Kapunda, South Australia

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Nestled in the southwestern area of the state of South Australia, lies the town of Kapunda. The town was founded after two men who ran sheep in the area discovered copper ore in 1842. The two bought 80 acres of land around the discovery and set to work mining the copper. Fine marble was also quarried from nearby areas adding to the town’s wealth. The marble quarried from Kapunda was used to face the Parliament House in Adelaide. With the copper veins tapped out, Kapunda’s main industry are cereal grains and the area also contributes to the wine-growing industry.
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Picton, New South Wales, Australia

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The history of this small town 80 km (50 mi.) southwest of Sydney reaches back into the late 1700s. Europeans settled this area near the coast, but it remained outside the legal settlement boundaries until 1821. Right around that time, the governor of New South Wales authorized the building of the Great South Road which opened the door to the region and settlement quickly followed. The first land grant was given to Henry Colden Anthill who established a 2,000-acre property.

Though the town is young, it’s claimed to be the most haunted town in the whole of Australia.
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Haunted Hotels

While each of these places is probably already booked for this year, we decided to list them anyway so you can start making your spooky plans for next year. If you happen to have luck with any of these for this year, please leave a comment here and tell us of your experience. Some of these places were written about in previous months, so if you look over on the right side of the screen and click on the category called ‘haunted lodgings’ you’ll find out what’s in store for your stay.
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The Mermaid Inn

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If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!

Five-and-twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark
Brandy for the Parson
‘Baccy’ for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady; letters for a spy

And watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by.

~ A Smuggler’s Song, by Rudyard Kipling

Despite it’s French sounding name, the Cinque Ports were five ports along the eastern coast of England which were the most fortified and used in defense of the realm against invaders from France and beyond. Rye was one of those ports, admitted to the ‘fab five’ in 1156.

The oldest portions of the Mermaid Inn date from around this time, making it one of the oldest inns in the country. As Rye was a pretty busy port, not only providing ships for the Cinque Port fleet, but being responsible for maintaining and repairing the King’s Galleys, the Inn saw a lot of business.

In 1377, one of the many French raids was successful and they managed to burn down every building in the town that wasn’t built of stone. The cellar was the only part of the Inn which survived. In 1420, the Inn was rebuilt using timber salvaged from ships as well as Sussex oak. The fireplaces were constructed of French stone ballast pulled from the harbour. It was once again the principle Inn of Rye.

During the Reformation in Europe, Rye harboured fleeing priests from the continent. The letters J.H.S. (Jesus Homnium Salvator) can still be seen carved into the wood in one of the lounges of the Inn.

By 1735 the Mermaid Inn saw it’s most infamous use begin: that of a smuggler’s inn. This is the story shared on the Inn’s website:

In February 1735 a smuggler named Thomas Moore had been released on bail.  He went directly to the Mermaid with several cronies, dragged the Bailiff of the Sheriff of Sussex from the Inn and down to a boat in the harbour.  He also took the bail-bonds and warrants against the smugglers.  However, the Bailiff was rescued by the Commander of the Rye Revenue Sloop ‘Amelia’, who found the Bailiff in the “utmost consternation”.

From then til around 1749, the infamous Hawkhurst Gang – numbering 600 members – used the Mermaid Inn frequently and, according to legend, gang members often sat in the pub drinking and carousing with their pistols on the table displayed for everyone to see.

Whether that legend is true or not, one thing is undeniably true: the Mermaid Inn embraces its otherworldly guests as much as it did those unsavoury characters. There are a number of hauntings listed on the Inn’s site.

In the James Room, a lady in white or grey is reportedly seen in the room sitting in the chair next to the fireplace. Guest staying in the room have told stories of leaving clothes on the chair over night only to wake up to wet clothes.

In the Nutcracker Suite, a lady in white walks through the room pausing at the foot of the bed before continuing on.

In the Fleur de Lys Room, a couple were woken to find a man walk through the bathroom wall and into the centre of their room. They were so frightened they spent the rest of the night downstairs in the lounge.

In the Kingsmill Room, the air gets cold for no reason and a rocking chair will move of its own accord.

In the Hawkhurst Suite , a guest sleeping in the single room was awakened by a man dressed in old fashioned clothing sitting on her bed. When he did not move, she pulled the mattress into the double room where her sons slept.

The Lemp Mansion

Unarguably, Anheuser-Busch put St Louis, Missouri on the map, so to speak, when it advertised the city as its home. It’s no surprise, then, that St Louis is the home to the first brewing company in the United States: Lemp Brewing. It is also home to the largest mercantile mystery the city has ever experienced which has led to Lemp Mansion being considered one of the most haunted homes in America.

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The Meeting (Jadewik)

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Oh, the car ride to our lodging in Batesville, Mississippi was a hoot! I was in excellent spirits at being given the chance to go “adventuring”– that’s what I call traveling. Skatha picked me and ScoobyFan up from the airport. Fortunately, our flights arrived within an hour of each other, so it wasn’t that long of a wait before we were on the road. (I was only modestly molested by airport security, for which I’m thankful.) We were all in good spirits and excited to finally meet one another. The meet up was Skatha’s idea, and it was kinda nice to get to see my virtual friends in person– especially since they’re all so fun. (I was glad we got the chance to meet up!)

Batesville Plantation

A cool plantation style house near where we stayed. I can't seem to find my photos of the plantation we stayed at.

Pulling up to the plantation was delightful, albeit a little chilly and a lot humid. (“Chilly” is relative to someone from the Sonoran desert…) The plantation style house with veranda was so picturesque– almost like it was something out of a Samuel Clemens book– I had to jokingly ask if Tom Sawyer lived next door. I was dying to hear some of the history of the great south too. I’d Googled some local tourist sights and bookstores because it always seems you can never find good ghost story books about a location unless you’re at that location. I didn’t know if I’d be able to do anything with that, but I had the information just in case.
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