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Bluestone Theatre


“The angry priest is a bit of a handful … ”

The history

This gorgeous bluestone building in the sleepy Macedon shire town of Kyneton is now called the Kyneton Bluestone Theatre, but was formerly known as the Kyneton Congregational Church, and later, the Kyneton Independent Church.

The church first met in a carpenter’s shop before a wooden church was erected on this site in 1853 under the spiritual guidance of Reverend Robert Anderson.

A respected minister, Anderson was very well loved by the community and surrounds, and when he sadly passed in 1855 – just two years after heading up the first congregational church – the funeral procession was one of the largest the colony had seen.
Anderson was then succeeded by Reverend George Cowie Morrison, a Scottish minister from Aberdeenshire. A bit of a “sickly” youngster, Morrison had felt the calling of religion since he was a young man, and around 1855, he left his homeland to take up the reigns at the Kyneton Congregational Church on a trial basis.

There was some concern how the community would embrace a new minister after the death of their beloved Rev Anderson, but after a three-month probation period, Morrison was officially appointed to the position.
In memory of their beloved Rev Anderson, and to house a larger congregational due to the popularity of Morrison’s sometimes controversial sermons,  the community rallied to raise money to build a stone church on the site and by 1857 fundraising was well underway.

To raise money for the building of such an imposing and grand structure at this time was  an impressive feat as funding had to come entirely from the community; an independent church meant no government funds were allocated to the project.

Sadly, just 15 months into his ministership, Morrison, who suffered from a heart condition, became gravely ill. Under advice of his physician, he stopped preaching until he could recover.
Morrison gave his last sermon at the church on December 28, 1856, and his final words to the congregation were:

But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefor sober, and watch unto prayer.”

Morrison’s condition grew worse, and he knew his time to join the Lord was drawing near. He gathered all his friends around his bedside, with his closest confidants asking him if he was actually ready to go with Christ, especially because his work at the church had become so important to him and there was still so much work to be done. He reportedly said:

“I love natural affections, I love to be engaged in the work of Christ — I love to write the name of Jesus upon the human heart.”

Soon after, Morrison whispered the word “victory”, and passed from a suspected haemorrhaged lung. He was 32. He left behind his wife of just four months, Mary Dawson Harper, who gave birth to their son whom she named after him, a few months later. 

The local newspaper, the Kyneton Observer, wrote a touching tribute to the young minster upon his passing.

The paper also reported that more than 150 mourners joined Morrison’s funeral procession from the church to the nearby cemetery when he was buried.

Construction on the new Gothic style bluestone church, designed by architect William Douglas, was completed in 1859, and officially opened in 1860. Additions done in 1871 were designed by Crouch & Wilson. Dr James Pestell and his wife Agnes, who were foundation members of the congregation, were honoured with a plaque, and marble tablets were also erected in memory of reverends Anderson and Morrison.

With such heartbreak, sadness and tragedy surrounding the formation of the church, it’s little wonder there’s residual energy on the site, and perhaps even some spirits who loved the church so much, they never wanted to, or refused to, leave.

In 1892, the church also became home to the Congregational Church Sunday School as well as one of the most popular choirs in the region. Many shows and concerts were performed here over the years, thanks to the installation of the incredible George Fincham organ which was installed in 1880. The church is know home to the local theatre company.

Our investigation

The Hallozween Paranormal team visited the Kyneton Bluestone Church in January, 2023, and did a two-hour investigation there, thanks to Dolly Adamson of Kyneton Paranormal.

We arrived at the location shortly after 9pm as another group was finishing up their investigation so it was a bit noisy to get uncontaminated results, but we made the most of the time there. We scoped out the front and backstage areas, and outside. We did an EVP session on the bleachers opposite the stage first up, and there was an audible “humphhhh” after one of our questions which was interesting and unexpected given the conditions.

Dolly has only investigated the location a handful of times, so she’s still figuring out who is who in the spirit world there, and how it all fits together. So far she has identified three distinct spirits or residual energies: a choir girl named Esther, an angry priest and a man named Michael who is a bit of a mystery. Both of the male energies tend to dominate Esther, who likes to hang out on a couch away from them atop stage right. The group there before us had some luck in communicating with her, using show tunes and flowers as triggers.

Dolly has recorded quite a few EVPs which capture both Michael and the angry priest, who is a bit of a handful. He uses profanity to make himself known, which is a little surprising for a priest so it would be very interesting to find out what his story is. Maybe he’s not even a priest at all …

After the previous group left for the night, we settled in for an ESTES session with Esther which was a little on the quiet side, but maybe the group had already drained her energy? We got some flickers from the cat balls, but nothing definitive.

We then joined Dolly for  a very spirited EVP session backstage near what would have been the confessional. Our KII meter, which rarely moves at all, spiked up into orange and red numerous times showing that something was definitely there and definitely not happy we were. Dolly recorded a few EVP responses which she said sounded like the priest, and there also was a massive THUMP out in the main part of the theatre while we were backstage too.

All in all, the location was pretty interesting. As it’s pretty new to being investigated, spending more time there using various pieces of equipment will ensure the spirits know how to interact with investigators, and will more than likely improve communication – and results.

You can see details and book upcoming tours or private investigations of the Kyneton Bluestone Theatre on Kyneton Paranormal’s Facebook page or website.


Andrea is the founder of Hallozween and a paranormal enthusiast who has visited locations all over the world.


Andrea is the founder of Hallozween and a paranormal enthusiast who has visited locations all over the world.

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