I am a tour guide and this unexplained tale comes from one of my encounters on a tour of Port Arthur, Tasmania in 1999. Port Arthur is notorious for ghostly happenings and, not surprisingly, since it was a holding prison for convicts from England to Australia.
I have encountered many frightening stories in and around this prison, but first let me tell you about "the possessed table setting."
The Commandant of the Prison was a huge, obese, cruel man who loved to torment his prisoners. The house he resided in was a comfortable old English rambling home (built by the convicts). He used to sit in his massive old leather chair facing the window and look out on the prison yard where the convicts took their morning and evening walk guided by the whip and cane!
There he sat and with great enjoyment he would choose a convict he hated and the poor man would be dragged out of the line never to be seen again. He used to invite his special minions to dinner and the table was always loaded with the best of food. The table settings were always perfect to the English standards.
On a tour, I would sit at table with the tourists marveling at the English crockery and cutlery. I made a remark that the fat old Commandant did not deserve such finery. Maybe he heard me and decided to pay me back, for when we sat down my table setting was intact, but when we all began to eat, my setting was missing!
The head waitress remarked, "Oh dear, the Commandant is annoyed with you and does not want you to eat with your party." This remark brought a lot of laughter and we searched for it everywhere. The waitress told us we were wasting our time and to follow her and she would recover the setting.
So we dutifully followed her outside to the lawn while we chuckled and made snide remarks, but there for all to see on the lawn was my setting: side plate with butter knife and serviette, dinner knife and fork, desert spoon all expertly laid out in the open garden. How did it get there? We were all together -- no one had left-the waitresses were also there.
The wind suddenly blew up a gale as we tried to recover my table setting, so we had to abandon the idea and I made do with a kitchen setting that the kitchen hands used. What a lesson I learned from the grumpy old Commandant: "Do not cross me, my girl, or I'll have you in chains!"