David Pahlke likes ghosts and ghosts like him.
David Pahlke likes ghosts and ghosts like him. David Nielsen

Hotel a top haunt for ghosts

DAVID Pahlke's Rosewood Hotel is a magnet for ghosts.

When the QT visited the 98-year-old pub recently we were informed of three apparitions that appear from time to time - an elderly woman, a Negro soldier and a water ghost called Rusty.

Councillor Pahlke also has a wealth of knowledge about ghosts in the region and would like to see an official tourist brochure established that showcases the haunted sights of the area.

He is promoting a tourist route with signs and an established route, a la the Cobb and Co Tourist Drive.

We had a look in room three, where spirits are said to linger. There was no sign of the ghosts on this occasion. QT photographer Dave Nielsen is a vocal sceptic and probably scared the spirits away with his doubts and his beard. But an ex-army veteran, also bearded, was in the room at the time and ushered us in.

We asked if he had encountered the apparitions.

"Nah mate. I'm ex-army. We don't meet ghosts. We make 'em," he replied.

People in the beer garden often see the old woman ghost floating along the veranda at night.

"Psychics who come here see an elderly woman standing on top of the stairs in an old-style black dress and bun hair," Cr Pahlke said.

"I've got photos of the pub from 1914 and 1922 and she is standing on the front veranda. I'd love to know who she was because she is the dominant spirit here.

"Another spirit is a Negro soldier who was shot dead in the back in the doorway of the front bar in the Second World War when there was a US munitions dump just outside of town. The clairvoyants have told us that when he died he was thinking of his mother back in America. He's at peace and doesn't say a lot, but he's still here.

"The third one is the water ghost. He's got red hair, he's Scottish and they call him Rusty."

Rusty also plays piano.

"The previous owners reported mysterious wet beds and water dripping off the ceiling," Cr Pahlke said.

"I had a Gold Coast darts team play here one night and they said, 'Who was playing the piano early this morning?' But there was no piano ... and they were sober.

"I had a guy sitting on the veranda and water came pouring through the ceiling at him. Twenty years ago the publican reported taps turning off and on.

"I had a lady stay who writes about UFOs. She had a conversation at an Ipswich bus stop with an elderly lady who recalled her grandfather scaring her with stories of the Rosewood Hotel water ghost. All our ghosts are friendly. Psychics say ghosts like me being here because I'm a social person and they enjoy the noise I generate around myself.

"I'd like to supplement (ghostbuster) Jack Sim's work with a tourist brochure of the ghosts of Ipswich because there are plenty of ghost stories throughout the region."

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