Last weekend I took part in a Blanket Run through a local Ute Owners Club, we drove from town to town collecting blankets for a charity to hand out during the long Winter. (which is now here in Australia…)Part of the weekends activities was to spend the night in a Haunted Jail out of use for the past 25 years. The 170 year old Gladstone Jail is a group of dark and threatening rock buildings with 4 inch thick Slate floors throughout. (try digging through that) 10 feet high walls within 12 foot high walls and yards within yards to make escape almost impossible. Internal walls are at least two feet thick and three feet thick on the outer walls, all ceilings are two to three feet of solid concrete so once inside our tiny freezing cells for the night it was deathly quiet. (read: peaceful)
*The tower right in the center of the jail
*This is my room, just two beds wide with hardly enough room to shuffle between them sideways, I had to stand outside shooting through the doorway to get this shot, the beds were so hard I had to stack both mattresses on one bed...and it was still hard.
It’s mid-Winter here and below zero in the early mornings, the thick walls of the jail were like ice but we had equally thick blankets unlike the original prisoners, even so it was very, very cold.
Before bed we were treated to a well-run Ghost Tour… Dressed as dark and foreboding as the buildings, our hosts led us by flickering lantern throughout the buildings showing us where the most terrible atrocities and murders most bloody had taken place, we stood were once was slippery with human blood and at each stop we were invited to walk into the inky darkness alone. Only two of our group didn't jump at the chance to walk into ghost infested total darkness at least once.
* along this wall between the outer and inner walls is where all the bodies are buried, They did many Lobotomies in this jail and apparently never had even one success. The mad, screaming and wasting prisoners led to the stories of haunting.
* This is the Mortuary complete with plastic body under a sheet. (shot through a mesh door)
For my part I didn't see or feel any ghosts but two of our group said they felt something touching them… and it’s at least half true because we did touch Kev many times as we walked through the gloom of the jail.
Oh, we did all the tricks like touching him on the opposite shoulder so he turned that way only to find no one there, reaching behind each other so when he turned those next to him had hands in pockets.. All the while our hosts told blood curdling stories and kept the dim lights flickering. We all joined in without a word of conspiracy and everyone kept a dead pan face as those around went in for another tap on his shoulder, in the end Kev was afraid to walk more than a few feet from the nearest person and flatly refused to walk into the darkness or even to look into some of the darkest, bloodiest rooms.
* Kev before the Ghost Tour, we quickly wiped that smile off his face.
*This three feet thick roof under the tower was built by English workers brought out to build the jail, the workers were the same ones that built the Titanic (true story)
By the end of the Ghost Tour Kev was White (whiter) and very, very quiet, he quickly excused himself and headed for his bed closing himself away behind the three inch thick heavy wood and steel door of his cell.
For those feeling sorry for Kev I should put your minds at rest by telling you he had spent the whole week bragging about how he’d been to many ghost infested places and never once felt ill at ease or frightened…so we fixed that for him.
*This dark and gloomy wing housed those who would never see daylight again, right at the end was the cell for the condemned. A short walk through a door to the hanging cell and a place against the inner wall for these poor souls
We fed his fears the next morning and all the next day and although I haven’t seen him all week I’m looking forward to his ever expanding tales of him single handed fighting off a host of ghosts.
OK, so I’m a cynic but I went in hoping to see ghosts and came away only slightly disappointed since the tour and the fun we had with Kev more than made up for the lack of blood dripping ghoulies. We took many photos of everything and nothing but so far we don't seem to have captured more than a few ghosts….