ON DUTY: The Abbey’s very own ghost hunter, Basil the cat.
ON DUTY: The Abbey’s very own ghost hunter, Basil the cat. Kirstin Payne

Who you gonna call? Abbey’s Basil the cat!

THE Abbey of the Roses, a highlight of any history lover's trip to Warwick, holds more secrets than first anticipated according to owner-operator Mark Cains and his wife Sonia.

The couple has looked after the Abbey for more than four years and is sure they aren't the only permanent residents.

Only a slight believer in the paranormal Mr Cains says if there is something roaming the halls of the Abbey at night it's harmless.

"People always say they have feelings when they come here," Mr Cains said.

"It's all friendly stuff, you hear bumps and creaks now and then but it's all good fun, just a bit of a mystery".

With resident ghost hunting feline Basil on duty Mr Cains says they are always aware when something is about.

"Basil sometimes just sits staring down the hallway at something, or just still looking into the distance," he said.

But it's not just Basil that has heard a bump in the night ...

"Horse hooves"

According to Mr Cains an unfortunate thief met his end at the Abbey while trying to steal a horse and carriage.

"The story goes that a thief had snuck in to steal the horse and buggy," he said.

While the thief made his getaway out the back of the property, the stone cross off the church broke off and collapsed on top of them.

Both the horse and driver were killed in the incident.

On a quiet night visitors to the Abbey can hear horse hooves up and down Locke St as the spirit of the horse tries to find its way home.

"Scratches at the door"

"Supposedly, over the Easter period the nuns went away for a few days", Mr Cains said.

However one of the children of the Abbey was allegedly forgotten and accidentally locked into a bedroom.

Legend has it that by the time the nuns realised their mistake and returned the child had passed away

"There were said to be scratches covering the back of the door where the girl tried to get out."

Mr Cains said some have even heard tiny fingernails scratching at the door in the middle of the night, trying to get out.

"Hands in the night"

More than two years ago a minister who was staying at the Abbey was woken in the middle of the night with an unmovable pressure against his chest.

"He said the force felt like someone was pushing him down," Mr Cains said.

The minister was unable to get up, terrified by the power that was on top of him.

Only when he began singing church hymns at the invisible force was he able to move.

This particular ghost story has even rattled some of the state's toughest.

Anna Bligh, Premier at the time came to stay at the Abbey two weeks after the minister stayed.

"We told one of Anna Bligh's bodyguards what happened when she came to stay two weeks after the minister did," Mr Cains said.

"The bodyguard said, if you hear gun shots in the night I've got it," Mr Cains laughed.

The Abbey will be open for an afternoon tea and tour tomorrow as part of Heritage weekend.

The Cains will be taking bookings for the tour of the 123-year-old building up until 10'clock tomorrow.

WHEN: 2pm tomorrow

WHERE: Abbey of the Roses, Locke St, Warwick.

PRICE: $15 per person

To book your place call the Abbey on 4661 9777.



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