An accident, which we fear may prove fatal, occurred on Saturday last near the Culloden Castle.
A cow belonging to Mr Naylor of Duneed, was being driven along the street when she turned savage, rushing at the man who was driving her; he, however, was fortunate enough to get out of the way, and the enraged animal then turned upon a little girl of about four years of age named Cannell, throwing her down and fracturing her skull.
The child is now under the care of Dr. Reid at the hospital. After this the infuriated animal rushed into the dam, where her capers were soon put an end to by Constable Madden and Sergeant M’Sweeney.
Unfortunately the little girl did succumb to her injuries after being gored by the cow.  Sarah Cannell was just 4 years old when she died the following day. Sarah was admitted with a penetrating injury to the left side of her head with her brain exposed.  She developed paralysis and eventually died 24 hours later.
Sarah had been playing outside the Culloden Castle Hotel with a number of other children, when the cow came running down Latrobe Terrace followed closely by George Naylor and Angus McLean.  Donald Cameron had hidden behind a telegraph pole from the rampaging beast, when he noticed Sarah under its feet.  He picked up the little girl and took her to her parents house in Villamanta Street.
The cow was eventually chased into a dam where Sergeant McSweeney was taked with the unpleasant duty of shooting the cow.  It was not known what had set the cow on its destructive path.
Much of the inquest was taken up with the discussion on the legality of driving cattle through the town.  There was a by-law in place prohibiting the droving of cattle between the hours of 12 pm and 6am.  It was suggested that in future this law needed to be strictly enforced!

Mary Coar, bar maid, of the Imperial Hotel, was at the police court to-day charged with the larceny of £15. the property of Mrs. Pearson, the licensee of the hotel. Inspector Davies prosecuted, and Mr. S. M. Cornish defended accused.

Evidence was given that the money had been placed by the licensee of the hotel in a cupboard of the diningroom. The room was locked up, and the key was alleged to have been placed in the bar till, to which only accused, Mrs. Pearson, the licensee, and her nephew had access. On the money being missing Mrs. Pearson gave information to the police, and from information received Constable Walsh arrested the accused on suspicion.

The P.M. decided that there was no evidence against the accused to go before a jury, and dismissed the charge.

The Imperial Hotel [also known as the Town Hall Hotel, and later Beck’s Richmond Hotel and Beck’s Imperial Hotel] was built in 1861.  The two storey hotel with attic was erected for Faulder Watson who became the first licensee on 21 Dec 1861. Watson retained the licence until about 1866 when the hotel was advertised as Young’s Imperial Hotel. Watson apparently retained the ownership of the hotel until c1885 when he sold it to slaughterman Edwin Purches who is recorded as having offices in the premises. By 1887, the hotel was owned by Mrs E Pearson who held the property until at least 1903. In 1892 during Mrs Pearson’s ownership, the extant cast iron verandah and balcony to the Lyttleton St facade was constructed in place of the original first floor cantilevered balcony. In the early years of the twentieth century, the hotel had numerous publicans until about 1931 when R W S Beck acquired the hotel licence. The name Beck’s Imperial Hotel reflects Reg Beck’s long-term ownership of the hotel between about 1931 and 1942. The hotel licence was surrendered in 1968 and in the following year, C S Harrison purchased the property and re-opened the building as tea rooms and a tourist accommodation centre.

Some of you may recognise hotel being used as the exterior shots of the local Mount Thomas hotel in Blue Heelers also known as the Imperial Hotel and run by Chris Riley.

Does anyone know who owns the hotel today?

Well we might be a little bit late to the new year this year!!  But nevertheless Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

In our defence we have been busy in the background finding and securing some new adventures for the Twisted History for this year, some we will be letting you know about very soon!  As well as busily providing ghost tours and paranormal investigations at Geelong Gaol and murder tours in Melbourne’s Chinatown.

Back to our blog!!  This year we will be doing things a little differently.  For the past couple of years we have been blogging snippets from history that happened “On This Day.  This year we will be doing “Sunday Spotlights” instead.  This will allow us to provide more details (where we can!) on some of the events we will be writing about.

But we would like your input!

As some of you would know we have a few different categories that we blog about – these include Murders, Goals, Hotels, Pop Culture and of course Twisted History.

This year we want to hear from you! Which Australian murder cases fascinate you?  Is there a particular Australian movie or TV show you want to know more about?  Is there an urban legend that gives you a chuckle?  Or even a good ghost story we haven’t heard?  Is your local hotel haunted?  Is there something paranormal you want to discuss?  We want to hear it all!

If you have some ideas for blog articles – get in touch!  You can email us at, you can inbox us on any of our facebook pages or give us a call on 1300865800.

We do have some stories going up starting tonight and we look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Welcome to 2018!!




On Saturday night we were lucky enough to be given free access to the 3 levels of the Botanical Hotel in St Arnaud. This was a private investigation with 4 members of our team and the staff of the hotel later in the night.

We set up our DVR system and a number of audio recorders which we are of course still going through. It was a very interesting night with a number of validations of previous activity including the movement of cutlery and crockery in the dining room on command, lots of activity with the rempod going off constantly in the dining room which is currently being renovated. We swapped out for a different rempod with the same result. It will be interesting what we find on the cameras there. We also had a pulsating orb down in the cellar area. Members of the team were touched and a number of staff members had personal vaildations as well. There was so much more with shadow figures being seen, fans turning on and a number of other experiences which we have not yet been able to debunk.

The team looks forward to returning to the Botanical Hotel in 2018, this time with the public being able to join us!

Stay tuned for more details!

One of the teams favourite “haunts” is the Blackwood Hotel.  We hold regular investigations here with the next one being on Sunday, June 12.

Nestled in the Wombat State Forest, the town of Blackwood has an interesting past from the early days of the Victorian Gold Rush to the present.  This hotel opened in 1868 and quickly became the heart of the community.  Being the office of the Cobb and Co, coroners court and even the town morgue.  This building has seen more than its fair share of death and claims a number of resident ghosts which makes it perfect to investigate.

Laura Dalton lies in an unmarked grave in the Blackwood Cemetery, after an accident at the Blackwood Hotel.  Laura was the single mother of two young children earning her keep as part of the domestic staff at the Hotel.  In 1948 she was using a petrol iron in the kitchen when it exploded, severely burning the young woman, where she would die of her injuries the following day.  Over the years many people have claimed to see Laura at the Blackwood Hotel.

Australian Hotel, Boonah, Queensland
No one knows the origins of the Australian Hotel’s ghost … but she’s friendly.
This quaint hotel prides itself on good old-fashioned hospitality and rumour has it the pub is haunted by the ghost of a 23-year-old woman, but don’t worry, she’s “friendly”. The staff and locals are only too happy to share their stories of meeting her.

The Russell Hotel, The Rocks, NSW
The Russell Hotel, in The Rocks, Sydney, is haunted by a sailor.
Located in the heart of The Rocks, The Russell Hotel is steeped in history and certainly has plenty of character — Room 8 is said to be haunted by the spirit of a sailor. Guests have described seeing him standing in the room staring at them.

There are also numerous reports of someone walking at night over creaky floorboards, but when staff go to investigate the noise, there’s no-one there.

The Eastern hotel has a host of ghosts.

This the pub is said to have several ghosts, including original owner Thomas Redshaw Hunt, who is usually preceded by a strong tobacco smell; a two-year-old boy who drowned in a mining puddle; English mother and daughter Maggie, 35, and Sarah, 12, who died in one of the rooms from yellow fever; an Irish man who was stabbed in the hotel’s kitchen; and two indigenous caretakers.

One recent manager even recalls going to serve a patron, only to discover it was Mr Hunt’s ghost.

The Bush Inn in New Norfolk, Tasmania holds the title of the oldest continuously licenced Pub in Australia.  The first licencee was Ann Bridger, a widow from England who had arrived in the colony with her 3 children and £500 in cash and £200 in ‘various merchandise for investing in agricultural pursuits’, and a desire to succeed.

It didn’t take long before Anne Bridger had entered into a business in her adopted homeland, as the proprietor of the Black Snake Inn at Granton.  The inn had a reputation as being ‘a shady thieves’ kitchen’7, but before long Bridgers had transformed the inn to a respectable Public House.  It was known as the ‘halfway house’ to those who journeyed to New Norfolk.  New Norfolk was many hours on horseback from Hobart Town, and most travellers stopped there to dine and refresh themselves, or in winter to warm themselves.

New Norfolk was one of the fastest growing areas of the Colony, and an astute business woman like Mrs Bridger would have looked upon that as a potential opportunity for making money.  This opportunity was realized when she decided to move her business and family there in 1825, to build the hotel still bearing the name of the Bush Inn.

The Bush Inn has been witness to many historical events and was the hub of the community in the early days.  Church services were held here before the building of the church, it has inspired composers with views from the balcony and entertained famous visitors such as Lady Franklin who planted a pear tree in the garden. The first trunk call was made in 1888 from here and in 1939 the first overseas call.

With such a rich history, of course some residents from long ago remain!  Reportedly the room to stay in is Room 6, said to be haunted by the spirit of a young girl who is believed to have died on the stairs over 100 years ago.

So what is a pub?

According to Wikipedia!

“The Australian pub is a direct descendant of the British and Irish public house. The production and consumption of alcoholic drinks has long played a key role in Western commerce and social activity, and this is reflected in the importance of pubs in the British colonisation of Australia after 1788. However, in the 19th century the local version evolved a number of distinctive features that set it apart from the classic British or urban Irish pub.

In many cases, pubs were the first structures built in newly colonised areas, especially on the goldfields, and new towns often grew up around them. Pubs typically served multiple functions, simultaneously serving as hostelry, post office, restaurant, meeting place and sometimes even general store”

Kokoda Front Line! was a full-length edition of the Australian newsreel, Cinesound Review, produced by the Australian News & Information Bureau and Cinesound Productions Limited in 1942. It was one of four winners of the 15th Academy Awards for best documentary, and the first Australian film to win an Oscar. It was filmed by the Australian war photographer Damien Parer and directed by Ken G. Hall.

Damien Parer is often cited as one of Australia’s early Academy Award winners, however the award was made to the director, Ken G. Hall.

Much of Parer’s footage was used in a documentary made by a rival company, Movietone, The Road to Kokoda.