Western Sydney holds fond memories for me. It is where I grew up and began developing a keen passion for the paranormal, from reading stories with witches, ghouls and goblins and eventually progressing to more paranormal literature, telling spooky stories at school and sleepovers and wandering around cemeteries during visits with my deceased relatives. At age 16, I attended my first ghost tour with high school friends and fell deeper in spooky love, 11 years later, I still enjoy attending new and interesting ghost tours, and of course all things paranormal.
So consider this as my ode to spooky Western Sydney, here are my top 5 “must attend” CURRENT paranormal tours and investigations that I have personally attended (and enjoyed!!!), with still more to visit!
No 5. Blue Mountains Mystery Tours. Ok, so this one is a little more west, as in the Blue Mountains, but let’s not get too technical here. As a Mountains local, there is a certain ethereal charm that exudes from the Mountains which is why I ended up moving there. On this tour, Paranormal Pete (a seasoned Mountains local) will take you around very best spooky spots the upper Mountains has to offer in his bus. Some say the bus is also haunted, or maybe that was just me? You will be shown convict graves, visit the Historic Little Hartley village and convict gaol, eerie buildings and my personal favourite, the hair raising “Wells”. Perfect for a guided tour getaway!
No 4. Liverpool TAFE. Yes, you heard right, a TAFE. It is considered one of Australia’s oldest still standing colonial hospitals and was once a morgue and served as a mental institution. Some say these poor tortured souls still linger, with confirmation from current TAFE teachers about spooky occurrences taking place. Run by APPI (That stands for Australian Paranormal and Physical Phenomena) the friendly and personable team will take you around the TAFE where school has finished for the day and ghouls will come out to play. Here you will be whisked away to the tower, locked away in dungeons and exposed to various other ghoulish hot spots in and around the TAFE. If you’re also a sad cat lady like me, look out for the local colonies...
No 3. Casula Powerhouse. By day, it serves as an art gallery and artists’ residences, with various dance, singing and comedic performances during some evenings. But when the guests go home of a night and the space is empty, it is no laughing matter. Johnny O’Keefe himself is said to have witnessed a transparent little girl on stage while performing. Situated on the George’s River at Casula just off the train track, it served to provide the local community with electricity during winter and power shortages. There are many stories of drownings occurring in the nearby George’s River which contribute to the eerie feel of the place. Inside, you will be guided around to various areas including ghostly hot spots of the artists’ residence, art making rooms, and my personal favourite, the theatre. The theatre has often been the source of causing big, burly security men to shake in their boots with the door on the side knocking and banging. A little girl is often seen and heard playing on the stage. Another more sinister figure, “Crispy” as APPI have fondly named him, has been felt and made his intimidating presence known on a number of occasions and GOO’s own Alex Cayas had a spooky incident that was caught on film where he felt like he was being “thrown” in the theatre. Was this the workings of “Crispy”? Perhaps you will need to experience it for yourself.
No 2. Gledswood House: Now unfortunately, I am not inclined to usually see or really “sense” things that may be of a paranormal nature, but I believe to have witnessed the lower half of a long flowing white dress outside on one of the balconies. Perhaps I was just seeing things. As a child, I quite often visited El Cabello Blanco with the dancing horses, but had no idea of what was just adjacent. The homestead dates back to 1810 and the overall feeling is eerie. I exploded into a sudden (unexplained) coughing fit upon entering the stables at the beginning of the tour which concluded upon exiting the stables. Guided by mediums whilst holding clear quartz and herbs for protection which provided a more spiritual approach to the tour, the building was interesting and illuminated by the ephemeral glow of our lanterns. I am fascinated by Australian History (both sides of colonial history) and to walk on carpet that was over 100 years old was amazing in itself. (I am a dork, I know). The house is a rabbit warren of rooms which you are allowed to explore freely after each talk. Beware, you may get touched in the cellar or come in close contact with repeating memories of those who walked the property long ago.
No 1. and my personal favourite: Parramatta Gaol, also run by APPI. I have a great fondness for this venue, as my grandfather served as a prison guard there in the 1970s, so it is interesting to walk around a place where he no doubt spent much of his working life. This is a magnificent venue, its walls made with beautiful sandstone contributing to both its impressive and oppressive nature. Here, you will walk in the footsteps of former inmates and prison guards who had become so institutionalised, that they never quite left. You will get to use lots of different equipment in addition to your own sixth sense, which provides a balance to other tours which may take a more spiritual rather than scientific approach. You will be guided by APPI around various wings (some more imposing than others) and hear the story of infamous prisoners. You are also left to your own devices whilst in the wings, so feel free to make yourself at home and hear what the locals have to say! Definitely a night to remember.
Honourable mentions. These tours are unfortunately no longer operational. But I felt it necessary to mention them as I was fortunate enough to visit them in my earlier years.
Studley Park at Narellan. Once a school with an unfortunate drowning of one of the students whose body was stored in the cellar. Another magnificent building whose eerie walls echo with spirits of the past.
Picton Tunnels. I went here as a teenager to the historic town of Picton where a black cat ran in front of our car, the lights we were gathered under suddenly switched off and the former train tunnel produced unexplainable hand prints on one of my friend’s jackets.
So there you have it spooky friends, if you haven’t visited these spooky locations, check your diary and make some room! What are your favourite Western Sydney locations?