Myths, Ghosts and Hauntings in the Region

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Myths, Ghosts and Hauntings in the Region

Old Geelong Gaol

The Geelong Gaol was occupied in 1853 as a high security prison up until its decommission in July, 1991. The first hanging was of James Murphy, a brutal criminal convicted of battering Constable Daniel O’Boyle to death.

Cell 45 is the most haunted of all the cells at the prison, and many attendees have admitted to being pinched and even pushed into the cell. Past inmates also claimed to hear the screams of girls while incarcerated there. The cries were heard in the east wing in particular, which was the site of the Industrial School for Girls for the late 1860s. Ghost tours are now held at the Old Geelong Gaol, and many parparanormal research teams, who have reported strange mists, sounds, EMF disturbances and orbs. Mediums and other 壮ensitive・people have been employed by some, and they have reported the presence of various spirits in the gaol.

Mayday Hills Asylum, Beechworth

Mayday Hills operated as a psychiatric hospital for 128 years, with its last year of operation in 1995. The asylum was the fourth such hospital built in Victoria, and one of the three largest. Ghost tours are now held at the asylum and there are many instances of supernatural disturbance reported by visitors. Doors often swing open by themselves, screams can be heard on occasion and a general “spooky” vibe is felt. There have even been various reports of sightings, some of Matron Sharpe, who spent much of her time at the asylum, walking around in period costume. As well as a woman to be photographed standing at the window of which she was reportedly thrown out of to her death be fellow inmates. We can’t say just how much of these claims are true, but it’s creepy enough to pique our interest.

Ballarat Gaol

Given that 13 people were executed at the sight and the remains of seven criminals are still on the grounds, that’s a pretty good basis for some serious haunting. The Ballarat Gaol operated as a maximum security prison for males, females and children from 1862 – 1965. The gaol has since been party demolished and is used by other businesses. Such inmates to be confined at the gaol are James Johnston in 1891 for the murder of his wife and four children, Cornelius Bourke for the murder of his cellmate in Hamilton Gaol and Elijah Cockroft for the murder of his brother’s fiancee.

The Eastern Station Hotel, Ballarat

Recently restored to its traditional 1862 style, the hotel has become somewhat of a tourist attraction. There have been remarks from owners that the ghosts of a two-year-old boy (who drowned in a gold rush mining puddle) and previous owner Thomas Redshaw Hunt is followed by his strong tobacco smell. A young mother and daughter who died in the hotel of yellow fever are also thought to have been found at the location. And lastly, a more horrific story, is the Irish man who was stabbed in the back in the hotel’s kitchen in 1915. The ghosts themselves are often seen, as well as strange occurrences like pints of beer being drunk by “nobody” and spooky sounds and movement.

Fortuna Villa

It’s said the previous owner George Lansell can be seen looking over the villa at dusk, and it’s rumoured he had an affair with the maid. His wife has also been seen in the bathtub and lights can be seen turning on and off. The villa was first erected in 1855 as a quartz crushing mill. It’s now a great place to grab some food and have a tour of the now heritage listed building.

Written by Valerie Vatoosh

If you’re wanting a scare that’s not of the real variety – but just as spooky – Ghost Stories hits Geelong on July 14-17 at GPAC.