THREE Melburnians have recently claimed to have seen or captured images of ghosts at the old Pentridge prison in Victoria.
The prison housed some of the state’s most notorious* criminals from 1851 to when it closed in 1997.
On Friday last week Jodie Bezzina took a photograph on a ghost tour at the old jail showing what appears to be a lingering spectre*.
“We visited (the cell) where (former inmate) Chopper Read* was kept and we felt very cold,” Ms Bezzina said.
“I decided to walk out and take a photo of my partner and his cousin. I had to look twice as I thought someone from the tour was standing by, but it wasn’t. We spotted a ghost.”
Emily Widjaja, 35, said she visited the prison at night a couple of months ago and later inspected* a photo she took.
“I took some photos with my phone and that’s what came up,” Ms Widjaja said.
Was it an apparition*?
“Something like that, because there wasn’t anything standing there,” she said.
Many visitors, and even previous inmates, have claimed to have seen apparitions and heard noises through the prison halls.
Herald Sun reader Craig Ferguson says he captured a photo of a mysterious figure in a trench coat in the background of a photo when he visited the prison in March.
The image, taken when other members of a tour group had vacated* the upper level, seems to show a figure in the background.
These sightings got us thinking about all the other supposedly haunted places in Australia. Here are five more:
1. MONTE CRISTO HOMESTEAD IN JUNEE, NEW SOUTH WALES
Australia’s most haunted house is believed to be the Monte Cristo Homestead in Junee.
Ghosts of its original owner Christopher William Crawley and his family are believed to haunt the home.
The owner of the house, Olive Ryan, has lived there since 1963 and says she has felt a hand on her shoulder.
“I’ve had my name called when I’ve been here by myself. It’s nothing to hear footsteps on the balcony and you go out and there’s no one there,” she said.
The house is now occupied by Olive, Lawrence, and Lawrence’s wife, Sophia, who’s lived there for four years, but claims a much longer connection with the house.
“I’ve had a past life here,” Sophia says. “I’ve learnt that I was one of the maids here.”
She’s felt the presence of some of the maids here, along with the mansion’s original owners,
2. PRINCESS THEATRE, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA
They say actors love the limelight but it seems one who died at the Princess Theatre couldn’t give it up even in death.
In the late 1880s a local opera singer Fred Baker was feeling glum as his performances failed to draw crowds. So he decided to rename himself as Federici and sales took off.
But in March 1888, while completing a show at the Theatre, just as Federici hit a high note he had a heart attack and died.
Even though Federici was said to have died while descending through the floor of the stage he was ‘seen’ on stage receiving a standing ovation straight after.
“The ghost returned immediately afterwards and is said to have been given a standing ovation,” Lantern Ghost Tours guide Ross Daniels said.
“Since then it’s rumoured that his ghost haunts the theatre.”
3. FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The Fremantle Arts Centre first opened its doors in 1864 as the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum and is claimed by some to be the most haunted building in the southern hemisphere.
Visitors have reported all the spooky hallmarks of a haunted house: cold spots, ghostly touches, apparitions, moving lights and generally strange feelings.
One of the ghosts that inhabit the building is known as The Lady in Black.
She was placed in the asylum in the 1800s after her red-headed daughter disappeared.
Now when red-headed people visit the arts centre they may feel their hair being pulled as the ghost continues her search for her daughter.
4. DEVIL’S POOL NEAR BABINDA, QUEENSLAND
Aboriginal legend has it that a young woman passed away at the Devil’s Pool, better known as Babinda Boulders, after being separated from her lover.
It is said she is still searching for her true love Dyga.
Seventeen people have lost their lives at the picturesque tourist spot since 1959, a majority of them all young, single men who some say were lured there by a ghost.
5. OLD ADELAIDE GAOL, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The Old Adelaide Gaol, built in 1841 and closed in 1988, is said to be haunted.
Alison Oborn is a paranormal researcher with Paranormal Field Investigators and says the jail definitely has a paranormal* presence.
“We’ve just had so much happen that we couldn’t rationalise or explain, which is why — eight years after first starting investigations we’re still there,” Oborn said of her PFI investigations.
The unexplainable happenings she talks of include video footage of a heavy, steel door opening and closing on its own, lights flashing inside electricity-free cells and noises of pool balls being played in the dead of night.
notorious: well known for negative reasons
Chopper Read: Australian criminal
inspected: looked at
apparition: ghostlike image or person
paranormal: events and things beyond current scientific understanding
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
Activity 1. Ghost tour
Using your most descriptive and informative language, describe what you can see in the photos.
Do you believe they are ghosts?
Why would an old prison possibly be a good place to find haunting figures?
Using one of the photos as a basis for a story, write a narrative a ghost in the picture.
How did they die?
Why are they hanging around?
Is he/she trying to scare people?
Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English
Activity 2. Haunted play
Using one of the supposedly haunted landmarks in the article, work in a group of three or four to write a short script re-enacting a haunting scene.
Practise your scenes and characters and then perform for the class.
See if they can guess which haunted place you are re-enacting.
Research one of the haunted places to find out more about its ghost history and sightings.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: The Arts — Drama, Personal and Social
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)
Opener dice game
Highlight all the openers in the article.
Pick six varied openers to use in your dice game.
Roll the dice and see if you can create a new sentence using the opener.
You can do this verbally or write it down.
Then it’s your partner’s turn.
After five minutes, change the sentence openers to higher level ones.
Add a connectives grid as well to make compound sentences.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP
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