The atmosphere was tense, but understandably so. After all, it’s not every day you get to communicate with the “other side”.
A group of about 20 ghost-hunters converged on the upstairs sitting room at Suttons House of Music yesterday, in an attempt to communicate with Mary Sutton, who died on site.
Mary was the mother of famed inventor Henry Sutton, who built Ballarat’s first hydraulic lift in the iconic Sturt Street venue after his mum had a stroke.
Armed with expensive ghost-hunting equipment such as electro-magnetic frequency and vibration sensors, the group of believers asked yes or no questions of the historic Ballarat character.
Sensors flashed visibly as participants asked Mary about her love for piano and violin.
The ghost-hunt occurred simultaneously to events in America, organised by the Scarefest in Kentucky. Events across the world were live-streamed via social media, with viewers from the US suggesting questions to ask Mary.
“We know the history of the site – there was a congregational church here. It was demolished and then a small wooden building with a printing works was built, and that was demolished when Mary built a music shop here,” Deb Robinson from ghost-hunting company, Twisted History, said.
“She was a very smart lady. She taught herself to read and write, married at 16 and taught all her children to read and write. She also taught her children they could do whatever they wanted to do.”
At one stage during the “communication”, one of the participants overseas picked up the name Robert, stomach pain, and the smell of sulphur. A Ballarat participant confirmed that was the name of their father, who suffered stomach complaints, and who died from smoking-related causes.