In this series, I take a look at some historical accounts of ghostly encounters published in newspapers. In this edition, we look at a supposedly haunted house in North Melbourne enriched with hidden treasures!
The following article was published on the 18th of November 1951 in the Truth Newspaper.
HUGE FORTUNE BELIEVED UNDER 'HAUNTED' HOUSE MELBOURNE,
Sat. — Said to be hidden away in what is claimed to be a haunted house in North Melbourne is the fortune of 85,000 sovereigns (present-day value £304,000), amassed during the early colonial days when the gold fever was high on Victoria's rich mining fields. The cache is believed to be secreted away in an 80-year-old two-storey house in Queensberry street, Melbourne. The building, an hotel at the turn of the century, has lately been taken over by a business firm. The fortune is that of Eric Keskinnen (also known as Erikson) who struck it rich on the gold fields and returned to Melbourne with a clutch of canvas bags stuffed with gold dust and quartz. According to his daughter, Mrs. Mira Collins, Erikson stored his treasure away in the house in a huge teak chest. Mrs. Collins claims that that house was haunted by a child, and frequently the voice of a child sobbing would echo through the corridors.
'My father, I believe, made a thorough search of the house to try to find out what caused it. He is supposed to have found the skeleton of a child buried in the hearth in a room where I used to feel the ghostly presence.'
Some years ago, Mrs. Collins said, she found a bag of sovereigns behind the skirting boards. One of the late Eric Erikson's closest friends, Vic. Mattila, of Caulfield, said it was possible that the money was concealed under the house.
'Erikson built up a big fortune. I don't think anyone, including his wife, who died last year, knew just how much he had. He was the type of man who kept a tight-rein on his affairs and was not one to give confidences or ask advice from others.'
Fact or imagination, the story of the gold and the ghost has Melbourne by the ears.
The above is published exactly as written in the newspaper (mistakes and all).
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