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Email 10 Nov 04.

Saw the SMH piece & do indeed have a true story for you…

Eleven years ago, in one of those huge Victorian terraces common to the area, I was enjoying – or I should say enduring – my first university share house at 50 Great Buckingham St, Redfern. The house seemed to be perpetually teeming with malice & tumult as people variously shagged, fought, got pregnant, broke up, & sued for child maintenance in a most unedifying display of jealousy & greed.

I can duly report that although I certainly held my own in the shagging department at the time, happily, unwanted pregnancy was not something I was forced to contend with. Your correspondent’s aforementioned study behaviour took place in a small room at the back of the house that we affectionately called “the meatlocker”. It was always bloody cold & got virtually no light, but it was my first bedroom away from the parental home and hey, I tried to make the most of it.

I became aware that something wasn’t quite right with this cosy little love nest when, after a torrid session with one of my paramours, strange faces apparently began appearing on the ceiling. Anticipating waves of warm post-coital joy, my lover was instead becoming very distressed with these unwanted guests (I couldn’t see them) & promptly left the house in a disheveled hurry. I made a mental note to check for bi-polar & schizophrenic tendencies in future sexual partners.

Several weeks later, and with a different partner, much the same thing happened. This time however, the complaint was about the red light seeping under the door…again, post-coitus, I was abandoned by a seriously-spooked chick. At this point I was still not seeing any evidence of what struck me as some fairly passive/aggresive bullshit from the spirit world.

Then it happened. On a normal mid-week night, at about 10.30pm, I went to bed alone. I was not drunk, nor had I consumed any drugs (& nor was I a regular user at the time; that would come much later – after about four consecutive Howard election victories). I must have been in bed for about 5 minutes when I heard a growl into my ear (I kid you not). I opened my eyes to see a stumpy, grotesque man with a hat standing over me as I lay in bed. The figure was opaque but clearly male, and a very, very bad motherfucker.

I did what any white-kid-from-the-suburbs would do & pulled the doona over my head and thought about how Mum’s great cooking, and what a stupid idea this living away from home caper was. Really though, I was shit-scared : the ghost was dead ringer for Stan Zemanek (OK, I made that part up).

Anyway, the house broke up shortly thereafter but not before further incidents of doors opening & closing by themselves, lights going on & off – you get the picture, this place was seriously ‘troubled’. As we were moving out I mentioned this to the real estate agent. Guess what? Apparently there had been a violent stabbing double-murder there in the 20’s and the place had a rep for being like, totally haunted, dude.

Although I was well-pissed that this crucial detail had not appeared in the original advertisement, it was at least some comfort to know that poor sexual technique was not blame for the disappearing women. The funny thing is, they’ve kept disappearing ever since….hahaha

Well, that’s about it Warren. I’ve told this story dozens of times over the years & although I’ve peppered it with little gags in this telling, it is entirely true. Hope you can use it.

Best regards,
Darren Moffatt

PS: I’ve not had a chance to check the accuracy of the double-murder claim, but I’m sure you may be able to find some reference in the SMH archives .