Monday Musings From The Writer’s Desk



Cemeteries are places that have interested me most of my life.  From an early age I remember visiting the old cemetery in nearby goldmining ghost town of Ravenswood.  It has always been a figment of my curiosity, probably because more people reside in that field of dead than in the town itself.  It is a desolate place that looks out upon the empty grassy outback plains that were once a flourishing settlement glowing from the discovery of gold.

Ravenswood is a town full of haunting stories that townfolk are ready and willing to impart upon any tourists who are willing to listen. On one such visits to the town, I struck up a conversation with a lady who worked at the old Courthouse.  She told us that the town is indeed inhabited by wandering souls who have left signs of their presence in the form of wafts of perfume or objects that when touched give off such overwhelming feelings and emotions that can only be explained as supernatural.

When my husband and I visited the ghost town, we stayed on several occasions at the Imperial Hotel which is widely said to be haunted.  On the eve of our first visit, I asked the owner if the rumours were true, and she confirmed that they were.  She said, “you will most probably not see anything, but you might feel the presence of spirits.”

The hotel is a big eerie old timber building that creaks and groans, and has lots of dark nooks and crannies for wandering spirits to lurk.  We were assured on our first visit that our room was on the opposite side of the building to “the ghost room”, however, I still was too afraid to leave our room on my own, and whilst I was awake in the dark, I kept my eyelids clenched shut in case I was to see a white misty figure wearing clothes of old by my bed.  Now, on a subsequent visit, the landlady announced that our normal room was already booked so she put us on the wing that neighboured the ghost room.  Now that made for a very disturbing night’s sleep.  Darryl woke me during the night when he got out of bed to visit the toilet which was on the opposite side of the building.  I insisted on going with him as there was no way I wanted to be alone in the room in case of unwanted visitors.

Now, you may ask “why do you visit the place if you are so afraid?”

Well, I can’t rightly answer that question, except to say that I am fascinated by what might be.  And, I have had my own supernatural moment in the town which reinforces my opinion that there is definitely something in all this ghost stuff. I was on a hunt at the time to find the grave of my Grandmother’s baby brother who was only a baby at the time of his death.

I had seen a photograph of the grave, taken by my aunt who swears she experienced an incident whilst taking the shot.  Her camera packed it in and she was overcome by a feeling that she wasn’t welcome. All I knew was the name of the deceased, however, I had no idea where to find the grave.  We parked the car and wandered towards the back of the cemetery.  All of a sudden I turned and made a beeline which took me directly to the grave in question. Now I do believe that someone was guiding me that day.

It is not just in Ravenswood that I have experienced my “psychic moments”.  Years ago before an upcoming trip to Tasmania, my boss told me that I must visit the town of Ross and especially the Ross Cemetery. I was on my own when I approached the cemetery gate where I experienced by first setback.  I couldn’t seem to find a way to unlatch the gate and a neighbour in the house across the street came to my rescue.

Once I made my entrance I wandered along the rows of seemingly ancient tombstones that appeared like crooked teeth in a ancient scull, protruding in and around a century of gnarled roots and tree trunks. My camera began snapping away until I became overwhelmed by an awful feeling that I wasn’t welcome.  I ran out of there as fast as my legs could carry me, however, I was quite baffled by being spooked in broad daylight.  Upon arriving home, my boss asked me if I had visited the Ross Cemetery.

I told him, “Yes, but I got spooked!”

He then advised, “Oh, it is a terrible place.  Many of the graves were victims of murder and rape that took place at the Female Factory.”

Then, when I tried to print my negatives in my home darkroom, I only managed to expose a tester as once again, I became spooked and to this day have never printed the photos.  Perhaps those poor souls just want to be left alone and I was happy to accommodate.

Now I am not a medium or clairvoyant, but I believe that the dead do try to contact me, whether it is by leaving clues, by leading my by the hand or by psychic messages.  The thing is that they are not on tap as I would wish.  If that were so, then I would have all my questions regarding my family history answered and that would leave no mysteries to keep me intrigued.



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