Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Curse of the Crown and Anchor Hotel

The Curse of the Crown and Anchor Hotel

Never before had there been a hotel in the South Australian colony so well known as a place of sin and debauchery as the Crown and Anchor Hotel in Adelaide’s east end.

Right from its humble beginnings in 1853, through to its present incarnation, it has attracted Adelaide’s down trodden, the unusual and the misfits, but most would not have it any other way!

The hotel has always been a popular venue, but has had a tumultuous past, with the majority of its publicans between 1853 and 1953 being charged by police for illegal after-hours sales of alcohol, or illegal gambling.

The hotel also has a long history of death, with many fatal accidents happening in the street outside the hotel, or to its residents, as they were out visiting other locations in Adelaide. This earned the hotel reputation of being cursed during the 1890’s.

The Crown and Anchor was built in 1853, and later rebuilt in 1880. The hotel has a long and sordid history of being an illegal gambling den, but in recent times it is best known as a live music venue, with the colloquial moniker “The Cranka”.

The following is just a few of the notable deaths associated with the hotel;

 In 1871, the hotels landlady was arrested for stealing another woman’s silk dress. In 1887, an inquest was heard inside the hotel concerning the death of James Dooley, who had been run over by a horse cart on the street outside. Dooley suffered a broken leg, broken hip, smashed jaw and smashed skull, it was assumed the cart, laden with 4 ton of wood, and rolled over his body and crushed him. There was indication Dooley may have been murdered, but without sufficient evidence, his death was declared an accident.

Mr McLaren died in the hotel on the 4th of October 1885 after a long illness.

In 1894, Barney Miller, a Victorian staying in Adelaide for two months, drank himself to death in the Crown and Anchor. He was found in his dead in his bed, and later a Doctor declared he had died from heart failure by excessive drinking!

Death visited the hotel again in in 1900 when Charles Siggers passed away in a private hospital nearby, and his wake was held the hotel, with his funeral cortege leaving the pub for West Terrace Cemetery on 8th of October 1900.

 In 1903, live in resident at the Hotel, Marion Mackay was struck by a fire truck in King William street dying the next day from her extensive injuries.

In 1908, a painter named Robert Peters was found dead in a shed on the premises by owner Mrs Calnan. Later that same year, Mrs Calnan’s husband, John, passed away upstairs in the hotel at the age of 38, they had only been married for two years.

In 1927, another publican passed away in the hotel. George Owens died at the age of 53 from a heart attack, leaving behind his wife and three children to run the business.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller.

© 2018 Allen Tiller

Selected Bibliography:

1894 'SUDDEN DEATH IN AN HOTEL.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 10 July, p. 7. , viewed 02 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article25730227

1934 'TOOK BARREL FROM HOTEL YARD', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 17 October, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128411035

1941 'FINES IMPOSED ON EIGHT MEN', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 21 April, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131965630

1946 'FINES FOR HOTEL OFFENCES', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 1 July, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130850532

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The Murder of Mary Legge

The Murder of Mary Legge

150 Hindley Street

“Lord save me” were the dying words of Mary Legge, laying on the floor of Gasons Lodging House, Hindley Street. Above her, as she breathed her last breath, stood her husband, enraged, with knife in hand. He threw his knife at her as he calmly walked out the door, the only witness, a man named Roskilley who had fought against Legge, but had backed away when threatened with the knife.

 Legge hastily left the premises and headed down Hindley street. Roskilley also left, and found P.C. Irwin on the corner of Hindley and King William street, and told him of the murder. Legge, upon realising he had been identified, sprinted away from the Constable, the two men running full pace west along Hindley Street.

 Another Constable, P.C. Allen, saw what was going on, and tackled Legge to the ground. Legge then stated to the two officers that he had stabbed his wife three times. The two Constables then escorted Legge back to the Police Station, and left him with the officer in charge, before heading back to Gason’s to evaluate the scene.

Mary Legge was lying in a pool of her blood, she had three stab wounds in her left shoulder blade, made by an ordinary bread and butter knife. One stab had punctured her left lung and another had pierced her heart, causing her to bleed out and die very quickly.

William Legge, was well known to Adelaide police as a habitual drunkard, but he hadn’t always been a heavy drinker. Only months prior he had run a successful painting business from Clarendon, and every mail from England (monthly) He received a hefty 16 pounds’ remittance from his wealthy parents.

 Legge and his wife, Mary, a “pleasant looking young woman”, who had only been in South Australia for nine months, had been renting a room in Gason’s Lodging House. In the few months, they had been living in Adelaide, they had both become drunkards and were prone to physical altercations with each other. Mary was often heard swearing at William, and only a week previously had hit him in the head with a bottle, leaving a deep cut.

When the trial proceeded, the defence applied the “Temporary insanity” clause, and pointed out the constant beratement of William by Mary. It was pointed out that both were very drunk, and that William had quite calmly asked Mary to go to bed, and she had flatly refused then started abusing him. William had then stated, “If you don’t go to bed I will put an end to you”, Mary, again refused, and this was when William became so enraged (and according to the defence, temporarily insane) that he stabbed his wife to death.

William Legge’s charges were downgraded from murder, to manslaughter, due to the temporary insanity defence, and instead of facing being hung for the wilful murder of his wife, he was sentenced to just ten years’ imprisonment.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller.

© 2018 Allen Tiller


1870 'LAW COURTS.', The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), 18 May, p. 2. (SECOND EDITION.), viewed 02 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207720976

1870 'SHOCKING MURDER IN ADELAIDE.', Northern Argus (Clare, SA : 1869 - 1954), 25 March, p. 3. , viewed 02 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92777632

1920 'FIFTY YEARS AGO.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 22 March, p. 6. , viewed 02 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62618178

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

The Phantoms of Morialta Falls

 The Phantoms of Morialta Falls

In the last few months of 2017, I was contact by multiple people about strange goings on in the carpark of the Morialta Conservation Park. 

Morialta is just 10kms from the city of Adelaide, and has been a popular destination with locals for over 100 years. It contains three waterfalls along Fourth Creek, and has a network of extensive walking trails. It also contains a rock climbing zone.

Witnesses are reporting seeing phantoms in the park, human ghosts and those of phantom vehicles, with one being very strange indeed.
Witness one recounted a story of being at the falls late one evening with two friends. They had gone for a drive “for something to do”, and found themselves at Morialta. They began to explore the walking trail, and could see quite clearly under the light of a full moon.
 While walking along one of the trails heading towards a waterfall, they noticed ahead of them a peculiar white colour shape, that almost seemed to sparkle in the moonlight.
 As they got closer they realised it was a young woman, (they determined this by the shape of the mist, and the fact it seemed to have long wavy hair past the shoulders).
 The three of them stopped, all their hair standing on end, and watched as the female like white mist sparkled some more, then turned towards them, floating very quickly in their direction, before it vanished entirely.
 They very quickly high tailed it out of there, back to their car, and have never returned to the park for more adventures!

 The second story recounted to me involves several people driving to the car park. As they entered they noticed a car parked by itself off to one side. There didn’t seem to be anyone in the car, so they figured the owners were off walking through the park and paid it no more attention.
 The small convey had all parked near each other, and got out of their cars, laughing and joking when all of the sudden an eerie quiet fell over the group, and a feeling of foreboding overtook the mood of frivolity that had previously overcome the group.
 As they stood there looking at each other, the temperature dropped very suddenly, and a mist formed around the group.
As they stood there, shivering, with mouths agape, wondering what the hell was going on, a large shaped moved through the mist and revealed itself right in front of their eyes. A very large, very black old horse drawn hearse, with no horses, silently glided into view between them, and headed towards the solitary parked car.
 One of the girls screamed in terror, which seemed to break everyone’s stupor, and they all high-tailed it back to their cars and “booted” it out of there…
 A further retelling of this story can be found online at: http://www.paranormal.com.au/public/index.php?topic=11298.0. This retelling of the same story also goes on to state that the next day one of the witnesses saw the car that had been parked in the carpark on the news. It was surrounded by police tape, as the night before the owner had committed suicide in the park (A detail omitted from the version told too me).

 I can not confirm at this point that the story of the Hearse, in particular the suicide and subsequent news report are true, however, there have been plenty of deaths at the park.
In 1917, 17-year-old Lyle Heddle died in the Adelaide Hospital from injuries suffered after falling from the cliffs at Morialta.

In 1926, the body of 27-year-old Alfred Jury was found lying in a pool of water at the base of the falls. His face had been badly disfigured, so much so in fact, that it could not be declared at the time if he had committed suicide with his rifle, or simply fell from the cliff tops and landed on his face.

 His bike, with shot rabbits was later found at the top of the cliffs, but his gun never recovered.
1939, the body of 40-year-old Butcher, Robert Cantlon of Prospect, was found dead in the pool underneath waterfall one. Cantlon, it is thought, slipped at the top of fall one, trying to get a look over the edge.

 In 1940, Royston Daniels, 13 of Prospect was killed when he fell 115ft from fall number one, trying to save his friend, Raymond Jenkins, who had slipped from rocks, half way down the cliff face.
 Daniels died on impact.

In 1951, William Collins, 23 of Hyde Park, died at the falls after being struck in the head by a rock. The coroner of the day declared the death an accident, as at that time, throwing rocks, or rolling them down the hills at Morialta was a common practice, and it could not be determined from which direction the rock had come, nor if it had been thrown with ill intent.

Have you encountered any spirit activity at Morialta Falls?

 Tell us about it over on the Facebook page!

Researched and written by Allen Tiller
© 2018 – Allen Tiller – The Haunts of Adelaide

The following assets were used in the research and writing of this article:

1917 'FATALITIES AND ACCIDENTS.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 2 August, p. 4. , viewed 18 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5540612

1926 'ACCUSED PERSON FOUND DEAD.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 7 December, p. 15. , viewed 18 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40747312

1939 'WANDERED FOR HOURS', Recorder (Port Pirie, SA : 1919 - 1954), 12 July, p. 4. , viewed 18 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article96360854

1940 'Fatal Fall At Morialta', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 10 January, p. 5. , viewed 18 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131551924

1951 'Open Verdict On Falls Death', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 21 July, p. 3. , viewed 18 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45719767

National Parks South Australia, 2017, Morialta Conservation Park, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, viewed 18 Dec 2017, https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Adelaide_Hills/morialta-conservation-park

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

A Haunting at Minlaton, Yorke Peninsula

A Haunting at Minlaton, Yorke Peninsula


It has been alleged that the Porter Building, located at 49-55 Main Street, Minlaton, Yorke Peninsula is haunted by a former lolly shop owner who died in a fire in 1958.
Claims of a ghost causing paranormal activity in the building are common, with previous tenants claiming that objects would mysteriously move on their own, that doors and windows would, on occasion open and close with no human contact.

 Cold spots have been reported, as well as cold breezes on scorching hot days, and at least one person claiming to witness a strange human-like apparition floating through the building, seen from outside.
Previously to the current shops being constructed, the original buildings were a shop and small residence, which were owned by local council member Kevin (K.G.) King in the 1950’s.
Mr and Mrs King were dressmakers and set up shop in 1948, renting the premises from Mr Poole.

 In the small residence lived 80-year-old Mabel Evelyn Lock, who once lived across Main Street with her husband, Edwin Ernest Lock, where they ran their own business, and where Edwin tended his prize winning garden.
Edwin passed away in 1940, and Mabel lived and worked in the town for a while longer, until moving into the residence alongside Mr Kings shop.
 On January 11th, 1954, W. J. McMahon, a neighbour, noticed smoke billowing from the Mrs Lock’s house. He called the fire brigade and the local doctor for help.
 The fire was extinguished, but poor Mrs Lock was found dead in her bedroom.
A coroner’s report stated that the cause of death was a heart attack, and the probably cause of the fire was that Mrs Lock had been carrying a candle as she made her way to bed. The candle fell forward onto the bed igniting the covers, and later Mrs Locks clothing. The coroner stated her death was firstly the heart attach, then asphyxiation from the smoke.

It has previously been stated online, that because of Mrs Lock’s death in 1954, that she is the ghost that haunts the building. This is of course speculation, unless someone can clearly identify the alleged spirit, then the ghost could obviously be anyone, but in stating that, her death, being shocking to her, could also be the foundation for her to haunt the building…

Have you visited the Porter Building at Minlaton on the Yorke Peninsula, and heard, felt or seen something paranormal? Let us know over on our facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide/
Or in the comments section below.

© 2018 Allen Tiller


1948 'MINLATON', The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954), 21 May, p. 6. , viewed 30 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199213919

1954 'Found Dead in Smoke-Filled Bedroom', The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954), 15 January, p. 1. , viewed 30 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204756613

1954 'Woman's body near blazing bed', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 13 January, p. 1. , viewed 30 Dec 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article134476027