August 12, 2013 at 11:20 pm #770
Ace of BladesModerator
Sorry this blog post is late this week, I have been out of the city for a while and thus have been away from the internet. I’ll return to do another blog on Wednesday as usual.
A few months ago I was talking to one of my co-workers about stuff to do around Melbourne that is slightly more unconventional and interesting than going to a bar or a club, he suggested taking the Ghosts of Melbourne tour.
I managed to find the website and learned that a bookshop owner, TV presenter and historian Drew Sinton has been leading this tour for 16 years. The bookshop is also called the Haunted Bookshop.
I had taken Saturday off work as well and decided that I should go and check it out.
The tour departed from the bookshop around 8:30, so it was good to get there ahead of time to make sure you got registered, also to have a look around the bookshop as well.
The cramped bookshop had the dusty macabre aura, the books were in some kind of order known only to the owner. In a tall glass case there was a menagerie of rings and jewellery of gothic and Elizabethan designs.
On a small side table there was a promotional video playing, probably of the Haunted Australia programme, underneath a stack of DVD’s. It seemed there was a fine film of dust over everything, despite the foot traffic.
Drew Sinton was the only employee in this bookshop.
He wasn’t a particularly tall or gaunt looking person, but was wearing nothing but black clothes and the aforementioned gothic rings; he had a striking ressemblance to Professor Snape.
He greeted us in a hushed voice that was not particularly creepy or off putting. I guess he was like a gothic librarian and not some sort of warlock like I presumed he would be.
There was a very large group of participants on this tour, about 40 or so, and we were all gathered on the little side street in front of the bookshop waiting for our leader, as if he were taking us to burn down Frankensteins castle; although we lacked the torches and pitchforks.
Suddenly, he appeared amongst us wearing a full-length black trenchcoat and one of those wide-brimmed hats, like he was some sort of religious figure. Funny enough, he was quite the opposite.
He led us around the downtown area between the tall buildings, to which the true history of the city lay dormant.
Amongst the darkened alleyways, he showed us old taverns and liveries in which human and non-human ghosts resided.
The fact that there have been eyewitness accounts and security footage of these paranormal sightings made it seem more legitimate in the eyes of the skeptics.
Ironically, the tavern in which the skeptic society meets is also haunted.
Our guide then started to mention that some of the haunted places we were visiting had a numerological significance; in which that some of the adress numbers added up to 13.
For example, the site of the Queen st. massacre, in which a crazed gunman killed 8 people with an M1 Carbine before he fell out of the 10th storey window and painted the sidewalk with his face was 193 Queen st. The elevator also stops at the 10th floor for some reason.
We were also told that even if a haunted building is renovated or demolished, the ghost can still reside in the new building.
The last stop on our tour was the Queen Victoria market, the oldest one in Melbourne. Our guide led us to the large parking lot to a seemingly arbitrary spot. He began to ask people’s denomination in the Christian faith, as well as pointing out areas on the parking lot where they would’ve been buried.
The parking lot at the Queen Victoria market was the first multi-denominational cemetery in Australia and our guide was standing a sewer grate so as not to desecrate any graves.
But how about the people who weren’t Christians?
He led us through the market past an old partition wall which has become part of the market itself and said all those who were Chinese, Jewish, Aboriginal, those who’ve committed suicide and those who weren’t baptized were believed to be soulless.
We were also standing in stall 13.
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