VIDEO surveillance equipment has been installed in a historic cottage at Penfold’s Magill Estate Winery in an attempt to explain strange happenings, which many believe are the work of a resident ghost.
The sensors and video equipment were installed in the 1840s Grange Cottage late last year after a series of alarms in the cottage were mysteriously triggered.
Cellar Door manager John Miller believes the cellar is haunted by Mary Penfold, whose husband Dr Christopher Penfold founded the winery 167 years ago.
He says staff recall many eerie events over the years, including a tea cup with Mary Penfold’s intials on it inexplicably moving around the cottage and a female voice being heard across the vineyards.
The strange activity ceased about 20 years ago, however the mystery was reignited last October when alarms started sounding without explanation.
Magill Estate site services co-ordinator Shane Carter says the alarms sound after dark and sometimes up to three times a night.
“Initially we put it down to the new (security) system and a few technical issues ... but that all got sorted out and we were still getting strange activity,” Mr Carter says.
“It’s different down there at night, it has a very strange feeling and it’s very isolated.”
Adelaide Security Services state manager Angelo DeMasi, who installed the equipment, was at a loss to explain why the sensor alarms had been going off so frequently.
“(In other places) you get the occasional problem where you find a cat getting in or a rat, or a fax machine that prints out a long report in the middle of the night,” Mr DeMasi says.
“But we don’t know why this is happening ... so we thought ‘let’s go out and check on it’.”
But in a strange twist, since the surveillance equipment was installed not a single alarm has been activated.
Mr Miller, who has worked at Magill Estate for more than 30 years, can recall many strange occurrences over the years.
“There was a curtain in the kitchen and you would drive up and down the driveway and sometimes it would be closed and then half open.
“Quite often it could change two or three times a day.”
Mr Miller says a tea cup with Mary Penfold’s initials has also been known to move about.
“Every time you would take a tour (group) down there, it would be in a different place.”
Mary Penfold died in 1895 aged 79 and is buried at St George’s Church, Magill.