Sydney might be the biggest, brightest city in the country, but delve a little deeper and you'll discover a host of haunted houses and paranormal properties. Here, we've compiled a list of the top 10 most terrifying locations.
1. Quarantine station - A hotel with a grim past
Between 1832 and 1984, thousands of immigrants with deadly infectious diseases were isolated at the notorious Quarantine station at Sydney's North Head. Close to 600 people are said to have died at the station - now a luxe hotel - and it sounds like some have never left.
Ghost hunters claim to have seen at least 50 spirits wandering around the station, including several nurses, an intimidating matron, a pony-tailed Chinese man, and a young girl with blond braids. Some of the spooky encounters include morgue doors that would suddenly open and light bulbs that would pop.
2. Picton - Australia's most haunted town
80 km south-west of Sydney is the small town of Picton. Founded in 1821, and originally known as ‘Stone Quarry’, Picton is home to Redbank Range Railway Tunnel. According to National Geographic, the tunnel was originally used to store mustard gas and ammunition during WWII and has claimed the lives of many locals - either by accidental death or suicide.
The tunnel isn't the only haunted place in Picton. Paranormal activity has also been reported at the Old Maternity Hospital, Wollondilly Shire Council, the Imperial Hotel and Stone Quarry Creek.
3. Studley Park House - A haunted house in Sydney
This impressive Victorian mansion in Camden has a tragic past dating all the way back to 1889. Four children have supposedly died on the property, and locals have reported seeing unexplained lights and a lady standing in one of the windows. According to local records, contractors renovating the property discovered a hangman’s noose dangling from the steeple roof, while a pair of ghost hunters reputedly took a photo of a ghostly boy in the basement. Studley Park also featured in the 2001 paranormal reality show Scream Test and in a famous twist, one of the contestants had to leave the competition due to the unsettling effects of the house.
4. Wakehurst Parkway - Australia's most haunted highway
20km north of Sydney’s CBD is the Wakehurst Parkway, a dimly lit stretch of road that connects Seaforth to Narrabeen. Deep Creek Reserve, a location known for murders, dumped bodies and unexplained supernatural phenomena is located along this stretch of road. Mamamia reports that motorists driving through the area have been terrorised with unexplained activities like windscreen wipers failing, headlights extinguishing, doors locking themselves and car radios being turned off, or turned up.
5. Gladesville Mental Hospital - the abandoned hospital
Located on Victoria Road in Gladesville is Sydney’s first ever psychiatric hospital. Sitting on a mass grave of over 1,000 anonymous corpses, the hospital is notorious for its sadistic mistreatment of patients between 1838 and 1997. On the shores of Parramatta River, the former mental hospital now lies eerily abandoned and covered in graffiti. Passers-by claim to have heard unexplained screams and noises coming from the building, while security guards have quit their jobs after hearing what they report to be the cries of pitiful, tortured patients.
6. Cockatoo Island - A haunted island
In the 19th century, this heritage-listed island was an island prison for reoffending convicts, then later an industrial school, a reformatory for girls (Biloela House) and in 1913 the Commonwealth Naval Dockyard.
The harsh treatment of the convicts and children alike have contributed to the island's dark history, with many supernatural occurrences reported on the island. A feeling of sadness has been noted in the solitary confinement cells , while apparitions including an elevator operator and a 19th century sea captain have been sighted in the eerie Dog Leg's Tunnel. The most haunted part of the island is reputedly the Superintendent’s residential home.
7. Darlinghurst Gaol - A haunted gaol
Situated on the corner of Forbes and Burton Street in Darlinghurst is the two hundred year old gaol. It housed some of Sydney’s most notorious criminals in intensely overcrowded conditions. Records show that 31 children (some born to convicted prostitutes) died at the gaol and 76 people were hanged at the gallows.
Now housing the National Art School, the site is reputedly haunted by the ghosts of hanged convicts. Security guards have reported a bad smell that lingers in the air, as well as witnessing lights turning on and doors suddenly closing.
8. The Street with no name, Annandale - A haunted street
The street with no name in Annandale is a viaduct surrounded by parkland. According to Dangerousroads.org, the area is reputedly evil, with locals telling tales of bizarre behaviour by dogs and small children. Late night visitors to the area have reported witnessing strange sights and experienced dramatic changes in temperature. Paranormal investigators described being overwhelmed by fear and a sense of foreboding that restricted their breathing.
9. The Rocks - A haunted suburb
The Rocks in Sydney was established when the colony was first formed in 1788. For a time in its history the area was a slum, where convicts and soldiers hung out looking for a good time. It also fell victim to the Bubonic Plague and the government had to do wide sweeps to get rid of the rats. What remained of the old buildings has been preserved and there have been numerous sightings of ghosts in the area.
10. Macquarie Fields train station - A haunted station
According to one urban legend, a girl can be heard crying late at night at the station. As it gets later, the crying turns into screaming, and a young girl appears on the platform in a white dress, with blood splattered all over her. As the night wears on, she moves to the middle of the station and stands crying.
You might also like: