Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Cathedral Hotel: Robbery

Cathedral Hotel: Robbery

The Cathedral Hotel at North Adelaide
Photo: © 2017 Karen Tiller

Originally known as the Scotch Thistle Hotel in 1850, the hotel was established on the north side of Kermode Street and John Street (now King William Road), and in 1881, was moved to its present location. In 1925, the hotels name was changed to The Cathedral Hotel, and it has continued trading under this name for almost 100 years!

In 1918, several robberies had been occurred in and around North Adelaide. The police had no suspects, until a robbery occurred at the Scotch Thistle Hotel on October 4th.
 Mr Opie, husband of the hotels licensee, was on shift, and had closed the hotel. He followed his regular routine, locking all the doors and windows, except the one leading to the billiard room. He put the till into the store room, just off the dining room, turned out the lights, and locked the exit door on his way out at 2am.

 The following morning, Dorothy Walloschick, Mrs Ethel Opie’s sister, opened the hotel. At 6:30am, she found the storeroom door unlocked and all the contents of the room strewn about the place and the kitchen and billiard room doors had been left open by the offender.
 The burglar had smashed a window in the billiard room to gain entry, which he must’ve been very quiet in doing, as the Opie’s, asleep upstairs, did not wake to the sound.
Only a couple of months previously, a store on O’Connell street owned by Mr LeCornu had several items stolen. It was reported that the front door had been left unlocked, and the investigating Constable, Mr George Wyatt, had returned the key to Mr LeCornu, and then filed a report for the missing goods.

 The goods included garden hoses, barbered wire, tools, implements and paint.
Missing from the Hotel were 10 bottles of Chateau Tanunda brandy, seven-pint bottles of Heather Bell whisky, three bottles of Walker's whisky, three bottles of Dewar's whiskey, two bottles of Burke's Irish whisky, eight-quart bottles of Henke's schnapps, eight bottles of Reynella family port, and twelve half flasks of-Heather Bell whisky, also missing, £22 in money.

Continued next week!

Researched and written by  Allen Tiller ©2018

Bibliography published in next edition.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Haunted Art Gallery

Haunted Art Gallery

The Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace
Photo: © 2017 Allen Tiller

On May 13th, 2005, television show Stateline, on the ABC, broadcast an episode about an alleged haunting at the Art Gallery of South Australia. The story was reported by Patrick Emmett, the following is the transcript from the episode.
Adelaide Art Gallery

Patrick Emmett: It was early one morning while he was checking the halls of the Art Gallery before opening that Trent had his first close encounter of a different kind.

Trent: I was almost in the door. It was pitch black, there was no lights on and, all of the sudden, there was this – this great burst of white light that went across the room, and it actually made me fully step back, I went “Oh, crikey, what was that?!?”

Patrick Emmett: Shaken, he checked what security cameras had picked up and what he saw surprised him even more. They showed him entering the room, reacting, but no sign of the mysterious light.

Trent: Its quite regular that you will see a frightened patron who wants to leave a particular area or a frightened staff member who has seen a ghost.

Patrick Emmett: Trent’s story is one of many you will hear from those who patrol the Art Gallery on North Terrace. There are tales of mysterious old ladies, pictures that move on their own and unexplainable spine-tingling drafts.

Female Witness: The cold comes through the floor, starts onto your legs and it goes up, and the actual hairs on your neck stand up, every hair on your body just is standing on end. As I came to this doorway I saw a flash of someone.

Patrick Emmett: The encounters can happen at anytime of the day. Staff report seeing strange people but when they search for them, they’ve disappeared!

Female Witness: I saw a dark shape go past the gallery archway and I thought “There shouldn’t be anybody down here” So I sped up a little bit, expecting to see somebody, and I entered gallery 19 and there was no-one there, and then I saw the same shape go past the archway of gallery 18. So, I came down a little bit quicker expecting to see who was here and I checked this whole gallery and there was no-one there. I looked up through the staircase to see if anybody was running up the stairs and there was no-one here.

Male Witness: I saw a lady in a long white dress of old period costume, high neckline and a bustle at the back. She had her hair in a bun and she just walked straight across the archway and I though, “Well, it’s a hot day, what are you doing wearing a dress like this on a day like”- you know, I remember it was a Tuesday and it was really hot, so I walked through just to have a quick look and I looked to me left and the lady wasn’t there. I though “this is really strange, she must have snuck into the other gallery without me seeing her”.
I walked through into gallery 20 and the lady wasn’t there either and that’s when I started thinking” hang on, what have I seen here? “

Patrick Emmett: Many of the sightings are in what’s called the Morris Gallery. A mysterious old lady in a green dress often appears, sometimes sitting in a rocking chair. Staff rarely tell their tales to outsiders, so they were dumbfounded when approached by a recent visitor.

Female Witness: And he approached me, and he said, “There’s so much energy in this room, and there is a presence” and I said “Well, that’s interesting” I said, “Can you communicate with this presence?” and he said, “Yes I can”. So, I asked him to and he did, and he said to me “There’s a little lady that lives in the gallery and she loves it here, but she’s got one complaint and that is that the gallery, this particular gallery, is very cold”.

Patrick Emmett: While the old lady might be happy in the Morris Gallery not everyone is so relaxed about her residency. Some patrons have refused to enter the room because of its atmosphere, including two Japanese tourists.

Trent: They got down as far as gallery 20 and they started really getting scared and they said, “Can you please get us out of this gallery as quickly as possible” and we got them to the stairs just here and as soon as we got them to the stairs, they ran up the stairs.

Patrick Emmett: Another visitor has warned staff that this painting is evil and the source of the unrest. It’s not clear what is the background is, but one worker believes he’s seen this woman walking the halls.
 But there are strange happenings in other galleries as well. There was the green glow in a recent Egyptian exhibition, and books and chairs sliding around by themselves and then there was the day the two guards opened these rarely used doors that look into a car park.

Male Witness: The opened them and this particular guy, he said “Did you see?” and he didn’t even get that out and the other guy said “I never want to talk about this again. I saw nothing”. And apparently what they saw was just scrub and desert outside the doors when they opened them for a few seconds and then it went back to carpark.

Patrick Emmett: Some say the hauntings are because the gallery is built on an old grave site. Others say they’re because two people were once hanged inside the grounds, and there are the cynics that say they’re just the product of fertile imaginations, but the believers say they were once also cynics, but they can’t disbelieve the evidence of their own eyes.

Male Witness: I’m not into that sort of thing and, quite frankly, I didn’t believe anything like that existed, but you have to change your mind when you see things like this and they’re unexplained.

Female Witness: They’re here. They haven’t actually hurt anyone. They just live here as part of us. It’s part of the gallery, so we just don’t worry about them.
Haunted Art Gallery
Broadcast: 13-05-2005
Reporter: Patrick Emmett
Network: ABC
Program: Stateline.

Transcribed by Allen Tiller

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Rundle Street Gun Shop Siege – 1976

Rundle Street Gun Shop Siege – 1976

In mid-1974, Michael Hooke (sometimes known as Michael O’Conner) spent a few months in Royal Park Mental Hospital in Melbourne from December 10 to December 21, 1973, and then from January 9 until March 16, 1974.

 Later that year, he decided that for his life to improve he needed to move to Adelaide, South Australia.

In 1976, just after 11am on May 10th, the 43 old O’Connor entered the Hambly-Clarke & Son Gun Shop at the eastern end of Rundle Street. He picked up two shotguns from the counter, and began to load them with his own ammunition.

O’Connor fired a shot inside the shop and ordered everyone to leave. The staff and customers got out through the front door, with shop owner, Mr Hambly Clark escaping through the back entrance.

The police arrived, the first response officer being unarmed officer, Constable G.P. Marr, who tried to reason with O’Connor, only to have two shots fired in his direction. The area was quickly cordoned off, and the Armed Offenders Apprehension Group (a predecessor the today’s STAR Force) arrived on scene.

The Armed Offenders Apprehension Group fired tear gas into the shop to try and get O’Connor to leave. About 5 minutes later O’Connor emerged from the shop brandishing two shotguns.
 He was ordered to drop the guns, but refused. Instead he fired off some random shots, then levelled his guns at near by police officers.

A loud crack rang out in Rundle Street, O’Connor felt hot steal penetrate his lower chest. Across the street in a furniture store window, sat Det. Sr. Const. Ramsden, SAPOL’s best marksman, who had just taken the order to shoot at will.

Police set upon O’Connor, and he was taken away to the Royal Adelaide Hospital in an ambulance, only to die a short time later from a haemorrhage in his upper stomach caused by the gunshot wound.
No motive was ever put forward for the siege.

© 2018 Allen Tiller


1976 'MAN SHOT IN LONG SIEGE', The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), 11 May, p. 1. , viewed 05 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131816642

Robertson D, 2014, Adelaide has witnessed several violent incidents that stopped the city before Rodney Clavell’s siege, The Advertiser, viewed 5 Jan 2018, http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/adelaide-has-witnessed-several-violent-incidents-that-stopped-the-city-before-rodney-clavells-siege/news-story/2b7d526fadcc034e3b4a67938e4fff10

1976 'Police justified in firing. coroner says', The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), 28 July, p. 12. , viewed 06 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110819250

Sadler, R. K. (Rex Kevin) & Hayllar, T. A. S. (Thomas Albert S.) & Powell, C. J. (Clifford J.) 1990, Enjoying English. Book 3, Macmillan, South Melbourne

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Haunted Adelaide: Adelaide Oval Scoreboard

Haunted Adelaide:  Adelaide Oval Scoreboard

There have long been rumours that the old Adelaide Oval Scoreboard is haunted but no-one can identify the mysterious figure alleged to been witnessed in the old building.
It would seem the first-hand experiences of this ghost are few and far between, with only a handful of anecdotes about sightings of this mysterious spirit surfacing in the last 100 years.

Could it be instead, that the haunting of the Old Scoreboard is an urban legend, made up to rationalise a supporter’s feeling as to why their team is losing, or lost the game?
“It must’ve been the ghost in the scoreboard that got the scores wrong!”

The identity of the alleged ghost, whether real or urban legend, remains a mystery…

The first Scoreboard at the Adelaide Oval was a manually operated, ‘hook’ style scoreboard used from 1879 until 1885, when a newer version was installed. This was followed by another upgrade in 1898.
Designed by Kenneth Milne, The Adelaide Oval Scoreboard began being to be used in 1911, with a clock added in 1913, and later, in 1930, a windvane added to complete its look.
The Adelaide Oval has been described as “one of the most picturesque Test Cricket grounds in Australia, if not the world.”
the oval was established in 1871 after the formation of the South Australian Cricket Association. The first Australian Rules Football game took place on the oval in 1877, between the Adelaide Football Club and the Bankers (football club) as part of the South Australian Football Association, later to be known as the SANFL.

researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2016.


"Adelaide Oval" (Updated 10/11/2010) Austadiums.com, 10 November 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2014


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Devils Garden – Balaklava

The Devils Garden – Balaklava

Commemorative plaque placed on the Devil's Garden memorial cairn, located halfway between Balaklava and Halbury, in the lower Mid North of South Australia along the Balaklava to Auburn Road.
-Photo Source:  27 September 2009 Marionlad

 Balaklava is a small country town tin the Mid North, 93km’s north of Adelaide, South Australia. It is situated on the borders of Kaurna and Peramangk peoples and was first sighted by Europeans in 1840.
 The first European settlers were James and Mary Dunn in 1850, who opened a hotel to service the bullock drays carrying ore from Burra to Port Wakefield. The town proper wasn’t laid out until 1869, when Charles Fisher surveyed the land. The following year the first hotel opened, and from there the town continues to grow.
 7km’s east of the township, a small reserve, named The Devils’ Garden reserve, sits almost out of sight of passers-by on the highway. The reserve is a picnic spot, noted for its fine stands of river box gum trees

 Back in the days of the bullock drays carting copper ore, the area was a treacherous bog in winter, and a mountain of hard to navigate sand hills in summer. To address the problem of navigating the area, bullock drays would camp overnight and wait for other teams and try to get through the area together. This is thought to be how the Devils Garden became a “place”.

 It was during these camp nights that the ghost first began to be seen, described as an “unknown male spectre”. It would stand at the top of the sandy hill and scare any bullocks that tried to go over. It would also scare men of horses, with some claiming that the ghost would grab the horse’s reins, stopping the horse and rider in its tracks.

To this day it is not known who the spectral protector was, or why he chose that particular spot to haunt, but he is the reason that the bullock teams named the area The Devils Garden.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018


Australia For Everyone, 2017, Balaklava, S.A., Pocket Oz Travel and Information Guide Mid North South Australia, viewed 30 Jan 2018, http://www.australiaforeveryone.com.au/sa-midnorth/balaklava.html

Sydney Morning Herald, 2004, Balaklava, The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairax Media, viewed 20 Jan 2018, http://www.smh.com.au/news/south-australia/balaklava/2005/02/17/1108500204142.html

1984 'THE PLAYERS Producer Est. 19[?] BALAKLAVA, B.A.', Victor Harbour Times (SA : 1932 - 1986), 4 April, p. 50. , viewed 30 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article185633892

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Haunted Henschke Cellars

Haunted Henschke Cellars

Henschke Cellars at Keyneton is a family owned wine making business that has seen six generations of the same family establish, and grow, one of Australia’s great, award winning wineries.

 The Winery and Cellars were established in the 1860s at Keyneton by Johann Christian Henschke.
Johann, born in 1803, had travelled to Australia onboard the vessel Skjold in 1841. His wife Appolonia and son Johann, both died onboard the ship and were buried at sea.
 He arrived in Adelaide with his two surviving sons, and settled in Lobethal, where in 1843, he remarried, and would have another eight children with his wife Dorothea.
He later moved to Krondorf, near Bethany in the Barossa valley. In 1863 he was able to purchase land in what later become the Eden Valley wine region of Keyneton. Henchke built a self-sufficient farm, and also planted a small winery.  He built, as part of that winery a small cellar into the side of the hill, which still stands today.

 I have been contacted by numerous people about a possible haunting at the old cellars, including contact by staff members, that have had, what they believe to be, a paranormal experience.
 It would seem some staff and visitors have experienced a ghostly female presence. The spirit of the woman has been seen not only in the cellars, but also in the purpose-built office block nearby.
 The spirit has been known to open and close doors, move objects, and cause paranoia.

Who she is, no-one can be certain.

If you have visited Henschke Cellars (or any of South Australia’s fabulous wineries) and experienced any paranormal activity, please contact me directly at eidolon@live.com.au or via the Haunts of Adelaide facebook page so these stories can be collected and investigated!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The Point Pass Pillager - The Adventures of a Boy Bushranger

The Point Pass Pillager - The Adventures of a Boy Bushranger

Eudunda, 1884, Matthias Weis, an almost 11-year-old boy, who had been adopted from the Adelaide boys reformatory school by Mr and Mrs Madel of Point Pass, became renown in the Eudunda region of South Australia as possible the youngest bushranger in South Australia’s history!

 Weis had not been a good boy before being adopted to the Madel family. He had spent many of his formative years in the reformatory for petty crimes, thievery and for threatening to kill his mother with a knife. Weis was well known by police and the local courts, and for his long list of previous crimes, had come to find himself in a reformatory.
 Before the time of his notorious crime rampage, it was thought that one day, if he didn’t change his ways, he would end up inside the Adelaide Gaol, or even hang from its gallows, such was his reputation!

In late July 1884, Weis had become bored with the home life of the Madels, and decided he needed some adventure in his life. He made his way into Point Pass township, and there stole one of Mr Woite’s best horses, saddled and bridled it, and then made off with the horse and a sheep dog.

Weis had been seen, and the local police were called. Constable Muegge set out on his horse forthwith, to try and chase the pre-teen down in the bush. Muegge, and several settlers from around Point Pass tried to chase the boy bushranger down.
Weis soon realised he was being chased, and rode the horse as hard as he could. He passed through the towns of Bundey and Scholmburg, only to be chased down by a local who had sensed something was wrong, but Weis had chosen an excellent horse, and soon out ran his pursuer.
That night, with no food or water, Weis set a small campfire and slept under the stars.

 That night, with no food or water, Weis set a small campfire and slept under the stars.
 The next morning, he awoke and started heading towards Bower, but Mr Woite, having heard Weis was in the area, had set chase, getting within two hundred yards of Weis. Wies’ horse was beginning to tire after being ridden so hard for two days, so to escape, Weis jumped off suddenly and fled into the bush.
 Woite tried to track him down, but the boy was too fast and soon lost his pursuer. Woite took his horse back to Point Pass and reported the incident to the local police. His horse that Weis had stolen was not in good condition, having been ridden flat out for two days, and with no food and water, the animal could barely walk back to its home.

Now on the run for a full two days and with no horse, Weis was forced to walk, something he hadn’t planned on, as he had no boots to cover his feet. He found his way to Robertstown, breaking into any houses he came across on the way and relieving them of food and water.
 In Robertstown, Weis, in broad daylight, walked up to the local hotel, and stole Mr Gosden’s horse and cart which was stationed outside. As he sped out of town, he threw the contents of the cart, mainly groceries into the street.

Weis rode the horse and cart hard and fast into the bush, but became unstuck when he crashed into a log, upending the cart, and smashing his head on the ground. He eventually got up and freed the horse from the remains of the smashed cart.
Weis then rode the horse bareback, but at some point, and for reasons unknown, left the horse to wander the bush, where it was eventually found by a small posse that had formed of locals, that were hunting Weis down.
By this time, now a full four days into his crime spree, the weather had became miserably cold, and Weis was dressed, still without shoes or boots, and in a very thin shirt, so the cold must’ve been playing a part in dampening his dreams of becoming a notorious bushranger.
 Hunger and thirst were also starting to play their role. Weis had stolen food from a few homes, but it wasn’t enough. He started making his way towards Robertstown again, where he broke into a house and stole all the food he could carry.

By the end of his first week of being a bushranger, Weis had become notorious in the area, and knowing that locals were on the look out for him, he found it very hard to find food to steal, so he made his way back towards Point Pass.
 There he snuck into the home of the Mabel’s, the family that had adopted him. He snuck into the kitchen and helped himself to some food, only to be caught by Mrs Mabel, who swiftly overpowered the boy and tied him in ropes – something none of the good town’s men of Point Pass or Robertstown had been able to achieve!
Matthias Weis, the almost 11-year-old bushranger, faced court in Eudunda in front of Judges Roberts and Applet. He was sentenced to 14 days gaol, and then sent to the reformatory, where he was to stay until he was 16.

..and thus ended the criminal career of  possibly South Australia’s youngest bushranger or did it?
The South Australian Police Gazette of January 18th, 1888 reports the following:

From H.M.C.S. “Protector” at Glenelg, January 2nd, 1888, Mathew Weis, age 14, 4ft 10inches, fair complexion, light brown hair, hazel eyes, scar from burn on leg (C.109)

Could “Matthew Weis” and Matthias Weis be one and the same?

Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018

1884 'THE ADVENTURES OF A BOY BUSHRANGER.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 8 August, p. 3. , viewed 28 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106578975

South Australia Police Gazette Indexes, 1862-1947. Ridgehaven, South Australia: Gould Genealogy and History, 2009.