Port Arthur Penitentiary is considered one of the most haunted places in all of Australia. The prison was abandoned in 1877 and there have been reports of supernatural activity ever since.
Everything from eerie apparitions to moving objects have been reported at this hotbed of ghostly activity…
A Violent History
Established in Tasmania in 1830, Port Arthur was a prison and convict settlement for men. It began as a small timber station and eventually evolved into a large penitentiary.
Settled amidst a green meadow on a peninsula with a sea breeze, the scenery of Port Arthur is incredibly misleading.
There are records of the convicts describing the place as a “hell on earth.” Port Arthur was home to England’s hardest criminals, rebellious convicts from all around Australia and repeat offenders.
The conditions were rough and the prisoners were often subjected to inhumane punishments such as the “Silent System.”
If a prisoner was part of the Silent System, he had to wear a heavy black hood and remain silent. He was also heavily isolated and the sensory deprivation often caused serious mental illnesses.
There are some stories about prisoners who committed suicide in order to escape the horrid place. Over the years, hundreds of men died here and some of them still haven’t left.
Two fires destroyed parts of the building in 1895 and 1897. However, sometime later the Australian government renovated the buildings for visitors.
To add more to this horrifying history, a mass murder was committed in Port Arthur in 1996. Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded another 21 in one of the biggest mass murders of the 20th century.
Spooky Sightings And Inexplicable Events
The ghosts of Port Arthur are an active bunch. Over 2,000 reports of ghostly activity have been documented since the 1870’s.
Staff, tour guides and visitors have all experienced some type of supernatural activity at Port Arthur.
In one interview, a former tour guide states that the Parsonage building is the most haunted area on site. When the prison was in operation, this was the reverend’s home.
One of the most famous ghosts is the late Reverend George Eastman who actually died in the Parsonage. Various people have reported seeing his apparition, hearing footsteps behind them and seeing doors close on their own while in this house.
Old photos of him match the descriptions people have provided about his apparition.
Apparently, Eastman’s body fell out of his coffin and into a gutter while it was being removed from his bedroom.
Visitors have been subjected to foul smells, creepy moaning and flickering lights in this building, and it is believed that the late Reverend is responsible for these happenings.
One visitor was outside the Parsonage when her daughter suddenly ran with her arms open to embrace an invisible figure.
When asked about it, the young girl said there was a nice lady who lived here and wanted to play. She is known as The Lady Blue and many people believe she was the wife of an accountant who died during childbirth.
She if often heard weeping and others have seen her apparition as well.
In the Commandant’s House there is a rocking chair known as the “Nanny Chair.” Multiple witnesses have seen this chair rocking on its own, and some have reported being touched by invisible hands or surrounded by a creepy energy when they sat in it.
Activity commonly takes place in the medical office as well. There are dozens of reports of rattling windows, moving furniture and disembodied footsteps.
Strange lights are frequently seen in the cells where prisoners were kept in dark silence. In some of the cells where prisoners were murdered or committed suicide, people feel an intense wave of depression and anxiety.
Caught On Camera
Many tourists have captured strange apparitions in pictures and video recordings. One visitor took two back-to-back photos of a window in one of the houses.
In the first picture, the curtains are fully closed. The second picture reveals the face of a small ghostly girl peeking out from slightly opened curtains.
Several spooky photos from Port Arthur have been confirmed as authentic, or at least they were not tampered with in any way.
There are also reports of visitors fainting for no reason and being scratched by unseen nails. When it’s all said and done, whether you believe or not, the ghosts of Port Arthur have made themselves known in just about every way possible.