A haunted history

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ALTHOUGH the beautiful brick building was abandoned, vandalised and demolished in 1999, the old Pines mansion still lives on in our memories. For some, it was simply a beautiful building to look at driving past, but for others, it only gave them the chills.

The chilling yet stunning mansion was built in the late 1870s for Thomas Swallow on the corner of Verney and Ford Road on a large block of land stretching all the way to Hawkins Street and the Goulburn Valley Highway, which is now home to several houses and businesses. The architect, J A K Clarke, is also well known for his work on one of Shepparton’s favourite historic buildings, the old post office.

The house had several owners after that, but it became a victim to theft and vandalism when it was abandoned in the 1960s. And of course, like many other abandoned buildings including the old Mooroopna Hospital, rumours about hauntings and ghost sightings surfaced. Children spoke of seeing an old lady covered in warts and a cranky gardener wielding a shovel. One resident, Tony Trimboli, told Lost Shepparton his experience at the old mansion.

Tony lived down the road from the property when he was a child. After hearing about the hauntings, Tony and some of his mates decided to check it out for themselves.

“We entered the house through a side entrance and were absolutely terrified,” he said.

“All hell broke loose when this old bloke appeared out of nowhere with a shotgun, yelling at us to get out.

“He didn’t have to ask twice; we ran like hell and swore we’d never return.” Tony said.

Although it was demolished, some of the mansion was salvaged and pieces of the home, including the bricks, flooring and slate roof were sold and used to build new homes around the town.

Here’s hoping that the ghosts didn’t follow…

Snapshots of Greater Shepparton’s Past is made possible by Lost Shepparton. For more great snapshots of the region’s history, visit Lost Shepparton’s Facebook page. You can also support the incredible work they do at www.patreon.com/lostshepparton