16 Jan 2013
Book details the ghosts of the south including Willunga's Alma Hotel
Jessica Haynes - Southern Times Messenger
January 14, 2013
Willunga's Alma Hotel co-owner Melinda McCauley has had ghost experiences at the pub. Picture: Roger Wyman Source: adelaidenow
MOVING appliances and an eerie feeling is Melinda McCauley's experience of a ghost that is said to haunt Willunga's Alma Hotel.
The hotel's co-owner says she and other workers have had a number of spooky incidences at the pub, which is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Tim O'Brian, who fell into a well outside the hotel in the 1800s.
The hotel features in author Gordon Marshall's new book, Ghosts and Hauntings of South Australia.
Mrs McCauley recalls one unsettling experience two years ago.
"I was closing up the hotel and I did the second check and I went into the kitchen to do something and all the fans were going,'' she says.
"And I knew the fans were off because I'd done a security check.''
Mrs McCauley says a number of previous staff members have shared similar tales.
"We had a big publican day where ... previous publicans ... told stories about the hotel and the ghosts was a common thread,'' she says.
"Sometimes ... the jukebox would turn on.
"They used to put chairs on top of the bar and they would fall off from the bench on their own.
"Lots of staff have talked about eerie feelings out in the kitchen.''
Mrs McCauley, of Christie Downs, helped Mr Marshall and clairvoyant Richard Shar with their ghost research of the pub.
Mr Marshall and Mr Shar visited about 60 sites in the south and across the state as part of their book on ghost haunts.
"The Alma Hotel is haunted by several ghosts, including Tim O'Brian,'' Mr Marshall says.
"His body was removed but the ghost remains in the well and comes out sometimes.
"The location of the well is now lost, but we are hoping to find it on our next visit and perhaps release the ghost.''
Other southern "ghost haunts" listed in the book include:
THE Star of Greece shipwreck site near Port Willunga is believed to be haunted by those who died in the 1888 naval tragedy. The crew who were drowned have been repeatedly heard at night walking past a local cottage on their way to a place near the hotel, where the bodies were kept before an inquest.
A GHOST is said to haunt Port Noarlunga's White Dove restaurant, which used to be a boarding house.
THE Willunga Courthouse is believed by some to be haunted by a badly beaten prisoner who had to be removed from one of the cells. There is also said to be the ghost of a 19th century policeman.
THE Ostrich Farm at Old Noarlunga is said to be haunted by an old man, whose ghost is largely transparent.