Cafe owner, staff say they sense ghostly presence

Nichol’s Garden Cafe owner Rebecca Stevenson says she shares her cafe with ‘‘Fred’’ — a long...
Nichol’s Garden Cafe owner Rebecca Stevenson says she shares her cafe with ‘‘Fred’’ — a long-departed resident. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH
Floating objects and early morning footsteps may sound like something from a Stephen King novel but staff at an Invercargill cafe will tell you their experience is no fiction.

Often alone baking in the early hours of the day, Nichol’s Garden Cafe owner Rebecca Stevenson said she had come to terms with sharing her cafe with "Fred", a possible entity of the supernatural kind.

While she was not scared by his heel-toe-heel footsteps or the smell of his cigarettes, one experience left her spooked.

It was early morning and she had gone in as usual to bake the cafe’s goods, when a noise made her glance up the closed-off stairs — there she saw the shadow of tailored trousers and feet.

Fred got his name from one of the building’s previous occupants — research into the building found the home was owned by the Price family. Frederick Augustus Price bought the Lynwood Homestead in 1914.

She was not the only one to have experienced the odd goings-on.

Garden centre staff held mixed views about Fred’s "ghostly" existence, but several believed in him after experiences with floating candles and flying giftware they said they saw.

One staff member, who did not wish to be named, said it seemed he did not like Christmas, and had a hard time dealing with new managers.

There was "no rhyme or reason" as to when Fred would make his presence known, but when he did she would "just stand there and say ‘hello’."


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