Tuesday, 12 March 2013

"Stonehenge" - Sinister by design Part 3

 Robe Terrace Medindie

A quick trip back in time, we revisit our "Sinister by Design" series, which covered the architecture of John Quinton Bruce around Adelaide, first we looked at Carclew house, this time we visit the house he designed for Frederick Scarfe in North Adelaide.

The Mail, Saturday 11 October 1919, page 12
Designed by iconic South Australian architect; John Quinton Bruce for Fred Scarfe, A Director of South Australian department store icon, Harris Scarfes, Stonehenge, as the building was named, is a beautiful building located in North Adelaide.

Often it is reported that Frederick Norman Scarfe, former Mayor of Kensington and Norwood is the man who had the building erected, but by the time it was built, he was a very old man. Frederick George Alexander Scarfe is actually the man who built the impressive house, he was a director of Harris Scarfes at the time, and a very wealthy individual.

Tony Syrianos -

The building consists of 15 main rooms including a gracious reception hallway and a sweeping grand staircase. There is also a Ballroom, a formal lounge-room, Library and formal dining room, plus 5 bedrooms and a wine cellar.

The house was often featured in local newspaper stories as Mr Scarfe would host his own events, Grand Balls and parties, in his home. In 1919 Frederick Scarfe sold the house for an impressive sum, citing in adds that he found the housekeeping tasks laborious, being such a large manner.

In 1994, The Adelaide Advertiser (April 24th 1994) published a story about the house featuring a local businessman who had purchased the house for $1.2 million dollars, only to find out that the house is haunted by a young lady.

The Register Thursday 13 November 1919

The young lady appears in an upstairs bedroom known as the Blue Room. It is stated that she only appears during the hours of 11 pm and 5 am and walks from the blue room, to a bathroom, or up the extravagant staircase. She is dressed in a white night gown with an overly frilly neckline.
It is thought the spirit is that of a young girl who died in the house from tuberculosis around the 1920's, when the disease was making itself felt in North Adelaide.
It has also been reported that whenever renovations take place in the house, the ghost becomes very hostile and begins to throw objects and make a lot of noise, not unlike a poltergeist would do, other owners have also reported cold spots in various rooms of the mansion.

© 2013 Allen Tiller

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