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
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.
This is the cell that Elizabeth Woolcock was held. The only
woman in South Australia to be executed.
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.
There are 16 unmarked graves throughout the gaol.
This bell would ring every time there was an execution.
(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.
cemetery we visited. (Above) The atmosphere was spoiled by
street lights and traffic.