WANowandThen.com

 

HAUNTED PLACES

 

 


 

Western Australia has its share of haunted places. Whether or not you believe in ghosts a good ghost story is always entertaining. We are collecting stories of W.A. ghosts and including them here. Some of these stories are repeated in the various town entries.

 

 

Do ghosts really exist?

 

They certainly seem to exist in our minds but scientific research tends to cast doubt about the actual existence of spirits or ghosts. Many ghost stories are just folklore and many are hoaxes, but there are people who swear they have experienced supernatural events. Science now explains many of these as areas of unusual magnetism that can affect some people's brain waves. They can result in full blown hallucinations, visions, feelings of being touched and all sorts of other effects that are not the result of ghosts or spirits.

 

To date there is only anecdotal evidence of hauntings and no positive proof of the existence of ghosts has ever emerged. Even so, they remain an important part of our collective imagination and traditions.

 

On a cautionary note: Treat any claims of ghosts and hauntings with caution. Businesses promote these sort of things in order to attract more customers. Anyone who has something to gain by telling ghost stories cannot be taken seriously.

 

People claiming to read fortunes or to be in touch with 'the other side' and who charge money for these 'services' should not be relied on.

 

You might also like to check out our ghost towns page.

 

Ghostly rescue - Albany.

 

Jennifer Smith, her husband and family were sailing from Hamlin (sic) Bay over the Easter weekend in 1989. As the yacht approached Albany waters it was in the dark of night with a rising sea and wind. They were confused about the navigation lights and visibility was poor they did not know which way to go when a figure appeared near the bow of the boat.  (Jennifer continues the story in her own words:)

 

'He had a large dark coat with brass buttons in two rows down the front of his coat, his collar was pulled up, a flat black hat pulled down on his head. He had a short cut beard and in his hand a pipe. He nodded his head and his pipe at me an in that moment the harbour opened up before our eyes.'

 

It is thought that this apparition was the ghost of John Gregory Reddin the lighthouse keeper from 1907-1911.

 

Other ghosts are said to haunt the old gaol. Amy or Emily haunts the women's section, Joseph seems to haunt the black hole and there is even thought to be a ghostly dog in the building.

 

Camp Quaranyup - Albany

 

Originally a landing place for shipping and later used as a residence. The ghost of a young girl or woman wearing a 19th century nightgown is said to have been seen here.

 

Also a ghost of a young man who was electrocuted and buried under the floorboards of a house at Quaranyup walks the area at night howling.

 

Old Gaol - Albany

 

A ghost said to be a soul in torment haunts the old gaol but few details have come to light about who the ghost may have been.

 

Separated lovers - Albany

 

Most ghost stories seem to revolve around lost love in some way and the story of Catherine's ghost is no exception. Catherine's husband, Cathal was tried and convicted of a crime and sentenced to 10 years transportation. Cathal could not read or write and was unable to get word back to his wife about his whereabouts but she eventually found out he was at Albany and made her own way out to join him.

 

She arrived at Albany and started asking about her husband and found he was living out at Oyster Harbour. She sent word to him and he arranged to catch a boat to join her. As he caught sight of her from the boat he stood up to wave, overbalanced and fell in to the water where he drowned. Catherine died of a broken heart and her ghost is said to haunt to harbour.

 

Patrick Taylor Cottage - Albany

 

The cottage is said to be haunted by the ghost of Major Frederick Ingoldby who was a doctor serving in the army during the Boer War. His ghost is said to turn up each September on the anniversary of his death.

 

The Alkimos

 

 The wreck of the Alkimos sits stranded and rusting away north of Mindarie Keys. The ship has been there since 1963 and anyone going too near to the ship is said to be plagued by bad luck. Strange lights have also been seen in the ship at night. The photo below was taken back in the late 1990s and since then most of the ship has broken up and disintegrated.

 

 

The story of this ship stretches back to Baltimore U.S.A. in 1943 during World War II when it began its life as the liberty ship George M. Shriver. The ship seems to have been plagued with bad luck and rumors about deaths on board include the accidental sealing of a worker inside the double hull during the hasty construction and a murder suicide on board.

 

Liberty ships were usually assembled from pre-fabricated parts in ten days. The George M. Shriver took six weeks as sections did not fit together, machinery broke down and accidents slowed down work.

 

After an undistinguished war service during which the ship spent much of its time in dry dock being repaired, it was sold to a Norwegian company and re-named Viggo Hansteen. Despite the name change the bad luck did not go away. Accidents and repairs were frequent and in 1961 the ship collided with another vessel in a British harbour and was severely damaged.

 

After the repairs were completed the ship was sold to a Greek firm and became the Alkimos. In 1963 the ship struck a reef off the coast between Perth and Geraldton. For some reason the Captain of the ship did not call for assistance for three days. When a tug arrived to help get the ship off the reef the Captain again refused help and attempted to get the ship off using just the ship's winches. This went on for a further two days before a salvage expert arrived.

 

The ship was eventually re-floated and taken to Fremantle for repairs during which there was a fire and much of the inside of the ship was destroyed. Meanwhile as the grounding was investigated, the ships First Officer was fined for misleading the inquiry and the ship was impounded due to outstanding debts for earlier repairs.

 

The owners paid all outstanding fees but decided not to waste any more money on the old ship. Arrangements were made to tow the ship to Hong Kong to be scrapped. An un-forecast gale hit the west coast not long after the ships left port and the tow line snapped. The Alkimos struck Eglington Rocks.

 

Several attempts to salvage the ship were made but all were plagued with mishaps, breakdowns and in one case the owner of one salvage companies collapsed and died. Eventually the Alkimos was pulled free of the rocks by the tug Pacific Star that had come south from Manilla.

 

The Alkimos in 1963. WA Museum / Stanley Perkins Collection

 

After only a couple of kilometres another vessel appeared and the Pacific Star was impounded for unpaid debts. The Alkimos was anchored but broke her chain in a heavy swell and for the third and last time she grounded.

 

You might think that this would be the end of the story but far from it. members of the salvage crew were stationed on board to guard the ship but soon began to experience strange events. Unexplained noises, cooking smells and objects being moved all unnerved the salvage crew but when they saw a large man dressed in oil skins walk across the deck and vanish into a closed steel door they had had enough.

 

Other salvage workers were put aboard as caretakers but all had stories to tell about the Alkimos ghost. The story of the ghost began to spread and it wasn't long before people began visiting the ship, some staying over night to try and get a glimpse of the ghost who by now had been given the name of Henry (reported as Harry in some sources).

 

One party that spent time on board over night included Jack Sue (a member of Z Force during WWII and a recognised diver). With his war experience, Jack was not one to be frightened easily but during his dealings with the Alkimos he admitted to being affected by the strange noises and unexplained difficulties with equipment while on the ship. He returned with a TV crew some time later in the hope of documenting the strange goings on and again was confronted by odd phenomena.

 

It is said that those who have chosen to associate themselves with the Alkimos suffer bad luck, accidents and even death as a result. The skull of a well known long distance swimmer (Herbert Voight) who vanished on a swim to Rottnest in 1969 was found near the ship (some say inside the ship). During its days of operation the unexplained sound of a barking dog was reported in the engine room and 25 years later when Jack Sue was investigating the ship the same noise was heard.

 

Whatever the cause of all these things may be, the ship certainly had an unlucky history.

 

The cursed pearl - Broome

 

A rare pearl, said to be cursed, was the central figure in a story of theft, murder and intrigue. It vanished when the Koombana was sunk during a cyclone in 1912. The man said to be carrying it was Abraham Davis and his ghost is said to haunt the house he used to own.

 

The house became the residence of Gerard Trower (the first Anglican bishop in the north west). One night Trower woke to find a figure dressed in the garments of a rabbi in the room. When Trower called to the figure it vanished. The same figure was seen by others usually in the evening or early morning.

 

Beach party - Broome

 

A beacon that once used to burn on a beach near Broome was said to dim unaccountably from time to time. It was overhauled and checked with no apparent reason ever found but the dimming continued. One explanation offered was that the ghosts of drowned pearlers danced around the light causing it to dim at certain times of the year.

 

Haunted light - Busselton

 

The lighthouse that stands on the cape was opened in 1904 and today is said to be the haunt of Bloody Mary and Happy Harry ? a couple of ghosts.
 

Cuballing Hotel

 

The ghost of Ted Leighton is said to make his appearance in winter and to cause trouble if ever any part of the hotel is changed or modified. Ted lived in the area and was yardman at the hotel before he died. Strange occurrences like gas bottles being turned on, kegs rolling around, doors slamming and the ice machine being turned off are attributed to Ted?s ghost.

 

 

Cue

 

The old Masonic lodge and the Queen of the Murchison Hotel are both reputed to be haunted. Ruins around Cue are also reported to be the sites of unexplained lights.

 

Arts Centre - Fremantle

 

This building used to be the lunatic asylum and is reputed to be the most haunted building in the state. Doors open and close, faces are seen at windows, there are strange cold areas, strange lights and unexplained images appear in photographs.

 

Some people claim to have seen faces at windows that are actually covered over inside.

 

Oakabella

 

Some people claim this is the most haunted house in W.A.

 

(C) Holiday Road

 

Old Gaol - Fremantle

 

The old Fremantle prison is said to contain the ghosts of those who were executed there. The tunnels underneath the gaol are where most reports seem to emanate from.

 

 

Rose and Crown - Guildford

 

The Rose and Crown is the oldest licensed hotel in W.A. It is said to be haunted by the ghost of Charlie the bullock driver. The story goes that Charlie caught his wife cheating on him and in a jealous rage he murdered her in the hotel. His remorseful ghost is said to haunt the site of the murder.
 

Kalamunda Hotel

 

Kalamunda Hotel

 

It seems that hotels are a favourite haunt of ghosts and the Kalamunda is apparently haunted by the ghost of a young lady who was seduced and became pregnant. When she found out she was too ashamed to face the world and killed herself in room 24. Guests don't seem to stay too long in that room where chills and strange lights have been noticed.

 

Another version of this story has the girl jumping from a balcony to her death.

 

The ghost of a young blond woman has been seen in the hotel and has been credited with removing items and making strange noises.

 

There are also reports of another ghost, a male one, in the hotel.

 

Ghost cat - Kalgoorlie

 

During the renovation of Warden Finnerty's historic house Jack Tree, the curator, felt that he was being bitten on the ankles but could see nothing to account for the sensation. He said that it felt like being bitten by a cat or small dog. During the work the body of a very flat cat was found under the building. It may have been there since the 1890s. Once the cat had been removed there were no more reports of bitten ankles.

 

Headless horseman - Kenwick

 

W.A.'s compliment of ghosts would not be complete without a headless horseman. He is said to appear around midnight on the flyover on the rail line to Armadale.

 

Heathcoate - former mental hospital

 

Said to be haunted.

 

Leederville Hotel

 

The kitchens and corridors of the hotel are said to be haunted by the ghost of Kanga. Kanga (probably a nickname) ran a betting shop and lived in the hotel for many years. He is said to have lived in the tower room and the ghostly presence is supposed to be strongest on the stairs leading up to that room.

 

At one time the hotels alarm system was activated but no reason or fault could be found. Kanga was credited with being the cause. As the alarm could not be fixed (well no fault was found to fix anyway) the staff left a note in the tower room telling Kanga that everyone knew he was just looking after the place but could he please stop setting off the alarm.

 

The note is said to have disappeared by the next morning and the alarm was not set off again.

 

Mahogany inn at Mahogany creek

 

Said to be haunted by the ghost of Moondyne Joe who once took refuge here.

 

Montgomery Hall in Mount Claremont

 

No further details at present.

 

Mount Lawley Golf Club

 

We have seen reports from people who believe the golf club is haunted by apparitions and glowing orbs.

 

People report inexplicable sensations of terror. There is a report of a suicide at the club in the 1930s.

 

Parkerville - Brook Restaurant

 

The ghost of a babysitter (from the time when this building was used as a post office) is said to haunt here.

 

Point (or Cape) Peron

 

The old abandoned wartime lookout posts here are reported to be haunted.

 

Railway yard ghost - Mount Magnet

 

The ghost of a murdered man was said to haunt the railway yard and the story of his murder is as follows:

A stranger arrived in town by train looking for French Maggie. She was living in a building at the end of the railway yard with two male 'friends'.

A violent argument was heard coming from the house and the next morning Maggie and her companions quickly left town.

Some months later the stranger's body was found at the bottom of an abandoned shaft of the New Chum Mine.

 

Mundaring weir hotel

 

The ghost of a worker named Paddy, who was killed while working on the weir construction, haunts the hotel. Paddy may be clumsy or may have a bad temper (possibly brought on by not being able to get to all the beer that surrounds him) as he breaks beer glasses from time to time.

 

Old Bakery - Nannup

 

The old bakery was said to be filled with ghosts. Voices ordering bread, a man and woman arguing, banging of pots and pans are just some of the reports about this building that was abandoned in the 1930s. The original owners seem to have picked up an left with no explanation, leaving behind all the pots and baking pans.

 

The flying nun of New Norcia

 

The figure of a woman (said by some to be a nun) dressed in blue has been seen flying around the clock tower as the bell tolls midnight.

 

 

Fitzgerald Hotel - Northbridge

 

Another haunted hotel is the Fitzgerald that seems to be haunted by a white haired lady in a lace dress. There is no story about why the 'white lady' haunts this hotel but she is said to move things around.

 

Ghost on the bridge. Pinjarra
 

Pinjarra Bridge


From the diary of Thomas Scott:

"I had occasion during my stay in Pinjarrah to see Mr. C. on some small business transactions. Mr. C. was a near relation of the nocturnal visitant of which we are about to speak. On the third evening of our stay at Mr. Greenacre's Mr. C. paid me a visit. He was a man of firm resolution and would laugh trifles in the face. And a thorough unbeliever in such things as disembodied spirits. On my remarking how unwell he looked he only shook his hand and said, 'No wonder, Sir, for we have seen her again. And this makes the sixth time of her reappearance, and more distinct she appeared than she has on the former occasions.'


'Seen who? may I ask,' said I.


'Seen who?' reiterated Mr. C. 'Why surely, Mr. Margrave, you have not been in Pinjarrah these three days and heard nothing of the Ghost of the old Bridge?'


'Indeed then I have,' I replied. 'But you really don't mean to tell me that you believe in the story? Why, it was only last night, rather late that I came across the old Bridge and met none save one solitary individual, an elderly lady to all appearance who was attired in a light loose dress.'


?My poor Aunt, Mrs. C.,' exclaimed my friend, 'who has been dead for the last seven years, and this is the anniversary of her mysterious death. Why, Mr. Margrave this is the veritable ghost of the old Bridge of which I was just speaking to you about, and which makes its nocturnal appearance on the old Bridge every year about this time. Whether it is the disembodied spirit of my aunt, which carries her feature and is recognised by us all, or whether it is but a phantom of the mind. God only knows, for it is very mysterious.'


'Strange, no doubt, as you say,' I ejaculated, 'but I rather think you are labouring under some illusion.'


'No illusion whatever,' said Mr. C., 'it is too true. She walks that old bridge towards midnight nine days in each year just before and after the anniversary of her death. She has been recognised by her two sisters, her brother John, and Mr. Koil (?), my uncle.'


'You say she has been dead for the last seven years. May I ask in what manner she met her death?'


'Certainly, Sir,' answered Mr. C. 'She was found dead seven years ago on the old Bridge. She was supposed to have died from an apoplectic fit, but whatever the cause of death was she was interred next day as the weather was too oppressive to keep her any longer than that short time. On the 1st July, one year from the date of her demise, she, or rather her apparition for I cannot be convinced to the contrary, was first seen by my uncle at midnight walking the old Bridge like a silent sentinel from the place of departed spirits. My uncle came home - I remember the night well - just as he had finished telling us what he had seen, three distinct, loud knocks were heard at our back door. It was a beautiful moonlit starry night - not a cloud was seen in the vast blue firmament; and bewildering stillness seemed to reign supreme. There was no time for anybody to have made off nor was there any place of concealment near at hand, as instantaneously we all ran to the door - but there was nothing to be seen and there was not a breath of air stirring. With palpitating hearts and big drops of perspiration on our foreheads we returned to the house. The door was hardly closed when three more knocks louder than the first was heard again, and at the same time we heard as distinctly as possible my uncle's Christian name repeated two or three times outside the door. The sound or voice was that of my an aunt, which was recognised by all present. We all stood looking at each other in mute fear and astonishment - terror seemed to sway every heart now beating thrice three times as fast. My uncle was the first to break the spell. He rushed to the door, closely followed by myself, as if ashamed of his momentary fear, to behold a tall stately figure of a female clad in a light loose dress similar to that she had on at the time she was found dead on the old Bridge. 'Yes,' said my uncle, in a tremulous hoarse voice, 'Yes, that is my sister Kate or her apparition which I saw on the old Bridge.' She was walking or rather slowly gliding as it were in the direction of the old Bridge, which is about a quarter of a mile from our farm. My uncle instinctively shouted out 'Kate,' his sister's name. But, as if by magic, on her name being called she immediately disappeared from our view. We all proceeded to the old Bridge with the expectation of seeing the apparition there, for we were all fully convinced now that the figure was nothing else, but we were disappointed. None of us slept that night but kept a vigil till morning. On the third night after this the apparition was seen again but could not be approached by my uncle. Finally it disappeared altogether until the following year about the same time it made its reappearance again. Each succeeding year to the present one has brought us the ghostly visits of my deceased aunt, and for what purpose is to us as yet a mystery.'


'You say,' said I, 'that the apparition is to be seen on the old Bridge but will not be approached; must I understand by that it disappears on your approach to it?'


'Precisely so,' answered Mr. C. "And,' he went on, 'if you, Mr. Margrave, have no objection you are welcome to join our little private party who are going to watch for it to-night."


'I shall be too glad to accept your offer,' I replied; 'and I only hope I shall have a glimpse of your nocturnal visitant. May I bring a friend?' ?Certainly, with pleasure - half a dozen if you like - the more the merrier.'


The hour appointed by the C. party for apprising the apparition was fixed at midnight, that being the accustomed time of its first appearance. On my informing Mr. M. of our midnight adventure and the object it had in view, he most readily assented to accompany me, saying at the same time, 'And, by my soul, if it were a ghost we'd better be after letting the poor creature rest. faith, or may be it will be giving us a turn as well as its own people, sure. But no matter, go we will and if it should turn out to be some spalpeen night-walking, that wants waking, faith an' we'll give him a good ducking in the river that runs under the old Bridge.'


According to previous arrangements half-past eleven that night found our small midnight party, comprising five in all, at our respective positions. The night was beautifully starlit with a full moon coursing in the heavens above. To the right of the Bridge was a burying ground and on either side but this lay nothing but the dark, dense forest, that looked in this lonesome hour the very place for a ghost scene. Twelve o'clock came and - no apparition appeared - a quarter-past twelve - half-past - and now five-and-twenty minutes to one and yet no appearance. We were literally counting the minutes after twelve but to no effect.


'Bad luck to it,' exclaimed Mr. M.: "I believe after all it will turn out nothing more than a hoax, sure.'


'Well,' said, I, 'never mind, Mr. M., we will keep it up till one o'clock, then we'll give it up as a ----------' 'Hist. Look!' interrupted Mr. M. 'By my soul, but there's somebody coming over the Bridge.'


On looking at my watch I found it was just twenty minutes to one. Scarcely had the last word died on Mr. M's lips when from four different quarters we advanced as previously arranged, with stealthy step (like 'stealing a march') toward the Bridge. A slight thrill ran through me as I clearly recognised the same figure I had seen the night previous. The old Bridge was a wooden construction about 50 yards long, with railing on each side as a protection to the dark waters beneath. We were not twenty yards from the apparition when on the death stillness of the surrounding dark looking forest broke the prolonged and mournful howl of a dingo or native dog, causing us to fairly start. But it was only momentarily. Mr. M. and myself arrived at one end of the bridge whilst at the other end appeared at the same time the C. party.


The apparition was in the centre of the Bridge and seemed to be on the move. It was quite recognisable by all parties and the same that has already been described. We instinctively stopped to watch it for a few minutes. The signal was given by the other party to apprise it, and simultaneously we all rushed to the spot where the apparition stood, visible as plain as day, and - aghast, we stood gaping at each other scarcely believing our own eyes. The figure whether earthly or spiritual had vanished. Five men, whom I am in a position to prove were in there sane senses witnessed the mysterious - what shall we call it? - a delusion? - a phenomenon? - or what? The world in the nineteenth century laughs at as gross superstition, viz., a ghost or spirit of the departed."

 

The ghost is said to be that of a woman named Kate who died on the bridge in the 1860s. Exactly one year after she was buried Kate's ghost was said to appear at midnight - well it is a ghost story ! - and she appeared at the same time for the next 6 years. When, on the seventh year, several men tried to capture Kate when she appeared she must have decided that enough was enough and she never showed up again.

 

The ghosts of Rottnest

 

Rottnest Lodge is home to two ghosts. One, like the Kalamunda ghost, killed herself when she got pregnant and her lover refused to admit he was the father. The second ghost is also a woman and is known as Ethel.

 

A number of Aboriginal ghosts are also said to haunt the island.

 

Swanbourne Asylum

 

Said to be haunted by the ghosts of former patients.

 

(C) Holiday Road

 

Toodyay

 

Haunted Ipswich View bed and breakfast, former gaol and a haunted tavern. Deepdale swimming hole, on private property, is also said to be haunted by the ghost of Ruby Ferguson who drowned when swimming. Glowing orbs have been seen here.

 

 

Personal recollections

 

Tim M. wrote to us about his experiences :

 

I used to live at 196 South Tce. Como as a kid. I believe this place is haunted, and at times felt as if I was being watched, and at others, the hair on the back of my neck would stand up and I'd feel scared. The main corridor from the entrance of the house resembles a letter "T". The top left arm ended at the main bedroom, while the right arm ended at the bathroom. I remember one night brushing my teeth in the bathroom and looking into the vanity mirror that reflected everything over my shoulder and down the corridor. In the mirror I could see a man standing with both arms resting on each vertical door frame idly watching me. He was tall, dark haired and dressed in a suit. I found out years later that the previous owner had died in that room.

At times my father, and witnessed by others, saw glasses fly across the kitchen to smash on the floor. Such happenings became so common, my father named the ghost "George". George would also hide items in weird places - like hiding the scissors in the freezer. I also once found Dad's car keys there too, after we'd searched the house for them! If my Dad ever got exasperated with such goings on, he'd shout out to George to stop playing about and behave. Believe it or not - it worked! As the item needed to hand would re-appear a short while later. A few years ago I dropped in to visit my old home, and circumspectly asked if anything had happened. The boarders looked at one another and said that things are still happening - though I can't confirm this.

The Mandurah Bridge is also haunted. When I was 6 or 7yo we used to fish from the landing under the bridge. My Dad, a heavy smoker, asked my brother to go get a lighter from "that old man on the shore". My brother went, but said that the old guy had disappeared. The place where the guy was standing was in the open and he couldn't have made off without being seen to do so.

Twenty years later, I was walking in the mid afternoon with my fianc? and went to show her where we used to fish. This white-haired old guy - in trousers, white shirt, sunglasses and hat - walked swiftly past us and entered - a few steps in front of us - to go down the ladder under the bridge. As he passed me I said "G'Day!" but got no reply. He was 3-4 steps in front of me as we went down, and I saw him - as solid and real as any other person - turn at the stair-landing, and go down the bottom flight of stairs. Two to three seconds later we also turned at the stair-landing to go down the bottom flight of stairs too, but instead of the old guy being about 1-2m in front of me - he had simply disappeared!

Startled, I searched the entire area under the bridge to find this guy, but I couldn't find him! And I never did!

My mother has seen "the Brown Lady" in broad daylight that haunts a Vic Park nursing home. When she spoke to staff that this person had ignored her (my Mum's) questions, their reply was: "You've just seen our ghost!"'

 

---oooo---

 

If you have any further information about ghosts and hauntings in Western Australia please send us the details.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm lost please take me home...