Written by Alex Cayas
The Q-Station is one of my favourite locations in Sydney, It was the first Ghost Tour I went on as a teenager. Dropped off by my Dad, a young Alex got his first taste of Paranormal Phenomena and Ghost Stories. Flash forward to today and the Q-Station still fascinates me. It is a unique location that holds so much of Australia’s History. Early interactions from settlement, our class divide, our history around race and racism, war time Australia, post war Australia… the list goes on. All these stories nestled into maintained and well-loved historical buildings. A visit to Q-Station is an experience and if you want to Investigate it Anne and Roman of Oz Para Tech are the right team to have.
The location has hosted many Investigations and Investigators and Anne has hosted and assisted many International Paranormal Guests visiting and Investigating the site. The list includes Medium Chip Coffey, Brad and Barry Klinge (with Access Paranormal) and a long line of Paracon Australia guests including David Schrader, Bill Chappell, Paul Bradford, Shawn Porter and Brian Cano.
It is also a site that Aussies can’t get enough of. I asked our brave photographer for the night Renata Daniel which building creeps her out the most and why?
“There is a shed down near the wharf opposite the shower block. I remember the first time I did a tour at Q we were asked to go inside. The door was to be locked behind us. I just could not do it.
A cold sweat and angst overcame every part of me and I could not bring myself to go past the door.
Even today after having been there a few times and in daylight as well the area around the shower blocks is not pleasant. I think a lot of people lost the last piece of their dignity there. They became numbers there scrubbed and categorised according to their status and surviving another sentence before getting a sense of permission to stay in the new country.”
After all our photos were taken we headed to The Grave Diggers a cottage for some old-school table tipping mixed in with some gadgets Oz Para Tech stock.
“I am constantly drawn to the Gravediggers cottage and the stories associated.” Says Anne, “The activity in that building can be off the scale. I want to know exactly what happened there! Is it Samuel? Was it someone murdered there? Or is it just a cottage that has been historical preserved and has nothing to do with a grave digger? Either way, it’s one of my favourite buildings.”
After a little investigation by the group with some interesting table activity and KII spikes we decided it was time for cake (finally) and headed back to Hospital precinct where our base for the evening was.
What is a PI night with Oz Para Tech all about? I asked Anne while shovelling chocolate cake into my mouth.
“Paranormal Investigator is not your typical tour. Its hands on. Smaller numbers than a 'tour' and no ghost stories or scare tactics - just investigating! We give our guests the chance to use the equipment they see on the ghost hunting TV shows AND analyse the recordings to see if they caught any EVPS. We encourage people to think outside the box and try new things.” - Anne
It is Anne and Romans curiosity of Paranormal Phenomena mixed with their need to understand how it is occurring and their passion for exploring and learning that make them the perfect and balanced team. It is Anne’s love of Q-Station that really stands out. As long as I’ve known Anne once you get her started on Q-Station, its history, its stories and anything else Q related it is hard to stop her.
“I just feel so honoured to be able to investigate this place. Every time I drive on to the location, it's like take a big breath of fresh air and it revitalises the soul. The buildings are in such great condition, the history is kept alive and Quarantine Station embraces the paranormal!” says Anne.
Best birthday eve ever! You can join Anne and Roman and explore and investigate this slice of fascinating Australian history yourself by joining them on a Paranormal Investigation Night
Written by Alex Cayas
There is the idea in the Paranormal and any good Ghost Story that dates can be significant trigging in Paranormal Phenomena. Birthdays, significate anniversaries, Christmas and other religious holidays and of course New Years Eve all have often been the stage for regular haunting activities.
If you ever have wanted to put this to the test and haven’t yet locked up your New Year’s Eve plans well you are in luck because APPI Ghost Hunts and Tours have a very special New Years Event planned.
APPI invite you to ring in 2017 Paranormal Investigating at Roughly House in Dural. The house its self has seen five generations of people making their own resolutions and leaving their mark. This event promises to be an hands on night of experimentation and investigation as well as celebrating 2017 with a glorious BBQ Dinner with fellow ghost hunters.
“This will be the first time I have ever investigated on a significant holiday and I am looking forward to seeing if there is any truth to the story that paranormal activity is more prominent on important dates.” says Peet Banks, APPI director
Tickets are $125 and includes BBQ Buffet Dinner, soft drink and over 4 hours of entertainment and fun.
Written by Alex Cayas
Congratulations to Renata Daniel owner/operator of Newcastle Ghost Tours who placed second in the 2016 North Coast and Legendary Pacific Coast Tourism Awards in the category for Cultural Tourism. The awards looks to increases awareness, preference and conversions for all destinations from Great Lakes in the south to The Tweed in the north.
"Its always a great feeling to be recognized and receiving an occasional pat on the back" says Renata. "Winning this last award was a huge milestone for me as I was really running against businesses all the way up the North Coast of NSW so I am terribly proud of this achievement."
Renata has always been an advocate for follwoing for passion "certainly there are days when I wonder why I am doing what I do especially since it usually ends up costing more than I would ever make. So its certainly not about the money. But I continue to have magical experiences that more than make up for not having pennies in the pot. I have met wonderful people, been and seen amazing places and have had the opportunity to follow my passion"
2016 has already been a big year for Renata and its not over yet. The second OzGhost Cruise taking place in November is all ready to set to sail, regular ghost tours at Maitland Gaol started this year, speaking at Paracon Australia in May and hosting Brian Cano in Newcastle following the conference , plus constantly delivering engaging tours in and around the Newcastle region.
It is no wonder when asked her secret to her success she offered this "I don't have a secret to success except to keep working hard and never giving up."
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?