ANY venerable building of Victorian vintage comes with a ghost story or two, and Zeal Cottage lives up to the tradition.
Local legend has it that the cottage is haunted by the spectre of a little old lady sitting on the front verandah. She is believed to be the spirit of the cottage’s original owner, Mrs Adelaide Hill.
A local real estate agent has a tale to tell. He took a prospective buyer to look at the house, a person who had no previous knowledge of the story of the spirit. As they walked up the front path and onto the verandah, the prospective buyer pointed at a vision only they could see, and gasped. They said it was the ghost of a little old lady.
Current owners Ron and Ruth Birkby are more than happy to share the house with the spectre. Ruth says she can “feel” Adelaide, and that the feeling is not at all spooky.
Husband Ron has seen Adelaide out of the corner of his eye more than once, both on the verandah and inside the dwelling.
Ron has also seen a “ghost dog”. The couple believe it might be a dog that belonged to a former resident, a rabbit trapper, whose dogs were shot underneath the house by the police for killing chooks.
The Birkbys bought the premises three years ago and are totally in love with it.
“When we walked in, it just felt special to us and we had to have it,” Ruth said. “It’s a beautiful house and we’re trying to bring it back to its former glory.
“It’s coming back to life,” she said.