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 July 4th 2012
The Freemason Bell Tower
Every city has its myths: implausible tales of murderers and ghosts set in familiar streets and tailored to a familiar culture. British urban legends tend to be unsettling and understated, like faces seen in the fog or haunted buildings. American ones are a bit more brash, like screaming cannibals with chainsaws, or serial killers with a hook in one hand and a severed head in the other. What about Perth, though? Here are a few of Perth's hidden – and possibly made-up – secrets.
The Perth Bell Tower is famous for being kind of ugly. It's also famous, in certain circles, for its occult significance. The section of Swan River at the end of Barrack St, right where the bells are, has been long recognized as a place where 'energy lines' coil up and interlace. In the tower, the bells sit 925 inches off the ground, and the tower itself is 3247 inches high. But add the digits of either of those numbers and you come up with sixteen: the number of the Tower card in Tarot, representing the Biblical Tower of Babel. And who set up all this numerological mystic malarkey? The Freemasons, of course.
Kings Park Satanists
Kings Park covers just over four square kilometres on the western edge of the Perth CBD. It's considerably larger than New York's Central Park, which is famous for its criminal element. Surely Kings Park, being in Perth, would be safer though? Well, you're less likely to be mugged – but more likely, according to some, to stumble across an unholy ritual or sacrifice. That's right: Perth's Kings Park is a secret hub of Satanist activity, where witches dance around fires and summon demons every full moon.
This is probably involved at some point, too.
The occasional deaths of homeless people in or near Kings Park has been snatched up by believers in this urban legend, who claim that Satanist groups organize annual murders to sustain their dark power. If you believe this story, the deceased have all been secret descendants of the aristocracy. Only the finest sacrifices will do for the Devil, apparently.
The Ghosts of Old York Hospital
Old York Hospital, a little way east of Perth, has been touted as one of the most haunted spots in Australia. It used to be an asylum until it closed in the '60s, and despite several renovations (including a stint as a youth hostel), multiple instances of supernatural activity have been reported there. The place was even featured in the Australian paranormal documentary 'Haunted'.
On reflection, it makes stuff like this seem downright creepy.
Ghost hunters claim that a hospital matron was murdered and buried in the building's basement, and her angry spirit still roams the building, stirring up other mentally-unbalanced ghosts. Visitors have been slapped by ghostly hands, seen bobbing lights, smelt decomposing flesh and in general experienced a strange sense of dread when they were inside the building. It's currently in private hands – after reportedly being sold at a very low price - so if you want to check it out yourself you'll have to break a few laws to do so.
The Kings Park Killer
Yes, we're back to Kings Park – did you really expect that bands of roving Satanists wouldn't attract some other unpleasant types to the gardens? Here's the story: a cunning murderer, possibly human, possibly ghostly, stalks the park, picking off the alone and unwary. Some of his burrows have been discovered by police, full of general serial-killer paraphernalia like bloodied clothes and duct tape, but the police hush it up. Without a dead body or a disappearance, they can't do anything about it.
He's known to watch couples in the park, standing in the trees or bushes. Is he picking out new victims? Is he just really lonely? Next time you're in Kings Park with your significant other, cast around for a shadowy figure in the distance. Maybe you can ask him yourself.
Sean - I don't know about York Hospital, but the the old Fremantle Asylum (now Fremantle Arts Centre) is supposed to be one of the most haunted places around Perth.
A mate used to work in an engineering business in Brown St., East Perth.
He was working back late one night in the 1960's, and was alone in the building.
He was suddenly aware of children muted screams, and strange sounds coming from other places in the building where he knew there was no-one.
He fled in fear after trying to find if someone was in the building, and found nothing.
The next day he spoke to workmates who said, "Oh, you heard the children and the strange noises too! We all have, too - that's why we don't work back alone!"
The story goes there was previously an orphanage or some type of childrens home on the site, before the engineering business building was constructed.
This childrens home was not a happy place and it was rumoured that several children died there, and many were ill-treated. Thus the children haunted the engineering building.
The engineering building has since been demolished and replaced by apartments, and I wonder if people in those apartments hear the children and the strange noises?
Cheers - R.