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Unicorns' Adelaide Ghost Tour Review
Old Adelaide Gaol & Carclew
The night started out well, with dinner at the Union Hotel in Waymouth Street, Adelaide.  There was a group from the Spiritualist church who could sense 4 spirits at the pub.  There was a man in uniform who was upstairs (apparently he was the original owner and there have been reported sightings of him) There was a man who had hanged himself in the cellar and also a younger guy who had been crushed. (The tour guide knew nothing of this but someone else confirmed that a man had been crushed to death in the cellar)  There was also a lady with a lamp who wandered about the whole pub.

During dinner, I felt intense pressure on my forehead and blinding pain down one side of my face.  I asked if anyone had been shot in the head around the area but no-one knew.  The freaky thing was that the man sitting opposite me, who I did not know, had exactly the same sensations.

After dinner, we went to the Old Adelaide Gaol.
This was a guided tour, organised by the Gaol Manager and it was very informative and well presented.  Our guide told us about the history of the Gaol and strange sightings that have happened since the Gaol was decommissioned.  In one set of cells, a light has been seen, where there is no way to switch it on unless you have the key.  There have been sightings of a young girl who walks near one of the guard towers and seems to walk through the wall and disappear.  Outside the wall in that area, used to be the cottages for the wardens and their families, quite a few of them died due to the effluent from the gaol contaminating the water.  There is also a man who is seen in another cell block, walking along the upper walkway.

In one part of the gaol, the last cell near the wall was used for the condemned, the irony was that on the other side of that wall was were they would be buried.  I tried twice to take a photo of that cell and my camera wouldn't work, even though it worked fine before and after.  In the courtyard of that block, there was a temperature reading of -17 degrees, one person felt really cold in that spot.

We were then taken to the hanging tower, one of 3 places where they executed prisoners. (there was one in another cell block and for a time there were gallows erected outside the gaol for public executions)  We entered the tower in darkness, it consisted of 3 rooms, the main with the gallows and trapdoor plus two small rooms on one side that the condemned and the executioner were placed.  In one room, my sister and I felt intense sorrow, I felt like crying for no reason, we discovered that it was the room that the executioner used.  One of the women from the spiritualist church said that they didn't enjoy what they had to do and the emotions have stayed in that room.  Other people could smell alcohol in the prisoner's room and the guide said that quite often they were allowed to have a final drink in there.  With the lights on, the tower is a cold and sterile place and your eye is drawn to the beam constantly.

Outside the hanging tower is a grass strip that is between the outer and inner wall of the Gaol, this is were the bodies were buried, the only markings are the condemned's initials and date of execution on the wall.  The only time prisoners were allowed in this are was to mow the lawn but even then some managed to carve graffiti on the brickwork of the walls.

We were led throughout the Gaol and shown the other gallows, which was on the upper floor of a 2 story cell block. My sister & I went into one of the condemned cells and felt sick to the stomach and like we were suffocating.  7 people were hanged in that area and they are buried in that blocks courtyard.  45 people were executed between 1862 and 1964, there are 16 unmarked graves and no-one knows were they are.
Construction of the Gaol began in 1840 and it was in use until 1988.  Elizabeth Woolcock was the only female in South Australia to be hanged for poisoning her husband.

We finished the tour without incident but I did feel like we were being watched by something in one of the guard towers.

I recommend the Adelaide Gaol tour to anyone, you can go there independent of the tour I was with.  It is open weekdays between 11am and 4pm and Sundays between 11am and 3:30pm.  Night tours and sleepovers are available for groups of 15 or more. Ring the Gaol manager on 08 8231 4062 for bookings or further information.

After the Gaol we went to Carlcew in North Adelaide, a Gothic mansion built by the Bonython family in the 1800's, now housing the Carclew Art's Program.  The disappointment was that we weren't allowed on the grounds, but were told we could visit during the daytime when it's open.  Apparently, there is the ghost of a young girl that has been seen by the people, and it is said that Mr Bonython threw his wife from the top window of the tower when she found out he had a mistress, she didn't die, so he dragged her up the stairs and threw her back down. He then either buried the body in the garden or bricked it up in the wall, it's not exactly known.

Your gaze is drawn to the tower windows and of the two photos I took, when developed, one appears to have the outline of a figure walking up to the house, there seems to be an outline of an arm, the side of a dress and a foot.

We were disappointed yet again when we went to a house that is attached to an old Anglican church in Hindmarsh, where the pastor's lived.  We weren't allowed in again and were told that PRISM investigated it a few years ago, there have been reported sightings of a young girl and unidentifiable, liquid has been seen pooled on the floor and on the walls.  The house is now fully renovated and there was no feeling about the place at all. It is owned by the government and is used for offices.

The final place we saw was a cemetery, but the atmosphere was destroyed by it being flanked on 2 sided by main roads and the traffic and lights were distracting.  There have been sightings of a woman in grey with a lamp (why do ghost's need lamps????) but that was all we were told.

All in all the last part of the tour was very ho hum, we were not told beforehand that we couldn't go into those places and personally, it wasn't worth the $56 paid.  I would suggest that you get a group of 15, organise a group tour through the Gaol and have a meal at the Union Hotel beforehand. That way, it should only cost you about $20-$25 per person and you get the same satisfaction, without paying for bus hire.

Copyright © 2001 Unicorn
Old Adelaide Gaol - one of the cell blocks. The last cell near the door was the one I couldn't get photos of.

Old Adelaide Gaol - one of the cell blocks. The last cell near the door was the one I couldn't get photos of.


This is the cell that Elizabeth Woolcock was held. The only woman in South Australia to be executed.

This is the cell that Elizabeth Woolcock was held. The only woman in South Australia to be executed.


Old Adelaide Gaol - the hanging tower

Old Adelaide Gaol - the hanging tower


This is were those executed were buried - their only headstone is their initials and the date of their execution.

This is were those executed were buried - their only headstone is their initials and the date of their execution.

There are 16 unmarked graves throughout the gaol.


There are 16 unmarked graves throughout the gaol.
This bell would ring every time there was an execution.

This bell would ring every time there was an execution.

  

Carclew (above) notice what appears to be an outline of a person through the bars. Unfortunately the scan is not the same quality as the original photo.

The cemetery we visited. (Above) The atmosphere was spoiled by street lights and traffic.

The cemetery we visited. (Above) The atmosphere was spoiled by street lights and traffic.
Visit Unicorn's website: Dance Of The Unicorn
  
Carclew - the first photo (above) 'as is' the next (right) artificially brightened.
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