For most people, Australia conjures up images of bright turquoise waters, blue skies and white-sand beaches. You imagine yourself lying on the beach lapping up the sun, playing in the water and enjoying the outdoors. However, despite this happy, positive image of Australia we have, there is a slightly darker undertone to the country that is alluring, even frightening, that intrigues visitors with a different interest.
From the casual fright-fan to the sceptic to the true believer, Australia has some truly interesting sights that are guaranteed to make you squeal. If things that go bump in the night are your thing, there are a number of places in Oz that you need to add to your itinerary. Pack your bags, secure your financing from providers such as Latitude travel loans and get ready to explore some of Australia’s “haunted” tourist destinations.
Let’s take a look at some of the most haunted places in the country, where convicts chains still rattle and restless spirits still roam free.
Q Station, Sydney
Built in Manly during the 1830’s to protect the general public from disease and illnesses that were found on migrant ships, the Quarantine station is said to be home to 50 ghosts. Visitors have claimed to be shoved while exploring the property by a force that they could not hear, see or touch. Before it’s closure in 1984, up to 26,000 people lived here in quarantine, of which 600 perished on the site. With so many spectres roaming around the property, you should keep your wits about you.
Fremantle Prison, Perth
Opening its gates in 1864, this former prison was originally a Lunatic Asylum where the criminally insane were locked away from the public. Those incarcerated here suffered from a range of conditions from alcoholism to sunstroke and were kept in appalling conditions. Residents shared rooms with up to twenty people at any one time and one patient was violently murdered within the walls of the compound in 1900. A frightening and harrowing place to visit, Fremantle prison is said to be one of the most haunted locations in the entire southern hemisphere.
Port Arthur, Tasmania
Port Arthur is considered one of the most haunted sites in Australia, and there have been personal experiences shared by numerous people to back up the claim. Among the ghosts seen lurking in the shadows here are convict John Gould who has been seen staring at visitors and Reverend George who has been spotted within the grounds over a dozen times. Overall, there have been more than 2,000 reports of paranormal activity here, making this a must-visit for scare-seekers in Australia.
Established in 1837, Williamstown was Melbourne’s first port, and it will give you all the chills that an only an old port can. Walking the old brickwork lanes and exploring the now disused graveyards and morgues are enough to send a shiver down anyone’s spine. And with the ghosts of former residents still making appearances here, you are advised to stay alert and keep your eyes peeled, as you ever know who might pop out to say hello. Images of convicts, fishermen, sailors and ladies of the night have all been witnessed here, with Hanna a bordello owner from the 1900’s sometimes making an appearance on the second floor of the former Bayview Hotel.
See the Spooks and Spectres of Australia
With a rich history of convicts being sent to Australia and surviving in less than ideal living conditions, it’s no wonder that Australia is home to its share of ghosts. No matter which port you visit, whether it be on the east coast, west coast or even in Tassie, you’re never truly alone. Be on the lookout for unexplained phenomena, be ready to feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and above all stay calm, as you encounter some of Australia’s oldest villains who haven’t quite moved on yet.
Have you explored – or would you like to visit – any of Australia’s haunted sites?
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Photo credit: Top Image Freemantle Prison by ghostieguide [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0