Let it be known that I 100% believe in ghosts. You may have gathered more than one of us in the PTV staff do. But let it also be known that I fully believe even the most non-believing of non-believers also maybe kind of is open to the possibility. So while I will never knowingly step foot in a haunted house, those slightly crazy among you who enjoy their relaxing vacay with a side of mild terror here’s a list of the most haunted houses of Western Australia.
Why Western Australia? Because if you’re going to be terrified at least do it somewhere that’s also incredibly stunning. Seriously, these ghosts have one hellava view.
Fremantle Arts Centre
Let’s kick off with what is reportedly the most haunted spot in the state, which isn’t overly surprising seeing as this used to be a mental asylum. No good has ever come out of an old school mental asylum, you know way back when mental illness was horribly misunderstood and the mentally ill were treated as sub-human.
Ghost stories galore from this actually really pretty building. Supposedly there’s even a ghostly message left on a digital recorder of a team out of paranormal research and investigation organisation, Perth Ghost Hunters. The message came as they stood by a cabinet and it said: “Those are chains“. The team looked inside the cabinet and yup, leg chains from back in the day of convicts. I mean, helpful, but no thanks.
‘Australia’s Ghost Whisperer‘ aka Anthony Grzelka, reckons he smelt burnt flesh in what he later discovered was the electric shock “therapy” room, and crossed paths with a bit of an unpleasant ghostly fella, a “very tough and hardened spirit of a man” in Grzelka’s own words who he believes was a menacing warden type rather than an inmate.
Then, of course, you have all the unexplained moaning, moving objects, banging, clanging, lights, hair-pulling, pushing etc you could want, plus a rouge kissing ghost and a woman desperately searching for her abducted daughter, all reported by visitors and security guards. So yeah, it’s haunted af.
The Round House / Fremantle Prison
Another no-brainer when it comes to most haunted places, always check the prisons. The Round House was used as a prison in the 1800s for colonial and indigenous prisoners until Fremantle Gaol was opened. It’s a place where a bunch of people were hung, the very first of who was 15-year old John Gavin, the spirit of whom reportedly still haunts the place. And you can’t blame him seeing as he was probably innocent. Gavin was hung for killing the son of the farmer he worked for but the recent theory is that the farmer’s wife was suffering postpartum depression and was more likely the culprit.
Once Fremantle prison took over in 1888 floggings, time in irons, isolation and the hangings of at least 43 men and one woman were all part and parcel. It’s not a happy place guys. It also saw its fair share of riots and ‘disturbances’ during its years of operation. As well as colonial and indigenous prisoners, it took on military prisoners during the war and as an internment centre.
Report of many eerie feels, photos in which orbs showed up, especially in the church, are pretty common. According to the ABC, it’s something of a test for budding Mediums to wander in different cells and report how they feel. Two separate pairs of women described what happened to them in a cell that used to isolate one of the sexual offenders once imprisoned there.
“Pressure, like it was warm and it surrounded you,” one describes before her friend adds, “it was like a steam cloud condensing in on me.”
Ooft. And the other pair? “a feeling of cloudiness, and Helen felt like she was being dragged down to the bed.“. Hard pass from me.
The only thing I needed to know about this hotel to absolutely NEVER visit it are the regular reports of a young ghost girl carrying a life-sized rag doll. Everything supernatural becomes infinitely creepier when kids are involved.
Beyond that we also have the haunting of a teenage girl who threw herself of the hotel balcony after being impregnated by reported ladies mand and original owner Paddy Connelly, so he sounds great.
There are a few other regular visitors as well, so yeahhh you’re probably going to run into a ghost here.
Rose and Crown Hotel
Cheating is a sucky thing to do to someone, but then again so is murder, and the ghost of Rose and Crown Hotel is proof that both can stay with you all the way to the afterlife. Rumour has it that among five ghosts identified by visiting paranormal experts is that of original owner now referred to as Charlie, who caught his wife in bed with another man and threw her down the stairs to her death.
The Alkimos Wreck
Ok yes, this one kind of doesn’t fit the theme BUT people live on ships at sea for a long time guys, particularly back in the day, so whatever I’m including it.
The ship had a long and crazy unlucky history, with multiple wrecks, a good old-fashioned fire, rescues by other boats that ended in them having their own serious mishaps, missing items, reports of being pushed when no one was around, including the pregnant wife of one of the owners who then lost her baby and regular reports of a mysterious man in an oilskin coat who was never found despite multiple searches. I’ve watched enough pirate movies to know at that point you just leave a ship alone.
Why so unlucky? A bunch of stories surrounds the vessel, including two ship welders being accidentally SEALED IN THE HULL because they were in such a hurry to build the ship. I mean, surely there would be time to yell out a little heads up to them? I sure as heck would curse the hell out of a ship if it was me. Then there was an apparent murder/suicide. Basically, a lot of bad energy hanging around.
After its final wreck, it’s been slowly disintegrating off the coast of Perth. Apparently, there’s not a lot left to see anymore, which frankly I feel can only be a good thing.
There’s a buttload of ghost stories here, but the supernatural inhabitants seem to have just been something between really clumsy and really unlucky, rather than rumours of murder and terror of a lot of highly haunted places.
You’ve got the guy who seriously injured himself with dynamite but somehow managed to survive. Then there’s the guy who accidentally killed himself while cleaning his gun. Then the poor 3-year old girl who was killed by a window when it collapsed.
Long-time manager of the property, Loretta Wright, told the ABC of her recurring dreams as a child growing up in Canada that she feels led her to the place. She felt the ghost of Oakabella were real and constant.
“I could feel the tremendous rage in the house. I found it a bit confronting,” she says, “I had many, we’ll call them accidents. I’ve had my ankle broken in there [pointing to George’s room]. I was pulled off a ladder because I was painting a man’s room pink…I just thought it would make it a cheery colour, but it just wasn’t the thing to do.“
The Lodge, Rottnest Island
I have actually been to Rottnest Island, the place of adorable quokkas and a whole lot of beauty. I didn’t encounter a ghost, but then again I was only there for a day trip and I didn’t visit The Lodge. It’s said that a pregnant woman took her life there when her lover refused to admit he was the father.
The Island itself also has a pretty horrific history as a prison for Aboriginal men, where they suffered horrific treatment from the superintendent. It’s the place with the largest deaths in custody and largest known burial ground of Aboriginal people, with at least 373 unmarked graves.