Cockatoo Island Historical Ghost Tour
Now, I dunno about you but I do love a great (or a good) ghost story. I also love hearing about the spooky activities and how people react to them – you now with screams and yelps here and there. So last night (4/3/2017) I decided to head out on a ghost tour hosting on the iconic island in the middle of Sydney’s harbour – Cockatoo Island.
The evening started at Circular Quay. We had to catch the 6:07pm to make the 6:30pm ghost tour booking. At first, I thought that the ferries would be cancelled because of bad weather but the weather proved me wrong and cleared up until we got to the island.
We arrived on the island and quickly we tried to figure out where to go, who we needed to see and where we needed to be, all this while the clouds decided to open up and rain.
The tour started and we were first taken around the lower part of the island. We walked through the Industrial Precinct. Where we were told the gruesome tale of 3 men who perished in 1934 while doing some maintenance work in the factory hanger. As we zigzagged our way through we made our way to the Dock Precinct and more gruesome tales emerged. Especially the one of the USS New Orleans (that kinda freaked me and grossed me out)
As we continued to make our way through tunnels (apparently there’s a whole heap of ghostly activity in those tunnels – you might encounter a fella named ‘George’ or see a ghostly figure near the elevator) and up hills, we reached the convict precinct. At this point, dusk was settling into the night and my imagination started playing little games. None of which were ghostly related just bug related. I also found the convict precinct on cockatoo island so fascinating. I tried to imagine myself back in the day when the precinct housed over 500 prisoners (most of them transferred from Darlinghurst Gaol) and that thought alone freaked me out. Due to the fact that the convict precinct isn’t or wasn’t as big as it should have been to accommodate for so many people. But somehow it kinda worked as a prison. As the night went on we heard stories of prisoners fighting, a prisoner being whipped, prisoners contained in solitary confinement, and also convicts trying to escape the island by swimming across to White Horse Park at Elkington Park, Balmain. The tour took us up to the Ship Design Precinct where it is said that no security guard has been willing to volunteer to make their rounds there due to the high ghostly activity. To be totally honest with you, I can understand why. The feel that the building in the middle of the three Ship Design Precinct buildings just gives off this vibe. A vibe that til this day I can only put down as horrible. I would go into it what I think had happened there and why I feel the horrible vibe surrounding the middle green building but then that would taint your own interpretation if you ever visit the site on Cockatoo Island so I will leave it for another day.
The tour ended at Historical Residence Precinct, the apparent site of the most ghostly activities on the island. Well, that just freaked me out, even more, when the tour guide explained what had happened to one aboriginal elder being denied access to the site by a ‘ghostly’ figure. The only thought that ran through my mind was ‘I’m standing on sacred ground’. After the little talk about the ghostly activity, the tour guided motioned us to try and open one of the doors to the homestead. silently I was hoping that none of them opened but nope, one door did open. During our wander inside, at one point I was left alone in a dark room and it didn’t feel too good. I was only there for a minute or two but something didn’t feel right and I felt that I wasn’t entirely by myself.
At the end of the tour, we all stood on the front steps of the homestead and looked out to the cityscape – the backdrop of the harbour bridge and the city buildings all standing tall and lit up against the dark navy blue. What a way to finish up the night.
Overall, the ghost tour was good. The stories told played their part and made my mind imagine things that were or weren’t there. The thing that I would change would be the fact that I would do this tour when it’s slightly darker just so I could actually freak myself out a little bit more.
So, if this is your thing then, by all means, head over to the booking site Haunted History Night Tours at Cockatoo Island and book yourself a spot and remember, if you really wanna freak yourself out book yourself in during winter when there’s no daylight savings.
Just for fun… I seriously dunno what that black smudge edging on the right-hand side is… my lens was clean at the time. So, I suppose I got myself a little ghost… who knows!