Human nature being what it is we are drawn to scary, unexplained, unusual, and sometimes cruel events past and present.
Tales of ghostly hauntings are thrilling and adrenaline-pumping for some, so if this is you, we have some of the most haunted places to visit in Australia. Be warned, be scared!
1. Boggo Road Jail Queensland
Tough inmates and even tougher wardens categorized Boggo Road Jail as one of our country’s most infamous. It was a place of execution until 1913, home to some of Australia’s most dangerous men and women, including the ‘Whisky Au-Go-Go’ firebombers James Finch and Andrew Stuart and the site of the execution of Ellen Thomson, the only woman ever hanged in Queensland.
With a chequered history of dangerous overcrowding, rooftop riots and executions it is no wonder there is a ghostly folklore surrounding Boggo. It no longer operates as a prison but is now a tourist attraction with ghost tours of the historic site.
2. Brisbane City Hall Queensland
During construction of the Brisbane City Hall many fatalities were recorded, but it also has history of other onsite deaths, where the unfortunates appear to have not left the building.
A fight over a girl in the 1940’s led to an American soldier being stabbed to death, with present day employees often hearing two men arguing loudly in the Red Cross Tea Room when the building is otherwise empty.
There are also reports of the lift mysteriously stopping between floors or jerking for no reason, attributed to the ghost of a lift attendant who is believed to have fallen and been crushed to death in 1935.
3. Penitentiary Chapel Hobart Tasmania
Originally built and designed as a chapel for the male convicts of Hobart town, thirty six solitary confinement cells were also constructed beneath the chapel floor. The Chapel served the Prisoner Barracks or Penitentiary which later became the Hobart Gaol. In 1859, part of the chapel was converted into two criminal courts, with an execution yard and gallows attached.
Strange happenings include visitors to the isolation cells feeling inexplicably anxious and sad, and unable to leave despite desperately wanting to. There is also a couch in a room known as ‘Ivy’s Room’. Should visitors dare to sit on it, they may be scolded by an unseen man to ‘get off’!!!
4. Port Arthur Tasmania
Port Arthur is well known as site of one of the first convict settlements with hundreds of men reportedly dying during this time. Many people believe those lost souls have never departed.
Tour guides operate regular ghost expeditions around the historic town with some of the local accommodation houses giving out ‘Unusual Occurrence Forms’ to guests who wish to report the sight of something ghostly. More than two thousand apparition sightings have been lodged in the past two decades.
One reoccurring vision is that of ‘Lady in Blue’, a young woman who apparently died in childbirth.
5. Princess Theatre Victoria
In a classic ‘Phantom of the Opera’ twist, baritone Frederick Federici was, in 1888, performing a scene from Faust when he suffered a sudden and fatal heart attack. It is said his spirit still haunts the opera. Respectfully touching or scarily creepy, for many years a seat was reserved for him in the third row of the dress circle.
6. National Film and Sound Archive ACT
Undoubtedly a grand art deco building in Canberra, the National Film and Sound Archive has not always been the home for the preservation of important images and sounds. Until 1984 it was the home of notable body parts and operated as the Australian Institute of Anatomy.
The downstairs corridor, where hundreds of human skulls were once housed, has been described as a hive of poltergeist activity. Not surprisingly, there are some that believe the spectres of the dead inhabit the hallways, with a contractor claiming to have had a ‘presence’ pin him against a wall in the basement!
7. Fremantle Art Centre WA
With a murky past as a lunatic asylum, this iconic 150 year old building is now the site of live music and weekend craft afternoons.
It is also touted as one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most active haunted places, with visitors reporting cold spots, ghostly touches, apparitions, moving lights and feelings of being hugged and kissed by an invisible person, spooky indeed!
Recently investigated by ghost hunters there were reports of creepy voices saying stuff like “Those are chains” and “It’s not cold”, believe it or not!!
8. Monte Cristo Homestead NSW
Originally inhabited by the Crawley family in the late 1880’s, when Reginald and Olive Ryan moved into their new home in 1963, they had no idea it was the country’s most haunted, with the former owner’s family spirits thought to wander the house. The Ryan’s don’t seem too worried about sharing their home though, as they still live there today.
It comes as no surprise that ghostly tours are booked out months in advance. There are ghostly apparitions, phantom footsteps and strange noises. Visitors have reportedly experienced a young woman dressed in white appear before them and whisper “Don’t worry, It will be alright” before vanishing into the night. Visiting children seemingly for no reason throw tantrums around the staircase, where it is reported a child once died.
9. Studley Park House NSW
This house’s previous incarnation was as the Camden Grammar School where in October 1909, a fourteen-year-old schoolboy by the name of Ray Blackstone is known to have drowned in the dam, despite desperate attempts by his school mates to save him.
His body was laid in the cold dark cellar awaiting burial. Thirty years later, now no longer a school, the home was the location of a second death, thirteen-year-old Noel Gregory who sadly died of appendicitis. As a constant reminder of their tragic deaths at such a young age, it is believed the spirits of the two boys remain and play together in the house still.
10. Redbank Range Tunnel NSW
Once used as a railway tunnel, now disused, a woman named Emily Bollard met an unfortunate end when she entered the tunnel only to be confronted by an oncoming train. It is claimed that Emily’s ghost wanders the tunnel.
Do you have any ghostly or haunting stories to share?
Do any of you share your home with invisible tenants who don’t contribute to the rent?