This place is the most classic example of a spiritual portal, a place that is built on native sacred ground and one can say that a "magnet" of spiritual energy. At your arrival pay attention to the "male and female aspects" of the landscape around Oakabella that made this place a chosen meeting place and sacred site to the local people long before the homestead was built. Maybe we also only touch some of the ghost stories regarding the pioneering families that owned and occupied it and the people living and working for them. Oakabella and the surrounding area was also a site of confrontations between aboriginal people and pioneers through the years. Was it bone pointing? Was it the lack of native "Custodians" or "gatekeepers" that kept the spirits and the elementals of this landscape (just meters from the homestead) at bay with rituals and communication that now let the "little people of the hills" (as the local aboriginals call their elementals around Oakabella) roam rampant around the place? Was it always like this and should have been avoided? Why the local people don't visit it at night? Maybe we could never answer these questions. But the fact is that noone can be forced to chose between staying clear of spirits or acting as their chosen custodian and that role can only be assumed by a very strong and spiritual individual. That there are elementals, spirits, poltergeist, ghosts of both pioneers and aboriginals are very active at Oakabella. We would like to sincerely thank Loretta for her out most honesty, her hospitality and praise both Alan and Loretta for the way they are keeping a balance between the native and pioneering heritage of the homestead . Oakabella should be visited as a spiritual place and while there treated with respect.
There is one more thing: when Loretta reminds you that you should NOT TAKE ANYTHING from the homestead or the surrounding area, believe us, she means more than just being concerned about property or souvenir hunters but includes pocketing rocks and pebbles or anything else that is part of the landscape. Superstition? Well...we can go on and tell you stories about skeptics who do not respect spiritual places and stories about how they become believers, or go on forever about jinxed shipwrecks and cursed items but space is limited, perhaps another time. Oakabella holds a thousand stories and if you want to find out pay a visit one day and say hi to Loretta from us. Camping is available around the grounds of the place by arrangement only. Phone (08) 9925 1033 Fax (08) 9925 1036
At our first visit we found folklore of haunted Tavern rooms, three ghostly old ladies of a bed and breakfast getaway, mysteries of dead children, murdered barmaid, a town rich in psychic women, open minded locals and lots of history. It is a place to return.
We would like to sincerely thank to "Gipsy" Mike and his family for opening their home for us, Dave the publican for assisting us, Sue in the Museum for her friendly approach and information, Charmaine of the Visitor Centre for being herself, the owner of Deepdale for allowing us to visit the swimming hole at night,Carina from Ipswich View for taking care of us and the cook (whomever he or she might be) at the Fremasons' Hotel for that duck.
It is difficult to imagine that before WWI Cue was home to more than 10000 residents.
Once a scene for two very different type of fevers, gold and typhoid, now majority of its buildings are abandoned. Cue is frozen in time and after our visit we are sure that the occasional old prospectors' tools and old bottles are not the only things that remained abandoned there from its turbulent past.
Most houses are open to the public as they were left and available for the brave to venture into them after dark. A word of caution, it is wise to check into the local police station and let them know that you will be gallivanting around with torches at night. You will be surprised how cooperative they are. At the time we visited Cue we had the patrol car pulling alongside us a few times inquiring "Anything yet???"
For a friendly stay check into the Queen of Murchison Bed and Breakfast on Austin Street in Cue, (ph:08 99631625 )which is also reputedly haunted and for a good yarn you cannot go passed the local storyteller and tour guide Nabil Haji Rowland and his wife Lucena Mata on Post Office St. in Cue (ph:08 99631081)
The Fremantle Cemetery was established in 1898 . Its 46 hectares bordered by Leach Highway, Stock Road, Carrington Street and Salisbury Road in Palmyra. We believe that strolling between the graves and in the mausoleum will give you a fair insight into the history of an area. Fremantle Cemetery is one of the finest examples. Freo is dubbed the "front gate" to Australia and it is full of folklore, history and more than a few haunted buildings. One of our most vivid encounter with a ghost happened at dusk along the footpath of the cemetery. While walking we came across a girl slowly strolling between the headstones, arranging flowers then spotting us, she started walking towards us smiling. We didn't think of it twice as we were busy putting our nose in the air and trying to sense some paranormal activity. As she came closer we noticed the girl did not carry a bag nor we saw another car parking along any of the pathways. She must be walking alone we thought. She would have been no more than 20,had wavy dark hair, brown eyes, wearing a floating black skirt and didn't seem to be distressed at all. Then we noticed her bare and slightly dirty feet and have to admit we made it for the car briskly walking then driving out of there.None of us thought she was an apparition but the thought of her being there alone barefoot with a "spaced out" smile on her face made us think she might be trouble. We just followed our first instinct. It was somewhat unusual for us considering that we are not easily scared and we both like talking to locals, even strangers and by the size and relaxed behavior of the girl later we pondered what kind of trouble could she have caused and felt like a pair of geese. It was a few weeks later when we returned not even thinking about her when she made another appearance. The only unusual thing about the meeting was that though once again she appeared to be flesh and blood she wore the exact same clothes, no bag, no other cars around and you guessed, she was barefoot. This time we were keen to wait for her to approach us but she disappeared behind a tree without a trace. As I said somewhere before, no amount of experience makes you know everything and I even know a psychic lady who happily tried to converse with an apparition without knowing it was no flesh and blood. We were so busy looking for orbs and shadows that we didn't even recognize something right front of us at the first time.
One of us grew up in Eastern Europe where the Day of the Dead is bigger than Halloween, Mothers' day or Valentine's day in western culture. It is common there to go to picnics with the family to cemeteries and remembering the dead by lighting candles. Some cultures keep cemeteries as we would keep a park. People often walk across them on their way to work, school, admiring the lush gardens, roses and trees along the way.
Old pagan beliefs teach to watch the crows and ravens in cemeteries as they are considered the messengers of "Morrigan", mistress of the underworld. We do not consider visiting cemeteries morbid or unusual, every time we travel to a town or do research we always go by the local cemetery and come out knowing more of its past. We do recommend however to have a great deal of respect when visiting the "the acres of the dead" and if you feel uncomfortable while in there or after visiting it make sure you do a little "cleansing" or "grounding" or even visiting a church if it makes you feel more comfortable. A very old folk superstition says that "to confuse a soul trying to piggyback you from a cemetery make sure you spin around a few times at the gates as you leave it".
Fremantle cemetery houses many dead folk, in the same block you could find the old and the very young, the peaceful and the disturbed, the rich and the poor, the villain and the victim, the good and the wicked.
For extra interest you could look into the town history then research the cemetery database.
Among the many buried in Fremantle one of our favourite character Moondyne Joe deserves a visit. He is buried in a pauper's grave (580A). Oh, and if he says hello to you make sure you let us know.
Fremantle Prison officially opened in 1856 and closed in 1991. During its time as a prison 43 men and 1 woman were executed at its gallows by hanging. A further several died within its walls due to accidents or other reasons.
The last person to be hanged at the prison was Edgar Eric Cook, the Perth serial killer, in 1964.
The entire complex was built by convict labor, among many other buildings (eg. Fremantle Asylum and parts of the Fremantle Hospital).
All together 9501 convicts made it to Western Australia alive between 1850 (the first shipment of 75 men aboard the Indiaman scandian) and 1868 (the last convict ship carrying 280 men was the Hougoumont on the 9th January). Among its countless "guests" was the infamous Moondyne Joe who started off as a petty criminal then his numerous escapes saw him spending most of his life behind bars. It is an interesting fact that he died of old age in the Fremantle Asylum
In the early days prison cells were tiny, overcrowding, no sanitation, violence was a common occurrence until the early 1920s when they started to separate hard core criminals and habitual offenders from those of petty crime.
Between 1940 and 1946 the Australian Army set up camp in the prison using it as a detention centre for military personnel.
In 1988 a riot broke out at Fremantle prison causing extensive fire and water damage to sections of the building.
In 1991 the prison was officially closed and inmates transferred to the new Casuarina maximum security complex.
Today Fremantle Prison is open to visitors for guided tours day and night.
As with most places activity is at its strongest at night time. There are several reported encounters from visitors and guards alike, especially around solitary cells at death row, the gallows and the corridors.
At the time of us visiting the prison a guard recalled the event of the "flying pan lid" where an item was thrown across a cell one night by "invisible hands". The general feeling of hopelessness, dread and someone following you stays with you while in the complex.
We detected apparitions, cold spots, sounds and smells and that's just the day time.