Written by Alex Cayas
"Nestled in Sydney's Northwest, Bella Vista Farm has been soaking in its own history, its ghoulish stories untold and its mysteries not yet explore. That is of course, until now."
The Farm has recently been announced as the latest addition to the APPI - Ghost Hunts and Tours line up spooky locations. Bella Vista Farm was first settled in the late 1700's with the main Homestead dating back to the early 1800's. The Farm these days is celebrated as a link to early European settlements and early rural development. Now, with the venue ready for the APPI treatment, enthusiasts of the paranormal get the chance to investigate and explore this locations darker side.
When I first started researching the farm I expected there to be deaths on the property – but I was very surprised at how many died, and I don’t think I have uncovered all of them yet! So far I have found at least 9 people who have died in the house or on the grounds. From natural causes to tragic deaths, this house has seen it all!" says Peet Banks, APPI director.
Peet continues, "The most fascinating piece of history that I have discovered about the property is that it was once owned by Elizabeth and John Macarthur, and the Marino Sheep breeding that John is so famous for began on this farm. John spent most of the years that they owned the farm in England, answering to charges that had been laid upon him for his involvement in a duel, and his part in the Rum Rebellion, so it was basically run by Elizabeth."
Australia is has been spoiled for choice when it comes to Haunted Homesteads, with the most famous being The Monte Cristo Homestead in Junee regarded as Australia's most haunted house. Could old Monte have some competition with Bella Vista Farm? The parallels between the two locations are very noticeable. They were both built around the same time, for the same reasons. Both Monte Cristo and Bella Vista have a long history of usage as animal husbandry, agricultural activities such as citrus orchard, vegetable plantation and remnants of indigenous woodland. Both have been owned by strong characters, patriarch/matriarchs in their families and the pillars of the community. Both homesteads have seen tragic deaths and both are reportedly incredibly haunted.
APPI public investigations of the venue are set to launch in 2017 with a special event taking place this Halloween weekend. The APPI team however, have been out to explore and investigate the location. Dying to know what took place we asked Peet to share just one experience from their most recent investigation with her core team.
"We experienced many things during our investigation there on the long weekend in October, so picking just one is difficult. I will tell you about the first interesting thing that happened.
The whole crew were seated in the ballroom. The ballroom is empty, with shuttered doors on either side of it, and big windows in between.
We were basically seated in a circle around the room, with two sitting underneath the windowsill. Jacqueline was facing the door, with her back to those of us sitting under the windowsill. She kept looking on the wall next to the door, but did not say anything until eventually she expostulated “Can you please stop moving?” and as soon as she said it, she turned around and looked in my direction. I could see she was frustrated, but I wasn’t sure what she was talking about.
She stopped mid-sentence and looked back to the wall. “Did you move?” she asked me.
“I haven’t moved an inch” I told her.
She then asked me to raise my hand and wave it, so I did so.
She had seen the outline of a person on the wall next to the door, which was opposite the windows I was sitting under. We couldn’t seem to replicate the exact shadow by moving and raising our hands.
We sent Daz outside to the other side of the window, and when he got to the window, he stepped back a little, so he was about a metre away from the window, and straight away a shadow appeared on the wall, in the exact spot, and looking exactly like Jacquie had seen.
The conclusion is that “someone” or “something” was watching us from outside the window. We were locked in, and the house is fully enclosed by a high, spiked fence, so there was definitely nobody else on the property with us."