To celebrate the month of all things spooky, we went on a ghost tour of Old Government House in Parramatta.
Every year, we do something super spooky to celebrate my favourite time of the year; Halloween, next to Christmas of course. Last year, we took a ghost tour of a Pioneer Cemetary and this year we opted for a ghost tour of Old Government House in Parramatta.
Old Government House was built in 1815 by convicts and was once the residence of Governor Macquarie himself, and following governers, before the new Government House was then established in Sydney CBD by 1845.
It was once abandoned and feel into a dilapidated state, before being restored and then used a boarding house by The King’s school for a period, before becoming part of the National Trust where it is now held as an education centre for anyone wanting to explore, learn and discover a part of Australia’s colonial history.
The house is grand and although surrounded now by the skyscrapers of Parramatta and the nearby Parramatta Football stadium, centuries ago it would have been a forboding presence as it stands on a green hill in Parramatta park, surrounded by open fields and bushlands.
Once a month on a Friday night, the house opens its doors for a ghost tour, and of course, I just had to go see this house for myself to learn about the ghosts and ghouls who haunt this now beautifully restored and incredibly old building.
My only criticism is, it was too dark. To help provide the right ambiance for the occasion, tour guides light the halls and room with battery operated candles (no real ones allowed in a historic building). The problem with this though was it made the tour very dark and often it was difficult to see the face of the guide, as you stood amongst other members of your tour group trying to listen in on the story and listen out for any ghostly sounds.
Otherwise, the tour was great and the guides were brilliant. Informative and full of stories (both ghostly and not), they guided us through the darkness of the surrounding park and throughout the house telling us tales of the dead and tales of the house, all of which was fascinating.
I highly recommend this tour, and the great thing is they don’t just hold these tours for Halloween only, which is great. I do want to go back in the day though, as the house is stunning and it was difficult to see it at night.
Now to move onto the spooky part of the night. If you have been following my blog for a very long time, you’ll know I have blogged about two different occasions where a ghostly presence made itself known to me. One was whilst I was on a Ghost Tour of the Edinburgh Tunnels in Scotland and the other was when I visited the old Quarantine Centre of Manly in Sydney.
Well, for this tour I felt a very strange experience on the initial stage of the tour when we were walking through the surrounding park of the house. We were taken to a part of the park, several metres away from the property itself and told of a tale where Mrs Macquarie lost her life in a very horrible accident. As we approached the scene of the incident, I felt cold shivers run through my body, as though I was breaking out with a fever. This was then followed by a warming sensation which flowed through the body resulting in me feeling a light-headed, a little sick in the stomach and a little disorientated.
Now, I am not saying it was a ghost. Perhaps it was grief and sympathy for the woman who passed on the very spot we were standing. Or perhaps it was Mrs Macquarie herself letting me know she was here and listening to the tale of her horrible death. I suppose we will never know. One thing is for sure, it was an interesting sensation and one I will never forget.