Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published September 28th 2012
It's healthy to be scared
Any city that's been around for as long as Melbourne is bound to pick up some supernatural baggage. Ignoring the secret conspiracies and general weird goings-on, the sheer number of corpses buried in Melbourne's graveyards – and under Melbourne's houses – is often cited to explain urban paranormal activity. Why not spend a day hunting ghosts? Whether you're a committed believer or a die-hard sceptic, it's a good time. Bring comfortable shoes for fleeing vengeful spirits, a camera for those blurry Youtube videos, and a torch to flicker alarmingly and leave you in the dark when you need it most.
You won't be alone, though. (Image by Sukanto Debnath)
Start your ghost tour with Victoria Market. It's hard to imagine a less spooky place during the day, when people throng between the stalls and the smell of fish permeates the air. At night, though, each shadowy tarpaulin looks like a human body. Rumour has it that two dead bushrangers prowl around between midnight and dawn (in the fruit section, for some reason). There's some historical action here, too: Victoria Market was the first general cemetery in Melbourne, and an enormous fifty thousand bodies are buried there to this day, including the founder of Melbourne, John Batman. Many ghost experts believe that the power of a ghost depends upon the deceased's fame in the living world – if that's true, Victoria Market would host some powerful ghosts indeed.
John Batman might be a historically interesting figure, but if we're listing famous dead Australians it's hard to beat Ned Kelly. He, along with many other unpleasant characters, were hanged inside the walls of the Old Melbourne Gaol. Fulfil your ghost-hunting and celebrity-chasing dreams in the same visit – if you don't catch a glimpse of Ned himself, you might see famous outlaw Squizzy Taylor. Unlike Victoria Market, the Old Melbourne Gaol is only accessible from 9:30am to 5:00pm, and requires you to shell out $23 for an adult ticket. It's worth it, though. The thick stone walls and forbidding cells of the Gaol make a much more congenial home for ghosts than the concrete alleyways of the Market.
Greenvale Sanatorium is a two-for-one ghost deal. There's the abandoned hospital itself, which of course is good ghost territory, and it's also surrounded by an indigenous cemetery. Reports say that the temperature drops sharply within the cemetery, bringing strange unpleasant feelings and a sense of being watched with it. Stephen King lovers will want to spend some quality time here stirring up some angry ghosts. For everyone else there's the Sanatorium, a huge complex full of creepy graffiti and crumbling hallways. It's hard to get to, though: you'll need to drive down Mickleham Road, a dirt track through bushland near Melbourne Airport, until you see it. Moreover, it's guarded by a high fence and a sporadic security presence. If you don't want to break the law, maybe it's best to observe from a distance.
Have you been to a place in Melbourne that raised the hairs on the back of your neck? Share it in the comments, and remember: the truth is out there.
Hello. I think there are about 9000 bodies under the Vic Market now down from only 10,000 according to the host of haunted Melbourne ghost tours. Squizzy Taylor died after a gun battle with Sydney gangster Snowy Cutmore so wasnt hung at the old gaol. Frederick Deeming did and is a character still discussed today for his links to a number of famous killings in 19th century in London. Maybe go to the princess theatre next march of the 125 year anniversary of Frederici's death which may produce a sighting of his famous ghost! Bye Jerome
My mum saw the ghost of an "olden days" child at the Vic Market. Not a scary experience for her. We drive past the closed Larundel/Mont Park asylum on Plenty Rd Bundoora all the time. Reckon they'd be haunted. Get the Ghost Adventures team there. A new housing project is being built on the land. Wouldn't get me living there in a pink fit.
There is a ghost of a former master of choristers, Henry 'Cocky' Inge, in All saints, east st kilda. He died suddenly of cardiac arrest during evensong while playing the organ. I'm not sure why he's still there- he's not evil, he's just a polite old man. Possibly he's there because a lot of the men in the church were war veterans/returned serviceman from WW1. He's a ghost not many know about!