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