Please note that this is not an investigation report as I was there to experience rather than question everything that took place. A bit of a break from working the paranormal, instead, this time, I just take the location in.
All photos of the gaol were taken the morning after.
Mornings are Not for Some...
Pondering on the situation, I walk back into my office to start firing off emails, when I hear a familiar grunt and growl from the bedroom. She is awake. Apparently the alarm had gone off some time ago and the snooze function was periodically waking her up every 10 minutes. The growl was disapproval, the grunt was begrudging acceptance.
Packing the car was a quick and mostly solo affair. Everything was dumped on the back seat – warm over-clothes, food, bedding, and a few electronic gadgets.
With the car packed we were off. Saying goodbyes to the cat as we walk out the door I look at Meg who still looks a little grumpy at the situation. Thinking on my feet I think of the one thing that may instantly cheer her up... the promise of a cryptozoological wonder that we could visit along the way. Meg has a real interest in the cryptid side of the unknown, so I threw that out there knowing full well it was only a half truth.
Still, it worked.
An hour or so into our journey I began to feel the anxiety of the half truth promise I made earlier. Driving through Lochiel I told Meg to keep her eyes out to the waters of Bumbunga lake, as the cryptid was near.
Soon, several dark 'humps' could be spied out on the muddy shore... along with a sculpted plastic pipe neck and head.
"Can you see it?"
"The Lochiel Monster!"
She turns her head to where I am pointing and lets out a little sigh.
We continue on our way...
Incarcerated... for the Night!
We pull into Gladstone at about 5:30pm and meet with the group we were to spend the night with, all of them people I have met through ghost tours or previous investigations. A great group of people that I have spent some fun nights with. Just for quick introductions: I met Robert and Daniel waaay back when I used to be a back up ghost tour guide at old Adelaide Gaol, Rebecca joined me when a very randy male ghost tried to pick me up via the ghost box at Torrens Island Quarantine Station, Lorraine who I have spent more than a few evenings with in some of Adelaide's creepiest locations, and Tarn whom I have investigated some great spots about the place.
Would you like to know a little about the history of Gladstone Gaol?
Alison Oborn of Paranormal Field Investigators has written a short history snippet about the gaol here:
History of Gladstone Gaol 1881 - 1975
(will open in a new window)
It was good to catch up with Deb and Rose who have done some wonderful things at the gaol - it would not be until the following morning that I will realise the dreaded 'Gladstone Rash' is no longer a thing (For those who have been visiting for a while) - the place is now really well maintained and quite clean!
It was during this time that the first piece of strangeness took place. A strange noise, like a raspberry being blown (ie a mouth fart) near the tower. Meg automatically assumed it was me as my rather childish nature will at times see me making such noises, but it was not.
Although it was getting quite dark inside I could still make out the silhouettes of the tables and chairs set out in two rows. When I got close to the tables I could also just make out the strange wave/swirling pattern that is painted on some of them. I have never found out what these shapes are about, I'll have to ask.
The old feelings started to come back. A heavy anxiety and uncertainty that I had felt here before. I am not psychic, sensitive or anything like that but I can still be affected by the feel of a place. I guess it could be psychological as gaols and the like are built as a place of incarceration, and hope is usually left at the front gate.
I poked through the little rooms that branched off the main room. Each was barren except one room with an old metal cupboard sitting to one side, and another room with a few seats arranged within. Nothing had really changed in here.
This section also houses a solitary confinement cell, which is interesting being amongst more 'dorm' style rooms. For many it is this section of the gaol that is the most creepy and at night it is incredibly dark with not a lot of moonlight able to make its way in.
After my walkthrough I spent a short time sitting alone in each of these sections before heading back to the main building where I was greeted by the others returning from their dinner. I was regaled with stories of their meals, none of which seemed to receive great reviews. It would seem the humble aussie meat pie really did serve me well.
Getting Into It!
We started off in the drunk tank. We arranged the seats under the windows of the main room. K2s (a pretty standard emf detector) were set in each doorway that led to the smaller rooms. Voice recorders were set and a video camera began to record. We sat in our seats and went lights out...
I pass this written piece over to Robert and Daniel for a moment as they fill you in with what happened next:
When we did have the Ghost Box on properly we heard a name we thought sounded like 'Daniel'. When we said something about it sounding like 'Daniel', the Ghost Box came out absolutely clearly with the name 'Daniel' at around the same time I said the name myself. It was almost slow and deliberate in the way it was done: "Dan-i-el," like it was done to get his/our attention. Needless to say that didn't make him feel too comfortable.
I started peppering it with questions in order to make sure it was interested in Daniel. "So you want Daniel to go in by himself?" "You definitely want Daniel to go in there by himself?" "You don't want me or anyone else to go in?" That sort of thing.
At the end of the day, whatever it was seemed to be interested in Daniel.
One time we asked something like "what do you think about Daniel being here?" and Tarn thought she heard "c*nt" come up.
"Oh," I just say without thinking, "so do you think Daniel is a c*nt?"
No positive or negative response came from that.
We took the tape recorder with us and a Ghost Box.
I can't really remember too much about being in there, though, I do remember asking whether it wanted me to leave this particular room now we had Daniel in there and it appeared the answer was 'yes'. I barked that I wasn't going to go anywhere so it would have to get me to leave.
We were getting a bit of K2 action to almost act as answers to the questions as well. Ash and I had to duck out which gave us an excuse to have Daniel in there by himself. When we returned it was decided to go back to the kitchen to have a tea break.
Daniel was sure he turned it on.
I was sure Daniel turned it on.
We saw the lights and settings for it turning on.
This became a bit of a feature for the sections we went to. The only area I have a full tape recording of is the kitchen. I don't mind that because that was where we've got some interesting evidence which is going to be hard to explain.
I had a feeling whatever it was attempted to follow Daniel but gave up when getting no real response.
Daniel said that when he was in there by himself he felt as though someone was touching him. It was because of that there was no way he was going to go back in there.
The Drunk Tanks certainly were an interesting place to investigate and take in."
- Robert and Daniel
For me the voice was great as previous trips have had me hear other, similar voices. These too have been caught on voice recorders but in these previous instances the voice was only picked up as a breathy moan/sigh/growl but one we knew we had heard words in... just the recorder did not seem to pick up the nuances of the sound.
Sleep and a Crappy Breakfast (For me Anyways...)
I fall asleep to the sounds of the rain now lightly pattering on the roof and the crackling of logs in the fire place. Every now and then these background sounds are punctuated with a laugh in the distance... it is probably a few of the others up and about, continuing through the night, but in a place like this it is a little eerie.
I wake up with the sunlight filling the cell. Meg is still fast asleep and nudging her produces nothing but a grunt and a groan... much the same as any other morning really. I hear some strange conversation coming from outside my room. Something about a blue breast?
I have no idea. I may still be asleep. My legs start to work and I pull myself from the double stacked mattresses (top Gladstone Tip, double stack the mattresses if you have them available otherwise you will feel the bed boards!) The morning is cold, really cold. I pull on a bath robe (dont judge me) and my ugg boots (seriously, don't) and head out to join the others. They are seated around the fire, hot coffees in their hands, talking about the previous nights experiences.
Of course it was a photo of her eggs, bacon, sausage, fried tomato and toast. I throw my half frozen joke of a breakfast out the car window...
I hope the Loch Eel likes bananas!
If you like the idea of spending the night in an old gaol, locked down, sleeping in the old cells, then Gladstone is most definitely for you. The accomodation rates are incredibly reasonable ($20 a night at time of writing) and the gaol is at your pleasure. Just respect the building and the items within and it will be around for generations to come.
Call Gladstone Gaol at (08) 8662 2200
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