Written by Peet Banks.
APPI have run three ghost hunts at the spooky Roseleigh The Witchery (also known as Roseleigh Manor).
This beautiful manor house is in the town of Harefield – which is not at town at all. If you’re coming from Sydney, you head towards Gundagai, turn off, go through Junee, and about 25 minutes later you’re in Harefield. Or if you’re coming from the other direction, Harefield is about half an hour past Wagga Wagga.
The thing I really love about this property is its diverse history. There aren’t many locations we run these events at which have the diversity this property has.
History as a snapshot
It started out as a family home/farm, known as Overdale.
In World War 2 the property was used as a Prisoner of War camp for Italian prisoners. It is said that these Prisoners of War had free reign and were permitted to come and go, and that they still have many descendants in Wagga Wagga – Italian Stallions indeed!
In 1955, Frank Leahy died, and for some reason, cut his family out of his Will and left the property to the Nursing Sisters of the Little Company of Mary. The house served as a religious retreat, and basically a home for unwed mothers - which would explain the baby crying we sometimes hear in the middle of the night.
In 2004, the current owner, a wonderful lady named Kate, began the transformation of the property into the beautiful buildings you see today. She has added so many incredible touches to the house, such as stained glass windows and chandeliers, purchasing beds from an old hospital for the accommodation, and turned the original servant’s quarters into the Rose and Willow Restaurant, which has the most AMAZING food!
Ghosts? What ghosts!
Kate, her family and her staff are all convinced that Roseleigh is incredibly haunted, and APPI agrees with her. They have all experienced repeated things, and know the spirits by name.
Frank lurks around the property. Frank was the charming gentleman who disinherited his family and gave his property away to the church – surely he lingers in guilt. He shatters glasses in the function room, makes tables collapse simultaneously, walks through walls, pushes people, pulls hair and just acts like a mean spirited man (pun intended).
The last time we were at the property, we were in the chapel conducting a Blind Calling vigil. The chapel is actually right next to where Frank died. At one point during the night we heard a man talking, which sounded like it was right outside the chapel. We knew for a fact that there was nobody out there.
The stables are my favourite place on the property, because so much has happened there! The very first time we investigated Roseleigh, we went a day early and stayed in the stables the night prior to our public ghost hunt. We were the only people to stay in there. We shared rooms, two in each room… and the stuff which happened still blows my mind!
I shared a room with Steph. And whilst I slept like a log that night, Steph got so harassed she hardly got an hours sleep. She was poked and prodded and had something scratching the wall next to her, but most noticeably, she was poked in the heel by something sharp.
At the same time, Jax left a digital voice recorder in the hallway, running all night. Using the sound waves on the computer, the next day we listened back to the areas where there were spikes of sound. We heard doors slamming shut, further up the hallway (where nobody was staying), the sound of furniture being dragged, a baby crying (not even joking), little footsteps running up and down the hallway, and, scariest of all, a growling sound right into the recorder.
All in all, Roseleigh is most definitely one of our most haunted locations, and you really should visit it! If you like to extend your stay, and sleep in haunted accommodation, you can’t get much better than around $50 a night!!! And also – definitely book in at the Rose and Willow restaurant because their food is second to none, and last winter they had the most divine Hot Buttered Rum!
Our next ghost hunt at Roseleigh is on Saturday 6 July 2019. Please join us in a spooky, entertaining night!