Wollondilly Shire Hall is located in the heart of Picton township, home to Liz Vincent Ghost tours and the famous Picton Mushroom Tunnel.
Located approximately 1.5 hours from the heart of Sydney city, Picton is well known for its haunted township and considered to be one of Australia's most haunted townships.
If you wish to tour Picton, the Haunted Railway Tunnel or Wollondilly Shire Hall at night you should consider taking on of Liz Vincent's very well known Picton Ghost Hunts.
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READ MORE ABOUT PICTON ON CASTLE OF SPIRITS HERE
After hearing many stories of the local Town Hall ghosts we took the opportunity to spend the night on Saturday, August 26th, 2000 for an investigation of the paranormal events that had been reported over the years.
The Australian Ghost Hunters Society consisting of:
Rowena Gilbert (Castle of Spirits)
Michael Lambert (Sensitive) & Partner
Michael Williams (ALERT)
Various cameras including SLR & Digital
The night started off with us obtaining the key for the Hall and setting up our equipment etc. earlier on in the afternoon. We had to keep everything away as Liz Vincent's tour would need to go through the hall during the night before we could then take over. We took the opportunity to explore the stage and the entire area thoroughly. We checked where draughts would be coming in and hoped that some of the ghostly residents would show up that night. At this stage the place felt slightly eerie but quite comfortable. There was no evidence of paranormal activity at this stage.
The Shire Hall has the original Picton School inside. Built in the early 1800's the old school building certainly has a very strange feel to it. Many people report of the same unusual feeling when entering into this part of the building. The floor seems to vibrate or move when nobody else is standing on it which is very odd. The Old School contains cupboard type doors that are often found opened by staff after being closed and checked. It also has stacked plastic chairs that have been found moved after being neatly stacked up against the wall.
The local theatre group uses the Hall regularly for their drama workshops and plays. Many members of the theatre have reported seeing a black figure with a long coat standing in the back corner of the stage, there are many many reports of spectres and spooks inside the Shire Hall. The main ghosts seems to be a small child who appears occasionally on the stage.It has also been heard crying from under the stage. Liz Vincent has stories of members of her family hearing the child crying under the stage, she has also seen the black shadow in the back corner for herself on one night when taking a tour through.
The local Hall Manager caught sight of the ghost child on the stage one time herself. She saw it from the corner of her eye during broad daylight one day. She has never forgotten the incident and was keen to see if we could collect any more evidence of haunting's in the Shire Hall.
Liz, being the local historian, has so far found no history of any children dying in the old school, however records may not be complete and show if any fatal accidents happened.
Liz reports that when she takes her tours through the Hall at night, often the phone will ring (may be a local playing tricks) and when they pick it up no one is there. Members of the tours have also reported seeing small children, strange shadows and figures on and behind the stage as well as various other events. The ghost stories from the Shire Hall are numerous and it would seem that we had a good chance of coming up with some positive results on our Investigation.
After visiting the Shire hall a few times previously myself I must admit that the place did indeed feel haunted. One one occasion we had a sensitive with us who found a human shaped cold spot in behind the stage. I felt this cold spot with my own hands. Two sensitive's at the time reported sensing a young or possibly middle-aged man. The cold spot soon dissipated after we found it. Another sensitive who was on the main floor at the time also reported of an entity walking around. We agreed at the time that it felt like something was there. Everyone who was in the group at that time (including myself) could feel something walk past them and out a nearby hallway/exit only to do the same thing over and over again repeatedly.
Most of us participated in Liz Vincent's Ghost Tour for the first half of the night before we returned back to the Shire Hall for the rest of the evening. We felt that it would be a good way of getting the feel for the area and relaxing a bit before the night really started. We all enjoyed the tour immensely and did not have any paranormal experiences to report of this time round.
Upon returning to the hall the first thing we did was turn on the heat and set up our equipment. The town itself is fairly quiet at night. The Shire hall is surrounded by a large car park out the back and a main road that has little or no traffic at night. We did not expect any unexpected outside human intruders to bother us but kept the front doors locked just in case.
The main area for investigation was the stage. It was a typical stage with very heavy red velvet drapes at the front. The back and entire stage area was very dark. Those who had video cameras set them up pointing at the stage hoping that some activity would be captured. The rest of us took EMF readings, temperature readings along with photographs of the area.
The night wore on as we discussed other paranormal events and kept light to a minimum. The night was freezing cold and the majority of us found ourselves quickly rugged up on our temporary beds trying to keep warm in the early hours of the morning.
Mike Lambert, who was the sensitive of the group, could feel absolutely no spirits or energies. He had also been inside the Shire Hall on other occasions and felt presences but it appeared as if our ghostly friends were not going to come out to play on this night.
We continued to film, take photographs and watch the stage and surrounding areas for anything at all unusual. The only thing we did notice was a very strange puddle of water that appeared in the old school building which was in a room adjacent to the main hall that we were camped in. Mike L took a look at the old school and we all at various times during the night went in for investigation (we could not camp out in the old school as there was no heat in there and it was far too cold). The puddle of water spread slightly overnight but it was a mystery where it came from. I was to find out later that it could not have come from anywhere. At the time we thought it to be a leak in the floor as we could see no water dripping from the roof. We mopped it up when we left the next morning and I later discussed it with the Shire Hall Manager who had once before seen the ghost of a small child on the stage. To this day she is convinced the water was paranormal as there is apparently nowhere for it to come from. I know that none of my group put the water there and there was certainly no liquid within that area that could have been accidentally spilled. The puddle of water is still a mystery to this day. Unfortunately at the time I did not find it significant enough to photograph it.
The night got colder and colder and we continued to film and investigate, watch and wait. Dawn soon arrived and most of use fell asleep with the video cameras still running. Unfortunately sometimes there is no paranormal activity and this was one of those occasions. Although at times we thought we had strange cold spots in certain areas, upon further investigation they turned out to be breezes coming from under the stage or somewhere else.
Upon developing photos afterwards we caught nothing on film or audio. Nobody caught anything on video and the night did not produce any evidence of paranormal activity unfortunately. This is not to say that the Wollondilly Shire Hall is not haunted. There are far too many reliable reports of ghosts and strange events. It is the very nature of Ghost Hunting that sometimes you come up with results and sometimes you don't, it all takes a lot of time and patience and ghosts don't turn up on a regular basis.
The night was valuable for research and experience purposes and most of us enjoyed our stay and the opportunity to investigate the paranormal.
BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME!