A stretch of hallway outside our room at Hotel Corones. Some people say Poppa Corones' ghost hangs around the hotel.
Boom boom, we heard at the door.
The conversation in the room stopped. Jen, Robin, Toby and I looked at the door and at each other.
Our laughter and shenanigans must have been too loud for the older folks who live down the hall, we thought.
We nominated Toby to answer the door and apologize for the disturbance.
But when he swung the door open, no one was there.
He stepped out in the hall to have a look around; I got up to investigate as well.
No one was in the hallway and none of the room lights were on in nearby rooms.
We sat back down to conference about what the knocking noise was.
Could have been another door on the hall that was shut very loudly and echoed throughout the hotel.
Could have been someone knocking, although we heard no footsteps before or after the knock.
Or, it could have been the ghost of Harry Corones, owner and founder of Hotel Corones.
About five hours later, around 6:30 a.m., from my room, I heard another knock on Robin and Toby's door. But that time I could clearly hear footsteps running away. Later, Toby and I swapped stories and realized we'd both heard the same knock and footsteps running away at the same time that morning.
It's worth noting though that with the exception of us four backpackers, it's unlikely that anyone in this hotel would be running anywhere.
The next day, a group of young people traveling through Charleville came into the bar while I was working.
I struck up a conversation with one of the women after she said, "This is a great hotel."
I replied, "I reckon it's haunted."
With total sincerity and in complete seriousness, she said, "Oh, you've picked up on that too?"
Turns out she is a spiritual medium of sorts.
She was outside having a cigarette and said she actually saw the ghost of a young woman on the veranda, just off of the rooms above the bar.
I told her what happened the night before and that one of the owners has had a few ghostly encounters in the hotel.
After further conversation with the owner, I learned that apparently two ghosts roam the hotel grounds: the hotel's original owner, Poppa Corones and a young woman who died on the property when the Norman Hotel was here. (Corones built the hotel between 1924 an 1929 after tearing down the Norman Hotel).
Hotel Corones is the kind of place where the floor boards creak, antique furniture is everywhere and history is celebrated. So, it's not hard to believe in ghosts when things go whoosh or boom* in the night.
Maybe that night in Robin and Toby's room we were disturbing others living in the hotel.
Or maybe we were being too loud for Poppa Corones...