Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Woodside Ghost - 1896





“Thomas Meddal I claim you!” came the scream from the spectre that had just emerged from the Wesleyan cemetery on the Inverbrackie road in Woodside, a small town in the Adelaide hills.
  One would expect that the next word uttered would be a shriek of fright, or an expletive as the victim either fainted, or ran away, but no, in this case the victim, local shoe maker and poet, Thomas Meddal's reply to his spectral assailant was simply “Take me then!”, which was soon followed by a hefty beating on the ghost by the stick Thomas carried with him whilst he walked under the moonlight!
In the scuffle that ensued, the poor ghosts white shroud came off, one would expect to see, as the sheet fell, nothing, instead, a local man stood before Mr Meddal, someone known to Thomas.

The Ghost, now identified as Mr. A Rudd, scrambled out of hitting distance of the stick, and ran into the night.
Mr Meddal, after gathering his belongings made his way to the local constabulary and reported the bizarre practical joke, identifying Mr Rudd.

Now this was not the first instance of the “Ghost of Woodside” making a late night appearance in the town, there a stories told, one by an ex-police officer, Inspector C. Le Llevre, in local Adelaide news paper “The Advertiser” of the ghost holding people up to scare them (one story even hinting at robberies, but this can not be corroborated as truthful at this time.)

Mr Rudd was soon summoned to the local courts, charged by the police for being “Idle and Disorderly” and for “unlawfully disguising himself with a white sheet” intending to scare or cause harm.
Presiding Judges, Mr H. Swan S.M. And Mr R.W. Kleinsxhnidt and Mr P Keddie ordered that Mr A Rudd pay 10s and also court costs which amounted to £4.5s ( 4 pounds 5 shillings) about $8.50c when converted, which in 1896, would have been a fair amount of money.
Wesleyan Church and Cemetery Woodside
When walks past the Weslayan Cemetery in Woodside now, on a moonlit night,one has to wonder if any spectres seen is that of Mr A Rudd, waiting to play a joke on unsuspecting passers-by, over a hundred years later!

The Haunts of Adelaide
© 2012