Melbourne’s Most Haunted Locations
For a city so (relatively) young, Melbourne has more than its fair share of strange urban myths, ghost stories and spooky locations. It’s a little known fact that some of the city’s most famous landmarks are also its most haunted. Ahead of Halloween, we scratch the surface of Melbourne’s dark side and give you five locations to check out for a thrill…if you dare.
1. A Real Phantom of the Opera – The Princess Theatre
The historic Princess Theatre on Spring Street, one of Melborune’s premier venues for theatre productions, is almost as famous for the strange occurrences that have happened within its walls. In 1888, opera singer Fred ‘Federici’ Baker had a heart attack and died onstage during a performance. Supposedly his ghost has never left the Princess. Additionally, It is also not uncommon for visitors to report having seen strange lights, heard eerie sounds, and even been pushed around by inexplicable forces while exploring parts of the theatre.
2. The Alleyway Banshee – The Young & Jackson
According to legend, male patrons at Young & Jackson, which is one of Melbourne’s grandest and oldest pubs, have on occasion been haunted by a ghoul. From a distance, she appears to be a beautiful woman, but as one gets closer, she will begin to appear older and decidedly more ghoulish, and will then reveal that her throat has been slit. Sadly, several prostitutes are known to have been murdered in the alleyways near Young & Jackson in the late 19th century, and their deaths went largely unnoticed by the authorities at the time; the Young & Jackson ghoul is likely one of them, haunting the pub she frequented more than a century ago and showing the men of Melbourne what her unpunished killer did to her.
3. George The Station Ghost – Flinders Street Station
Late at night, possibly in a drunken early morning daze, if you glance across at the empty platforms at Flinders Street Station you might spot a man standing outside the station looking confused. He’s holding a fishing rod and pair of paddles, looking out at the river dazed. Pausing a moment, the man wanders towards the water and disappears. The spectre, known to those who work at the station as ‘George’, is believed to be the ghost of a former fisherman who frequented the Yarra River. The section of river alongside Platform 10, now known as Arbory Bar & Eatery, was a popular fishing spot in Melbourne’s early days. It’s generally believed poor George met his end accidentally drowning in the river, or if you ask the Internet he was murdered by a rival fisherman.
4. Ghostly Bushrangers – Queen Victoria Markets
You’ve no doubt got many reasons to visit the Melbourne’s famed Queen Victoria Markets, but here’s one more: it’s built over the site of what was Melbourne’s original general cemetery, and supposedly covers as many as 50,000. There might be nothing spooky about the bustling marketplace during the day, but ask a local who’s walked through there at night and you’ll get a very different answer. Given its morbid history, an empty Queen Vic is an eerie place indeed. Of particular note are two ghostly bushrangers who, oddly enough, prowl around the fruit section from midnight until dawn. Flagstaff Gardens, which is but a short walk away, was also once the site of a large cemetery.
5. Restless Former Convicts – Old Melbourne Gaol
An old stone gaol is the scene of many a nightmare, and Melbourne’s is no exception. Perhaps most famous for being the place where the infamous Irish-Australian bushranger Ned Kelly was hung, the gaol is also said to be haunted by the ghost of flamboyant 1920s-era gangster Squizzy Taylor. Tours of the gaol are available, where you’ll here stories of the criminals who were incarcerated and hanged there, and more stories of a more supernatural flavour, of doors opening and closing by themselves and unwitting guests getting themselves locked in the cells.
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