Friday, 21 April 2017

Chasing Ghosts in Scotland this October 2017

Its been two years since I travelled for the very first time to England.
My memory was promoted by a Facebook 'memory' post where one of the first stops was Harrod's where I just had to act posh and sit and enjoy a cup of tea, like a civilised person, in their tea shop.


Of course it meant checking out the souvenirs and wondering if I could afford a Harrod's bag.
I left with an umbrella instead - much more affordable, and being looked at by the server at the tea shop as if I was going to put the cutlery in my bag!


Its exciting to know that I will be heading back with my bestie travel buddy Gayle Oliver this October. Unfortunatley due to my husband's ill health, he will be forced to just watch me via live feeds and Facebook posts as I waste....no 'invest' our money in an unforgettable experience.

Again I will be trying to head out to as many ghost tours and haunted sites as I can whilst being away.
This will again create an interesting relationship between Gayle and myself cause she really 'isn't a fan' of being scared' but she'll just have to harden the f**k up!

I hope you follow my preparation as I talk about some of the sites, in no particular order, that we will be visiting and fill you in on some of the history and stories of those places.

One of our stops will be at INVERNESS.
Here there is plenty to experience.
One spot will be the CLOOTIE WELL - a very spiritual place where visitors have been coming for years leaving their 'clootie' or piece of material which is imbued with wishes of good health and happiness and tie it to a tree. As the clootie is worn down by the weather the person's wishes also escape on the wisps of the winds and are granted.

We are also going to visit the CULLODEN battlefield for some EVP recording.

The last battle of the Jacobite risings of 1745 was fought on land just east of Inverness. With a snazzy new visitor centre telling the story in an interactive and innovative way it really brings the story to life. There is an immersion theatre to put you in the heart of the battle and an earpiece to hear tales from the battle as you walk around the atmospheric battlefield.(Quirky Inverness)


 I have head plenty about battlefields and some people's experiences visiting them. This will be my first 'battlefield experience'. 
Closeby are the CLAVA CAIRNS -
Three spectacular and well-preserved burial Cairns . Each with it’s own stone circle. A powerfully evocative place worth hunting out. This prehistoric site, thought to be 4000 years old is best observed at sunrise or sunset. Two passage graves stand at either end of the centre cairn. These cairns have passages leading into their centers which you can go inside to explore, you can see some ancient cup and ring marks inside the north east grave. The centre grave is different, with a passage into the middle it’s called a ring cairn. Each is no more than a metre tall and is likely to have been used for people of nobility such as tribal chiefs. A truly unique and special place just a five-minute drive from Culloden Battlefield. (Quirky Inverness)



Gayle is seriously obsessed with standing stones and Cairns so you will also be seeing loads of photos of oddly shaped rocks in the middle of fields - the things we do for our friends!



No, I am totally happy with that. It will give me an opportunity to see what there is to feel at these places. When I visited Avebury Standing Stones and Stonehenge  two years ago I was blown away by the experience.

 Gayle and I at Stonehenge in 2015

Now I have not mentioned Loch Ness which, depending on the weather, I will be wanting to visit as well as Urquhart Castle just because it looks bloody sensational. Its going to be freezing and I have bought thermal everything!







 I am hoping that Inverness will have a ghost tour in town and my nose will be smelling out any cemetery in the area as I am a hopeless taphophile.

You may be bored by the photos I will be sending you way - I hope not. I will enjoy sharing my dream holiday with you all.
 




Sunday, 26 March 2017

A Different Level of Spooky at Maitland Gaol

This weekend we had a very special event at Maitland Gaol, one that has been in the planning since last September, after I met Amanda Howard, true crime author, at APPI's Psychic Fair in Sydney.

                                                     Photo from Daily Telegraph article

I pounced on Amanda at the fair and asked if she would be interested to come to the Gaol and do an Author's talk. She agreed and so finally the night arrived last Saturday.

Amanda has written 18 books, and has another another heap on the boi,l and she is totally fascinating to listen to.

The backdrop of the Gaol and the history of the inmates there was a perfect place to allow our minds to enter, for just a moment, into that of the criminals Amanda has interviewed over the years during her periods of research.

One thing that struck me is that this amazing lady, who has such a very interesting yet very creepy career, can still be so very down to earth and a totally charming person!

I guess one would expect that all of that brutality and coldness that she sees at such a close perspective might leave an indelible mark on her soul - but her outward connectivity to people is gentle, open and caring.

Maybe I am just seeing one side of her - I would be thinking that having contact with murderers, serial killers, cannibals, psychopaths and assorted other variables of just plain crazy people would leave me rather mistrusting of everyone in general and have me forever looking over my shoulder.
Amanda is a huggy, laughing soul filled with brightness - not one iota of dark anywhere to be found.


We had a full house for our evening and were also offering an opportunity to spend some time investigating the Gaol after Amanda's talk.

With all of that gruesome information about some of the worst criminals in Australia and abroad floating in our minds and creating our very own horror stories in our imaginations we had a bit of a break to get some fresh air and a walk. Everyone was very excited.

We offered tea and coffee and Amanda was inundated with people purchasing her books. A long line of people wanting to chat more, ask questions and read all her books made this evening a moment when Amanda collected quite a few more Facebook likers and opened her up to more dedicated true crime followers.
Perfect!


                                                                Photo: Renata Daniel

Our next part of the evening started with Anne and Roman Rzechowicz, owners of OZ PARA TECH, their ghost hunting equipment on line shop ( go here https://ozparatech.com ) and a tech talk.

Anne and Roman chatted about some of the newest equipment being used in investigations and also participated in the evening by showing the Kinect and Portal in action in situ.

                                                             Photo: Renata Daniel


We gave the entire group a very quick walk through of the site, and shared some brief history and some stories as we journeyed through the wings.

Not only did the Gaol hold criminals who had perpetrated despicable acts on other human beings, but we have to remember that these were very different times when the Gaol originally opened in 1848 and its history also held stories of women and children being housed in sections of the prison and debtors, vagrants, drunks and for issues that would nowadays seem quite ludicrous.

                                                               Photo:Renata Daniel

We did not want to totally make the evening structured to the very end so we then allowed people to wander and engage in different experiences. They could check out new technology with Oz Para Tech or watch some old fashioned spirit connection with table tipping and glass dowsing.

On debriefing we found that both methods engaged our participants (both present and past!)

I was part of the table tipping experiment and even though we are well aware that nothing is guaranteed, frustration began to build as we sat hoping for some movement.

The Glass dowsing experiment got a reaction much more quickly and we could hear the glass scratching along the surface of the table as we madly thought 'come on, come on - let's get started'.

Both experiments where happening across from each other.

But these things cannot be rushed and one thing that you do learn is patience with a giant P!

We ended up probably waiting a good 20 minutes before we got some movement on the table, also after changing some sitters around, and finally a very strong and forceful energy began to gently lift and drop the table, slowly, steadily, time and time again.

What effect did this had on the sitters and observers?

Maybe some believed what was happening came from spirit?
Maybe some didnt - and thought it was one of us moving the table?

I always come back to the fact that if someone was really lifting the table, even subconsciously, it would be much harder to bring it down as gently as it always does as the table drops back to the ground. Our experience this night was of the table definitely lowering at the same gentle pace as it rose.


                                                                Photo: Renata Daniel

Amanda joined us for our walk, as she had never been at the Goal before, and also watched some of the experiments, but, she faced a 3 hour trip home I farewelled her at the gate and wished her safe travels home. She is amazing - buy her books!!! They are well worth the read.


                                                            Photo: Renata Daniel

 At the end of the evening I was exhausted.
Worry that all will go well and that our participants will feel that they get their money's worth is always something that plays on my mind. I want my paying customers to have a good time and get something out of an evening with Newcastle Ghost Tours.

The next day was mired with brain fog - the usual post investigation/ event status that I succumb to which can be only dealt with by massive amounts of coffee and indulgent food - something my body seems to need to ground and start behaving normally.

I did, very unusually, have some very profound experiences myself during the event.

Normally, with my event manager hat on, I am just there to make sure everyone else is having the experiences, but this time because of that intense sitting at the table, I was very much overcome by energies that were pushy with one rather big shove at one point as if to push me out of the way.

But more than anything, curiously, what I felt was an exploration from the spirits - as if they had to spend time learning to understand and master OUR methods and attempts of communication with them.

They were trying to reach me, yes - and often, not knowing how, or doing it and failing.
Or not going far enough...or testing me.

These experiences take time - and I now strongly believe...on BOTH sides.

This was the most personally profound thing that I take away from this weekend.

So my level of patience has to be even more conscious now. I have to be clearer in my messages.

Not always will connections be made quickly.
Not always will they be clear.
And maybe we have to be more precise with what what we are trying to achieve and explain it more?


Anyway - its ALWAYS a learning experience.
And I personally am only starting.


If you wish to join me on one of our Ghost Hunting 101 nights at the Gaol call directly to Maitland Gaol to find out more.

These are two our experiences where you will be introduced to parts of the Gaol and given an opportunity to investigate - find out more at their website at Maitland Gaol.
http://www.maitlandgaol.com.au/visit/public-tours





Monday, 6 March 2017

Chasing Demons




I've been studying a little about Demonology over the last 5 months.
Demonology is not the study of how to worship the devil (yes, some people do believe it is)
It is the study of the history of demons and demonic belief in history and for me, current beliefs about demons and their effect within the paranormal and specifically in Australia.

Considering I was bought up in a very Catholic environment I really only heard about demons and the devil in church - my parents never mentioned such topics.
It was not talked about at home and my first real understandings came from religious teaching at school and "Rosemary's Baby", a book written in 1967 and a best seller about the time just before I hit my teens.



Religion at school back then could leave scars on impressionable young children - being taught by nuns in full neck to knee black habits was daunting. They looked and behaved so differently to anyone else I was accustomed to. Back then they could still wield the cane and they did with delicious force. Did we really need unseen demons when my primary school years were over shadowed by guilt, confession and repentance and hours of praying with knees on hard wooden floors?



Anyway...

I am someone who is very interested in continued learning and research about the paranormal and I have varied subjects that I want to know more about.
I thought I dip my toes into what seems to fascinate us most - demons.



Specifically the reports of demons, possession and infestation in Australia.

What interests me is the level of such reports in this country right now.
Are the demonic encounters being reported and dealt with the type that we hear about that are formless or animalistic in nature and features?
Or at they human in form?
Are they site based or do they appear randomly and seem to choose a varied array of hosts without a particular reason for doing so?
Are people across the board encountering these or are they religion specific/ nationality specific?

Are people believing that they are encountering demons because of their fear of what they see/hear/feel and therefore label their experiencing 'demonic' when it may be another sort of encounter (including alien)

These are questions to consider, as we may think that an encounter features a demon or some awful negative energy when it might be really just a ghost (when I say 'just' I really dont mean to down play the encounter just to offer a point of difference between the two in this dialogue).



What might constitute a demon in the first place?
A demon is:
'an evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell'
'a supernatural, mythological and often malevolent being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore'
'a fallen angel'
'an evil spirit or a person or thing who is evil, or a person who does something with great enthusiasm and skill.'
'are malevolent spirits created by Lucifer. They are created from corrupted human souls that have endured extensive torture in Hell'.

Thank you Google for just some of those descriptions!
Are they on the mark?

My personal classification of demons is that they are entities that have not lived on this earth as people - creatures who are not identifiable as human in shape or form.
Anything that can be identified as once having been human is in a different category for me.

But that is just my view and you are most welcome to have another. I wont be arguing the point.

We are probably both right (and wrong) depending on our beliefs and experiences, or lack of.



What I do want to find out is whether we are seeing the same sort of demons that are portrayed in the movies (yes I know, movies you ask? ...but they ARE an huge influencer on how we perceive these things).
Therefore do they take the shape we expect?
Do they have a pattern of being?
How are they dealt with?
Do we call priests or mediums or spirit communicators or paranormal teams?
What effect do they have of the victims?
How prolific are demonic encounters now as opposed to say 100 years ago?

Of course some cultures/religions feel that anything paranormal is demonic while for others demons do not exist.

What a huge array of ideas and beliefs!
It's mind boggling!

Personally I have not has such an experience that could classify as 'demonic'.
I have encountered energies that were angry to a point of causing havoc but it has been minimal in the time frame of the incident - in other words it happened very quickly and was never repeated.

I am fascinated by on going stories of entanglement and how this may be influenced by a person's understanding of what they are going through.
At what point does someone reach for help and what sort of help do they get?

What I am trying to do is build a picture of our current relationship to these paranormal encounters here in Australia and is it different to patterns of encounters overseas.

The Catholic Church tells us that these sorts of encounters are on the increase world wide - in fact they are educating more exorcists to cope with the workload.

We certainly do have trained religious - based exorcists here in Australia and a few locally        (Newcastle, NSW) and again the type of things they deal with come in a wide in variety.

One local exorcist I interviewed last year told me that their experience really only covered 'sites' that they exorcised and not 'individuals'. They had not, up to that point, encountered a possessed person.
The criteria for true possession is fierce and detailed and is highly scrutinized by religious officials before a proper exorcism can be even considered.
Mental illness is taken into account and a  detailed report goes on for months and longer - so what of those people that conduct clearings/healings after one brief meeting?
Do they help and how?
I am not trying to be critical here - I am wondering if some people might label something demonic when it actually may not be? 





If you have had an experience which you would classify as demonic I encourage you to write to me and tell me your story.
I promise to keep it confidential unless permission for sharing is granted by you
Please contact me at info@newcastleghosttours.com.au

PS please no religious ranters no needing to tell me I will go to hell ( I have already been told that 100 times) This is a serious subject which deserves our respect and that I hope leads to some clarity which I can then share in a way that promote understanding of where we are at about demons with the paranormal.



Once again, please send me your encounter in the best way you recall it from start to finish and how it was treated and dealt with - I would like at least 50 encounters to work with and study to make it a worthwhile overview (no story is too small nor too complex).
to : info@newcastleghosttours.com.au

Monday, 26 December 2016

Chasing Hungry Ghosts

This is not the average run of the mill blog about another ghost story - yet it has to do with ghosts, unseen wraiths that cause continual havoc in our physical world.
These particular ghosts we have all had occasion to be effected by.
They can become poisonous and destructive if left unchecked - they can possess us and direct us.
You must always be on the look out for them, for they are hard to spot, usually shielding their real needs and desires behind a facade that will make you think that what you are about to engage in is perfectly fine.

The Hungry Ghost in mythology is a creature depicted with a small mouth and small hands and a huge belly that needs to be continually fed in small amounts but can really never be satiated.
It is left wanting and needing more. 
We all have lurking hungry ghosts inside each and every one of us.

Myth is often tied to an aspect of our souls and our selves. It is a way of explaining that which is hard to understand. Like Gods and Goddesses that embody characteristics of our humanity, good and bad, and archetypes which help explain personality types.

The Hungry Ghost is a concept in certain Chinese religions representing beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way.

Both Buddhism and Taoism share the idea that hungry ghosts can emerge from neglect or desertion of ancestors.

According to the Hua-yen Sutra evil deeds will cause a soul to be reborn in one of six different realms.

The highest degree of evil deed will cause a soul to be reborn as a denizen of hell, a lower degree of evil will cause a soul to be reborn as an animal, and the lowest degree will cause a soul to be reborn as a hungry ghost.

Desire, greed, anger and ignorance are all factors in causing a soul to be reborn as a hungry ghost because they are motives for people to perform evil deeds.




             The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated during the 7th month of the Chinese calendar.

According to tradition, during the 7th month of the Chinese calendar the gates of hell are opened up and the hungry ghosts are free to roam the earth where they seek food and entertainment.
These ghosts are believed to be ancestors of those who have forgotten to pay tribute to them after they died.
They have long thin necks because they have not been fed by their families.
Tradition states that families should offer prayers to their deceased relatives and burn hell money. It is believed that "hell money" is a valid currency in the underworld and helps ghosts to live comfortably in the afterlife.

Families also pay tribute to other unknown wandering ghosts so that these homeless souls do not intrude on their lives and bring misfortune.

A big feast is held for the ghosts on the 15th day of the 7th month, where people bring samples of food and place them on the offering table to please the ghosts and ward off bad luck. Live shows are also put on and everyone is invited to attend.
The first row of seats is always empty as this is where the ghosts are supposed to sit to better enjoy the live entertainment.
(source information: wikipedia)



There is an aspect of this hungry ghost mythos in all of us.

The hungry ghost does not always live in another world with entry into our world only once a year begging for food.

The food might be real physical food that is supposed to sustain these creatures in traditional beliefs but it can also relate to 'other' types of sustenance that feed our egos and souls.

Our ancestors, forgotten and alienated crave for soul food and may live vicariously through us to get what they need with or without or permission.

This might be through addictions to substances or emotional requirements, needs of the flesh and the mind and often to the detriment of the body that these ghosts inhabit.

They are never satiated...always hungry always looking for more, no matter how much they get.
If a battle is not fought to contain these hungry ghosts we can be continually haunted by them.

So beware in feeding the hungry ghost in others and be aware of the hungry ghost inside of yourself!

Once you start to feed it its hunger intensifies and may become an overwhelming and uncontrollable aspect of life.

I love the concept of hungry ghosts - as scary as they are.
I can understand their relevance when interpreted through myth and story telling.
Stories have a way of allowing us, as intelligent people, to draw our own conclusions in a way that makes sense to us as individuals.

Your ghosts will be different to mine. Your hungry ghost will want something different than mine do.

These ghosts can be triggered by our own reoccurring stories and beliefs about ourselves that fire up the hunger within us.
We are compelled to feed that hunger.
We then own these ghosts and we get trapped in the never ending cycle, like the relatives of ancestors that feel obliged to offer gifts and food so as not to incur the wrath of their personal ghosts.

Sometimes the fear of ignoring the ghost is far greater than trying to fight its grip.

If you must feed these ghosts be careful to give love only for these ghosts carry a truck load of hurt and no matter what they ask for in the end only love will fill them up.

Be kind to your hungry ghosts!
Love them, and quieten their voices so that you can slowly let them go.
You will survive without them.


Monday, 21 November 2016

Chasing the Ghosts of The Old George and Dragon

The Old George and Dragon Restaurant at East Maitland will hold a special place in my heart not only because I have had a number of special paranormal experiences there, but, I also met two wonderful people Jenni, the owner and Chef Gavin, the chef of course!


The Restaurant occupies the former coaching inn named the George and Dragon (pictured) in Melbourne Street, East Maitland. Now called the Old George and Dragon, it is a boutique guesthouse with fine dining and a ye olde world signboard outside.

The brick pub was named after a legendary soldier saint, a crusading knight who became the patron saint of England after slaying a dragon, possibly in Libya of all places.

Or maybe, St George was just a convenient piece of propaganda, to raise morale during the bloody Crusades. Anyway, there's a tradition in this East Maitland pub that boxing legend Les Darcy (who once worked opposite as a blacksmith) trained in its former stables.

"Our former hotel dates from 1837, despite what some signs say," licensee Jennifer Nichols said.
"It gained the fourth liquor licence in NSW and later was extensively renovated in 1905. Then in 1977, the licence for George and Dragon pub was moved to a newly-built tavern at Green Hills, now called the George Tavern," she said.

"Our building's got a lot of history. People now even want to start ghost tours. I mean, things definitely go bump in the night here. There's more spirits around than spirits in bottles, if you know what I mean."

  (from Mike Scanlon - Drinking up Pub Folklore 22 Feb 2013)


We had Halloween, Gothmas ( my quirky take on Christmas in July) discussion evenings with people like Bill Chaulker (seen below with me)...


as well as numerous Psychic High Teas and Bridal High teas there. We had a brilliant time with the opportunity to eat amazing food and form new friendships who would turn up to many events over the past three years of our association with the restaurant.
We also investigated there.



We've conducted a number of small and private investigations since that very first phone call from Jenni, when she asked me to come out because 'strange things have been happening'.

From a phantom hand appearing from under neath a curtain when no one was on the other side to a tray of ramekins lifting off a kitchen bench and crashing to the floor to apparitions making their way down hallways and through rooms.

It hasnt been only us investigators encountering things but over the years I have also witnessed patrons talking about hearing the voices of children around them as their ate their meals and also of the sensing of spirits around them.


                                                              Above - The Furber Family
 
The George & Dragon was built by George Furber who was a son of Mary (Furber) Smith. 
Mary's second husband was Gentleman John Smith of Newcastle and Maitland.
George Furber married Mary Ann Muir on 29 February 1832 (40).  Mary Ann was a daughter of George and Elizabeth Muir of the Family Hotel.  

When Mary Ann died in April 1837 aged 26,  Furber married Hanorah Curtain. Later he moved to the Mary River district in Queensland to erect a store and it was here in 1855 that he was attacked by natives and died after receiving blows to the head with an axe and a waddy. His son-in-law Joseph Welmshurst was also murdered.

George Furber suffered financially in the depression of the 1840's and premises of the George & Dragon were offered for sale in April 1841. At that time they were leased to John Henderson at £ 140 per annum and were described as a brick built, nine room establishment. There was a cellar, 60 ft. stable, gig house and large shed. 

Coachbuilder William Benjamin Johnston Green was publican at the 'George & Dragon Inn in 1843 (10) and was undergoing insolvency proceedings that year. He remained publican until at least 1848. 

(from the amazing Jen Willets - Free Settler or Felon site)


 I mention George because we do feel that George may, on occasion, visit the Restaurant. A very dapper gentleman has been seen a number of times walking through the Restaurant, wearing a top hat and long coat.
                                                       The Black Horse Inn - East Maitland
 Gentleman John Smith was an interesting character with a rather colorful past.

He was a twice convicted felon who arrived for the second time on the General Hewitt in 1814.

He later married widow Mary Furber and together they opened an Inn in Newcastle in August 1823. The Inn was known as the Newcastle Hotel
Many convicts were assigned to John Smith by 1828. Although some were employed as stock keepers probably on this land near Maitland, others such as William Worlock (servant), Jane Cameron (Housemaid), Hugh McKenzie (gardener), Catherine Swift (servant), Thomas Jordan (Baker) and Richard Bannister, (Ostler) were probably employed at the 'brick verandah cottage' that was his Inn at Newcastle. 

Also living with John and Mary Smith and their seven children in 1828 was 18 year old George Furber, the son of Mary and her first husband.  John Smith also owned the hotel called the Black Horse Inn ( shown above) which was not far away from the Old George and Dragon.
(From the Jen Willett's site - Free Settler or Felon)
Maybe we were seeing Gentleman John Smith?
A self made man his character would have been  large and looming.
Also there were the children who other heard in the main dining room as well as a servant woman who would be seen walking through the middle room of the restaurant sometimes carrying food or clothing and other transient energies, maybe coming back to finish off a glass of rum or conduct a deal.

Our final visit last weekend had us connect with a man who apparently had been delivering alcoholic beverages to the Hotel in its early days.
he told us that he would collect the alcohol from the wharves at Morpeth and then would take them up the road the few miles by bullock and dray.
This was a common event that he repeated often and at times had quite a bit of trouble getting his money from the licensee.


 I know that a new chapter in the life of the Old George and Dragon will begin soon. I know that a new chapter has begun for Jenni and chef Gavin too and I wish them well.
I do hope that the spirits of the Old George find their new owners as dedicated and loving of the place as Jenni certainly has been.
But...I guess will they remain?
Jenni has said that ever since she has left the restaurant ( its now closed) when she has re entered she has felt nothing... it has lost its soul. She has also disconnected.
In doing so have the ghosts also disconnected?
I had one of my most intense experiences at the Old George - one I will remember for a very long time to come. I feel honored to have spent time within the walls of this very historic building.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Chasing the Ghosts of Prince Henry Hospital

Last weekend I was given an opportunity to assist in a ghostly event at the Nurse's Museum at Prince Henry Hospital in South Eastern Sydney, NSW together with Oz Para Tech.


First of all I have to express my amazement and delight at the total dedication of the volunteers to their custodianship of the site and to their spiritual residents.

I was made very aware of my need for total respect - I wasnt sure who would make their wrath known more...the ghosties or the volunteers!


The Little Bay area was first used as a makeshift camp during Sydney's smallpox outbreak in 1881-82, to isolate sufferers of the disease.
At first, a "tent city" was established, but further smallpox outbreaks and a typhoid epidemic convinced the government to build a permanent hospital here to treat infectious diseases.

Little Bay was an ideal location because it was isolated from settlements but still close enough to Sydney. The Coast Hospital was particularly valuable during the bubonic plague in Sydney of 1900 and then again when soldiers returning from Europe brought the influenza virus back in 1919. The Coast Hospital became Prince Henry Hospital in 1934. In 2001 services were transferred to Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney and the hospital site became available for residential use.

Two landmarks still remain from the hospital days. One is the Coast Cemetery, situated south of Little Bay. Two thousand people are thought to be buried there, with the oldest graves being located further south, towards Cape Banks.
The cemetery was taken over by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales when the Botany Bay National Park was created.


Before long the volunteers shanghaied me and I heard many stories from them all - some having worked in the hospital over the years themselves, so it was all first hand information.

One thing was central in all of their stories - they loved the camaraderie and the feeling of 'family' there. 


You would expect there to be a ghost story or two about the site and of course there is!
The most common one spoken of is that of the ghost of Gracie.

Here is some information  taken from the Castle of Spirits web page.

The ghost of a matron called Gracie haunts the hospital, in life she was a neurotic woman who would immediately wash herself after being touched or bumping into someone. She is said to have died in B Block under mysterious circumstances, believed to have fallen down a disused liftwell. 
Her ghost is regularly seen in B Block, now called the Delaney Ward.

Patients report being tendered to by a mysterious nurse with an old fashioned white veil, she tops up glasses of water - adjusts blankets on cold nights and has placed bed pans under patients and removed them after use. 
Although the patients don't know she is a ghost, nurses do and are terrified of her, even though Gracie isn't considered an evil presence she projects an aura of authority which nurses instinctively respond to with subordinate fear.

On occasion nurses have felt her presence scrutinizing their work, seemingly disapproving of their coffee breaks. On one occasion two nurses working the night shift left milk boiling on a stove, stepping into the corridor a moment to check everything was alright. Returning to the tea room to find the stove turned off, the pot which seconds before had been boiling milk, emptied in the sink, rinsed and put away dripping wet. Along with cups, sugar and other food stuffs. No other members of staff were on that floor, no one could have entered the room without being seen, let alone been able to clean up in such a brief period of time.

Often when Gracie's ghost is seen the clocks in the area stop functioning, their hands pointing to 2 o'clock. The ghost of an aboriginal boy mischievously haunts the stairs of B Block, tripping nurses and others who use them. Sometimes seen sitting at the foot of the stairs giggling, his cheeky presence causes unease to many using them.

Other ghosts are reported in the hospital beside Gracie, they include an unidentified man who walks the corridors at night. Described a sinister presence, his apparition has never been seen but its shadow has, accompanied by heavy footsteps it drifts across the walls.

In years past intravenous drips and medical equipment have been mysteriously turned off in the hospital, attending nurses believe this spectre is responsible. 
Patient buzzers used to summon nurses are often pressed late at night in locked, unoccupied wards. Some nurses refuse to work at night, those who do always do rounds in pairs. 

The hospital has its own cemetery, abandoned and overgrown it contains well over 1000 people, many patients who died in the hospital in the early days are buried there.

Last century in separate swimming and boating accidents nurses drowned in a nearby lagoon, some nurses died during epidemics, while tending devotedly to the sick and dying.
(from castleofspirits.com)


After the volunteers introduced the history of the site, the purpose of the Museum and some of their treasured stories it was time for Anne and Roman (pictured above) from Oz Para Tech to talk about some of the new gadgets that they sell and also use during investigations.

The large group of almost 70 people were then broken up into two smaller groups with one group heading in to explore the spirits with technology and the other with me doing some old fashioned spiritualist- style table turning and glass dowsing.


After a very quick run down we had some willing people to try their skills at the tables to try and communicate with the spirits and off we went.

It was amazing in our room with lots of connections being felt and made.

At one stage we even had one of the tables move out of the room that we were in and down the hallway into the other room, with four of us hanging on to it, as there was certainly one very important message that just had to be delivered to someone in there!

It was so great that others saw this and it was also wonderful to see the communications being made with only the participants on the tables (and not me  - where the inference could be made that I was moving or shifting the table just so that something would look like it was happening)

Things were definitely REALLY happening..

In the other room Anne had certainly just as much going on with her groups and Roman was using the Ovilus and spirit box in another area with some degree of success too.


It was a privilege to be asked to join in on this night.

The stories did not stop but came coming during the evening as some of the participants approached Anne, Roman and myself with life at the old hospital.


Now if you missed the last ghost night at Prince Henry I am assured that there will be at least one or two in 2017 and in the mean time please go in and take an hour or two to support the Nurse's Museum and take a walk through history.

You and your children will be amazed at the items they have in the building to look at.
Even an iron lung - reminiscent of times that thankfully no longer exist.