A renowned couple of Illawarra restaurateurs have discovered a peculiar "guiding hand" may have helped them to their success.
"He knocked on our door about three months after we had moved in and he said, 'Hello, I'm Tim Lee' which just ran a shot up my spine," Deb told the Mercury.
The revelations which unfolded shocked the trio, as a giant puzzle came together linking the former doctor to three other historic properties the couple had owned.
"We kind of feel like we're being moved around by this massive supernatural being," Deb said
Jim added it felt like Dr Lee was a "bit of a guiding hand".
The McCallums previously restored and ran the long-standing a la carte restaurant Ruby's in Kembla Heights, they restored a residential home - labeled Stinson's Cottage - in Mount Kembla village, along with restoring and running the grand 19th-century wedding venue Ravensthorpe in Albion Park.
Tim presented the McCallums with documents about Little Milton's history and the history of his family. He also handed over a black stone clock, a "burden", that now sits on their mantle over the fireplace.
He felt it should be returned as he had stolen it decades ago after coming home to Australia from the UK to find the house empty and boarded up, but at the time he wanted a memento of his ancestors.
Tim recalled time spent with his three "spinster aunties" who lived at Little Milton following the death of his grandfather Dr Harry Herbert Lee and his great-grandfather Timothy Lee (who acquired the property in 1883, according to NSW State Heritage documents).
After trawling through historical documents about Little Milton, the McCallums discovered that Dr Timothy Lee had performed surgeries in a shed at the back of Ruby's (assisting after the 1902 mine disaster), he also ran a doctor surgery out of Stinson's Cottage and often played tennis at Ravensthorpe with the then owner.
"I had always wondered what that little building was next to the [neighbouring Mount Kembla] bowling club, it looked like a train station or a bus stop ... but it makes sense now it was used during the mine disaster," Jim said.
The extra detail of Little Milton's past and the uncanny connection was welcomed by the pair, who were not impartial to hearing ghost stories as both had encountered paranormal activity many times before.
One Sunday afternoon at Ruby's, Jim had placed a tray of glasses on a shelf at the bar on closing time when a couple knocked at the door asking if they were still open.
"As I turned around the tray of glassware shot out from the bar and smashed on the floor," he said, noting he could feel the anger of the spirit.
"You could see their eyes going 'let's get out of here' ... and they ran out of the place."
It was in that same spot Deb and her son Hamish encountered a similar occurrence during a corporate function with BlueScope where one-by-one glasses were being shot off the tray and smashed on the floor.
Before purchasing Little Milton, Deb had insisted on spending a night there to ensure any ghosts present should be friendly, but they are still yet to encounter any angry spirits.
"I feel quite comfortable here, it's a comfortable space," said Jim.
The couple say this property will be the last one they restore, with the hope of one day making their guiding hand, Dr Timothy Lee proud.
"This guy is really moving us and maneuvering us around," Deb said.
"And like Ruby's and like Ravensthorpe," Jim added, "[Little Milton] is going to live on."