The restless spirits of some of Macarthur’s oldest (and invisible) residents continue to roam the halls of the area’s historic houses.
Tales of their tragic deaths captivate macabre locals and curious visitors.
People claim to have seen or felt the ghosts – but whether you are a believer or a skeptic, these houses undoubtedly have a creepy past.
Macaria House, Camden
This iconic building, formerly Camden Council’s chambers, has a long and grisly history.
The land that Macaria was built on was originally purchased in 1846 by Sarah Tiffin (nee Milford) who was a housekeeper for the Macarthurs. The story goes that Sarah’s marriage became strained, her health declined, and she passed away in 1854 leaving the property in her estate.
The Macaria building was later constructed for Henry Thompson, who ran the flour mill in Camden. He did not survive to live in the house. When it was nearly complete in 1871, Thompson died from a freak accident, when a horse unexpectedly bucked and kicked him in the head.
It briefly became a school, before Dr Francis West and his family moved in. The family left the house under sad circumstances when Dr West died suddenly at the age of 58 in 1932.
The ghosts of Macaria are said to be the friendly and peaceful Sarah Tiffin and Bill despite no know owner of that name. Bill is more mischievous and aggressive, believed to be the cause of most of the paranormal harm experienced in the property.
Macquarie Fields Train Station, Macquarie Fields
When the station is nearly empty late at night, the moans and groans of a teenage girl haunt the station. Apparently, screams begin and the then become much louder.
There was a report that someone saw a young girl wearing dancing clothes, covered in what looked like to be blood in her chest area (she was clutching her chest).
This spirit tale was likely born from an article published by an unknown source on July 11, 1906, which said a woman named Emily Gengeson was reportedly hit by a train and killed along the railway line at Macquarie Fields.
Mushroom Tunnel, Picton
Redbank Range Railway Tunnel, also known as Picton Tunnels, and Mushroom Tunnel have fallen into disuse.
Stories of suicide are linked with the tunnel and the tragic railway accident of the woman named Emily Bollard appears to be the basis of the haunted reputation of the tunnel.
Apparently when the tunnel was still in use by the railway, Emily had been walking through the tunnel and was killed by an oncoming locomotive.
It is unclear whether she deliberately committed suicide or if her death was just an unfortunate accident.
A figure at the end of the tunnel has been seen, as if someone hung themselves.
Gledswood Homestead, Catherine Field
The ghosts of convicts who built the property in 1810 are believed to haunt Gledswood Homestead.
The house also has a pet cemetery where dogs playing can be heard late at night.
St Mark's Anglican Church Cemetery, Picton
In January 2010 a family visiting St Mark's Cemetery in Picton snapped a photo apparently showing the ghosts of two children who died almost 60 years apart. The photo appeared in major newspapers across the country.
The children were believed to be Blanche Moon who was crushed to death in 1886 when a pile of sleepers that she and a number of children were playing on slipped, and David Shaw who was the son of a minister who died in 1946 from polio.
The photo gained considerable criticism within the Australian paranormal community with most claiming the photo was obviously photoshopped and that the children shown in the picture appeared to be wearing modern clothing.
The beautiful and iconic Camelot, used as a location for television series A Place to Call Home, also has a dark past.
Camelot stands on the site of explorer John Oxley's Kirkham Mill. John Horbury Hunt designed Camelot for James White of Cranebrook in the late 1880's.
White only enjoyed his dream home for only two years, passing away in 1890. His widow remained in the property until 1897 when she too passed away.
In 1901 it was purchased by by William Anderson and his wife Frances Faithfull.
Tragedy struck the Andersons in 1912 when William committed suicide and Frances died in 1948. Their daughter, Clarice Vivian, never marrying or having children, remained in the property until her passing in 1979.
The tales of their deaths and the rumour that the house was haunted began to grow.
Campbelltown Town Hall Theatre, Campbelltown
You know the name but do you know the story of Campbelltown’s most famous ghost?
Fred Fisher was sent to Australia as a convict in 1816 and was later emancipated. He lived in Campbelltown and owned four farms by 1825.
On the evening of 17 June 1826, Fred Fisher disappeared.
The legend goes that four months later, a local farmer named John Farley was returning home from Patrick’s Inn, late one night in October 1826. On his way home, he passed a corner of the paddock that belonged to Fred, which adjoined George Worrall’s farm.
As he passed, he saw the figure of a man sitting on the fence of a bridge. As he got closer, he recognised the figure as Fred Fisher.
As he approached, John became horror-struck and realised that he was looking at a ghost. He claimed that the ghost was bathed in an eerie light and had blood dripping from a wound in his head.
Releasing a loud moan, the ghost beckoned to him, raised his arm and pointed to a creek back towards George Worrall’s farm before fading away.
After the encounter, John ran to a local hotel, ‘The Harrow’, in a state of shock, claiming he had seen the ghost of Fred Fisher.
Fred’s body was found in 1826 in the shallow grave just where the ghost had pointed.
George Worrall went to trial for Fred’s murder in a criminal court, on 2 February 1827. He was sentenced to death and executed three days later.
Fred Fisher’s ghost is said to wander through Queen Street’s buildings, especially the Campbelltown Town Hall Theatre which is now on the site of Fred’s home.
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