The courtyard at St Josephs Orphanage (1906-1974) in Goulburn. This is one of two abandoned buildings I visited by night.
I ventured inside one of Australia's most haunted buildings. But first, some background to set the scene for you.
I met with the Spirit Chasers group for a tour of haunted and ghostly sites in the city of Goulburn. As Australia's oldest inland city, Goulburn is rich in history and architecture - as I found in this series. However, its social history also has a dark side. One or two of the orphanages in the city were more like cruel places of internment. The ghost stories are a legacy of that shame.
We explored two closed and abandoned orphanages. Spirit Chasers have exclusive access to investigate these sites. On my tour, we went in at night, armed only with small torches to pick our way among the debris and ruins of the empty rooms and corridors. I'm told you can hear noises such as mournful cries and loud banging. People have had their clothing tugged and pulled by unseen hands.
The place is full of hidden dread. Many of the children were foundlings - abandoned by their families who in some cases were too poor to take care of them. Single mothers often placed their children in the orphanage for a short stay - but never saw their kids again. Children had their names taken away - to exist from that point on only as a number.
These were stolen generations who have yet to receive justice.
The Spirit Chasers site can be found here.