A suggested reason for this is that they may have come across one of the ghosts of this once girls orphanage...
The tender for the design and construction of the building had been let to architects Wilkinson and Smith (responsible for the 'Queens Building', a building that was meant to have a clock, the clock face is there, numerals included, but there has never been clock hands!) and the builders Sanders and Curry. The tender was for the sum of 1419 pounds and at the time of the laying of the stone not all of these funds had been procured.
There was a need for a new orphanage in Perth as the previous lodgements for orphans was in bad disrepair. Children from all over the state would be taken to the 'Perth Colony' to be cared for and given domestic and industrial training. It was not just children from deceased parents who would make it into the orphanages, but also unmanageable/criminal children and children from parents who were incapable or unfit to care for them. It should also be noted that Orphanages in Western Australia were privately run and funded until John Scadden became the 10th premiere of the state and after that monies would be granted by the state for the well-being of the orphans.
There is nothing telling of cruelty within the walls of the orphanage but it is hinted at. In January 1908, a letter was written to the editor of the Perth 'Sunday Times' regarding how the matron was utilising the orphanage and its funding as a means to benefit her family. Children were being used to wait upon the matrons mother and sister, sometimes long into the night. Food, resources and monies were also used for the benefit of the matrons family.
Although an inquest was called for I can not say for certain (at the time of writing) whether it went ahead or the charges quashed.
The Perth Girls Orphanage closed in 1942 with the orphanage being relocated to Middle Swan and renamed 'Swan Girls' Home'. The old building itself still stands at 108 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth, and is now used as government offices.
The building is said to be haunted by the ghosts of some of the thought to be deceased orphans. Not a lot is known except that more than a few of the cleaners who work there late at night have suddenly and inexplicably resigned from their positions - after working a late shift.