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Rosaleen Norton

1917 – 1979

Rosaleen Norton (1917-1979) self-proclaimed witch and artist, is now best remembered as the woman whose perverse influence contributed substantially to the downfall of conductor Eugene Goossens. At the time this photograph was taken she was still one of Kings Cross's infamous identities. Ellis describes meeting her in his book Kings Cross Sydney. As he approached her tiny room at the rear of a rundown terrace he noticed an 'uncanny smell, something like the smell of a very old book'. He found it easy to believe she was a witch - 'she is ugly . . . there is a wart on her chin with hairs growing from it . . . and there is a sinister all-knowing gleam about her . . . from her ears hang miniature skulls'. Rennie told her as he was leaving that 'despite all the stories I'd heard about her she'd been very friendly and human. 'Don't say that!' she snapped - 'I may be many things but I am certainly not human'.

Updated 2018