Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Bunyip: The Ghosts of Gawler Part Four

The Bunyip
The Ghosts of Gawler Part Four

"The Bunyip" newspaper began its existence in 1863 as a monthly pamphlet published in collaboration with  "The Humbug Society". Editor Dr George Nott and Printer, William Barnet teamed together to create what was to become South Australia's longest running family owned newspaper.

When the paper began it was a satirical look on life around Gawler, but later, it was to become a weekly "orthodox" styled newspaper, still with a strong community focus, but expanding into further suburbs and country areas surrounding Gawler.

 The Bunyip Newspaper, in its early life, was situated in a shop near the Baptist Church in Murray Street, Gawler, later it moved further along the street to be situated near the Prince Albert Hotel, but after those premises were destroyed by a fire, it was relocated to its present location, of which it has remained since 1885
The Bunyip newspaper was sold to the "Taylor Group" of newspapers in 2003 by the Barnet family, ending the families long ownership of this local icon (September 1863 until April 2003).

The haunted staircase
Since the sale, The Bunyip  has seen many changes in formatting, design and presentation, including the adding of colour to its format. The Bunyip continues to be one of Gawler's most respected icons and sources of news and entertainment, The Bunyip contributes to a great many of the towns events with sponsorship and support and continues to be the best resource for local news and events.
Karen and I were lucky enough to be invited by the newspaper's General Manager, Margaret, to investigate the Bunyip office and printing area. We had a tour of the location including the cellar, which still contained a lot of the old printing tools from the beginning of the 1900's. We also found another room adjacent to the basement that had long been sealed off, no doorways were visible into the room from the old hole in the wall through which we looking.

Karen in the Basement
The majority of the phenomena reported to us seemed to be taking place upstairs in the offices. We headed up stairs and started recording a number of EVP's, with questions tailored to the research we had previously done. We heard a couple of loud knocks during our EVP session, but they did not appear on the audio recordings, in their place however was the low pitch sounds of a dog bark, which no-one in the room with us heard at the time.
The other active area was a downstairs office, where chairs have moved by themselves and the sounds of someone sitting at a desk writing have been heard by numerous witnesses, this was intriguing, but on this occasion we didn’t manage to capture anything on video or audio.
Perhaps the most intriguing is the sound of someone walking up the walking staircase in the centre of the building with no-one present. We ruled out the expansion and settling of the wood and building, and set about conducting a number of experiments to try and recreate the reported sounds, with no success. It would seem the person (or Ghost) that is responsible for the noise has some large heavy boots and really wants to be heard!

© 2013 Allen Tiller

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