Monday, 6 January 2014

Geelong, gaols and ghosts

I am sitting here, feet tucked under me, cup of tea at hand, relishing the feeling of being home.
I should be doing laundry and unpacking. But I am not. I am relishing.
Home, sweet, home!
We went on a teeny, tiny Geelong adventure and had a whole lotta fun doing our usual Geelong activities; admiring the stunning waterfront area and ridiculously beautiful homes and buildings in the area;
snooping around antique shops and making endless mental wish lists;
devouring mouth watering crepes (it wouldn't be Geelong without a trip to Panache Creperie - it is a much loved tradition!);
swimming, playing, laughing, dancing and trying to meet every one of the cool waterfront bollards.
Whilst we have adventured in Geelong many a time, we discovered on this trip, that the old Geelong Gaol is open to the public. And who can resist a trip to a scary and haunted old gaol?
Now I may not have mentioned this before, but I am obsessed by the gory, the ghoulish and the ghostly.Yep, I love anything otherworldly and spooky.
I love reading about spooks and spectres. I love a spine chilling, goose pimpling good ghost tale. I love watching TV about ghosts (especially those crappy cable ghost hunting shows!) and nothing floats my boat more than the idea of exploring an old haunted building.

So off we traipsed, through the enormous blue stone arch of Geelong Gaol's entrance and into the building which first opened its doors to prisoners in 1853 to eventually house about 150 inmates.
Walking in was truly like going back in time, even though the prison housed inmates until 1991.
The cells are so tiny (approximately 4m long, 2m wide and 3 m high), so basic and so soul destroyingly barren. When you enter these cells, the feelings of horror, sadness and of utter desolation are palpable, almost suffocating.
We wandered through the three story building, peeking through the cell door hatches (and always expecting a face to lurch out of the shadows menacingly!) and reading about all manner of fascinating prison facts. What I found most interesting (and heartbreaking!) were the photos and criminal records of some of the former prisoners, dating back to the 1890's. Most were jailed for such trivial matters such as indecent language, no means of living, vagrancy, and many of these inmates were women who had simply fallen on hard times and were simply trying to eek out some sort of meagre existence.
Despite the oppressive and morbid atmosphere, we all were enthralled by our afternoon spent at the gaol and my kids haven't stopped raving about it.
There were so many delicious thrills and frights and we all learnt so much about the gaols history, our penal system and human nature. Amongst many topics we discussed was exactly how much money would it take to stay there at night. Alone. The answer? I'd do it for 20 thou but I would probably be completely grey, babbling and drooling when they came to open the doors for me in the morning!
And no, we didn't spot any spirits on our tour, but despite not seeing them we could feel them.
They lingered there behind every heavy cell door, in all of the impenetrable shadowy corners and in every moan of the wind whipping through the cells slit windows.

I'd love to think that all of the souls are finally free, but I feel that there are many that are still attached to that stone building and may remain there forever.
I have pored over my photo's of the day and can't see any strange shapes or shadows.
Can you?



  1. I love the look of that gaol! I quite like spooky stuff myself, but sadly, I see no strange shapes or shadows!!
    Geelong is a fairly posh area, I've heard,and my, it looks lovely!
    Happy New Year! XXX

    1. Unfortunately no strange shadows! The gaol was amazing - grand and gothic (and very spooky inside). There are some very posh parts of Geelong with some of the waterfront areas home to stunning buildings and mansions. Always good fun in Geelong! Happy New Year! XXX

    2. What a fascinating place to visit. Spooky, maybe, but sad too. Good to see you and the kids having a great time! xxx

    3. It was really interesting despite it being really spooky. XXX

  2. oooh I love spooky stuff, I really looked and didn't see anything odd, old prison's have an oppressive feel to them, we have one in our City Centre, the first cell there was definitely strange. The Littlest refuses to go anywhere remotely 'haunted' or very old - great pics though, glad to see you all having a great day and with yummy crepes! x x x

    1. My kids weren't spooked at all which I was really surprised about. We now have plans of visiting the Old Melbourne Gaol which I am VERY excited about. XXX

  3. You should do the ghost tour or investigation tour at night. they are fantastic!