Updated: Apr 4, 2022
Overnight guests have packed up and left in the middle of the night...
Staff have heard their names called when no one else is in the room...
Bottles have flown off the shelves by themselves...
So is Bellbird Hotel really the Hunter's most haunted pub?
According to bar manager Nicole Crossley, the answer is a resounding - yes.
Over the years, multiple owners of the hotel - built in 1914 - have also called upon a paranormal investigator after overnight guests have complained of 'things happening' during their stay.
Both Nicole and the paranormal investigation team believe there is a haunting present at the hotel.
"When I first started working here the ATM used to be over in the corner," Nicole begins.
"On one of the first nights that I was here by myself, I was balancing the days activity at the machine when I heard the weight of a child's footsteps running across the room. It stopped directly behind me and I was too scared to turn around because I knew no one else was in the room. But later when we checked the security tapes nothing was there."
"It stopped directly behind me and I was too scared to turn around because I knew no one else was in the room..."
"Then we had a chef who lived upstairs in the manager's quarters and he was pretty skeptical about these kinds of things.
"One night I was teaching him how to clean the beer lines, but to do that you have to go down into the cellar. So we were down there and then he suddenly looked at me strangely. I said, 'You can hear that too, can't you?' And it was like someone was running back and forth on the floor in the bar above us. Except we were the only ones in the hotel."
Nicole says there have been numerous unexplained incidents over the past three years, including the night she was in the office after closing. She recalls the hotel's interior motion detectors lighting up and while she could not see anyone on the screens, a sudden knock on the office door had her calling for the publican who lived upstairs.
She says another time her name was called out across the hotel. Although no one else was in the hotel, the man's voice echoed out across the room. Likewise, one of chefs also heard his name called out while the room was empty.
Overnight guests have also experienced occurrences while staying at the hotel, particularly in rooms 14, 11 and 7.