A freelance writer new to Perth. Katie has written articles about her hometown in the UK for five years and is keen to see how Perth compares
Published May 1st 2012
I fancied a Friday night with a difference. Although I have been enjoying getting to grips with Perth's nightlife, there is only so much clubbing a girl can do. So I ditched the heels and favoured a jeans and a jumper over a little black dress, for tonight, instead of dancing I was going ghost hunting. With just my torch and my own bravery to protect me, I discovered the gruesome stories and haunting history of Fremantle Prison.
Fremantle Prison offers 'torchlight tours' running from 6.30pm in winter and 7.00pm in summer. I was on a 9.00pm tour, and finished at exactly 10.30pm. Relieved that I was with a group of adults and not the screaming teenagers that I had passed on the way in, I was excited and a little anxious as I entered the grounds of the prison, which are made to look all the more menacing by being lit from below.
Our tour guide handed us a torch each and lead us into the first room, which happened to be a changing room for the not so pleasant showers that we were about to enter. Naturally, a few crude puns later and we were off to see what the cell blocks had in store for us.
Given it was night time and the old prison was definitely a little eerie, I must admit I had quite high expectations of just how creepy this tour would be. On reflection, it was perhaps the anxiety before the tour started that was the most tense part of my night. That's not to say our tour guide didn't do his best to scare us. I could hear the afore mentioned teenagers shrieking throughout most of their tour which was running a few minutes behind ours.
The tour reveals some fascinating history of the prison and there are plenty of shocking stories to discover about the prisons past residents and their daily goings on. Throughout the night visitors are able to discover what the cells would have looked like and how they would have changed over the years, there is even some examples of prisoners artwork preserved on some of the cell walls. The prison was also a place of execution between 1888 and 1984; apparently 44 people were killed there, so of course the tour involves a trip to the gallows.
By the end of the tour, which happened to finish in the prison morgue, there had been a few jumpy moments (mostly courtesy of our guide), a few laughs, and one of our group even got to try their hand at using a cat o nine tails (I wonder how the group of teenagers got on with that?), but no ghosts in sight. Not one. Not even so much as an orb caught on camera. Maybe another night?