All that would change at Old Tailem Town on the night of 23rd April, 2011.
Alison Oborn and Haunted Horizons
I wanted answers but, not at the expense of lying to myself. For this reason I am always just as happy to find natural explanations for the weird and wonderful things that we occasionally experience in our lives as I do more unexplainable conclusions.
In 2002 we were lucky to get the Old Adelaide Gaol to investigate for a few months. Those few months turned to into 10 years as we had so many curious things happen there. I also became a volunteer tour guide for them which gave me yet another passion in life.
Not only did my years at the Gaol encourage the writing of my book “Ghosts of the Past – One Paranormal Team’s experiences in the Adelaide Gaol” but it was also a natural step after 8 years of tour guiding experience to set up my own tourism business, Adelaide’s Haunted Horizons.
It is as the latter that this story came to be.
I used to say on my tours “I have had many weird and very strange experiences in life but I have never seen a full on figure of a ghost”. It was true, despite the 10 years in the Gaol; I had many things happen but never witnessed a full figure…
That is until Old Tailem Town.
A New Tour Venue
I knew we had a good venue, but all the while at the back of my mind was “it isn’t like the Gaol… no murders, no executions…” and so it kept repeating in my head. I could never have foreseen what this place would have in store for us!
Since starting here nearly 3 years ago, and despite being extremely rational, this place has challenged everything I thought or believed. To keep the story brief, we have had everything from hair touching and mood changes through to scratches and figures being seen.
Yeah I know… “It is a tour” I hear you say. One thing our guests will attest to over the years… we keep our tours VERY real. This means strictly no gimmicks, put-ons, over dramatics or dress ups. After all, I can’t let the researcher in me go too easily and I wanted the tour to be one where if anything happens... people are confident it isn’t us!
As a researcher, I want to know it is real too. In fact we even let people into the buildings BEFORE we tell the stories as I don’t want to put the ideas into their heads beforehand on what they may experience in the building. It also means that if nothing happens on the night, we are not going to put it on so that people think they have had an experience. We have proven that you don’t need to do this as we have people loving our tours even when they are quiet. People aren’t stupid and they appreciate that we don’t try to fool them.
Apparition in the Church
As usual I was standing on the stage at the front of the Church while our guests sat in the pews listening to my stories. As it is dark and I had a torch shining into my face, purely so people could see me, I was totally blind beyond the bright beam of the light.
However, this night became a little different as I could hear people constantly moving from seat to seat. Apparently 8 people were being touched, prodded and poked. Hair was also being played with along with clothing. In fact two teenagers had now pulled their hoods up over their heads and tightened the drawstrings due to something playing with their hair
It was a short while later that one of our guests decided to sing a hymn to see if he could get a reaction. It was at this point I made the biggest mistake… I moved my video camera which had until then been pointed at the back of the church, to now focus to one side on our guest. It was also at this point that we suddenly all heard somebody enter the church.
Two of us saw him come in.
I stood their watching as a tall dark figure entered the threshold and moved to one side which is where I lost sight of him. With it being around 6ft tall and lean, I immediately assumed it was just Ash coming back from seeing our guests home as he was a similar build. A lady sitting on the front pews enquired nervously on what the noise was.
“It’s ok, it’s just Ash” I said reassuringly “he has just come back in… that’s you Ash isn’t it?” I called out. Nothing. “Ash that is you??!!” again there was no reply.
By now I felt a little annoyed that Ash must be playing tricks… turned my torch on to search the back of the church for him and it was immediately replaced with a twinge of excitement instead.
Nothing... nobody was there at the back of the Church… it was empty.
I excused myself and rapidly headed for exit… no, I wasn’t running away… but I had a need to know where Ash and Anna were. As I left the church and stood on the step, I heard them chatting at the other end of the village as they made their way back from the car park.
Sadly, the very solid silhouette of a person (best way to describe him) was not caught on the video, although the event and reactions around us was. You can hear a person enter, you can see us all react and you can be amused on how my “yeah whatever” attitude suddenly turned to excitement whereby I wouldn’t shut up! This was the point that I had no doubts whatsoever that something still resided at Tailem Town.
Challenging My Thinking
I can confidently say that in my time at both venues… if you took a year of the Goal and a year of Tailem and put them side by side… we have more extremely curious occurrences which are a lot more intense happen at Tailem then we do at the Gaol… this is why Tailem Town excites me. The fact that the town seemingly is full of surprises, twists and turns… just excites me even more!
Hopefully I will get to share more of these stories with you in the future.
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013