The Rose of the Vulcan

This stunning photo was taken by an Invercargill man in 2019 showing what appears to be a ghostly apparition in the window of the St Bathans post office.

St Bathans, New Zealand is often referred to as ghost town considering it has a living population of less than 10. The rest are all, well, ghosts. Its most famous resident is a prostitute nicknamed “The Rose” who died more than 100 years ago in what was then a bustling Otago gold mining town. Her spirit is said to haunt the Vulcan Hotel to this day, making the tiny isolated village an unlikely hotbed for paranormal tourism.

In 1880’s, Saint Bathans was a bustling town with a population of around 2,000 gold miners. Many of the towns existing buildings were built during this era and few have been added since. The town boasts an exquisitely beautiful man-made lake called The Blue Lake which was a side product of extensive mining activity. Beginning in 1864 miners dug for gold at the site until it formed a 168 metre deep pit. Mining stopped in 1934 because the pit was getting too close to the town and threatening it’s structural integrity. The huge hole was allowed to fill with rain water to create the stunning blue lake we see today surrounded by an alien looking limestone landscape.

In the early 1880s the Rose is reported to have ventured into town, one of many young ladies lured to the minefields with hopes of finding a riches. She worked the dancing halls and stayed in a room at the Vulcan Hotel. A talented singer, her sultry voice was claimed to have drawn her many male clients. But one evening the Rose invited the wrong client back to join her in her room. Her body was found the next morning in her room lying on the bed. She had been robbed, raped and murdered by strangulation. Her killer was never brought to justice. In the many years since Rose has been reportedly roamed the rooms of the Vulcan Hotel sighted by many staff members and guests at the hotel.

Room One of the hotel is reputedly where the Rose currently resides and it is said that she only torments men. A few male patrons reported being woken up feeling an overwhelming sense of fear and feeling hands tightening around their throats. It is speculated that The Rose might be trying to get revenge at men for causing her death by tormenting any man she encounters in her room.

There have been several reports of lights flickering in and off, doors opening on their own, severe and sudden drops in temperature, disembodied footsteps, ghostly apparitions, and mysterious shadows seen at the end of the bed. Groaning is heard reverberating throughout the hallways, kettles boil and shake without being turned on, and doors lock all on their own. The spirit is often seen out of the corner of one’s eye reclining on a lounge suite.

Many tourists flock to the site each year hoping to catch a glimpse of Rose or any of the towns other reported ghostly inhabitants. Whether or not they get to see her they are treated with gorgeous views and a peaceful respite.

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