Monday, February 02, 2009

Haunted Locations: The Lions Book Club

Located at Burnside, this converted scout hall is the location of the most excellent Lions Book Club. The Book Club has been around for ages, it recently moved from the Glenside Library, which is located right next door to a cemetery. The library was recently demolished due to the building falling apart in front of everyone's eyes, and someone kindly donated this building. It's bigger with a better layout than the old place and well worth a visit if you like your books reasonably priced, dusty and with a charm and atmosphere that doesn't stop. We donate stuff to them all the time.

The original building was a standard place, no reports of hauntings at all. I wish the same could be said about this scout hall. Each time we've visited it we can't wait to get out and have felt uneasy at the best of times. Anyone who knows me will raise an eyebrow at the thought of me wanting to leave a bookstore, usually I have to be physically removed from the premises, especially a second hand store. But this place just has an odd feel to it and often I've felt that I'm being watched or that someone is standing nearby. I've generally dismissed it, as is my wont.

Last time we visited though we wandered up into the children's section in search of the elusive comic book or just a book like the Adventures Of Captain Midnite or February Dragon, both of which I want but don't have. The last time was different. As we were in this section we both felt weird, like someone was in there with us. The place is very open and from this alcove you can see the entire floor, so we thought nothing of it. Once we'd have a good peek we left down the stairs.

And that's when the fun started. I walked down first, Lyndal behind me. As we walked down she stopped and I turned to find her white faced and looking, frankly, terrified. I asked what was wrong and she told me, "Someone is behind me." I looked and informed her that nope, no-one was behind her, we were alone. She was insistent that as she left the stairs she could hear the sounds of someone walking down behind her. I mentioned that it could have been the stairs settling after we'd walked down, nope, she knows that sound. She heard footsteps clearly behind her, and the stairs creaking - I heard nothing at all, but I don't doubt that she did.

So what lurks in the building? As with any old building there's probably someone who liked it enough to remain, especially a scout hall where people were in attendance in large volumes. Burnside is known for having bodies buried where they shouldn't be - a recent excavation and renovation found a crypt in the yard of a house, buried underneath a lot of dirt and the remains of a building, complete with opening and coffins intact, so imagine finding out you were living on top of that. I doubt that any friendly Casper followed the book club as it relocated, I think they've moved in and the buildings own spirit has decided to wander the place and see what people are up to.

If you go past, pop in, buy a book and roam the place and see if you can't hear the persons unknown walking behind you.