@ w.w.w.c a s t l e o f s p i r i t s . c o m
Undoubtably one of Melbourne's most haunted sites, Old Melbourne Gaol resides it's weary bones in on the corners of LaTrobe & Russell Streets, Melbourne. It's bluestone walls sit back quietly as heavy traffic from the city roads pass by 24/7 not taking much notice of what chilling events took place here, or what now resides in the darkness within.
136 executions by hanging took place in the Gaol including the famous bushranger Ned Kelly, the prison was often overcrowded and an extremely dark and difficult place for any inmate to be.
Built between 1852 - 1854 and modeled on Pentonville Prison, England it was considered to have the latest prison reform theories of the day.
It has been rebuilt quite a number of times, and moved from it's original location in 1839 to a larger premise where it still stands today. The remedies to solve the overcrowding never resolved anything, it still remained an extremely unpleasant place for any prisoner. Placed under review in 1870 it was recommended the gaol should be closed and the prisoners moved elsewhere.
The Gaol was slowly run down between the years of 1880 and 1924 then parts of the Gaol were demolished. It was then used as a Military prison during World War II for a brief time.
The only use for it after that was as a police storage facility for the nearby Victorian Police Force until it was acquired by the National Trust and now is open as a museum to the general public on a daily basis.
The Gaol's most famous prisoner was Ned Kelly, a notorious Australian Bushranger who was captured at a siege in Glenrowan in the 1880's. Ned Kelly was executed by hanging in November, 1880 while a large crowd gathered outside the Gaol. His headless body was originally buried within the Old Melbourne Gaol grounds in an unmarked grave, but later removed, under much controversy (his coffin was discovered with the Kelly symbol and workers stole his bones) to Pentridge Prison grounds.
It should be noted that, as is commonly thought, Ned Kelly's ghost does not haunt the Gaol.
The gaol has an interesting history of hauntings, many reports come from upstairs in the "Woman's Ward" particularly from cell 16. There are reports of a coldness and shadowy figures, there have been voices heard and one paranormal team who previously visited the Gaol picked up an EVP recording of an Irish Woman's voice saying "Get out". Often visitors find they cannot enter the cell or get such a strong feeling from it they won't go in.
The cell we first found most interesting is the true condemned cell. There is also another condemned cell located at the end of the cell row on level 2, this however is not the true condemned cell. The true condemned cell is directly next to the gallows and in fact the doorway faces out over them. Prisoners were brought here on the day of execution (or the day before) to avoid any messing about before their hanging. The cell reeks of fear and terror, the feelings are so noticeable it would almost be impossible to not feel anything. I first visited this cell in early 2001 and immediately noticed the strange feel to it, upon returning with a sensitive (Ronalee) she immediately felt terror and fear and sadness over everything else. We were later on to explore this cell further by spending some time investigating it in the dark.
THE AGHS - Australian Ghost Hunters Society Investigation of the Old Melbourne Gaol
Our first visit back in 2001 was a brief scout during the daytime. We first noticed a strange "feel" to the entire Gaol, I guess the walls still hold the sadness and terror of those past residents who's lives ended at this cold, dark place.
We originally scouted all 3 floors and found that one cell held a certain feel to it in the upstairs women's ward (it was now noted this was cell 16), and as mentioned we originally felt the Condemned cell's torturous vibe. With some of the unusual shots we took from this visit we resolved that further investigation would certainly be warranted and interesting for the Australian Ghost Hunters Society.
Our first strange photographs in 2001
click either photo for full view (larger files)|
Captured by Lisa Gibbs the above photos were shot in November, 2001 (as the date on the camera shows). We felt and noticed nothing unusual at the time. The Gaol had a special exhibition of Kelly memorabilia (the case with guns) displayed at the time.
The camera strap on the camera was black - and this is not a camera strap in the photo with the rifles.
INVESTIGATION FEBRUARY 19th 2005
We had found it difficult to gain access to the Gaol over the years but eventually managed to get in overnight with another Paranormal Group, however I would like to say I was extremely disappointed to pay a high price of $125.00 each to go in for the night (I still can't understand what the money was for?).
But many thanks to Old Melbourne Gaol, National Trust and the other Investigators for allowing us to visit the Gaol overnight.
The Old Melbourne Gaol was not active the night we investigated, however this is typical of any haunted site. You can indeed Investigate 20 nights in a row and come up with nothing. However, we do consider that it is active with residual energy from it's violent past, and may also contain some form of intelligent hauntings (we have yet to gain evidence of this). We feel there is certainly further investigation needed and hope that you would visit the gaol yourself to see if you can experience one of the ghosts.
We would hope to gain further access for more investigations and a different point of view on the hauntings and to hold a seance inside at some time in the near future.
More photos we took while in the gaol
Dan Kelly's Armour with Ned Kelly Death Mask reflection
Hanging figure in Condemned cell (created spooky photo with Ronalee)
Ned Kelly's Death Mask eternally facing the prison where he ended his life in 1880
THE MYSTERIOUS GHOST WOMAN IN THE WOMAN'S WARD OF OLD MELBOURNE GAOL -WHAT IS SHE?
I have received endless photo submissions and queries about this woman in the photo (left), larger photo kindly submitted by Ralf Van Wolfelaar - click picture for larger image.
SHE IS A PERSPEX DISPLAY FIGURE
YES the Woman's ward is haunted, NO this is not a ghost photo or even a photo of any type of spirit or anomaly, let me confirm that this is in fact a see through perspex figure advertising the woman's ward on the 3rd floor. This figure can be seen easily by visiting the gaol and taking a look for yourself, she sometimes moves around so check all the cells for her!. It even has writing on it which you can see in most photos (let me point out no ghost has writing on it).
Report by Rowena Gilbert
Australian Ghost Hunters Society
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