STRANGE HAPPENINGS: Casino builder Grant Garrard Barling believes Casino Court House’s resident ghost may be a former magistrate – his great great grandfather Henry Garrard.
STRANGE HAPPENINGS: Casino builder Grant Garrard Barling believes Casino Court House’s resident ghost may be a former magistrate – his great great grandfather Henry Garrard. The Northern Star Pillars Of Earth By Margaret Timbrell And Margaret Mckenna

Mystery: Who is the ghost of Casino court house?

A CASINO builder believes the ghost haunting the town's historic court house may be that of his great, great grandfather, former Magistrate Henry Garrard.

Staff and renovation workers recently told how they thought a paranormal presence, dubbed John, was responsible for "strange happenings" at the Walker St building constructed in 1882.

Grant Garrard Barling said his great, great grandfather Henry Garrard, who is buried in the North Lismore cemetery, was magistrate who presided over Casino court.

"As a young man his family left England in the 1840s to come to Australia," he said.

"They had a saw mill in Lismore where the current Lismore Railway Station is.

"He went broke after all his workers left when they found gold out at Drake."

Former magistrate Henry Garrard
Former magistrate Henry Garrard

After the saw mill was forced to close, Mr Garrard was appointed as the local magistrate.

"He used to ride backwards and forwards from the family farm at Boorie Creek near North Lismore between Lismore and Casino courts," Mr Barling said.

"The day he died he rode to Casino to preside over the court.

"Then he rode home and they don't know whether he fell off his horse, or as he was about 55, whether he'd had a heart attack.

"They didn't know whether he was attacked or attacked by somebody that might have been associated with something that had gone on in the court.

"His horse went back to Boorie Creek and the next morning they mounted a search and they found him propped up beside a tree at a location which is now known as Garrards Gap."

Garrards Gap is on a range between Casino and Lismore, east of Naughtons Gap.

Casino Local Court staff call the ghost John, after a former registrar who died in the building decades ago.

But Mr Barling said the ghost may in fact be Henry.



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