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Stamford Hotel Ghost

Victoria, Australia
May 2009

You may think that I am a bit of a nutter but the story I am about to tell you is a real life experience that happened to me in 1996 during my first week of working as a crowd controller/security guard at the Stamford Hotel in Rowville Victoria, Australia. This was my first experience at seeing a ghost or spirit but since then I have had several experiences with ghosts and spirits in several locations. I have always been very skeptical when it comes to things like ghosts and to this day I still believe that there is some other explanation for the things I have seen.

It was my first week working for a security company as a crowd controller/security guard and had a big German shepherd dog (Duke) as my companion for car park patrol. I was working at the Stamford Hotel. At that stage the hotel had had a lot of trouble in the car park at night with patrons fighting and cars being vandalized and stolen. My job was to keep the peace and stop vandalism and theft of vehicles.

The second night I was there I was taken around the back of the pub by Mark, (a long time manager/employee of the pub) He said "This is the staff carpark. No one is to come out here apart from staff. Make sure you make your presence felt out here."

I said "No problems, I will vary the way I walk around the exterior and make sure I keep patrons away from this area"

It was around 11.50pm when I saw a man in a brown silk bodyshirt and brown pinstriped flared trousers walking through the staff carpark. The man looked like he had come straight out of the 70's and I thought that he must have been a homeless person by the way he was dressed. I said to him "Excuse me sir you are not supposed to be out here." He kept on walking speeding up slightly walking toward the corner of the building. I followed him and once again said "Excuse me sir you are not supposed to be out here." He kept walking and headed thru a doorway at the end of the building. It was right next to the wall which separated the main building from the drive in bottle shop. It was very dark beyond the doorway. I said in a loud voice "Sir, come out of there now. I have a big dog with me and a gun and if you don't come out I will send the dog in after you".

There was no response from the man but I thought that I had better get him out of there so I turned on my Maglite and went inside. It was at that point that my dog Duke started to cower and shake. He did not want to go inside. I had never seen him scared like this before, he was an extremely nasty dog. Inside the doorway there was a small corridor with a wooden floor. To the left was the concrete wall of the drive in bottle shop and to the right was 2 rooms. It was filthy in there, lots of dust and cobwebs everywhere.

It was obvious that no one had been in there for a very long time. I stood at the doorway of the first room and looked inside. There was an old broken chair and an old bed covered in dust in the room. I then moved along the corridor to the next room. The dog was refusing to move and I flashed the torch on him. I noticed he was almost crawling and I could see the hair was falling off him in clumps as I watched. He was scared, really scared... I was scared as well. I started to think what this guy was up to and if he would jump out at me with a big knife or something.

I stood at the doorway of the second room and flashed the Maglite around the room. There was an old wardrobe in there and a chair. The man was nowhere to be seen. I thought 'Oh oh, he is hiding in the wardrobe.' I yelled out "I know you are in the wardrobe. Come out now and you won't be hurt. I have a gun and a big dog here. If you don't come out I will set the dog on you."

There was no answer so I wondered what to do next. My dog was fighting to get out, scratching on the floor and whimpering. I thought I will have to get the man out of the wardrobe. I yelled again for him to come out but still no answer. I put my Maglite up against the door and pulled the door open jumping back quickly. To my surprise there was no one inside. I looked around but the man was gone. I wondered how he could have possibly got out and got past me. I ran out into the carpark and did a quick scan of the grounds but the man was nowhere to be seen.
I went around to the front door and saw one of the duty managers. I asked him to get Mark for me but he said that Mark had gone home and left him in charge. I told him what had happened but he wasn't interested. I asked him to tell Mark the next day when they were at work and he said that he would make it a priority.

The next night I went to sign on and Mark was in the sign on room. I asked him if the duty manager had informed him of what had happened the night before. He told me that he hadn't told him anything. I told Mark about the man in the staff carpark and how he went under the building but I couldn't find him anywhere.
Mark immediately showed interest and said "Where did you see this bloke go? I want you to take me there now and show me exactly where he went."

I took him, the licencee and the head of security to where I had followed the man under the building the night before. I was amazed to see that there was a locked timber gate on the opening. Mark said "Is this where you followed the man. Did you go inside?" I said "Yes this is it. It was opened last night." Mark said "Tell me what did you see inside there?" I described the concrete wall to the left, the passageway, the two rooms to the right with the bed and chair in the first room and the chair and wardrobe in the second room.

Mark said "That's incredible. I believe that you were in there because I have been in there before and you described it as I remember it, but take a look at the gate" I looked at the gate and saw the big rusty lock. I said "Yeah, it has a lock on it but it was opened last night." He said "Take a closer look at the gate." I looked closer and noticed that the gate was also screwed and nailed shut. I said "O.K. maybe maintenance nailed it shut today." Mark said "Look again down there." and pointed at the ground. I looked down and noticed that the bottom of the gate had been asphalted to the ground. It struck me that the gate had not been opened for years, but how did I get inside. To this day I have no idea.

The other 2 guys laughed at me and said I was nuts, but Mark told them not to laugh at me, he was positive that I had been in there but could not explain how.
We all went our separate ways and I started my patrols. At the end of the night, after everyone had gone home Mark grabbed me and took me into the beer and wine cellar. He showed me a picture on the wall and asked if I recognized anyone. I looked at it and noticed that one of the men in the picture looked like the man I had seen the previous night. I said "That's the guy." He said "I dont believe it. You have seen the ghost of Johnnie Moore (at least I think that was the name he used). He was the old caretaker here. He died in that very room of smoke inhalation."

I couldn't believe it. I was totally freaked out. I was very skeptical about ghosts and still am. I was too scared to go back to work there but I pushed myself to go. I found out that the caretaker's old girlfriend still worked at the pub but refused to go into the cellar or talk about him or the ghost. I never saw that ghost again but sometimes when I took things into the cellar and put them down, when I returned to pick them up they would have moved and one night 2 plates flew across the cellar and barely missed me.

I spoke to a local priest who I later found out was the Exorcist for the archdiocese of Springvale and he said he had heard of many similar stories but none concerning the Stamford Hotel. He had no explanations for what I had done or seen but said I had been chosen for some reason that I may find out later. To this day I still do not know the reason I was chosen.

Victoria, Australia
00:00 / 01:04
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