Two items appear below:

1     Ghosts
2     The ghost who left daisies on the carpet

(Investigator 19, 1991 July)

One of the most common beliefs in the Supernatural is belief in ghosts.

A ghost is often imagined as an invisible replica or copy of a person, which leaves the person when he dies. At death the person's mind does not cease to exist but becomes associated with the replica.

Ghosts are non-material, indestructible, and occasionally become visible in a transparent sort of way comparable to transparent images seen when looking through windows.

The idea of "ghost" is obviously similar to, or the same as, the notions of "soul" or "spirit".

One difference is that the soul or spirit is imagined as going to a Spirit World or a Heaven or Nirvana whereas a Ghost remains on Earth. This happens when the person’s death is a suicide or associated with tragedy and the Ghost is then said to "haunt" the place or persons connected with the tragedy.

"Monte Cristo" is an old house in Junee, North of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. It was built in 1884, abandoned around 1945, then gradually restored after 1965 by current residents Reg and Olive Ryan. Seven people died at Monte Cristo and a mentally retarded man was chained up there for 40 years. One woman fell off a balcony. A boy was murdered by an arsonist. A nanny dropped a small girl down the stairs. The last death was in 1961. A man left the cinema after watching "Psycho", went to Monte Cristo, and blasted the caretaker with a shotgun.

The Ryans report "ghostly" events like vases shifted and wallpaper tearing. Said Olive Ryan on TV: "I believe someone else is living here."

Tourists are now flocking to Monte Cristo.

The tabloids are crammed with reports of hauntings. Scientists used to try to study ghosts with help from Spiritualists. Lots of fraud was revealed but never any Ghosts and scientific interest has declined.

The ghost who left daisies on the carpet

John Legg

(Investigator 19, 1991 July.

Australasian Post, December 25, 1986)

BETTY BARROW (that's not her real name) had grown used to living alone, with only her animals for company, on her small country property within sight of Mt Roland in North-West Tasmania.

She had lived in the old weatherboard house in Sheffield district for several years undisturbed, although occasionally she had the feeling that someone was watching her.

Generally she was able to dismiss these feelings as "nothing but imagination", but there were times when Mrs Barrow began to wonder if her house was haunted.

Several times she was driven out of the kitchen by what she described as "an almighty stench" – which would disappear as suddenly and mysteriously as it had come.

Sometimes, especially at night, the dogs would bark furiously for no reason at all. Mrs Barrow could not understand why one or other of the two-chandeliers in the lounge would start to rotate of their own accord.

Some days there were freezing temperatures in certain parts of the house which bore no relation to the prevailing conditions. Even when the sun was shining, one corner of the study was "teeth-chatteringly cold".

Rapping noises alternating between the lounge and her bedroom one day had her going backwards and forwards all day looking for an explanation, but without success. At times Mrs Barrow thought she could hear the crackling of flames in another room, but when she went to investigate there was no sign of any fire.

One night, waking at 3 am she was convinced as she looked through the gap in the bedroom doorway, that she saw the reflection of flames going up the wall of the lounge, but when she burst into the lounge she could find nothing amiss.

The same night her sister, who was staying with her, thought she heard the crackling of flames in the lounge, but when she went to see if the fire was safe there were only cold ashes in the fireplace.

One day Mrs Barrow found a dead ember from the wood fire resting on the coffee table in the lounge, although a fireguard was in position around the fireplace. When she made a similar discovery several days later, she was more puzzled than ever.

It seemed another time as if a burning log was being projected towards her, threatening to catch her skirt alight. "The way it came out of the fire was not natural", she declared. It seemed to jump over another log."

Five nights in a row she was unable to use a tape cassette player because of malfunctioning and noisy interference. When she tried to telephone a friend about it, the phone-went dead.

Her vacuum cleaner and other electrical appliances started behaving erratically. One night the refrigerator defrosted itself and next night everything froze. A packet of cigarettes disappeared one day without trace. "There were on the arm of the chair when I went to light a fire in the bedroom", Mrs Barrow said. "When I came back they had gone. I searched everywhere for them.

"A week later I saw the missing packet under a chair – where I had already searched thoroughly. But four cigarettes were missing."

On my second visit to the house a few days after this, we had hardly sat down to talk when Mrs Barrow gave a start. "Where did that come from?" she asked with astonishment, pointing to a solitary cigarette she had just noticed on the coffee table. It had not been there when she went to answer the door. I could not offer any explanation.

There were other small objects that baffled Mrs Barrow when they appeared as if from nowhere.

One day she returned home to a locked house to find eight shabby-looking daisies made of felt on her lounge floor, scattered over a couple of metres of carpet. It was a mystery as to where they had come from. The "flowers" looked as if they were mementoes of an earlier era.

A week later, a ninth daisy turned up just as mysteriously on the same floor.

Two small pieces of wood and a thin strip of wallpaper 15 cm long also appeared in different parts of the house without explanation. Mrs Barrow had never seen any of them before.

The larger piece of wood, 10 cm long, had been found on top of a cupboard in the back porch. The smaller piece looked as if it had been roughly finished with primitive tools and might have broken off something, but could not be connected with anything in the house.

It was obvious, too, that the piece of wallpaper matched nothing In the house.

Mrs Barrow was puzzled when she found a small handwritten program for a musical and literary society evening held in 1913 on the study floor.

She knew where this had come from — It should have been inside one of the books halfway up the shelves lining the wall of the study — but it was a mystery how it came to be on the floor a couple of metres from the shelves. No one else had been in the house.

One afternoon Mrs Barrow was resting in her bedroom when, out of the comer of her eye, she saw the headless apparition of a woman in her bedroom doorway. The woman was wearing a very old fashioned brown dress and carrying a basket. The misty figure faded in a couple of seconds.

Mrs Barrow had the impression that the woman she had seen was a gentle person. There were other times when she seemed to sense her presence. But another day, in the lounge, she encountered an entirely different entity. There were feelings of hostility in the air and several times she felt blows on her legs which sent her reeling.

"I can only say that someone I could not see kicked me in the shins," Mrs Barrow declared. "As I went to sit on a stool, it was removed from under me, and I went sprawling on the floor. I was terrified."

Mrs Barrow said that as she was walking her dogs outside at another time she seemed to be carrying a great weight.

"Somebody had latched on to me, and I was up against a physical barrier." At last, saying a prayer for protection and with the dogs on either side of her, she struggled back into the house.

She lost no time seeking the help of a Burnie-based Christian psychic group which has carried out a number of successful exorcisms In Tasmania.

One psychic in the group told Mrs Barrow the house was being haunted by the spirits of a pioneer couple who had lived on the property last century. Their own primitive dwelling had been burnt down after their deaths. The couple had been buried in simple graves on the property. The psychic said the felt daisies had belonged to the pioneer woman and had been placed on her grave when she died.

It was only later that Mrs Barrow remarked she had thought for some time that a mound at the rear of the property could be a grave.

It was a common practice in pioneer times for settlers who died to be buried on their own properties.

A dowser believes he has pin-pointed two graves, but expert help may be needed to establish beyond doubt that burials took place on the property. Psychical researchers are regarding the case with considerable interest.

No more unusual incidents have been reported since a service of exorcism was held in the house by a five-member rescue group from the Burnie-based Spectrum Fellowship. Whatever the sceptics may say, Mrs Barrow knows that she did not imagine the experiences that made a three-month period of her life a living nightmare.

She still has the felt daisies which came as "gifts from the unseen world" ...arriving from an unknown location and depositing themselves inside a locked house by a process that defies logical explanation.

FOOTNOTE: While Betty Barrow is a fictitious name, the woman concerned is a real person who simply wishes to protect her privacy. All other details are as told to the writer by the woman who experienced the haunting at first hand.
(Reprinted with Permission)