New Owners Prepare to Reopen the ‘Haunted’ Rosewood Hotel near Ipswich

Not even rumours of ghosts and hauntings can dissuade the new owners of the Rosewood Hotel, located west of Ipswich, from an extensive renovation and reopening.

Luke and Lynette Chalmers are intent on revitalising the hotel, also known as the Middle Pub, more than six years after it was shut down.

However, they have admitted to some spooky small encounters with the paranormal whilst been doing extensive renovations. 

The Chalmers were aware of the hotel’s reputation when they bought the property from its previous owners, David Pahlke and Carol Moore. Luke and Lynette said, however, ended up falling in love with the historical place despite the stories they’ve learned from Carol. 

Though none of the ghostly encounters may qualify as horrific, the former owners said they often found odd things like losing items, furniture getting rearranged, or hearing piano music when there was no piano at the hotel.

Luke said that when they visited the place to check, he thought he spotted someone at the corner of his eye by the flight of stairs. Luke’s father felt someone tapping on his shoulder. 

Standing on a 2,418-square-metre block, the Rosewood Hotel was a family hotel with 11 bedrooms and four bathrooms. Originally constructed in 1870, it was one of four buildings in the area during its early days. 

Photo Credit: Ipswich Libraries
Photo Credit: Ipswich Libraries

However, in 1912, the hotel completely burned down and was reconstructed. Apparently, some of its previous occupants never left. One was dubbed the “water ghost” for allegedly causing water to overflow at the veranda. 

Over decades, clairvoyants and paranormal investigators have been to the hotel. They said that there are at least two spectres hanging around the place, a red-haired Scotsman and a spirit with a sad streak.

The Chalmers, who helped with the refurbishment of Collins Place as the Little Big House in South Bank, have yet to detail what changes or refurbishments they are doing to the property but this site has a lot of potential given its location in the suburb’s main retail strip. They do plan on offering meals using quality local produce and live music. 

The renovations are expected to finish in four months. They are eyeing an August 2022 opening.