Gavin Forman said he became a believer in paranormal activity about five years ago when he noticed strange occurrences at The Old George and Dragon where he is head chef.
One time, he was walking to the kitchen when he noticed a human hand poking through the door from behind a curtain, trying to put the curtain back on its hook in the doorway.
The chef and restaurant owner Jennifer Nichols were the only two people in the building, so Mr Forman called out to Ms Nichols that he would fix the curtain.But Ms Nichols walked into the room from another entrance, nowhere near the fumbling hand, which continued to try to fix the curtain then disappeared.“I didn’t believe in any of this stuff before I worked here,” Mr Forman said.
“Almost every apprentice and bar staff member we have had has followed someone down the hall and through a door and when they get there, there’s nobody there.”Ms Nichols has since made the most of the supernatural flavour of her establishment, hosting regular paranormal discussion nights.
American paranormal expert Ben Hansen, who was in Maitland for Paracon, was a guest speaker at The Old George and Dragon last night.Mr Forman and Ms Nichols said paranormal incidents had regularly occurred at the restaurant, including levitating plates and knives, disappearing furniture and the appearance of a full-bodied apparition.
“I was standing at the bar and in the mirror and I saw a lady behind me,” Mr Forman said.“I spun around and there was no one there – she was in the mirror.“She had short, bobbed hair and was wearing a pinafore.”
Ms Nichols contacted psychic Renata Daniel, from Newcastle Ghost Tours, for help about a year ago.Ms Daniel used her psychic abilities to confirm that the premises was occupied by various spirits that had a connection with The Old George and Dragon in the past.She said the building was haunted.“Many people think their eyes are playing tricks on them when they see these things so it’s good to get some corroborative evidence,” she said.
Newcastle Ghost Tours on The Circle, 26 July 2011