Ghostly encounters

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It wasn’t until I actually had an experience myself that I realised there was something to it.

About a year ago, I fell down the stairs after being pushed . . . I knew there was nobody behind me at the time. Who was the dentist Mr Brown? And why was the smell of ether prevalent at times in the H&J Smith store?

Part-time H&J Smith worker Elaine Scott has written a booklet, based on interviews with people who have had ghostly experiences at the store.

Mrs Scott said for many years she thought the ghost stories were fabricated tales intended to scare people.

“It wasn’t until I actually had an experience myself that I realised there was something to it.

“About a year ago, I fell down the stairs after being pushed.

“I was not hurt, but I knew there was nobody behind me at the time,” Mrs Scott said.

James Andrew Brown had a dental practice in the upstairs part of the H&J Smith building.

He died in 1954 (not at the Smith building) but rumours of strange unexplained happenings began shortly after the Junction Cafe opened in the 1990s.

“The dentist facility was upstairs, and it is only on the upper level strange things occur,” Mrs Scott said.

For years, Mr Brown was blamed for anything unusual.

“A lot of people said they felt drafts, cold air, [or saw] things being dropped, and the tills [froze] up or [started] doing strange things.”

As a genealogist interested in history and facts, Mrs Scott said it was time to interview people who had had unexplained experiences such as hers.

Her self-published book contains the stories of 20 people she has talked to and investigated.

“I have no doubt at all that there is a ghost in the building.