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Cockatoo Island Haunted History Night Tours

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by Mychelle Cabacungan (subscribe)
Iím a travel blogger and writer living in Sydney Australia. Travelling is in my blood and writing is my passion. Visit my blog
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Are you unspookable?
I recently watched an episode of Haunting Australia, a show that only ran one season in 2014. Paranormal investigators visited the most haunted sites in Australia, Cockatoo Island amongst them. The main feeling they kept expressing was of a dark energy, so when I heard about the Haunted History Night Tours, I booked a ticket straight away.

Haunted History Night Tours
Haunted History Night Tours Photo Credit: Cory Day

Tours are 6pm and 6:30pm, and run for about 1.5 hours. I thought, a little early for summer as it doesn't get dark till 8pm, but I was hoping we would be entering some dark buildings or tunnels which should keep it exciting.

Cockatoo Island
Cockatoo Island Photo Credit: Cory Day

Heading towards the Island on the ferry, it's massive structures, and stone buildings felt like heading towards the real life movie Shutter Island, it had the perfect backdrop for a haunted tour.

Cockatoo Island buildings
Ominous building perfect setting for a ghost tour Photo Credit: Cory Day

This was my first time to Cockatoo Island so was excited to find out more about the history of the place. It hasn't always had the best reputation, there have been many stories of untimely deaths and tragic occurrences, terrible conditions that left many souls unhappy, hauntings seemed inevitable. It's now being used as a tourist attraction, where people can follow self guided tours, camp or glamp, even enjoy events such as art exhibitions, concerts and most recently filming of Australia Ninja Warriors.

Glamping at Cockatoo Island
Camping is available at Cockatoo Island bring your own tent or rent one of theirs Photo Credit Cory Day

We were greeted by our friendly ghost guide and after some safety information we were off to get spooked. She guided us through to different area's of the Island, relaying stories of different characters that resided, worked or were imprisoned. The conditions were attrocious and extreme, being locked away in solitary confinement for nearly a month in dank, dark cells to sleeping in overcrowded cells fighting for space. Only one person ever escaped from the Island, but you'll have to head to the tour to find out more.

Cockatoo Island Solitary confinement
Solitary confinement where prisoners would be held in total darkness for days. Photo Credit Cory Day

She told us sad stories of people being found murdered, terrible industrial accidents that took people's lives. We kept a look out for different ghostly appiritions such as the white lady standing up on the hill, shadow people that roamed the buildings, or George who haunts the beautiful house owned by the Cheif Superintendent which is said to be the most haunted part of the Island.

Cockatoo Island
The site where 3 workers were killed when a huge engine fell on top of them

We ended at the Chief Superintendent house built on the blood and sweat of convicts. I have to admit it was more of a history rather than a ghost tour. Running the tour at night in the dark would have created a scarier atmosphere. Most of the buildings and houses were not open for us to enter. We also seemed to be listening to stories at every moment, instead of having the time to soak up any feelings or explore the area.

I will be back to spend more time exploring the Island but I recommend checking out the other ghost tours Sydney have to offer if you want to really be spooked.

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Why? Hear about the dark tales of this historical Island
When: 4th January - 3rd February
Where: Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour
Cost: $25 for adults $15 for children plus booking fee
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