Australia's Historical Places, Ghosts & The Paranormal, History

Do Ghosts Move with Dwellings?

During a recent visit to Sydney, I took a tour of The Australian Pioneer Village. Opened in 1970, it was established in an effort to preserve some of the history of the Hawkesbury area, about an hour outside of the city. An enormous undertaking; about two dozen dwellings were relocated and their buildings kept structurally intact. Apart from dwellings, shops were also relocated, along with a bank, post office, school, church and police station. By day, it’s a journey into the country’s colonial past, however at night; it could be the most haunted street in the country.

On an episode of Haunting Australia, the team visited the Pioneer Village to find any evidence that ghosts moved with buildings. Both visitors and workers alike have experienced unexplained phenomena at the village and ghost tours are regularly conducted. A young stable boy has been sighted outside the sulky shed, the ghost of a horse has even been sighted and numerous orbs have been caught on film.

Marsden Park Public School, Mitchell Cottage, Case Cottage and Perry House are among some of the better known buildings for paranormal activity. Case Cottage is a centre of spirit activity and a male and female presence has been known to reside in the tiny space of Mitchell Cottage. Perry House is known to have had a checkered past, which includes a saddlery, grocery store and a ‘house of Shady Ladies’. As a result, it is said there is much activity here.

Inside Perry House, once a ‘house of Shady Ladies’. Spirit activity has been known to occur here.

During their investigations, the Haunting Australia team encountered a female apparition, a moving curtain, a knock in response and an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon). There was even a partial apparition sighted at the school house. Psychics reported sadness and requests for privacy from the spirit world.

With such a positive conclusion, this may warrant further study amongst paranormal investigators. Their findings only strengthen the belief that spirits move with dwellings; after all, people do become so attached to their homes that they may not wish to leave them after death.

Do you believe it’s possible for spirits to move with dwellings? Have you ever experienced any unexplained phenomena? Do you enjoy taking a step back into the past?

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Books, Movies/Television

Ghostly Love Stories: Three of the Best.

Love is such a powerful emotion and can transcend even time itself. There are stories of spirits visiting loved ones on their wedding day; even the ghosts of beloved pets have been known come back to visit their owners.

As February concentrates on the language of love, what better way than to celebrate with three of the best ghostly love stories?

Ghostmovie

Ghost

What might start off as a romantic movie soon turns to tragedy when Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) is shot and killed.  Finding himself between worlds, his only hope is ‘medium’ Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg). Spirits are said to inhabit our world because they have some unfinished business to attend to, and following this assumption, Sam wants to see justice done. By doing so, he also wishes to ensure the safety of his girlfriend, Molly (Demi Moore).  The movie gets a bit weird and creepy when Sam inhabits Oda Mae Brown’s body in order to touch Molly again, but the audience gets it – it’s Sam’s last and only chance of physically being with Molly.

If not for Oda Mae Brown, Sam would be stuck between worlds and Molly could have been stuck being with Sam’s murderer.  Thank heavens for Whoopi!

The Ghost and Mrs Muir

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Young widow, Lucy Muir rents a house near the beach only to discover it is haunted by the ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg.  He and Lucy soon strike up a relationship, and he allows her to write up his memoir. The memoir is published and helps Lucy out of her financial difficulties.  She then meets a writer of children’s books, who she then begins dating.  It is during this point that Captain Daniel Gregg sees the futility of his relationship with Lucy.  In a completely selfless act, he tells Lucy as she sleeps that he was nothing but a dream.  He wants Lucy to find happiness with a ‘real’ man, however, this leaves nothing but heartache for Lucy.

Certainly, we need to suspend our disbelief in the idea of falling in love with a ghost, but this story demonstrates that ghosts are not always ‘evil’ spirits.

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

I think we all know this story; the passionate love between childhood sweethearts Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff.  At my book club some years ago, it was a unanimous decision that we disliked Catherine for her selfishness and the way she treated Heathcliff.  Together with her brother, her treatment of him helped bring out his dark side.  When she dies, her ghost torments him.  Some critics believe that her ghostly actions were not meant out of love, but of rage.  This is certainly an opinion that is in the minority, as over the years, the idea of Catherine and Heathcliff being eternally in love proves to be the popular choice.

In the book, at her deathbed, Heathcliff asks Catherine if she would like to live with her soul in the grave.  ‘Wild, spirited Cathy’ clearly does not.

What is your favourite ‘ghostly romance’? Could you love a ghost? Do you believe Catherine haunted Heathcliff out of revenge or for love? Do you think Whoopi saved Ghost?

Images copyright Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox & United Artists.

Research, Up Close & Personal

Communicating with the Dead.

I’ve always had a fascination with death; it was through my father that I learned to appreciate the Egyptian afterlife. Despite a religious upbringing, this was really how I began to question my own mortality and what happens to us after death. It explains my interest in the supernatural, including communicating with the dead.

Some years ago, when I was living with my parents, I encountered something either really weird or something ‘other-worldly’. One day, while I was home alone, the front doorbell rang. I answered the door and nobody was there. I soon forgot about it, until it began to happen during the night. Again nobody was there. It would continue at random, thus waking me up, but it had no effect upon my parents. They would sleep through it all and know nothing about it. Of-course by now I was beginning to think I was going crazy, until one night before we all went to bed the doorbell rang. This time is was persistent, like someone had their finger stuck to the button. Nobody was at the door and nobody up or down the street. On this particular night I was so relieved my parents had heard it as well, finally making my dad pull out the connecting wires. After that event, this never happened again.  Common sense told me there was a fault in the wiring, but I often wondered if it was a message from someone on the other side. Wishful thinking perhaps?

Since that time there have been some other incidences that have made me wonder about the dead communicating with the living. Shortly after the death of my father some years ago, I am convinced I felt his presence one night as I slept.  I did not feel any fear, only surprise and then complete calm, knowing that he had come to say goodbye. My mother-in-law passed away recently during the very early hours of the morning.  Shortly after her passing, my husband was making his breakfast in the kitchen when he could smell smoke. After looking around for the cause he could find nothing, but the smell continued. He believed it was his mother and told himself that she had gone. Shortly thereafter, the smell also disappeared. She had died of a severe case of emphysema caused by smoking.

Within my stories, some of my characters encounter their own experiences with the supernatural.  Here are some of the other ways that the dead can communicate with the living:-

  • Moving objects
  • Flickering lights
  • Through nature
  • Meditation
  • Dreams
  • Visiting a professional medium

Of-course there is also Ouija boards and séances, yet they can invite bad spirits, which is something we don’t want in real life (I think I’ll leave these for my fiction)!

Have you ever communicated with the dead? Did the dead ever try to communicate with you? Have you ever encountered something that you just can’t explain?

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Up Close & Personal

A Friendly Ghost?

Although I have never actually seen one, I have always believed in ghosts.  I remember my father telling us a story of his own personal encounter with a ghost while he was growing up in Scotland.  When he was a child he had ‘crossed over’ and came back, having to learn to speak all over again.  I was brought up to believe there are many things that happen in this world that can not be explained.

My father died after a long number of illnesses a few years ago.  I went to visit him in the hospital during his last days.  I knew his time had arrived and I felt worried and afraid.  He would stare at me as I sat in the chair opposite his bed, feeling that there was somebody there next to me.  As I watched him getting wheeled away down the corridor he was tightly wrapped up.  ‘I feel like a mummy’ he said; he did not seem worried as he had died before and was happy to go.

One night after his funeral, as I lay asleep in my bed, I felt something cold upon my hand.  To say it was ‘icy cold’ sounds like a cliche, but it was.  Not only that, but it felt like a breeze passing my hand, which I thought most peculiar.  I instantly opened my eyes, sat upright in the bed and called out to my dad.  I believed it was him saying his final goodbye.

Some time later, when I told my mother this story, she told me of something similar.  Co-incidentally, around the same time, my sister was sitting alone in her house, when she felt the presence of our dad behind her.  Interestingly enough, neither one of us had experienced this situation before or since.  Was this really a ghostly visit from our dead father, saying his final goodbyes, or was it just our imaginations?  Our imaginations that happened to be on a similar wavelength at the same time?  (Now cue the music from The Twilight Zone :))

Do you believe in ghosts?  Have you experienced your own ghostly encounter?  I’d love to hear your stories.

Free image by Simon Howden courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.com