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 The Ghosts of Gladesville Hospital
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 11:40:50 PM on 26 December 2017.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4864

Part 1 - Introduction.

Tonight I've been a bit bored, after the festivities of the last few days, and found myself looking at sites relating to ghosts and hauntings in Australia. The paranormal is a subject that divides - some have, or believe they have had, paranormal encounters of one kind or another and others think it's all a load of cobblers.

I've had what I believe to be several encounters with the paranormal, thankfully all have been brief and none in any way violent. Most of these, which will form the basis of this multi-part article, were simply strange and unexplained events occurring at one of Sydney's many ancient mental hospitals - the grand daddy of them all - Gladesville Hospital, possessing a rich history stemming back to 1835 with the construction of the perimeter walls and the first buildings, including the superintendent's quarters, board room and cells (some of standard design and others padded). Two wards of this hospital include lower ground floors containing dungeons which housed those who were not always of good behaviour in the days before the advent of sedatives.

One of these buildings was Ward 28, located in the original portion of the complex and one of the only portions of the Hospital that was constructed in three levels, the lower ground containing the dungeons, ground floor containing a board room, patient dining, recreation areas, accommodation and ablutions and the first floor containing staff areas and more patient accommodation. The dungeons are widely believed to have been used for restraint and punishment purposes.

The other building was Ward 17, located at the northern end of the vast property, was also constructed over three levels, with dungeons on the lower ground floor, patient admissions facilities and staff facilities on the ground floor and patient ablutions and accommodation on the first floor. The dungeons were believed to have been used to house newly arrived patients, which were brought via a tunnel from boats as there was apparently a law that "prohibited lunatics being conveyed on the King's highways" and thus made transport on the water necessary.

Sydney's other major lunatic asylums were located on the banks of the Parramatta River so there may be an element of truth to this law. The tunnel at Gladesville is still believed to exist but it cannot be accessed due to much of the lower ground floor of Ward 17 being filled in with ash from the old Boiler Station (which still exists to this day) before being capped with a concrete floor during a building renovation in the 1970s or thereabouts. The other end of the tunnel would have been sealed off when Bedlam Bay was filled in after World War II to create a sports oval with a large stepped amphitheatre surrounding it.

I was employed at the Hospital as an electrician between January 1990 and January 1994. In further postings in this thread I will detail the paranormal encounters experienced during my employment there. I'll also go further with the history of the Hospital, which was a large employer in its day, supporting many of the businesses and industries in Gladesville and Ryde which started to wind down once the Gladesville Hospital closed its doors on new admissions in 1997.


A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 11:56:21 PM on 26 December 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 725

Great stuff Brad , fun!
In 90s I finished my studies in photography at UTS and Callen Park was empty.
I went right through it, both day and night time taking photos , there were rooms full of old shoes, letters,writings on the walls and there is a tunnel underneath it.
To be there at night was very creepy and wonderful thing to do.
After developing the film , nothing showed up that I could say was a person or an image of one ,but the two people that were with me said they heard a girl singing the whole time we were there.
I went there 4 times to photograph it before they re developed the old buildings. It was still full of old stuff and very creepy in the middle of the night.
I would still have the negatives and photos in one of my boxes.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 10:57:16 AM on 27 December 2017.
BringBackTheValve's Gravatar
 Location: Linton, VIC
 Member since 30 December 2016
 Member #: 2028
 Postcount: 210

"prohibited lunatics being conveyed on the Kings's highways"

If they made that law today half of Victoria's drivers would lose their licences.


Thanks for this diverse but fascinating subject. I reckon most of us at some point in our lives have experienced some event which defied some form of logical explanation. Here is my contribution;

My last workplace before retirement was at a rural TV Station. One balmy evening I was the duty tech while we were broadcasting the local news live.

At the time the equipment room had newly installed digital processing equipment which required a powerful cooling system. At some point the cooling system failed and the equipment began to overheat.

The cooling plant was mounted on the roof underneath the radio links tower. I made my way onto the roof and groping along a narrow gangway in the dark I arrived at the cooling unit. The Breaker had tripped. I reset it and stayed around for a couple of minutes in case of further problems, when suddenly I felt a tap on my right shoulder. I got a hell of a fright. Nobody was there, and nobody should have been there. I swung around and scrambled back along the gangway toward the roof door when suddenly a blinding flash and blast of sound stunned me---the tower had been hit by lightning.

I went back into the operations room and one of the guys asked if I was OK. I told him what happened and he simply said "yep, it was our techo ghost warning you."

He was serious, and other long-time workers there had seen glimpses of this '"techo ghost."

 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 7:35:48 PM on 24 February 2018.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4864

Part 2 - The mortuary.

This rather unassuming building is the subject of tonight's story.

Gladesville Hospital`s Mortuary

At some time during the 1950s, the Hospital constructed a 10-slab mortuary for the purpose of housing deceased patients and it also served as an overflow for Sydney's main mortuary in Glebe. An identical building was also constructed at Rozelle Hospital, a few km away for the same purpose.

These buildings contained office space, staff change rooms and ablutions, a lunch room, the slab fridge, a plant room and an operating theatre where post-mortems could be conducted. I distinctly recall the floor wastes in the theatre where small body parts could be directly flushed away by pressing a button on the wall. The walls were tiled half way up with the same type of tile found at some of Sydney's underground railway stations and the floor was dark grey terrazzo.

As time went on, these buildings became redundant and were converted to workshops. By some quirk of fate, these mortuaries at both hospitals became home base for their electricians and they were perfect for the job due to the features listed above. In the case of Gladesville, the operating theatre became the workshop and the benchtops used by medical staff became work benches for fixing appliances, building small switchboards and similar tasks, and also provided space to store our tools. The slab fridge became a space to store electrical fittings and accessories, and no, we didn't keep them cold! Above the fridge was a space to store larger items.

One night in 1992, I was in the workshop doing a foreign order - to assist VR's overseas members, this is a slang term meaning a non-work related task for personal benefit. Above the fridge, amongst other things, we stored bundles of electrical conduit. Whilst I was at the workbench I heard a slapping noise but didn't worry too much about it. The noise kept reoccurring so I decided to investigate but found no cause for the noise and went back to the job I was doing. A few minutes later, the noise happened again and this time it was louder. I looked over to where the noise was coming from and saw an opened bundle of 20mm conduit flapping about and each length was slapping against those next to it.

Both seeing and hearing the source of the noise and realising that only the ghost of someone who had been stored in the fridge at some stage in the past could be responsible for it, I decided to complete my foreign order during work hours and left for the night.

As can be seen in the photo, the building has been remodelled in the last few years, given new windows and doors and a new roof. The frame for the original roof was attacked by white ants at some stage. I am not sure of the exact use of the building today but I do know they don't work there at night.


A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

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