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Paranormal News provided by Medium Bonnie Vent > Sydney haunted house The Abbey in Annandale for sale

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22 May 2009


Sydney haunted house The Abbey in Annandale for sale

Article from: The Daily Telegraph


FOR sale: 50-room gothic mansion, original Victorian features, close to city and transport. Ghosts included.

Sydney's most mysterious mansion - The Abbey in Annandale - will go under the hammer later this year and is expected to fetch $10 million.

Gallery: Walk through The Abbey

But buyers beware - you will be sharing this slice of Sydney history with the original occupants, said to include a "lady in white" who haunts the tower.

Gervase Davis and his wife - who live alone in the house at 272 Johnston St - use their trusted feline as a barometer of spectoral activity.

When Merlin the cat's hackles rise, Gervase knows to clear the room because something unseen has entered.

"If you live here you need a cat to warn you. Cats are sensitive to that kind of thing, that's how I know someone has come in," Ms Davis said yesterday.

There are other oddities: Doors open and windows close on their own, visitors catch glimpses of dark shadowy figures, and the Lady in White roams the halls.

Looming over Sydney, the Victorian revivalist manor spookily swathed in Boston ivy goes on sale this year after being shrouded in secrecy since Freemason John Young spared no expense in building it to impress his wife in 1881.

They never lived in the house, and the grand design of gables, arches, lions, gargoyles, chimneys, turrets and gothic intricacies sat vacant, occupied only by housekeepers, while the ballroom and stables were a superior boarding house to private Sydney schools from 1887.

The house was subdivided and turned into flats in 1924. The grand old dame was rescued by Sydney surgeon Geoffrey Lancelot Davis, who paid £4500 cash for the house in 1959.

Dr Davis leased out the flats to folksy artists while he began a lifetime of work to restore the creation.

During the acid-dropping, folk singing 1970s, ghost hunters would brave the night with ectoplasmic machines.

"Everyone has a ghost story to tell," said Francesca Davis, who was raised in the house with her brother Gervase and five other siblings.

"The seven children all know it is haunted by ghosts, especially the Lady in White. The basement and the main bedroom are notorious for ghosts."

Ms Davis said her family could not afford to properly restore the manor, which is plastered with signs warning that you enter at your own risk.

The sale brings "enormous sadness" to the seven children.

All hope the manor, decorated in symbols only a Freemason would understand, is restored.

Its contents, dusty great collections of books, music, and instruments including a harp, grand pianos and gramophones - and event four lamps that once lit the Sydney Harbour Bridge - will be auctioned today.

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