge No. 49 received its official warrant, and in 1907, raised the funds to buy the entire building. The Loyal Park Lodge Oddfellow’s, under a previous agreement, reserved its right to use its original lodge room. The front of the building was redesigned by the Freemason, and a new inscription applied which read “Masonic Hall 1910”.
Today the old Freemason Lodge is a bed and breakfast.
 There has long been a rumour that this building is haunted, but the story is a very weak one with almost no evidence. It contains just two lines which were dug out from a very old book no longer in print:
“It has been noted that a figure is often seen leaving the Hall and crossing the street, simply disappearing before spectators’ eyes as his feet hit the pavement on the other side of the road”
 Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2019

Chinner, B., & Berry, P., ‘Angaston sketchbook’, (Rigby Adelaide 1976).

Baragwanath, P., ‘Mechanics’ Institutes role in Australia’s history’, The Guardian: The Worker’s Weekly, Vol.1526, (9 November 2011), https://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2011/1526/12-mechanics-institutes.html, accessed 18 April 2019.

1936, Angaston and Nuriootpa: centenary souvenir, 1936, The Leader, Angaston viewed 18 April 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-21483483

Ghosts of the Barossa: Seppeltfields Winery

Ghosts of the Barossa: Seppeltfields Winery

Joseph Seppelt came to Australia from Silesia in Prussia (now Poland) in 1849 with his wife Johanna and three children. In 1851, Seppelt purchased 158 acres of land in the Hundred of Nuriootpa from Hermann Kook, farmer of Tanunda, at £1 an acre., and planted a tobacco crop, which failed. He then planted grapevines and named his new vineyard Seppeltsfield. 

Seppelt began selling his wines a couple of years later in Gawler, and along the Murray River vis paddle steamer. So successful was his product, that in just a couple of years he was able to build his first wine cellar in 1867.

Oscar Benno Seppelt – 1860
Sadly, Joseph never got to enjoy the fruit of his labours, dying in 1868. The vineyard was bequeathed to his son Oscar Benno, who in 1870 married Sophie Schroeder.
The entire Seppelt family hard a strong work ethic and took the time to address the finest details. The estate grew, and by 1888 contained the winery, storage cellars, laboratory, bakery, distillery, cooperage, piggery, poultry house, blacksmiths shop, vinegar house and lavish gardens. The estate also contained a gravity flow winery that was used from 1888 until 1983.
 The Seppelt‘s were very generous to their workers, and also built a large dining hall where they would feed their workers breakfast and dinner daily.

  The Company grew, acquiring Chateau Tanunda, and The Great Western Vineyards in Victoria as well as properties in New South Wales and in South Australia’s south-east regions.
 The winery was eventually acquired by Southcorp wines who ran the brand into the ground until in 2007, the brand found its saviours, A consortium called The Seppeltsfield Estate Trust, who carefully rebuilt the brand, bringing back its traditional wine making techniques and reputation for hospitality.
Although its current owners claim that the winery is not haunted, and that its alleged ghosts are not part of its history, local Barossa Valley folklorists may tell you otherwise.

 The winery has gained international attention for its alleged hauntings which includes:
  • ·         The ghost of a former maid who can be seen walking through the former Seppelt homestead and sometimes through the winery tunnels.
  • ·         In the barrel tunnel, loud footsteps can be heard above you where another floor once sat but is now removed.
  • ·         It is claimed that after 7pm lighting on the lower levels of the winery will not turn on.
  • ·         The old vinegar factory, that hadn’t been used for decades would at night, sound as if it was running again, with cranks turning and steam blasts from the old furnaces!
  • ·         Screams coming from an unidentified source in the gardens and vineyards.
  • ·         The sound of gunshots from a garden.
  • ·         A glowing light is sometimes witnessed at the top of the winery.
  • ·         Moans, groans, whispers and the sound of shuffling feet from disembodied sources in the old dining hall.
  • ·         Reports of feelings of paranoia and fear, in and around where Benno Seppelt’s private hidden retreat is located.
  • ·         Some people have been overcome with deep sadness in a garden.
  • ·       Constant feelings of being watched.

Whether or not you believe ghosts are real, Seppelt’s Winery is a stunning location, and one well worth a visit for its history, is wine….and dare I say it?…it’s spirits!

Oh, and Haunting: Australia fans…they also have Segway tours! : https://www.seppeltsfield.com.au/index.php/segway-sensation

1925 ‘MRS. B. SEPPELT DEAD’, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), 6 April, p. 5. (HOME EDITION), viewed 29 Mar 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129716015

1931 ‘Death of Mr. Benno Seppelt’, Leader (Angaston, SA: 1918 – 1954), 14 May, p. 4. , viewed 29 Mar 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165687683

Angela Heuzenroeder, ‘B Seppelt & Sons’, SA History Hub, History Trust of South Australia, http://sahistoryhub.com.au/organisations/b-seppelt-sons, accessed 27 March 2019.

History, Seppelt (2019), https://www.seppelt.com.au/history, accessed 29 March 2019.

Benno died in 1930 and was buried in the Grecian family mausoleum on the site of a lookout built in 1927.

Ghosts of the Barossa – Barossa History Fair

Ghosts of the Barossa – Barossa History Fair

Got a ghost story from the Barossa Valley, or want more information about hauntings in the Barossa Region?
Historian, Genealogist and TV presenter from Haunting: Australia and paranormal investigator Allen Tiller will be hosting a “Ghosts of the Barossa” stall at this years Barossa History Fair.
Allen will also be available to record and preserve any local ghost stories that are brought to his attention on the day!

Allen has also agreed to present a talk on ghosts in and around the Barossa Valley! But seats will be very limited, so you’ll need to make a reservation.

More info on the Barossa History Fair: INFORMATION

Barossa History Fair – 12 noon until 4pm

Coulthard House, 66-70 Murray Street, Nuriootpa SA 5355

To host a stall at the fair or become an event sponsor, please contact Chris Murphy via email on historyfair@go2wo.com or 0413 113 089.
Historian, Allen Tiller from The Haunts of Adelaide
with Barossa History Fair organiser Chris Murphy in Nuriootpa,
 who look forward to the free event in May.
photo: Michelle ORielly

Ghosts of the Barossa: The Ghost of Travus Klinkwort

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