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Ghosts aid Eerie Events
that sleepy little N.S.W. village tucked away precipitous mountains among on a bend in the Hawkesbury was River, brought into prominence last week by the mysterious activities of a demented
The Ferry is well known for fascinating tradition and weird legends; and it is not beyond the bounds of possi bility that the eerie atmosphere partly influenced the unfortunate itiad acts. woman's
the story of a blazing cottage, melted twisted gold, and buttons, and charred remains of either beast or into human, pales insignificance be fore the gripping and sometimes blood curdling stories that help to make up the history of the pretty little hamlet.
is a story of a tyrant; of dark evil days; haunted of houses, and convicts ghosts, hidden treasure, and from the trees; of goths swinging and vandals bones of the stealing the dead for curios.
Wiseman's Kerry is a village of about dozen a houses, and lies in a basin surrounded on mountains by rugged 60 the miles from River, Hawkesbury old Great Sydney the Northern by Road. is wild and The country surrounding desolate In parts, and sparsely popu lated. mountains, almost in Towering dark and dismal accessible, overlook ravines. The hillsides are densely and waratahs bloom in the wooded, gullies, of vivid color spots creating the foliage. The surrounding among lily luxuriates in the gigantic sandy crevices rocks. of the Here and the there on river flats are and flourishing crops orange and scene the whole groves, presents one of the loveliest In Australia. For the past hundred the dis years trict has been shrouded in mystery, tales told and are many strange by the inhabitants.
inhabitants. is the First, there 'Haunted House' in the Maroota on Forest the Sydney side of Wiseman's Ferry. is a The 'Haunted House' pic ruin on situated the turesque right is, or was, roadside, and substantially built of squared re and stones, what wa'ls mains evidence of the bears of There caref»l workmanship. are many it as stories, but far as contradictory can bo the gathered, building was in was erooted the late twenties and first used by the military for residen tial for a few Then, purposes. years it became a and after de court-house, generated into a public house.
A peculiarly atrocious mitted locality in the the house itself scaled
in say its fate, and place of habi
after carefully night and there, are won and strange derful to stories as afloat mysterious occur which in the weed happenings, choked interior of the desolate habita tion, presumably hour at the 'witching of midnight.' of Some the
National Library of Australia
of the morning, a Mr. Black, ot Castle Hill, was House' passing the 'Haunted tull man, when dressed a he saw only in a nightshirt, standing He nearby. the as approached he apparition, but it did moved so, away, and, walking a upright through four-railed fence as It if never Into existed, disappeared the thick bush. In the Mit According to records chell Library, Sydney, several others in past ana also recent have years averred that this seen they have figure. Prom Maroota into the Ferry the road twists about in its passage down
Channel he was and the by employed British Government to carry spies to to French the added coast. he But this adventure by carrying other doubt in the ful cargo of rum shape of casks to the shores on his return and brandy of England.
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and lying far
of in the the
of the turns that abrupt is a with the pass on peculiar the and cave, road, nigh above ap proached therefrom flight by a of is one in the rock. This steps hewn of the Caves.' 'Courthouse The in terior has been hollowed stone out, and above the scats, one been other, have fashioned solid out of the rock, while level platform In front a reaches to the edge of the cliff. Here in the early days that pecu liar brand of 'justice,' beloved of the ivhen the dispensed, 'system,' was court was presided over by that hated
was was he and Eventually caught sentenced to death, but fortunately for him this sentence was later commuted to transportation to Australia. This had wealth and in ex-smuggler and fluence at his command shortly after coming out made was here he Construction of Road Superintendent on the northern road, and he took up his residence on a Government at Wiseman's he had 300 Ferry, where convicts under his control. During the reign of this cruel auto crat of tragedies and scenes many
reminder of the evil days, oddly stands feet 700 enough, the out river looks above and upon the scene. most enchanting On side of the Hawkes the northern 'Courthouse of the bury Is another a mile from Caves.' the It is about
perched on similar road, and
companion on stream. cliffs On the high which frown the roadway, is a sinister draw upon ing, chiselled in the rock, represent
the right bank in appearance the other side
of tho to its of the
time three convicts from one of the stockades on the northern side of the river of under the cover night swam the stream with their leg-irons (it is a quarter on of a mile wide) and of scaling the stone walls So' omen's homestead stole some pumpkins. On the return two were journey drowned and the survivor on reaching the stockade was discovered one by of the guards. The was he following day given 50 lashes with the 'cat-o'-nine-tails' by the 'scourger.' after the which flogged a made man to his fellow promise con victs that kill the he would 'scourger' when he got a chanoe. He this chance got shortly after he wards, and drove a pick through the 'scourger's' skull in j» i unguard ed moment. later on hanged the high towering rock on the northern side of the river above the old stockade ruins. Sol lived in a substantial two-storeyed stone building at Wiseman's, which was erected early in the last century. To it is as known day the Hawkesbury it dominates Hotel, and all other build ings in the village.
The was prisoner 'Judgment Rock,'
It can in a certain light. only be seen It is said to be the work of a con vict who climbed daringly to this ele vation and executed the drawing, the principal figure of which is said to be the effigy of one of the overseers. Also the on is northern side the 'Judgment Rock' where at hangings Solomon Wiseman's command took place. Old Solomon Wiseman was a roman tic figure. yet bloody Before coming
A large house and sive posts with stone griffins.
brick wall surrounds the grounds and tho big mas of the are gateways topped lions couchant and laughing Wiseman his in died in '38
was to Australia he small sloop cruising Channel he was and
of a captain the English the by employed
the ghost haunted the most approved
At the rustle of
old hotel even silk dress is
nights passing hastily
form was location of the after midnight flat and enter to be supposed first wife. It was
to rise from the old vault in the garden and move across the the old home. It was the spirit of Wiseman's this
In o ago.
hotel of a
apparition that of a box of under the floor
who was heard
pass over him in the darkness. Others have often averred to hear ing in the night the piteous moans of a woman and the of terrifying clank convict fetters The bones of old Solomon Wiseman, the dark tyrant, his wife, and a black girl, lay for many under years the floor of the old church at the Ferry, but the goths and vanda's of Sydney. Windsor, and other places, had since helped themselves to the bones as curios. Some said the black girl was a niece of old Solomon's, but, whatever she was, she was a questionable
of ming clamrr.y
fleeing footsteps, a slam doors, and felt something
eccentric vanished tei'y and
the will cling to the
long atmosphere of
Last is which a surrounded weird week by legend. added the hill in (1) Over the to tho fame. hamlet's Forest is the convicts 'Haunted three with Maroota House.' (2) Whero swam were the river drowned. leg-irons on (3) Tho Two to steal pumpkins. Hotel old home Solomon which and the Hawkesbary of Wiseman, simply with reeks was where (4) One of tho 'Courthouse Coves' ghosts. 'justlco' meted out. (5) Laughtondalc, where demented last week woman' the set fire to a and mountains. then in the disappeared cottage
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