Fremantle's most haunted
Meet the convicts who haunt the port city's oldest buildings, a ghost expert takes us on a tour of Fremantle's most haunted spots.PT3M33S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2whn6 620 349 October 30, 2013
Fremantle's colonial history and its many old buildings make it a hot spot for ghost activity, according to local tour guide Geoff Morgan.
Mr Morgan, who takes tourists on ghost tours for Fremantle Tram Tours, said he was aware of plenty of unexplainable happenings in the port city.
He was put on a farm down North Dandalup near Pinjarra, he'd been working there for 12 months when the farmer's son was found murdered.
If some of Fremantle's most well known buildings are haunted, there could be good reasons they are.
Fremantle's haunted hot spots
A woman always appears in the same window at the Fremantle Art Centre. Photo: Aleisha Orr
The Round House was the site of the state's first legal execution, which was of a 15-year-old boy who is now believed to have probably been innocent, the Fremantle Arts Centre was originally a mental institution and the Fremantle Prison was home to many disgruntled prisoners, some of whom later faced the gallows.
The Round House was the first permanent structure to be built in Western Australia, it was completed in 1831 and was used as a jail.
One of its youngest inmates was 15-year-old John Gavin.
He had been in a British juvenile prison when in 1843, there was a push to bring more able bodied young men to Australia to set up colonies.
John was one of the young men who came to Australia in exchange for a pardon from his sentence.
"He was put on a farm down North Dandalup near Pinjarra, he'd been working there for 12 months when the farmer's son was found murdered," Mr Morgan said.
Following a police investigation and despite John insisting he was innocent, he was incarcerated in the Round House for a week before facing a court and being sentenced to death.
He was hanged at the front of the Round House.
"He was a lightweight kid; they ended up tying chains to his legs to give him a bit of weight so he'd break his neck when he went through," Mr Morgan said.
"The shipwreck gallery just down here is said to be haunted and that's said to be John Gavin.
"Because when they hanged him, they just took him down and buried him in a hole, just down here in the sand hills somewhere, unmarked.
"They hear things bumping around in the shipwrecks gallery, people see stuff out the side of their eyes."
Mr Morgan said John may have had reason to stick around and haunt people as it was now believed the mother could have killed her son, the boy John was accused of killing.
"It turned out he was probably innocent as well, he always claimed he was but just in recent years they've discovered that the farmer's wife, the boys' mother was suffering badly from post natal depression, so it's thought now, most likely he was innocent."
Mr Morgan described the Fremantle Arts Centre as "spooky."
The centre opened in 1864 as the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum.
"That's supposed to be the most haunted building in the southern hemisphere," he said.
One of the ghostly presences at the arts centre seems to be drawn to redheads and it is believed it is the ghost of a woman who lost her daughter who was a redhead.
"This lady was placed in the asylum back in the 1800s, her daughter had been abducted, her daughter was a redhead, she obviously couldn't handle the fact her daughter was never found and they had to place her in the asylum.
"She spent all her time there just looking for her daughter and she ended up jumping out the window at the front and killing herself, she has this thing for redheads, often redheads in or around the arts centre feel their hair being pulled.
"This happened to us on a tour one day, celebrating her 13th birthday that night, she came up to me white as a ghost saying, 'I've just had my hair pulled' and she was a redhead.
"Her mother came up to me afterwards and said look I've got a photo of this, I just happened to take a photo and she'd got that photo there, with the daughter and I don't know, something blurry behind her."
That is not the only photo that has been taken on one of Mr Morgan's tours of Fremantle that has not been able to be explained.
He said there had been lots of issues with cameras not working and photos with orbs in them.
"Orbs are the most common thing we get on photos up there, orbs are just round balls probably of energy, no one really knows what an orb is on a photo except we know what they're not, we know it's not dust or moisture or anything."
Mr Morgan has also heard of some unexplainable happenings in the Fremantle Prison.
"Another one of our guides taking a tour through a few years ago was in the morgue and there was a guy trying to take photos in the morgue and his camera wouldn't work but every time he pressed the button his mobile phone rang... there was no one there."
Mr Morgan said six years on from leading his first ghost tour around Fremantle he is far less sceptical about paranormal activity.