"any good history begins in strangeness.The past should not be comfortable"
Poltergeist or Rats in the roof?
Australia has its fair share of creatures that come out at night. Creatures that have tails and big gnawing teeth.
That scamper around roof tops and into small crevices creating noises in the dark that may sound a little creepy but are easily explainable.
In the late 1800's though, they would have been quite terrifying to new settlers in this new land.
Things running along corrugated iron roofs, pushing their way into homes with dirt floors eating food that was left open on table tops and in cupboards. No refrigerators back then. If you didn't eat it straight away the likelihood of it lasting after a hot night was not that great.
So everything was rather frightening for the early 'new Australians'.
Many stories can be found in newspapers about ghosts.
It was even popular in the 1920's and 1930's to become a ghost and frighten the locals when no real activity was occurring!
A few local lads nearly lost their lives to gun shot wounds by townsfolk trying to get rid of the ghost for themselves or the police turning up and dealing with the spectres only to find themselves being unnerved so much that they would discharge their pistols at anything that moved!
Poltergeist stories can therefore be something that is quite real and paranormal or it could also be just a case of rats running along a rooftop at 3 am in the morning.
It could be a case of the local kids being pains in the butt and throwing stones at your windows and running away thinking that they are being so funny or it might just something that just cannot be explained.
We have had a least two local cases of alleged poltergeist activity that have reached the newspaper in recent years. Of course, there are probably many more that we will never hear about. They might be the most interesting. But if no one talks about it - we will never know.
Authors, Tony Healy and Paul Cropper, published a book called Australian Poltergeist a few years ago.
The book has a Novocastrian poltergeist chapter, centred on an incident that was said to have occurred at a property in Gordon Street, Mayfield, in 1977.
Renters George and Jan Brown reported a sound like an egg-beater in their ceiling, icy chills in the living room and loud footsteps around the rooms when nobody was moving. Pictures and ornaments were removed from walls and placed on the floors overnight, and a replica antique pistol (also hanging on the wall) was torn down and broken.
The couple later heard that somebody had died in the living room of the house. When they moved to Kurri Kurri later on, they seemingly left the poltergeist behind. I believe that after they moved they still had a few incidences happen in the new house.
But all seemed to quieten down - or maybe it didn't? We just didn't hear more about it. I wonder if someone else now lives in the house mentioned and whether they have had anything weird happen? Not always do successive tenants or owners of alleged haunted houses actually experience activity. Now that is weird.
If a house is that haunted why doesn't everyone who lives in the house feel or see encounters? Why can some people live happily with nothing ever happening, while the people before and the people after have totally craziness occuring during their stays? What is is about the person who doesn't have anything happen? Or what is it about the person that does?
Another story was also written about - The Berrell family was living in Barkley Avenue in 1986 when something started banging on the outside of the walls of their house. Actually, the noises seemed to come from inside the walls themselves, but no matter how often they looked and checked – accompanied by friends and witnesses – they could see nothing to explain the events.
Turns out the Berrells used to live next door, and the banging house was inhabited by a frail elderly neighbour. Apparently he had a bad fall one night, and lay on the floor, banging the wall to get attention.
Days later, when Ron Berrell went in and found him, the old bloke grabbed his wrist and said: ‘‘I will look after you, Ron’’.
The Berrells ended up moving into the house while they waited for their own new home to be built, and that’s when they experienced all the noises and other chilling occurrences.
When the house burned down, the Berrells moved in with some friends, and all the creepy stuff followed them there, in a big way. Banging, crashing, bashing. The friend who owned the house, George Sykes, told reporters of a shower of pebbles rising from the path in front of him and striking him as he went to investigate some loud noises. Another time, both the Berrells and the Sykes family said, a cupboard opened by itself and plates started flying out and smashing all over the place.
I wonder what happened to these two families? It would be great to follow these stories up and see if any more occurred.
I have examined a few houses during my time as an investigator where an alleged 'noisy ghost' has take up residence. I am yet to see someone pretending or doing it just to get attention. I have seen plenty of frightened and anxious people. People even too frightened to go back into their houses. Rat , possum or something unnatural all cases are quite terrifying in the middle of the night.
I am yet though to see this type of activity with my own eyes. BUT - I do believe that it is very possible considering what we have seen to date within our own development work and research.