Hear ye! Hear ye! ... Oi! Listen will ya! Let it be known that on Saturday 16th January, 1999 the crew of Unexplained Phenomena didst embark on a journey of legendary proportions! Through perilous ravines! Through treacherous jungles! Well, maybe not ...
We did, however, participate in a fascinating journey through early Melbourne (1840s), led by none other than Drew Sinton from The Haunted Bookshop. The tour, which usually runs for approximately two and a half hours, went for over three hours as Drew took us on an extended whirlwind trip through the streets of the city.
The tour we took was the South-North route as, being on a weekend, this allowed us to see some of the sites that were not usually open late on a weekday. The other tour that sometimes runs on weekdays is the West-East tour, which (if there are no shows running) travels through the famous Princess Theatre.
The journey began at The Haunted Bookshop (15 McKillop Street) and headed down Queen Street towards the site of Melbourne's first market square. 'Where?' you might be asking. Try the National Mutual Centre.
Like many of the sites on the tour, the original buildings have long gone. However, Drew paints an excellent picture of what Melbourne used to be like - from the city's first funeral parlour to the swamp that was once located at the bottom of Elizabeth Street.
As this picture shows, the tour progressed back up to the Mitre Tavern - one of the few buildings to survive the frantic building rush! Here we found out about the ghost of a lady dressed in white which is still seen from time to time presiding over the restaurant as if she were still running it! Three managers over the past twelve months have seen the ghost which could explain why there have been three managers working there over the past twelve months! Other haunted highlights along the way included:
Although the old Cobb & Co building has now been converted into a carpark it still holds a grim secret. After being invited to roam around the big empty building to find out what 'vibes' we could 'pick up', we were told of a horrific murder that occurred there. This in turn has left the building with the legacy of a ghost that from time to time has enjoyed scaring the wits out of people! (Even the carpark attendants and security guards won't stay there!) Just as we were leaving the building, several of our group seemed to notice something! Reports varied, but seven of us claim to have seen a white mist or cloud that seemed to be quite menacing. I snapped this shot while it was all going on.
See anything? If so, let us know! The places where people claimed to have seen the ghost vary - but most tend to be located on the ground floor, either below the doorway or just to the left of the area (near the last post). Personally, I didn't see anything, and it could be argued that what people 'saw' was a hysteria-induced phenomenon - but that's just me. Most of the Unexplained Phenomena crew claimed to have experienced something, so I guess I'm the odd one out! All in all a good night was had by all - the tour is highly recommended for all our listeners!
State Library Tour
This will be a special tour run by the Haunted Bookshop running exclusively within the State Library! Many people either know or suspect that it's haunted but this may be their only chance to find out! With two ghosts on the first floor and a third more sinister presence on the third floor, this special-edition tour should not be missed! The tour will be running for two or three months until the domed reading room is closed for renovations (July/August?).
As mentioned earlier, Drew also runs another ghost tour through Melbourne that heads west to east from the direction of The Haunted Bookshop. As this tour runs during weekdays only it includes many sites that would otherwise be closed on the weekends. One of the main features of this tour is the Princess Theatre and the ghost of Federici! Ring Drew at The Haunted Bookshop for more details.
On the 18th January, 1999 Drew was invited to come into the RRR studios as guest announcer. Judging by the flurry of calls that Tanya received, this was a hot topic for a lot of our listeners! As well as fielding callers' questions Drew instructed us on how to make holy water while a clairvoyant did some on-air psychic readings. Drew even delivered a 'passing' or 'progressional' prayer on air for those listeners who wanted to have their household ghosts moved on! Seeing that it was such a great show, and that Drew had a gold-mine of information on all things paranormal, The Haunted Bookshop might just pop in again some time soon ...