Haunted Lagoon, Eurombah Qld
Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld.)
Date: September 19, 1925
Page Number: 3 S
C.L. Ross writes: Recently came across an old copy of the "N.Q. Register" and noticed where one of your readers had something to say about the haunted lagoon at Euroambah. I was overseer on the station in my young days and the existence of a mysterious creature in the lagoon was a tradition from the eerie past even then. The lagoon lies in an ana-branch of the Upper Dawson at the head station, and, in my time was a black-looking, mud-bottomed pool about a mile long at its widest. At shearing time, when I had become caked outside and inside with dust yarding and penning sheep at the shed overnight for next morning's shearing, it was my practice to plunge into the lagoon after dark and swim all over it. The manager encouraged me by informing me in tones of mystery that the former blacks wouldn't venture into that awful lagoon. The old "doctors" scared them off with a tradition that debbil-debbil sat down alonga lagoon. This information helped to chill the tepid water for me. Prior to this it had been rather a weird feeling to be paddling under the stars, over unknown depth. In dead silence and solitude, the banks only indicated by shades of gloom deeper than the black water around. After learning of the alleged presence of debil-debil, or bunyip, as some called it, it used to send the shivers along one's spine to touch with a toe, when swimming, some submerged stick or—anything. It has often occurred to me since that, in the far-back past, an alligator may have made its way up from the Fitzroy and taken its quarters up in Euroamba lagoon. According to the blacks' cheerful story the debil-debll's habit was to grab aborigines who ventured into that lagoon, and disappear with them. Euroambah and Hornet Bank adjoined, and more white men were killed on the former place by ones and twos, than in one dawning at the Hornet Bank massacre. However the squatters there made up a fund and engaged someone to bring a lot of New South Wales blacks and "disperse" the Dawson myalls. There were no blacks on the Upper Dawson after that. Touching on the bunyip reminds me that Lake George was supposed to be inhabited by one of these queer creatures for years, until someone shot it, and found it to be a musk duck, of unusual size. I remember that in 1884 numerous accounts came to hand of a strange animal seen near a South Australian salt lake, and of which beast the "Border Watch" wrote: "It stands about two feet high, and is longer than a Newfoundland dog. It has four legs, and leaves in soft ground footprints with four toe marks. It makes a noise like the roaring of a bull, which can be heard at a considerable distance, and is, perhaps, the solitary survivor of some species of Australian animal, that will became extinct with it." Does any "Track" reader know if this queer animal was ever captured?
Hornet Bank massacre
The Hornet Bank massacre of eleven Europeans, including seven members of the Fraser family, took place about one or two o'clock in the morning of the 27 October 1857 at a station on the upper Dawson River in central Queensland, Australia. It unfortunately spurred a much greater counter-massacre (led by William Fraser). It is believed that as many as 300 Aborigines may have been shot in retaliation. This retaliation resulted in the extermination of the entire Yeeman tribe and language group by 1858.
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: September 11, 1926
Page Number: 43