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Haunted Glen (1869)

Haunted Glen (1869)

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Queanbeyan Age 1869 (July 8)
Queanbeyan Age 1869 (July 8)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Oct 20, 2012
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06/15/2014

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Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904), Thursday 8 July 1869, page 1National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article30579354
GHOSTGLEN.
E
omn.
tho
Autratlaaian.J
GnosTGLEN-orthe
place
that
used:to
lie
called
by
that
namoe-liesaboutelevenmiles
1
southofKiama,
in
New
South
Wales.From:
a
matter-of-fact
pointofviewitis
simply
a
great
scoop
of
landheavilytimbered,
dipping
.1
fromthe
Illawarra
mountains
into
the
sea;
I
but,
taking
for
truththe
statementsofa
I
local
poetical
legend,
itis
something
more.
According
to
certainold
Irish
farmers
residing
at
arespectful
distancefrom
thespot,
it
hasbeenthenightly
haunt
of
two
spectre-1
sawyers
for
the
last
forty
years.
To
quote
1
someverses,
the
inhabitants
allegethat-Over
apitfall
the
moon-dew
is
thawing,And,
withnevera
body,
tywo
adowsstandsawing.
,
The
wraithsof
two
sawyers
ep
underand
under)
Who
did
a
foul
murder
andwereblackened
with
thunder.
.
And
whenevera
storm-wind'
comes
driven
and
driving,..
.Through
the
blood-spatteredtimber
you
may,
soothe
saw
strivingYou
may
see
the
saw
heaving,
and
falling;
andheaving,
Whenever
the
soa-croek
is
chafing
and
grieving
!
Inprose,thiswould
amount
to
an
asser
tionthat
a
visit
by
night
tothe
glen
instormy
weather
is
not
exactlythe
sortoft
exercise
tosteady
aman's
nerves.
The
other
features
of
the
spectralpicture
are
the
spirit
of
a
sheepdog,
anda
burnthuman
body
changed
by
fire
into
the
colour
ofanadder.
Asthelegend
of
Ghost
Glen,
likethatofFisher's
ghost,
used
tobe
apopular
firesidetopic
amongst
the
old
hand'of
Australia,
and
as
it
hds
travelledto
England,
the
pre
sent
writer
assumes
that
it
willinterestthe
readers
of
theAustralasian.Asfarback
as
the
year
1820,
theIllawarra
bush,
especially'thatportionof
it
extendingfromDaptotothe
northern
boundariesof
the
Shoalhaven
district,
was
frequented
by
cedar
curitters,
or,to
use
the
common
term,
sawyers.
Atthattimethese
menwere
thetrue
pioneers
of
European
civilisation.
Long
n
beforethefarmer
or
grazier
had
set
footinthose
wilds-years
prior
to
thenovelty
of
clearing
off
and
fencing
in-thetent
of
the
sawyerwas
a
familiar
object
tothe
local
5
blacks.
Withbutfew
exceptions,the
earlier
cedar-cutterswere
convictsout
on
ticket
of-leave,'
and
employed
by
timber-specu-0
lators
and
others.It
may
be
guessed
from
the
foregoing
that
the
wordcivilisationrequires
1
some
qualification
inthe
present
instance.
a
Many
of
theblackest-dyed
ruffians
of.their
time
were
tobefoundinthe
ranksof
the
Illawarra
sawyers.
If
rocksand
trees
could
t
have
spoken,
they
might
havebeen
able
to
a
tell
talesO'er-toppingthe
veryfront
andhead
of
horror.
But
thefew
casesofcrime
that
came
to
light
t
independent
ofsupernatural
agency
were
diabolical
enough
to
shock
even
thenot
over
days.For
enoughshock
sensitive
colonial
society
of
thosedays.Forinstance,the
murderwhich
gave
birthto
the
plegend
of
Ghost
Glen,
was,in
plotandper
petration,
of
a
most
satanic
character.
Ayoung
emigrant-a
new
chum,in
fact-stayed
a
nightat
the
small
settlementof
Kiama
on
his
way
toBerry's
stationat
Shoalhaven.Hehad
some
'money
about
him
of
which
he
madea
toofrequentdisplay.Mostlikelyhe
was
excited
by
drink-asup
position
that
is
strengthened
by
thestory
that
hisKiamahost
sold
grog
on
the
sly.
A
great
brindledsheep-dog
accompanied
him.
C
Two
men-characterswith
the
brand
of
the
N
,uffian
on
their
faces-drank
spiritsat
his
expense;
plied
him
with
conversation
in
which
the
word
mate
was
prominent;
and
finally
started
away
with
himostensiblyto
guide
himtohisdestination
by
ashort
out.
The
unfortunate
traveller
never
turned
up
again.His
companions,
whowere
knowntobe
sawyersof
the
worst
class,
andwhose
camp
was
supposed
tobein
the
neighbour
hood
of
Kiama,
suddenlydisappearedfromthe
district.
They
left
noclue
to
point
totheir
whereabouts,
nor
does
it
appear
that
they
wereever
traced
out.
But
somemonths
after
their
hasty
departure
one
of
Berry's
as
signed
servants
losthiswayinthe
bush,
near
the
presentsite
of
Gerringong,
and
during
the
time
camped
for
two
nights
in
an
isolated
glen
close
to
a
sea-creek.
Fromhis
state
ment
of
what
heheard
and
saw
there
origin
ated
thelegend
forming
the
subject
of
thissketch.
The
manwas
lostfor
several
days.
A"
little
tobacco,
and
a
pipe,
anda
flint
and
steel
were
the
only
things
hehad
about
him.
Consequently,
when
he
was
pickedup-he
was
found
on
thefourth
or
fifth
day-he
was
half-starved.Thedelirium
of
hungermayhavebeenthe
cause
of
the
apparition
by
which
he
swore
he
was
visitedon
the
second,and
third
nights
of
hisstayinthe
buiish.
Thestartlingfact,
however,
that
the
burnt
'bones
of
a
human
being
weresubse
quently
foundinthe
glen
described
by
himgave
weight
tohis
story,
and
elevated
the
whole
thing
into
a
popular
tradition.
Ofcourse,the
present
writer
does
notpretend
to
imply
thatthere
was
any
supernaturalfeatureinthe
case.
The
tale
circulated
by
?Berry's
servantandthediscoveryofthe
bonesmayhaveformed
amerecoincidence-one
certainly
equalled
inthemarvellous
direction
by
others
occurringelsewhere,
and
Tfurnishing
better.
proofsof
their
accidental
hharacter.
.
Or
it
may
have
happened
that,
during
his
temporary
insanity,
theman
came
acrossthehuman
remains.
Admitting
this
to
be
thetrue
sideof
the
case,
thehorriblevisionsoftheglen
are
easilyexplained.
Anabnormally
excited
imaginationdrewthepicture(ghostsand
all)
from
the
baresug
gestions
afforded
by
amouldering
shelton.
But
be'thatas
it
may,the
servant's
story
 
But
be'thatas
it
may,the
servant's
story
hasbecome
partand
parcel
oftheghost
literature
of
Australia.
What
he
saw,
or
ratherwhat
he
professedto
have
seen,
maybe
described
in
avery
few
sentences.
The
first
nightofthe
visionsset
in
rainy.
'Acold
sea-windwas
blowing,
and
the
wanderer
had
tomakeasourleytoensure
someprotection
from
it.
By
means
ofhis
flint
and
steel
he
got
up
a
fire,
but
ofcourse
he
was
supperless.
A
quid
of
tobacco,
howeevr,
served
to
allaythe
pains
of
hunger;
and
thepoorfellow
managed
intimetoget
to:sleep.
How
long
thatslumberlasted
he
could
never
tell.
Perhaps
acouple
of
hours
-perhaps
longer.
He
wasawakened
by
'
sounds
like
distantgratings
ofa
cross
'out
saw.:
"At
that
thatoment
he
was
tapped
on
i
thie
shoulder';-Looking
round,
lie
saw'a
,t
bloo~dyihand'=and
part
ofanarm
thrust
up
a
through
the
grass,
close
tohis
neck.
Whenahle.turnedthe
apparition
disappeared.
-
Thegrating
noiseceased
at
the
samei
time..
Trembling
withcoldand
fright,
ih
he
got
up
andreplenished
his
fire.
The
r
light
andwarmth
of
the
latter
were
hardly
asufficientto
restore
his
nerves
totheir
ni
normalcondition.]But
after
a
while
he
in-
t
clined
to
the
belief
that
hehadhad
a
vivid
t
nightmare,
and
towardsmorninghe
wentoff
p
*to
sleep
again.
A
cry-a
distant
cryfrom
[f
some
human
being
in
agony-startled
hima
out
ofaconfused
dream.Thegrating
of
othe
saw
was
renewed,butthistimethe
n
sodunds
appeared
tocome
from
aspot
nota
o
hundred
yardsoff.
He
looked
inthein-adicateddirection.He
saw-just
for
asecondr,
only-the
faintblurredfigures
of
two
men.
I
Thefeet
ofone
wore
over
the
head
of
the
n
other.
Thelower
shape
seemed
to
be
'
standing
in
ashallowpit.
The
otherwas
a
evidently
supported
by
aplatformraiseda
hfewfootfrom
the
ground.
They
were
saw-
ding,butthe
sawwas
invisible.Theterrified
e
spectator
sprangtohis
feet,
shook
himself
u
tobe
assuredof
his
wakefulness,
and
looked
ti
again.
There
was
nothingtobe
seen
be-,
Jsides
the
vague
outlines
of
theforest.
Sleep
r
forthe
rst.eeof
the
.
was
out
of
the
.a
question.He~sat
inhiswwurleyandwaitedIforthe
morning.
hThe
day
broke
fine,
and
continuedso,
but
i
the
wanderer
was
too
weak
toleavethe
glen..He
managed,
however,
to
crawl
about
rhalf
a
mileinthedirection
of
thesea.Y
Here
he
:madechoice
of
another
camping-
qplace.He
was
lucky
enough
tokillan
b
iguana,
which
was
soon
roastedand
de-
t
voured..As
night.drew
onaheavythunder-
1i
stormgathered
upfromthe
west...
It
was
|
followed
.by
a
gale,
which
lasted
into,
thet
travellei
'
.by
middleof
the
nextday.
The
travelleinot
'
being
ableto
keep;
up
a
fire,
took
quarters
c
in
a
lairge'hollow
log.Weariness
and
a
colasoon
blunted'
theimpressions
of
thed
previous
night,'
and
the
result-was
a
soiind
a
slumber.
'
:
The
first
apparition
came
thistime
in
one
of
theloudest
fits
of
the
gale.
The
sleeper
was
aroused
.by
a
terrifid'
clap
of
thunder.
Hisopening
eyes
weremet
by
the
appear
ance
of
.
a
gashed
blood-dabbledfacestaring
at
himthroughthefurthercavity
of
thelog.
t
About
fifty
feetfromthe
remains
of
his
fire
there
was
a
kind
of
black
heap,overwhich
f
a
'dog
was
apparently
lying.The
voicesof
men
and
theloud
noise
of
a
saw
infull
work
wereheardinthe
first
pauseof
the
wind.
A
slightmovement
on
the
partof
the
spec
tator
caused
face,
dog,
and
heap
todisap-"
pear.
..But
thesawing
and
talking
con
tinued..Almost
crazed
with
terror,
the
man
got
up
and
went
out
intotherain.
He;
was
greeted
by
a
demoniaclaugh
and
the
pelting
P
ofapitiless
shower.
But
the
supernatural
sounds
immediately
ceased.
a
Thelast
apparition
foundhim
lying
in
a
1
vague
state,
half-way
between
sleep
anda
fear-stricken
watchfulness.
Agurgling
voice,
the
voiceof
aman
inintense
agony,
a
said
to
him,
"forGod's
sake,tellthe
Sydney
peopleof
this!
"
A
doubled-up
body,
amashed
moaning
body,lay
at
theopening
of
the
log;
agreat-limbed
but
a
wasted
sheepdoglickedthedeadbattered
face;
distinctin
the
darkness
there
appeareda
sawpit-logs,
cross-pieces,
and
all.
Two
sawyers-huge
rough-beardedmen-were
workingin
a
ring
of
ghastlylight.To
theright
of
the
pit
lay
thesmouldering
remainsofacamp-fire.
Diabolical
curses,
mingledwith
shrieks,
seemed
to
come
fromevery
quarter
of
the
compass.
The
terrified
traveller
remainedmotionless.
In
oneof
thebreaks
of
the
storm
heheard
aman
say,
"
takethe
money-take
everything,
but
1
let
me
go."
A
savage
reply
was
broken
short
by
a
sudden
burst
of
thunder.
The
dog
howledpiteouslyinthedarkness.Then
a
coarse
cursing
voiceshouted
out,"let's
pitch
the
-
on
the
fire,
andcut
the
-
cur's
throat."
A
secondofsilencewas
fol
lowed
by
a
piercing
yellandavivid
flash
of
lightning.The
pitand
its
occupants
disap
peared
as
if
by
magic.
Dog
and
body
werenot
to
be
seen.
The
only
noisesabroad
were
those
of
the
gale.
Butjustbeforedaybreak
a
dead,
waxyface
appearedat
the
opening
of
the
log.The.lips
movedandwhispered
faintly.The
first
wordswere
in-
t
distinct,but
the
listener
caught
the
most
of
the
rest.
They
were
these
:-"
Ididmybest,but
Louey
willnever
know
it.
They
have
slaughteredpoorold
Nep,
too.That
cursedsawpit.
Writeto
Sydney,
Louey."
The
traveller
moved
his
arm,
and
theap

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