Quaint cafe serving up paranormal activity
THERE were no khaki suits or ghost-zapping back packs, but there was a journalist with a notepad and a photographer with a camera. The Gympie Times was off to find out what is haunting Woolooga's Rusty Ute Cafe.
The quaint coffee shop run by Peter and Jan Williams is filled with 60's memorabilia, homemade treats and a ute- load of paranormal activity, the owners will tell you.
While taking our coffee order, the laid-back cafe owner said at least once a week something was out of place in the shop.
He recently came in to find a basket of biscuits from the counter, unopened and plump in the middle of the floor.
"There's just too much weird stuff that goes on," he said casually stirring a coffee, adding that his wife once saw a dark figure out the corner of her eye, but it disappeared when she turned to look.
"I'm not sure if I believe in the paranormal or not. But sometimes you think you're silly not to, because so much stuff happens."
As Peter handed me a hot chocolate, I looked at the accompanying marshmallow. My child-of-the-80s mind could have conjured up the giant marshmallow man that terrified New York City in Ghostbusters. But it didn't.
Instead I enjoyed the ambience of the calm little cafe, if not a little disappointed something hadn't floated in front of me yet.
Peter explained the adjoining residence was the source of many strange noises, and he said the bathroom could sometimes feel like a freezing five degrees, even on a summer's day.
The building was built in 1902, and was a feed barn and general store in the past. The only tale of death in the immediate area is of a young girl drowning in the nearby Wide Bay Creek at the turn of the century, Peter said. But The Gympie Times could find no record of the accident.
Tash Gaillard, who runs NG Hairdressers in a side room of the cafe, attests to the freaky happenings. She often hears foot steps in the cafe when nobody is there and once had her foot stuck to the salon floor like someone was standing on the back of her thong.
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"I had to lift my foot up so hard I had skin off the top of my toes," she said.
Another fright was when she left the premises at night by herself and there was a loud bang on the window from inside the unit, which was vacant.
The stories from staff were adding up, including the time a visitor refused to sit in the cafe with his wife because he felt such a strong presence.
Eager to feel it for ourselves, we were shown the bathroom. But disappointingly, this was one of the times it was just a bathroom, not a cold room.
Later though, while Peter was lined up for a photo, things took a turn for the unusual.
I was holding the external flash controlled by the camera, when it went haywire.
"That was like a lightning flash," the cafe owner exclaimed.
The photographer looked at me baffled by the extreme brightness that didn't match the camera setting, and continued to flash randomly.
I decided to visit the bathroom before we headed back to town, and when I entered I noticed the radio playing.
The radio had not been on earlier and no one had entered there since. A little spooked, I rushed my toilet visit. As I stood up, the zip on my jeans busted open.
That was enough evidence for me.
It was time to go home and diet, or at the very least rent Ghostbusters I, II and III.
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