In Honour of ‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’, Here are Some of Sydney’s Most Haunted Places

Sydney’s got a bit of a history when it comes to death and spooky goings-on. If you think about it, pretty much everywhere in the city, or anywhere in the world really, will have had some brush with death. Those events, if they’re significantly distressing, often become the origin legend for the famous ghost stories we know and love. 

The settling of Sydney was bloody enough, and the conditions in which the settlers lived was often dire, with a lot of suffering and evil deeds perpetrated by and to the new arrivals. Haunted houses and haunted places are actually quite common across the city and there are definitely a few spots that you don’t want to find yourself after dark. 

To get us in the mood for the haunting new installment in the Conjuring universe, we’ve sussed out some of the spookiest sites in the city to give you a bit of a glimpse into the just how close to home the real-life events that the Conjuring films are based upon could be for us. 

Q Station

North Head
Formerly known as the ‘Quarantine Station’, the re-branded colonial-era precinct at the entrance to Sydney harbour is not only one of the city’s most infamous haunted sites, but purportedly the whole country. 

A quarantine zone was set up on the site in 1833 to protect the city from diseases brought in by incoming travellers. As it was the first port of call for the sick, upwards of 600 people are thought to have died within the station over its 150 year history. 

The site now operates as a luxury hotel and attracts people from across the city on its famous ghost tours. People on the tours are reported to have witnessed ghostly apparitions, heard strange voices, and seen object move of their own accord in the original shower block, the gravediggers cabin, and the cemetery. 

Cockatoo Island

Sydney Harbour
Another colonial spot in our city with a dark past, Cockatoo island, which can be reached by ferry, was a prison island where the worst offenders were sent during the 1800s. 

The spirits of hardened criminals and murdered guards are thought to roam the island as well as some of the little girls who were sent to the island when it was a strict reform school. Ghost tours run weekly on Saturdays and people on the tours have reported unexplainable breezes, noises, and sudden feelings of dread.

The island itself is full of old sandstone buildings created by the convicts themselves who were then later to live in them. One of the most distressing spots is the below-ground solitary confinement section where prisoners were lowered into the depths and could live in the damp and the rats for months at a time. 

The Street With No Name

Just behind the rather swanky Glebe Tramsheds is one of the most haunted sites in the city. Cut off from the general public, the Street With No Name is an overgrown strip of wasteland that runs alongside the viaduct train lines.

This site has been the location of several grizzly discoveries which has given the area a bad reputation with some people convinced that it’s haunted. The bodies of three young boys were all discovered there in a ten year period, with one of the murders supposedly having Satanic overtones. 

The tunnels underneath the viaduct are rented out and used for storage, with the owner of one of these storage spots reporting that he feels incredibly uncomfortable there at night and has once heard ghostly footsteps leading up to the tunnel which just so happens to be where one of the boys bodies was discovered. Venture there at night at your own peril. 

National Art School

An art school is not the first place you might go when looking for ghostly apparitions. However, this modern higher education centre occupies the same site that was used as a jail from 1841 to 1914. 

The old Darlinghurst Gaol, as it was known, oversaw the hangings of 76 people and was also the site of numerous suicides and prolonged sufferings in the brutal conditions. As such, the buildings are reportedly haunted by some of these restless spirits who appear in various rooms like the pre-hanging holding room, now a classroom. 

Security guards report confronting sights of spiritual apparitions as well as doors closing on their own and lights repeatedly flickering on and off, even after the wiring had been checked. Teachers too have reported seeing ghosts, with one having apparently followed a staff member home.  

Wakehurst Parkway

French’s Forest
Wakehurst Parkway is a long and winding stretch of road that meanders its way through Garigal National Park, creating a cut-through to the Northern Beaches. The road passes Deep Creek Reserve, the site of an infamous 1994 murder and has a lonely, haunted feeling to it, particularly at night. 

If you happen to stop at the lights at Oxford Falls after dark, make sure to keep your doors locked as several locals have reported ghostly entities entering their vehicles. There are local legends of a nun entering cars at night as well as a lost soul by the name of ‘Kelly’ who apparently died in an accident on the road long ago. 

Some drivers have reported seeing this white, human shape in the middle of the road and swerving to avoid it, often getting into trouble. There are also reports of drivers ploughing straight through it without hitting anything. 

Macquarie Fields Train Station

Macquarie Fields
Legend has it that after the last train departs Macquarie Fields Station just before midnight in Sydney’s south-west, strange wailing sounds can be heard. This can grow into loud crying that reverberates around the platforms before the spectre of a teenage girl wearing dancing clothes appears, covered in blood

The girl in question is thought to be 42-year-old Emily Hay Georgenson. She was killed in 1906 at the station by a train. Georgenson had been suffering mental health issues and was returning to a mental asylum after visiting friends when she escaped the nurse sent to watch her. Before the nurse could locate her, Georgenson had thrown herself in front of the train. Her death was ruled a suicide.  

A former worker at the station claims to have heard footsteps on the deserted platform as well as constantly feeling cold. 

Gladesville Mental Hospital

Old mental asylums are prime locations for a good old fashioned haunting and Gladesville doesn’t let the side down. Built in 1838, the hospital ran for over a century, closing its doors in 1993. 

Throughout its history it was riddled with incidents of overcrowding, poor sanitation, and understaffing, leading to many instances of abuse, mistreatment, and death. In total, over 1200 patients are thought to have been buried in the mass graves beneath the facility. 

One photographer believes that she has captured the image of a ‘presence’ in one of her pictures of the asylum – though it can only be detected by mediums. The photographer, who exhibited her pictures of the site, says she felt a strong “energy” at the site while exploring it. 

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