Investigation of Tasma Terrace - The site of the Parliament Place tragedy
Nestled on the immediate outskirts of Melbourne CBD sits Tasma Terrace. A collection of terraces built in the 1800’s which have now been restored and are the headquarters of the National Trust of Victoria. Firstly, I am so completely jealous of this being an office. Who wouldn’t want to come to this beautiful building to work every day. Oh yeah and it is haunted = dream job! I had the special opportunity to conduct a paranormal investigation of Tasma Terrace. There are reports from staff of having uneasy feelings in certain rooms and some have even the seen the ghost of a woman standing by the photocopier. Why would they be seeing the ghost of a woman? It just so happens that there is a darker history to Tasma Terrace that involves the murder of a woman.
Edith Jane Forrester Jubb lived and ran what was called the lodging house of Tasma Terrace (Tasma terrace was a series of terraces next to one another). Controversially she lived with her ‘lover’ Mr Alfred turner. She had a 15 year old daughter called Fanny who was not Alfred’s. As you can imagine back in the 1800’s this was a very scandalous thing. She was in fact rumoured to be an adulteress. It is unknown if she was or if this is just an assumption based on the fact that she lived with her ‘lover’. He was rumoured to be an aggressive an violent man according to his stepdaughter Fanny who apparently had witnessed his cruelty first hand towards her mother. She said he had even threatened to shoot her mother on countless occasions. It seems that one day he followed through on his threat. On the 14th of August 1890, a barrister who lived at Parliament Place which is now known as Tasma Terrace, heard the gunshots and went to investigate the scene. He then went to fetch Dr Charles Ryan and on their way back found Constable William Harley nearby. Constable Harley was the first officer on the scene. He found Alfred standing in the hallway with a gash to his forehead. As he continued past the dining room and into the bedroom at the rear of the building he found Edith lying lifeless. She had a gun in her left hand and the left side of her body was soaked in her own blood. (This is significant and I will tell you why shortly). The left side of her face was swollen and she had a bullet hole beneath her left eye and a second gunshot wound near the left ear. Apparently the first bullet merely fractured her upper jaw but the second bullet was fatal.
The hallway where Alfred Turner was found standing straight after the murder occurred
The coroner opened an inquest on the 16th of August which was held in the dining room of the lodging house The immediate assumption was that she committed suicide however there are a few issues with this. Firstly she was shot twice with a revolver that needed to be re-cocked after each shot. It would be pretty hard to shoot yourself in the head, re-cock the revolver and then give it another go to finish the job. The Dr who did the autopsy Dr G.A Syme however ruled this was possible. The biggest problem with the story was that Edith was found with the gun in her left hand with injuries located on the left side of her body. This would only be possible if you were left handed. The problem is that Edith’s daughter Fanny swears that he mother was right handed and hated firearms. She even went to the extremes of hiding Alfred’s gun. It is not known if it was because she feared what he would do or if it was due to her hatred of guns. During the whole commotion it was doing that a bullet had strayed and hit the wall. This dislodged plaster and injured Alfred explaining the gash on his forehead. Murder suicide was the story. According to records, the all male jury went on a character assassination of Edith as an immoral, alcoholic jealous woman and Alfred was merely a man suffering from financial stress and suffering frustration from their social status based on their current living situation. After 45 minutes, even though the defence put forward witness accounts from daughter fanny of aggression and abuse and the fact that her mother was right handed and could not have killed herself, the all male jury deemed it a suicide and Alfred was free to go. He and Edith’s children seemed to disappear off the face of the earth and no record of them can be found after the trial. It is unknown if he fled or just kept a low profile.
A photo of the dining room where the inquest was held
The section of the terrace where the murder occurred has since been demolished, however her body was held in the dining room at Tasma Terrace where the inquest also took place. Her body was held in this room for days. The dining room is still standing as is the hall where Alfred was also found and we had the opportunity to investigate these areas and let me tell you we were surprised we with we found.
We investigated 3 keys areas. The first was the dining room where the inquest was held. At this time we ourselves did not know the extensive history behind Tasma Terrace. We knew a woman had been murdered and that was all as we wanted our evidence to lead us the way. In the dining room, we mapped a figure manifest using a portable kinect. The irony is that we were not filming so of course can’t show you. I know right I want to face palm. We received several names through the SB7 spirit box and the GD box (modified portal). The name Harley came through. At the time we did not know that a Constable Harley was connected to the case. The name Emily also came through which research found was the name of Alfred’s 6 year old daughter. The most impressive part of the night was that I was standing holding the portable kinect and I had Glenn mapped in one side and another person on the other side. I asked a spirit to try and manifest in between them in front of the fire place. While they did not map on the kinect, the REM pod which was situated where I asked the spirit to stand went off. This is impressive to me for several reasons. I know how to set off a REM Pod. We had no mobile phones on they were in another building, we had no walkie talkies, and we had done baselines of the whole building and we knew where every wire was. The REM Pod rarely goes off on its own. I have seen it happen 3 times in my life where I couldn’t explain it. This is number 4.
The stairs where the shadow detector was activated.
We cut our investigation short in the dining room as we had set up a shadow detector on the stairs. It was going off. We immediately went out there to investigate and conducted an EVP session on the stairs. I was live listening and could not hear any EVPS however the audio is still to be reviewed. We also did a SB7 session and received several males trying to communicate. The general theme received here was the name Adam and the word Kill. Still researching this one and not sure if it has any sort of significance.
We also investigated various other rooms in the adjoining terraces. What was interesting was the responses we received in the front room of the terrace right next door. Using the K2 devices we were asking for responses based on Yes/No answers. We had already done a full sweep and we knew there was no sort of interference where the K2 was placed. What was also interesting was we had 4 K’2 placed around the room. If it was a phone or some sort of radio interference, they would all be affected. Only 1 K2 was responding. It was the K2 the employee of the National Trust was holding, and it only responded when she asked a question. It is also worth noting she is quite a skeptical scientific minded person having studied science so she was excellent tool to have with us. She was unable to explain it. It seemed she was communicating with the spirit who we believed to be Alfred. He doesn’t feel he did anything wrong and that he did not kill her. He apparently also found it quite funny that our host had fallen down the stairs before. We believe he was communicating with her as she is a familiar trusted face and his responses seem to indicate that as well. I of course don’t know for sure and I am not saying everything we experienced was paranormal but there were quite a few moments where we have to say ok that is kind of interesting.
Front room where we may have been communicated with the spirit of Alfred
Overall we were surprised with some of the information we received and even more surprised when we hit the books afterwards to discover the players involved and what was reported to have happened. We were asked by the National Trust to host a paranormal investigation to their members and a few members of the general public to take them through Tasma Terrace on the first ever public paranormal investigation of this location. In fact as of the night above we were the first people to do an actual paranormal investigation. A couple of years ago they had some psychics do a reading on the house but they had no equipment and didn’t conduct any sort of investigation, they were more looking to see where the energy was (and yes they apparently found a ton). We ran two public investigations in October of 2016. We got some really interesting things but not definitive answers. There is definately some odd things going on at Tasma Terrace, which is not surprising given it has an odd history.
- All history has been provided by the National Trust of Victoria. All photos belong to Living Life In Full Spectrum.
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