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Ghost Night at Old Government House

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Feeling brave then try a ghost tour of Old Government House
Image from National Trust

The thick walls of the stately Georgian mansion, Old Government House holds many stories, some of them decidedly spine-chilling. Usually, on the 3rd Friday of the month, there are ghost tours conducted by the Friends of Old Government House.

Adding to the eeriness these tours are conducted by candlelight. Which is the way things were done back in the olden days.

The Palladian style residence, which overlooks the Paramatta area of Sydney, was constructed for Governors Hunter and Macquarie between 1799 and 1816 and held subsequent governors and their families up until the 1850s.

Facebook Ghost Tours of Old Government House

The ghost tour usually commences in the cellar which is at the bottom of old stone stairs. Here you will hear some of the strange tales of the site's amazing history and accounts of early Australian life in the convict colony.

Then depending on the size of the party, you are split into smaller groups for the ghostly part of the tour.

It is a squeamish thought for isn't their safety in numbers. But perhaps my imaginings are of too many horror movies where characters are picked off one by one.

Facebook Ghost Tours of Old Government House

Then with everyone scurrying to make sure they are not last in line, you then prowl along the candlelit corridors.

There is the scene of a tragic accident (I won't do a spoiler here!) and places where psychics and guides have had ghostly encounters.

Facebook Ghost Tours of Old Government House
Facebook Ghost Tours of Old Government House

One of the guides reported seeing an eerie figure in grey one night as she was locking up for the night. She was even more shaken when it suddenly disappeared. Was it the same disembodied face seen staring at a workman more recently through the window?

Our huddled group drew closer together.

In the beautiful old dining room, the candles flickered from their place on the silver candelabras. With its magnificent cedar and mahogany furnishings, this room seemed the perfect setting for a seance.

But no thank you! Allegedly someone on duty here saw a ghostly servant girl standing by the dining table. On another occasion, the manager heard voices drifting out of the room. She went in to investigate but the voices stopped the moment she entered.

We headed up the old staircase and into the Blue Room, with its antique four-poster bed. This is seen by some as the centre of psychic disturbance in the house and is the most haunted and troubled of all the rooms. There are stories of the door being found open even after it had been firmly locked and there is a cold spot near the wardrobe where something dastardly happened.

We also went out into Parramatta Park to a tree marking the death of one of the residents where there have been reports of apparitions, eery mists and screams.

Old Government House is also where a UFO was allegedly sighted back in the 1800s.

It is brave of some of the staff to stay behind to run these tours after the sun sets and other members of staff have gone back to their safe home.

Thankfully supper restores spirits and held other spirits at bay. The humans put on a good spread of chicken or egg sandwiches, scones, and slices with wine, orange juice, tea and coffee. And no aproned servant girl appeared to unsettle our stomachs and send more shivers up our spines.

But then again perhaps she is waiting for you?

* This tour is not suitable for children under the age of 16.
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Why? To stumble upon a ghost or at least see where they have been
Where: Parramatta Park Pitt and Macquarie Streets, Parramatta Australia
Cost: Cost includes food and drinks: $32 NT members, $35 non-members
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