Sydney at night is awash with ghosts.
From Macquarie Street to Emu Plains, ghosts, spectre’s, apparitions and poltergeist’s all come out to haunt Sydney.
Hyde Park Barracks is supposed to be one of the most haunted spaces in Sydney Its ghosts include a convict hobbling in the corridor, a woman in white who stands in the courtyard watching the building and more disturbingly, two black figures who crouch by the door in the hammock room at night.
Bungarribee House, which stood on a small rise at Doonside was beset by ghosts both inside and outside. Built in the 1820s, the house was the scene of a number of tragedies’ from early on.
Inside the house an officer supposedly blew his brains out after losing a duel, the owners brother dropped dead at the front gate and another soldier was found dead in the estate paddocks, the words ‘starved to death’ carved into the brim of his hat.
The first ghost reports were in the 1860s, with a ghostly figure seen in the upstairs room, bloodstains on the floor that reappeared every night and an unknown woman who stood on the verandah peering into the downstairs rooms.
The house was demolished in the 1950s and the site is now being developed as one of Sydney’s newest housing estates: I wonder if all that noise will wake the spirits?
Further west at Campbelltown lived Sydney’s most famous ghost.
Frederick Fisher was an ex-convict making his way in colonial Sydney. He had a small farm near Queen Street, Campbelltown while his best mate, George Worrell, lived next door. Fisher was a sociable chap and often had Worrell and other associates over to drink and celebrate.
In 1826 Fisher, fearing he would go into debt and be arrested, signed his property over to Worrell for safe keeping. Fisher he was arrested and as soon as he was gone, Worrell began to boast of his increased property, all of it Fishers.
On his release from gaol, Fisher returned to get back his possessions, which Worrell did reluctantly. On the night of 9 June, 1826, Fisher disappeared. Worrell resumed control of Fishers farm and told everyone that Fisher had decided to return to England.
Suspicions grew, notices were placed in the local papers and a reward offered but nobody came forward and no body was found.
One night, some months later a local farmer, James Farley, was walking home past Fishers farm when ahead he saw someone sitting on the fence rail. As he drew near he realised that it was Fred Fisher, at least the ghost of Fisher: a white figure with blood dripping from a wound to his head. The moaning figure pointed in the direction of a creek that ran at the back of the farm. Farley fainted and remained in a state of shock for ten days.
When finally he could speak he retold the story to the local police, who investigated the spot where the Farley saw the ghost and discovered bloodstains on the fence.
Going to the river with an Aboriginal tracker, they found Fishers body, his head smashed in.
Worrell was arrested, tried, found guilty, confessed and then executed at Dawes Point Battery. Fishers Ghost, his work done, never appeared again.