‘Coffin hunters’ brave graveyard in ‘spookiest’ town where ‘ghosts roam hotels’

Fearless coffin hunters in a small Western Australian town are on the hunt for the hidden graves of the ghosts who haunt the town's pubs, hotels and homes.

York is located just 60 miles (97km) east of Perth and is one of the region's oldest towns, established in 1835.

And some believe the town is fraught with creepy former residents haunting locals and guests, reports ABC.

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"Most of us locals … we think we're the spookiest town," Shirley Harrup, a long-standing employee at one of the town's most haunted hotels, told the publication.

But scientists are unfazed by the otherworldly rumours and are exploring what could be the town's most haunted locale – the site of an old graveyard.

York Cemetery has hundreds of headstones marking the final resting place of some of the town's former residents, but one area of the burial ground appears emptier than the rest, and it seems all that remains is red dirt and sand where unmarked graves lie beneath.

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"The original graves that may have been here were marked up with wooden crosses and older material, which has deteriorated over the years," York Shire chief executive Chris Linnell told ABC.

And some researchers, not content with the town's existing population of the undead, are trying to unearth these lost tombs and the deceased inhabitants they hold.

Using mining technology, archaeologists and geophysicists are working together to find disturbed patches of land that may lead to the site of the old graves.

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"If we find opportunities where we have, I suppose, 'clear' land, it gives us an opportunity to expand the cemetery in the space for future burials," Linnell added.

Plans to "clear" the site of dozens of graves might not come as welcome news to a town already plagued by poltergeists, however.

The Castle Hotel in the centre of York is thought to be one of the town's more haunted areas.

The guest house was run by the Craig family for many years, and legend tells long-gone World War One veteran and former manager of the establishment Basil Craig still lives inside the walls.

Harrup, who has worked at the hotel for more than 30 years, said: "He's still active… he's a big furniture mover, particularly one wardrobe.

"People feel cold air in the room… he's well known, we get a lot of visitors on the ghost trail."

It's a similar story at the nearby Settlers Hotel, where the ghost of the mysterious "Mrs Inkpen" is said to play tricks on staff and guests.

The hotel's general manager, Stacey Slater, said: "We have a doorbell for the kitchen that goes off for orders, and it will go off late at night when no one's here.

"One night we were doing karaoke and something started playing up on the computer. One of the other girls said, 'it's Mrs Inkpen', and the doorbell went off as she said it. No one was there, it was around 10pm and no one was in the kitchen."

But while Basil and Mrs Inkpen might cause a stir, they don't hold a candle to the ghosts of the nearby Old York Hospital, the town's most haunted establishment.

The building was recently converted into private houses, but back when it was in use staff would report being too scared to go upstairs alone.

The presence of spirits has also been reported in the Court House Museum, Faversham House and York Town Hall.


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