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Showing posts with label The Supernatural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Supernatural. Show all posts

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Spooky Tale: Pinky Visits a Ghost Town

                                                              Image Credit

The days between Christmas and New Year are strange

It’s almost like being in a kind of dead zone… accompanied by an eerie feeling of knowing we’re living the final days before the new beginnings of the next year.

“We need to do something,” declared Scotto yesterday, the sweat dripping down his forehead in the 35 degree oven we call the lounge room. “Let’s go on a day trip somewhere.”

Scotto loves to drive his new “Batmobile” on the highway, so I scanned my tiny brain for somewhere we could pay a visit to, in our parched hinterland.

“We could go to Ravenswood,” I offered. “It’s about an hour drive away.”

“What’s there?” queried Scotto, swatting away a slow, heat-stricken fly.

“Nothing,” I replied.

“Let’s go then! It might be cooler there. It might even be raining.”

Poor Melbourne-born Scotto hates the heat and lack of rain here in North Queensland.

“Ravenswood’s a ghost town,” I lectured Scotto in the car on the way. “It used to have a population of about 4500 back in the 1890s because of the gold rush but now only a couple of hundred people live there. I’ve heard there’s even a haunted pub!

Just don’t blink or you actually will miss it,” I warned as we approached the tiny hamlet.

Our first stop was the historic cemetery. 

Ravenswood Cemetery 

Our shoes crackled across the brittle, dried out grass and we pondered over the sad gravestones of little children and young women who’d probably died in childbirth back in the 1800s. 

“Why are there so many little kids’ graves?” asked Scotto.

“Diphtheria, Typhoid… they didn’t have antibiotics back then,” I answered feeling a little melancholy.

Grave at Ravenswood Cemetery

We both suddenly jumped in fright as the shutter on Scotto’s camera began automatically firing over and over.

“That’s weird…” he stared at me with a pale face. “Why’s it doing that?”

"Maybe something wants to be seen?" I answered with false bravado.

                                What the F-f-f-f-f!

The temperature when we climbed back in the car was close to 37 degrees and there was not a cloud in the sky.

We had a quick look around the museum.

“Where are you two from?” probed the elderly woman at the door when she overheard Pinky jokingly whinging about the extortionate two dollar admission fee.

“I’ve lived here all my life,” she continued with a toothless sneer. “People are shocked when I tell them that... I can think of worse places to live.”

“I can’t…” I thought, as I feigned interest in the three glass cabinets containing boring old rubbish from the nineteenth century.

“Don’t forget to have a look at the old jail out the back,” the woman called out when she noticed Scotto and Pinky attempting to slither out the door unnoticed.

Ravenswood Museum
                     I think they must have forgotten about someone...

“Time for a beer!” announced Scotto. 

Railway Hotel Ravenswood

The Railway Hotel (circa 1890 and one of only two remaining hotels) was straight across the road and as we walked in to the establishment the local bar flies stared at our city slicker attire with barely concealed derision (no they didn’t... but it would have been funny if they had).

We ordered counter lunches whilst three poodles, a couple of tiny terrier pups and a biggish mongrel had a full on barney around the bar, barking, growling and nipping each other.

The beer was great; ice cold and refreshing, the fish and chips delicious.

Pub Lunch

“We can go and have a look at the old mine after lunch,” I suggested.

Open cut mine Ravenswood

We did. There’s nothing spookier than an abandoned mine. The hike up to the lookout had a steep ascent with a 10 degree gradient, so in the searing heat our thirst had re-established itself and it was time for another beer.

“I think this is the haunted one,” I informed Scotto as we pulled up outside the Imperial Hotel.

A table of locals out the front of the pub, unashamedly gawked at the Batmobile as Scotto (showing off) did a powerslide in the gravel as we pulled up.

“They’re staring at your car!” I commented. “Probably never seen a car like this in these here parts.”

Scotto was thrilled at the attention and disembarked from the Batmobile feeling like a superstar… right up until he fell in a hole and nearly went ass up.

The entire table erupted in loud guffaws and watched us hobbling across the road in embarrassment.

“Have a nice trip?” chortled the matriarch of the group.

“Yeah, I’ll be back in the fall,” muttered a sheepish Scotto.

Bar in Ravenswood Hotel

Behind the bar stood a tiny, attractive blonde girl; she was clearly a backpacker by the sound of her Scandinavian accent. 

She stood out like a dog’s hind leg (sic) against the back drop, with her golden hair and white smile. "How the hell did a backpacker have the misfortune of winding up here?" I wondered.

We drank our beers and Scotto insisted, quite passionately, on returning the empty glasses back to the bar. 

I suspected it was more to do with the stunning blonde barmaid inside, rather than his impeccably good manners.

“Let me take them back…” I suggested.

“No. I’ll do it,” he replied (quite firmly).

“Nice car, yah!” I heard the Nordic goddess trill to my husband, who stood with an irritatingly silly grin on his face.

We left the pub and decided we’d seen enough for one day even if we hadn’t espied any ghosts as such.

“Did you have a nice day?” asked the shop keeper at the antiquated post office/store we called into to get water for the journey back.

“Yes thanks,” Pinky mused. “We saw the museum and the mine, had a lovely lunch at the Railway Hotel and a final roadie at the Imperial just before.”

The shop keeper stared at me, his pupils dilating slightly, his face blanching.

“The Imperial Hotel has been boarded up for the last thirty years,” he choked, “ever since that young, Swedish backpacker was murdered by a jealous miner’s wife.”

                                     I swear every hair on Scotto's head stood on end!

Ravenswood goat

N.B: Some of this story may have been made up… a bit.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pinky and the Ghost in the Cupboard!

                              Ghostly Pinky!!! 

(Thanks again to Scotto for his brilliant photoshopping skills... I'm not dead in case you were wondering.)

With 32 degree temperatures in the shade, it’s officially too hot to go out walking so the ignored treadmill (buried under clean towels I’ve hidden from the kids in the locked spare room) was where I headed this morning with the objective of burning off some lumpy and unappealing visceral fat.

The house was empty and quiet. You could have heard a mouse fart. Uninhabited houses make Pinky jittery...

Pablo and Celine were allowed to accompany me and sit spectator-like on the bed while I pounded the rubber for an hour or so. The air-conditioner purred quietly in the background as I attempted to read my kindle with my glasses wobbling all over the place.

I could hear the dogs scratching at the door… no… the dogs were on the bed. 

Pausing the treadmill, I opened the door to see what it was. There was nothing there...that's weird, I thought.

 The plaintive scratching began again as soon as I recommenced my walking, but this time it seemed to be emanating from the cupboard…the slightly ajar, just a wee bit spooky cupboard.

It was then that the moaning started… a low lamenting moan. Was that coming from the cupboard too?

What the hell was it? I stopped the machine again. 

Aaah! The moaning was just Pablo the Chihuahua, probably confused as to what I was doing. I never located the source of the scratching though… and I didn’t dare look in the cupboard.

It’s not like I believe in ghosts or anything like that. It’s just that I'm good at spooking myself... especially when I'm alone.

Many years ago when Pinky was still a young, carefree singleton I rented a very old house, an over one hundred years old house, in actual fact. It had been transported from Charters Towers when the Gold Rush was over and the once flourishing city (which was at one stage was the second largest city in Queensland) had been rapidly reduced to a mere ghost town.

I’ll bet that house had some stories to tell.

“The house is haunted,” offered the previous tenant Janelle, a girl I worked with at the time. “But it’s a friendly ghost.”

I lived alone in the house for three months and didn’t ever notice anything even remotely ethereal or creepy... until one day something happened that incited every hair on my body to stand on end.

My little dog Basil was with me in the kitchen and as I went to walk into the bedroom with Basil at my feet he suddenly stopped rigid and still. The line of fur on his back was stiff and raised, he stared into the room riveted and began to growl uncharacteristically.

 It was a terrible snarl, and as I tried to peer into the room he moved between me and the entrance growling at me as if to prevent my access. The little terrier turned again, savagely engrossed, trembling and moaning just staring in horrified fascination at something in the room.

After a few minutes he stopped, just like that. I went into the room, sh#tting myself quietly with Basil happily trotting in my wake… and of course there was nothing there.

This afternoon Hagar came home from his first day at a new job working as an electrical apprentice at the hospital.

“How was your day, Hagar?” I enquired.

“Alright… worked in the morgue all day,” he replied, shaking plumes of white dust from his tradie clothes all over my wooden floor.

“What’s that?” I asked tetchily, pointing to the dust.

Dead people’s ashes,” he quipped, raising one eyebrow in a sinister manner.

Little sh#t. I hope he gets a night shift.

Do you have a ghost story??? Come on… hit that comments box below!
                            My very first dog, Basil.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pinky on Superstitions and Signs

Much to the constant irritation of my self-professed nihilist father and rationalist son, Jonah, I am a VERY superstitious person. One particular event guaranteed to send shivers up my spine is the sight of a crow. I can’t stand the demonic black feathered fiends. Seeing a crow hanging around my house leads me to imagine some malevolent disaster is about to occur; like me suddenly dropping dead, and I can’t help but believe the crow is an evil harbinger of doom, a bad, bad omen.

Imagine my fright when one morning, on the first day of term, I walked into my empty classroom before the kids arrived at school and found a single long black feather on my desk.

“Where had it come from?” I thought. “Why would someone leave such a sinister talisman for me to find?”

Hurriedly stuffing the creepy feather into the wheelie bin outside, I pushed the whirlpool of disturbing thoughts from my head.

The next day, when I discovered ANOTHER long black feather on my desk my heart skipped a beat.

The following day there was another and the next ANOTHER!

By this time Pinky was dribbling in morbid fear.

Someone had to be doing this deliberately. Someone was intentionally trying to rattle me and it was working! I racked my juddering brain… silently screaming…who? Who?

“Did anyone leave this feather on my desk?” I asked the class in a quavering voice. No one owned up. And anyway… a bunch of nine year olds would hardly be aware of the long-established significance of leaving a black feather for someone to find would they?

Come to think of it… what was the significance? Maybe it meant good luck?

I Googled it.

“What does it mean if you find a black feather on your doorstep?” was the closest search term I was able to discover. Terrified at the possible response I hesitated. 

What if it said I was going to perish in a violent accident… or a gypsy had cursed me… or something even worse???

“It means a black bird dropped a feather outside your house.” Was the rational answer supplied by Yahoo Answers.

Phew! I thought. But then, my friend, I made my biggest mistake.

I scrolled down... and found this!

About 300 years ago, people believed that black crows were the sign of death, and that witches could transform into black crows to hide in places and easily curse people!

Bleeeeeaaghhhhhh!!!!!! Mummeeeeeeeee!
Much to my immense relief it was eventually revealed the feathers were from a play costume we’d used the previous term. 

Betty, the scrupulous cleaner, who'd been finding them buried under things in the classroom had been innocently placing the menacing quills on my desk.

I admit... that was a good outcome... but I still hate crows.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Girls!!! Get thee to a clairvoyant!

                                Pinky and Scotto 2004

When things aren’t going well in life many people turn to spirituality; they’ll go to church, a mosque, a temple or whatever is pertinent to their faith. 

When there’s a man drought happening, women go to a clairvoyant.

Many years ago, having divorced her first husband three years previously, Pinky was sad and lonely. Who would ever want a middle-aged woman with five kids?...she speculated gloomily.

Then she saw the advertisement in the paper; 
Miriam the Clairvoyant, doing readings from her home for fifty bucks! Cheap as chips!

I timidly made the appointment and when the fate-filled day arrived enlisted fourteen year old Thaddeus to babysit eight year old Lulu and her brother Padraic for the hour I’d be gone.

“Do you have a piece of jewellery I can hold while I do your reading?” the very ordinary looking Miriam requested. I passed over the gold cross I wore around my neck feeling like an idiot and wishing I’d never committed to this foolish rubbish.

Miriam informed me that she ‘channelled’ guides who relayed all the information she would pass on to me.

“Are you married?” she asked in an odd tone of voice while she fingered my necklace, “How many children do you have? How old are they? What are their names?”

‘Shouldn’t you be bloody telling ME that,” I screamed inwardly, “And forget about the kids I want to know about any prospective whoopy that may be headin’ ma way.”

Shallow Pinky? You bet!… after Miriam finished with the boring stuff about the kids, she finally began to get into the juicy details.

“You will meet a man,” she slurred, with her eyes rolling back in her head (no she didn’t, I’m exaggerating for effect).

“This man,” she continued, “lives in South Queensland. He’s a bit of a character and loves to dress up. I can't quite picture him... but he has a young daughter.”

Alarm bells went off. Noooooo…. I have enough kids already.

“You will meet him around your birthday and he will immediately fall hard for you. He is a big softie and VERY romantic and you will marry him.”
Well, THAT sounds alright. I urged her on.

“He will see you as… the complete package.”

Aaaah, that must mean my beauty, wit and enforced thriftiness, I thought.

“This will definitely happen around your birthday… within the next five years,” she concluded.

FIVE BLOODY YEARS! I WANT MY MONEY BACK! impatient temperament seethed.

When I arrived home fifty dollars lighter, I discovered Lulu lying on the couch with her foot packed in ice. Despite my warning to remain in the house she’d gone out the front, climbed a tree and jumped down breaking her foot. The damn clairvoyant didn’t see THAT coming DID SHE???

Ridden with guilt I angrily threw the recording of the reading she’d given me in the trash, and that was the end of that. I promptly forgot the whole episode.

Two months later whilst on holidays in South Queensland, I met Scotto a week before my birthday. We instantly hit it off. The next week (my actual birthday) he invited me to his house for dinner.

“We have to go and have some photographs taken first,” he said when he picked me up.

Huh?? Whaaaat sort of photos? Nudey photos??? I was scared...

But it was okay… his mate was a bit of an amateur photographer and he took some romantic photos of us in the garden of his bushland property.

It transpired that this unexpected activity was also a bit of a stalling ploy. While we were having our photos taken, Scotto’s flatmate had been employed to light one hundred tea candles for me to espy as I walked in the front door, as well as putting the champagne on ice and heating the oven for dinner. Aaaaah… a true romantic (Scotto, not the flatmate).

Scotto does have a gorgeous, young daughter who lives with her Mum but is constantly up here on holidays joining in the insanity of Chez Poinker.

It wasn’t until Scotto leaned towards me many months later while we out to dinner and adoringly whispered,

“I love you Pinky… I see you as… the complete package,” that the penny dropped and I realised how right that clairvoyant had been.

But the tingles really went up my back about four months later when Scotto and I were buying engagement rings. We stopped into a coffee shop and I noticed an ordinary looking older woman staring at us, even more intently at Scotto. It was Miriam. She had a look on her face that clearly said, 
“Ooooh, that’s the bloke I saw that woman with, in my vision."

                     Scotto just LOVES to dress up!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Weird Coincidences

Even though I don’t live in a big town we still have a population of almost 200 000 which is big enough to avoid people you don’t like and to go out all day and not see one person you know.
Because of this I find the following ‘scenario’ to be quite remarkable.

Hagar (my twenty year old son) was very good mates with a young lad named Tom, from the age of eight up to the present time. 

Naturally, I became friends with his Mum and Dad, Leslie and Tony; after many hours spent watching basketball games together and organising play dates etc.

Thaddeus (my twenty-three year old son) was also in the same class at school as Tom’s sister Amy.

Long before the boys met, when I was a little girl growing up, Leslie and her sister Wendy and her brother lived one street away from me.

I didn’t know them at all, but my little brother Damo was best buddies with Leslie’s brother for about twenty years.

In her teenage years, my sister Sam was also friends with Leslie and Tony.

Leslie’s sister Wendy, now lives one street away from me and her daughter is friends with my daughter, Lulu.
Scotto, by chance, happens to work with Tony and one of Tony’s nephews, Matty. 

I interviewed Tony’s sister-in-law (who is a teacher) as part of the research for my Honours Thesis and found out after the fact who her in-laws were.

Another of Tony’s nephews, James, was in a musical production I directed years ago.

Is it just me or are our families oddly connected in some way? 

 Just as a final note, when I googled my town’s population for accuracy in reporting today, the first site that came up was an article written by journalist Tony… that’s weird.

If that doesn’t impress you this story may, as Sydney has a much bigger population with an impressive 4.6 million people.

When I was about twenty I applied for a job at a Sydney radio station and was interviewed by the Sales Manager, Peter Smith (that was his real name by the way).

After perusing my resume he told me that seventeen years ago he had spent a couple of years working in my home town as a television news reader. For some reason he took a liking to me that day and gave me the job.

After about three months I mentioned that my parents were visiting from home. Peter, who loved any excuse to scarper off and have a boozy lunch (remember we worked in the Sales Department) suggested he take me and my parents out to lunch (compliments of Paul Keating) at his favourite restaurant on the rooftop of the opulent Boulevard Hotel in Kings Cross.

After about one hour of awkward dialogue (between my parents and their daughter's boss) and sumptuous wining and dining, the luncheon conversation drifted towards our home town and where Peter had worked and resided during the year or so he’d lived there.

“The wife and I used to live beside an electrician bloke who had a couple of poodles,” he mused.

Mum and Dad stared at him. After a couple of enlightening revelations it transpired that Peter Smith had resided in the apartments beside my parents, and had actually babysat me and my sister when we were about six and three years old respectively.
It wound up being an extra-long lunch that day and typical of advertising sales executives in the eighties, no one went back to work.

Peter left the radio station shortly after that and ironically relocated to my old home town where he and his wife renewed their friendship with my parents.

Out of loyalty and a lack of sales ability, I resigned very soon after Peter did and guess where I
gained employment? The sales department at the Boulevard Hotel of course.

Any weird coincidences in your life?


Monday, February 11, 2013

Is the End of the World Nigh?

With the current NASA reports that an asteroid will zoom within spitting distance of Earth on Saturday, memories of the beat up revolving around the prediction of Armageddon on December 21, 2012 spring to mind. 

I was on holidays in the lead up to the ill-omened day. 

The Mayans had documented the end of their calendar and certain speculators took this to be a prophecy of world annihilation. 

With spare time on my hands (despite the fact that I had not done an iota of Christmas shopping; I mean what was the point if we were going to be wiped out?), I decided to read a few doomsday books to get myself in the mood. 

Scotto and I feasted on a myriad of movies of the same genre, scaring ourselves silly in the process.

On the actual day my sister Sam, jokingly sent me a text saying,

“Hope the end of the world treats you well today xo”

Ha ha, I laughed to myself nervously. 

I’d begun to psych myself into a lather of uneasy doubt with the huge volume of disaster porn I’d been consuming.

Jumping at every abnormal vibration in the house; thinking it might be the beginning an earthquake, a tsunami or the four horsemen of the Apocalypse galloping down my street, I decided to leg it up to the shopping centre so that I wouldn't have to spend the ‘Day of Reckoning’ alone.

“It must be the apocalypse. There are so many zombies here at Kmart.” I texted my sister.

Sam replied, 

“Omg- big, smelly ones that walk really slowly three abreast and too brain dead to care that someone behind them wants to get past? I know them well.”

(Now I know the pair of us sound condescending and snobby but I assure you the sleepwalkers had really crawled out of their graves on this particular day. I won’t go into detail, but let me just say that inter-family marriages were flourishing in this suburb by the look of the little Anferny and Antwonet trailing behind their rat-tailed Mum and Dad.)

Anyway I got the giggles when I read my sister’s reply. I wandered through the aisles bursting into spontaneous loud cackling. 

This attracted a few suspicious stares as I was by myself and must have looked like a nutty bag lady having a conversation with herself. 

I guess this was fair payback for the mean assessments of my fellow shoppers.

I hate shopping centres but unfortunately I have to frequent these annoying establishments pretty much every day. 

If I did a bulk weekly shop like most mothers the food would disappear in two days. I have secret hiding places for certain non-perishable items such as packets of chips for school lunches. 

My friends are often entertained when I pull out a bottle of coke and chocolate biscuits from the dishwasher. 

That’s one place I know the kids never look.

I’d heard via the telly that the cataclysm was scheduled for about ten o'clock in the morning Australian time. 

By ten thirty I resigned myself to the fact that the end of the world was not going to occur on December 21 after all. 

Crap! I thought. Now I have a sh#tload of Christmas shopping to catch up on.