The area around Mt Warning, near Uki, in the 1920s.
The area around Mt Warning, near Uki, in the 1920s.

Alarm and scepticism at Mt Warning's haunted house

IN September 1922, police were called to investigate supernatural occurrences at an abandoned house at Uki.

About a year earlier the house had been washed nearly two kilometres downriver when the Tweed was hit by a large flood.

The house had been recovered and put back in its original spot at the base of Mount Warning.

However, something appeared to have changed. Nearby residents were reportedly astonished and even alarmed at the happenings in the "haunted house" and even those investigating the mystery said they felt squeamish at times.

The Northern Star wrote at the time: "At night the situation is as ghostly as can be imagined, for the house, is surrounded by huge high peaks, culminating in the great mountain 6200 feet high.

"The wind whistling through the trees and the utter darkness of the night, caused through being shut in by mountains, is enough to give even a materialistic scientist the creepy, uncanny sensations experienced by the investigators of the mystery."

The house had recently been occupied by Q Chileott and a Mr Williams, but neither had stayed long.

One evening, several people saw lights in the windows of the house and heard unusual sounds.

The sounds were described as "the most awful groans, rumblings and rattlings" that sounded as if "the proverbial seven devils had taken possession of the building."

The witnesses said they refused to believe that the noises could have been created by any humans.

They rushed to the cottage but when they entered, nothing could be found to account for the lights or horrible sounds.

No hand lamps could be found and the house was practically bare of all furniture.

There was no one in the house.

The men watched again the next night and the sounds were heard again.

In addition, the men said they heard the sounds of hailstones falling on the roof and muffled voices in the room.

Lights were also seen again through the windows, but on entering the men could find nothing.

A police report referred to in The Northern Star on September 25, 1922, concluded that the "investigators were deluded".

Sergeant Bath stated that nothing had transpired to disturb the natural quietude of the unattended building.

"There is no foundation for the stories that are being circulated," he said.

In explanation of the occurrences, Sgt Bath said the light that had been seen in the window was simply a reflection from the building the witness were standing in.

A stray dog or calf may have made the noises as it scurried away.

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