Is this the Hunter's most haunted hotel?

FEATURE STORY

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.


"There was one guest who came down to check out saying he refused to stay any longer after being pinned to the bed for six hours by an unseen force," Nicole says.


"Others say their blankets have been forcefully pulled off during the night."


"Others say their blankets have been forcefully pulled off during the night..."


According to Nicole, just two months ago a full bottle of alcohol flew off the shelf and across the room in front of numerous patrons, while electronic machines have also been known to turn themselves on after closing time - even when the power has been turned off.


Newcastle Ghost Tours paranormal investigator Renata Daniel has investigated the hotel on four occasions and says her team has also experienced the haunting.


"We've actually been there several times over the years. We've been called in by different owners and it's interesting that even though they didn't know each other, they each report similar experiences," Renata explains.


"There are certainly some rooms upstairs that are more active than others and that have a presence in them every so often. These are also the same rooms that hotel owners report people having left in the middle of the night because they can't manage to stay there. In fact, I understand that some guests have actually woken in the night to find someone staring at them, before the energy then disappears."


"Some guests have actually woken in the night to find someone staring at them, before the energy then disappears..."


Renata says during some of her investigations, hotel room doors have locked by themselves and refused to open even with a master key, while downstairs at around 2am a coin-operated claw machine that allows children to win a stuffed animal once turned on and started operating even though all the power points in the room were off.


One team member says in the investigation report, she experienced the spirit of a small boy named Matt who relayed that he had died in a house fire behind the hotel.


According to the report, there was also contact made during the investigation with a burly sailor named George while other team members experienced high levels of activities on K2 electrical impulse metres, had feelings of dread, and felt a sense of anger in some of the rooms.


According to local historians, over the years there have been several deaths recorded in and around the hotel property.


One death was that of Mr Thomas Letcher.


In 1916 his body was found by two boys at the rear of the colliery paddock. The find was reported to staff at the hotel. The cause of death was later determined as being a broken neck.


Later, in 1923 the Bellbird mining disaster also claimed the lives of at least 21 men and their horses. Many of whom were regular patrons of the hotel.


Historically, local pubs were often used as mortuaries during such disasters, due to the presence of a cool room.


Historically, local pubs were often used as mortuaries during such disasters, due to the presence of a cool room.


While historical documents provided by Cessnock City Council state the Bellbird Memorial Hall was the predominant site for inquests and mortuary services during the 1923 mining incident, it is not know for certain whether the hotel facilities may have also been utilised during the disaster.


#haunting #ghost #hauntedpub #hauntedhotel #bellbirdhotel #bellbirdnsw #newcastleghosttours #paranormal #paranormalinvestigation


Nikki Taylor is the Australian Hotels Association, Newcastle Hotels Representative

6,029 views
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
Australian Hotels Association 2018