Haunted Office

For a while I used to work with public service Department in the Hunter Valley, with an office located in an old, restored home. The property was one of the earliest settled in the area, and the current homestead was built in the 1890's.

When my Department took it over it had been divided into two living quarters. They restored a lot of features and original paint work, but retained it initially as accommodation before altering it into office space.

The story was that the "grand old dame" of the family had passed away in what is now the conference room, but she still remains to look after the house. I've always wondered how she felt about having all these strangers and the hustle and bustle of office life in her home.

When it was still accommodation, one of the staff told of waking one night to see an old lady sitting on the end of the bed, and on many instances hearing voices. Out the back of the home there is still some accommodation in the old servant's quarters, and another staff member used to hear voices from time to time, and have things moved.

When I worked there she quite regularly turned the photocopier off and moved things around the room ( I am aware that photocopiers do have an automatic cutoff after a certain period of non-use, but one staff member working a Saturday morning had turned it on to warm up, came in five minutes later to find it turned off. Needless to say she left the building quickly and wouldn't go back in until another staff member arrived.)

Other staff who have worked late have told of feelings of unease coming over them, and a strong desire to leave quickly. Whilst I was there I would quite often hear footsteps coming up the hall. I would look up to see who was coming in, but there was never anyone there. She would quite regularly open and close the front screen door also, which could be seen from my desk. I worked late on the odd occasion on my own, but after a while didn't feel comfortable staying there.

I wish now that I'd had the courage to try and contact her, as I feel she must be quite put out about her home being used this way. She was never malicious, and she never really turned the heavy frightening on, but she did make things uncomfortable on occasions (the photocopier took ages to warm up again when turned off!).

Submitted by Kylie Ledger, NSW, Australia