A busy spooky winter


We’ve been A.W.O.L for a while, it’s so mysteriously that it’s almost spooky…!

The reality is we’ve had a busy time of it lately, with not just our regularly scheduled Investigations, but also an evening spent with Nick and Woody from SEA FM Hobart, and their 4 lucky competition winners, and a private investigation for a group from New Zealand.  Cait’s currently working on an update from the last few investigations, we’ll get it posted up soon as we can. 

Things are going well for the Paranormal Team here at Port Arthur, and the Investigations are getting more and more popular, so if you’re planning on coming to join us any time in the next few months I recommend getting your booking in soon.  Last night’s PIE was booked out several weeks in advance!

Having talked to Cait about last night, she reports that whilst her group were at the Asylum she could hear loud dragging and banging noises inside the Separate Prison. She said it was as though heavy metal objects were being dragged along the corridor in the prison. She assumed it was John’s group still inside investigating, but when the noises became even louder and she went to see what was going on she found the building was locked up tight with no one inside.

We also need to give a huge shout out and thank you to Casie Lee, who has joined us here for two investigations, and has since been an absolute trooper helping out with the data analysis.  Thanks so much Casie, we sat down and had a good look through everything you sent us before the PIE last night and it looks like you’ve picked up on some brilliant anomalies, we particularly like the voice in the Commandant’s House that appears to say “Tell them to go away” and “Dont go in to the bad room”.  We’ll post some up as soon as we’ve had another look at them.

Any wayward data discs are soon to be on their way to their new homes, my project for today is to get through the backlog so keep an eye out for your incoming discs soon.

Cheers and Happy Halloween!

Mel and the PIE team

Advertisements

Someone in the Commandant’s House wants to play


The July Investigation has now been and gone, and an interesting investigation it was too.

We welcomed Meahd to her first investigation, and she pulled it off like a pro – from listening to her EVP sessions she sounds like she’s been investigating for years! Well done, Meahd.

We had 12 participants for the investigation who all seemed to have a great time getting into the buildings for some quality paranormal time.

The most bizarre thing to report has to have been the noise from the Commandant’s house.  At the time when the noise was first heard I was out on the Verandah at the front of the house, and everyone else was inside with gear.  Two of our group heard the noise while investigating, and came and got me.  We went back to the room where they’d been (just up on the first landing of the stairs, right across from the study – what is it with me and that area?) and tried to get it to happen again.  We were rewarded with more giggly/gurgly noises.  We’re still working on an explanation, but can happily rule out gurgling water as it wasn’t raining, and that area of the house does not have running water – so no pipes in the walls.  We looked for squeaky doors and floorboards too, but no luck there either.

Listen to the EVP here.

What I find entertaining is that there used to be a time when if something like that happened, I would’ve been the first one out the door!  These days my curiosity is getting the better of fear.  A good thing?  Here’s hoping.

In other news we have another special tour coming up with the crew from SEA FM (100.9FM) in the next few weeks.  They’ll be joining us for a ghost tour and a paranormal investigation in mid August, then broadcasting the Breakfast show from our Visitors Centre the following morning.  Listen out to SEA FM for more details coming soon.

The next public Paranormal Investigation Experience heads out the door at 9 pm on the 31st August. Plenty of space available, so head over to our bookings page to secure your spot.

Want to find a gift to give the person who has everything? Why not treat that someone special to a Paranormal Investigation Experience at Port Arthur.  Get in touch with our reservations staff (reservations@portarthur.org.au or freecall 1800 659 101 from within Australia) to talk about gift certificates – the perfect birthday/mothers day/fathers day/christmas present for any paranormal aficionado.

And finally, don’t forget to follow our blog by email on our home page to keep updated with all the spooky happenings at Port Arthur.

‘Til next time – The P.I.E. Team

For fear of the Separate Prison


Paranormal_Experience_WEB_001

If you were a convict at Port Arthur in the later years of the settlement’s history, chances are the words ‘Separate Prison’ would be very familiar, and enough to put a bit of fear into you.

It was a place of psychological punishment, based on silent solitary confinement, and not a very pleasant place to spend any length of time.  Men were confined to their cells 23 hours a day, let out only for exercise in a separate yard, and church services in the specially designed separate chapel.  This was a brand of punishment most convicts struggled to cope with, and there are even tales of suicide from the building at a time when the religious beliefs of most people prevented anyone from taking their own lives.

This makes it the ideal place to spend a whole lot of time as a Paranormal Investigator.  If the theory stands that paranormal activity is supposed to be more prevalent in a building that has seen suffering and high levels of emotion, then Port Arthur’s Separate Prison should be an absolute hot spot for things that go bump in the night, and so far it has not disappointed us.

The Separate Prison is fast taking over the reputation usually held by the Parsonage – of being the creepiest set of walls we have at Port Arthur.  It’s a place that most visitors and staff feel uncomfortable at the best of times, has a long history of creepy experiences, and in more recent times has produced three EVPs in the space of just over a year.

Oh, I forgot to mention – we picked up another creepy voice in that building.  To hear it, click here.

The EVP was recorded on audio equipment by visitors during their time investigating the Separate Prison.  From listening to the audio, the first thought as far as debunking was to find out whether the female voice was someone investigating alone, or with a partner.  It turns out she did have a male partner at the time of recording.  We suspected that this was perhaps the explanation, but as Meahd pointed out – if it was him being funny there would’ve been laughter, or at least some kind of reaction.  This leads us to believe it’s likely to be a noise that wasn’t audible at the time of recording.

So this makes three creepy voices recorded since April last year.  Fingers crossed we get more in the coming months!

We’re now just a few weeks out from the July Investigation, which will be heading out on Saturday the 27th.  If you’d like to try your hand at paranormal investigating head over to our booking page now to get tickets.

The life of PIE :)


We’ve been investigating Port Arthur regularly for 12 months now, so it’s about time we presented a little of our findings!

There have been many anomalous readings on our EMF meters throughout the various buildings we visit during the investigations.  In the Parsonage we’ve discovered that the security system produces incredibly high levels of EMF from the Post Office room, which then has a flow on effect through to surrounding areas of the building.  The levels in this house top out our KII meters, whilst the ELF meter reads levels usually associated with industrial sized EMF pumps.  Interestingly this is a room where sightings are commonly reported, particularly during ghost tours of an evening.

In the Commandants House, again the alarm systems wreak havoc with the EMF levels.  We’ve been setting up the ELF meter here on most investigations, and have a consistently  high reading of levels of EMF in the front section of the house.

The Separate prison has produced the occasional anomalous EMF reading, although we have been unable to locate any source.  The ELF meter will be established in this building for the next year.

The basement (which has no electrical wiring at all) has also surprisingly produced infrequent anomalous readings.

We’ve had a few interesting results from our Full Spectrum Cameras, although most of the these photos have had some kind of logical explanation now associated with them.

The CCTV system is in the process of being transferred to the Separate Prison, where we will have cameras aimed up A and C wings, in the Chapel, and covering the central room. In the Commandant’s House we found that we were capturing plenty of movement in the hallway on these cameras, although this has been attributed to dust particles in the air.

We’ve captured one decent EVP in the Separate Prison, however no one has been able to conclusively say what the words are.  We classify this as a B grade EVP.

There have been many anecdotal experiences on the investigations, from both visitors and guides, however these have not been captured on any of the equipment to date.  Some phenomena has been witnessed by multiple people at a time.

So what have we learned from all this?

We need to keep investigating, and make sure that everyone is carrying a device that can potentially document a personal experience.  We need to keep our slightly sceptical stance and (tempting as it is to jump to spooky conclusions!) rule out any logical explanations for events during the investigations.  We need to test theories, and try to replicate spooky events by any reasonable means.

So our goal for this year?

Keep investigating, keep looking for logic, and most importantly keep having an absolute blast whilst we’re doing it!

In other news our February investigation is headed out tonight.  Good luck to everyone going along!  Don’t forget the March investigation is only a few weeks away, why not come down and help us investigate before the weather turns cold again?

We’d love to hear some feedback on what we’ve found so far, so please feel free to leave us a comment.  And to keep updated, join our other followers by signing up for email notifications (on the home page).  For those of you who’ve been on an investigation with us, if you’ve found any good photos you may have taken on the night, please let us know as we’d love to share them here.

Sceptics…


We’re counting down to the next Investigation, coming up on Saturday next week, and the big news is if you’re planning on joining us this month you’d better get in fast as there are only 2 spots left! But fret not, we still have plenty of spaces left for the June 30th Investigation, so book your tickets early.

Many things have been happening on the paranormal front, with a tour on April 28th tackling huge thunderstorms and creepy conditions, and coming up with a few odd EMF readings in the Separate Prison.  Cait will have more details soon hopefully.

Cait and I also recently took on the Separate Prison for a night with local sceptics Mark, Matt and Patrick.  They wanted to see if they could be proven wrong by spending an entire night in the Separate Prison.  As Mark told ABC radio (if you missed it, here’s a link to hear the boys chatting about their experience http://blogs.abc.net.au/files/ghost-boys.mp3) there were two odd events during the evening, but we’ve come up with pretty logical explanations for both situations. 

When the boys arrived we took them over to the separate prison and got the gear set up for the night.  Whilst we were doing this, odd noises started coming from the C wing end of the building.  When we went to check it out, we must have startled some pranksters in the act, because we found one car with the bonnet up and various bits and pieces disconnected or removed and sitting neatly nearby, and Cait’s car with the driver side door open.  We can quite happily say this was human in nature, and not remotely paranormal though it did seem to shake at least one of the sceptics. 

The second odd event was after our friendly scepics had retired to their sleeping bags on the floor in the central hall of the prison.  Mark reported hearing two distinct bangs, again from C Wing, but as neither Matt nor Patrick were still awake he decided to wait 15 minutes before going to check.  Had he gone straight away, he would have found Cait and I closing the doors to the Asylum quite loudly, having opted for the warmer and more comfortable couches over the solid stone floor of the prison itself.  (though being an asylum, this does not count as us not lasting the night – that building has it’s own creep-factor!)

So overall the sceptics remain sceptical, though they probably would’ve had a higher chance of something happening to them if they’d spent their time in the Punishment cell individually and in silence rather than chatting away as a group.  Just saying!

For those people who came on the March investigation, your results are on their way! Particularly look for the odd audio from the separate prison with the strange male voice.  No one can quite work out what the man is saying, but some suggestions so far include “Come here”, “Go to her” or even “Ghost Tour”.  See what you think!

In other news, the Paranormal Investigation Experience again featured in a Tasmania newspaper, this time in Launceston’s Examiner last Monday with a great piece from David Scott who came along for a visit in April. 

We’ll have more news after the analysis of the April data.

Mel.

A spooky voice…


It’s now just a few days until our next Paranormal Investigation Experience, so get your bookings in fast to come along and join Cait and Jenni this Saturday night 28th April.

To update, our March Investigation data analysis is almost complete, and whilst we can’t reveal exactly what was picked up, I can say we have a definite EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) from the Separate Prison.  I’ll let you know more in the next update; once the March Participants have received their Investigation Reports (it’s only fair that they get to hear it first!).  But to get an EVP after just a couple of investigations is something exciting and unexpected.  We’re some happy little campers right now!

April 12th saw Cait and I investigating with Sea FM’s Matt and LC, along with the four lucky winners of their Fright Night competition.  It was a fun night of frivolity, and the highlight was definitely locking our brave radio presenters into the punishment cell and their reaction of utter terror once they realised they couldn’t get back out.  It turns out that Matt had been planning on freaking LC out, he just hadn’t expected to be unable to escape once the panic set in.  I can honestly say that everyone else got a bit of a kick out of hearing the squeals of fear through the closed doors.

The challenge had been for Matt and LC to take on the punishment cell with no torches, communication devices or any other light sources, just the Full Spectrum digital camera.  The idea was that the only light they would see was through the flash when a photo was taken.  Needless to say they didn’t handle the challenge with any bravery at all (unless you count bashing on the door and screeching to be let out as brave!) so the challenge remains open to any future participants willing to be locked in under those circumstances.

An unexpected twist came the morning after the investigation, where we awoke to find photos and comments all over the Ghost Tour’s Facebook page regarding the physical attack of one participant during her sleep at the on-site staff hostel.  I have no doubt that to wake up and find yourself scratched up is a little terrifying, though at this stage I cannot say that it was paranormal in nature, as there are still possible logical explanations.

Coming up soon Cait and I will be spending a night locked in the separate prison with a group of sceptics.  We’ll keep you posted on how it all pans out.

And here’s a reminder that when venturing out in the dark, always take a torch. Fairly logical, it would seem. This one I found out the hard way after falling over 3 times in quick succession, though thankfully no injuries this time.

Want to take on the Punishment Cell challenge? Book here: https://mercury.intouch-usa.com/webpoint/wp.dll?Axis/PortArthur:/../Default/Pages/Bookings/AttributeIcon/AttributeIconGoto.ips?ID=0-6:1042321200619465

More updates soon. Mel.