Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Extreme Ghost Tour Experience at Q Station, Sydney



Despite having a comfy flight from Manila to Sydney, I still felt tired. After passing through immigration, I immediately went to the arrival hall, loaded my Opal card, and rode a train to my mate's flat to Burwood. It was raining when I arrived in Sydney. At only 18 degrees, the warm shower and the bed were the only two things that I look forward to.

It was still raining when I woke up. The overcast weather made the day bleak and gloomy. Then, I just remembered the things I watched online a few days ago, and one of them was the ghost tours in Sydney. I asked my mate about it, and the next thing I knew, he already booked us an extreme ghost tour on a weekend, after my trip to Melbourne.

Sydney was not a glamorous city back in the 19th century. Diseases such as smallpox, Spanish influenza, and bubonic plague were prevalent. To mitigate the spread of these infectious diseases, all ships entering Sydney Harbour must be checked by the doctors. Even if there was only one sick passenger on board, everyone was required to stay at the quarantine station for 40 days. Those who were sick were brought to the hospital for treatment.

At least 16,000 people were brought here from the 1830s to 1984. 570 people died here.

Today, Q Station serves as a hotel, a conference center, and a part of Sydney Harbour National Park.

Our extreme ghost tour was scheduled at around 9PM. To beat the weekend traffic of North Sydney, we left Burwood at around 6PM and drove all the way to Manly. We had our dinner there before heading to Q Station, located east of Manly Beach.

We arrived at half-past eight, way too early for the tour. So, we went straight to the front desk and toured around. Some of the original relics like tombstones, luggage, and clothes are still there. It felt eerie upon seeing those personal belongings who once belonged to people who got quarantined here for more than a hundred years ago.


Disclaimer

We met up with the group at half-past nine. Our guide, Bob, told us that we should not rationalize everything we would encounter during the tour. Jase and I are both air traffic controllers, and in our work, we rationalize everything. This time, we have to leave everything behind and open up our senses. We were given EMF (electromagnetic field) sensors. This instrument detects an anomaly of the surrounding electromagnetic field. Experts believe that ghosts manifest themselves as a form of energy.


First stop: The Chamber

The tour started inside the chamber. There are two rooms. Both are not that big, with a floor area approximately 50 square meters. We were locked inside for at least five minutes just to observe everything. I didn't feel anything in the first room, except that it faintly smelled of hay. I didn't mind it, because I thought it used to be a stable. But, on the second room, I felt something. The surrounding air felt heavy. I felt an unknown force pressing my cheeks. It was quite difficult to breathe at some point.




As we went out, Bob told us that it used to be a gas chamber. About 40 people were locked inside for sanitary reasons. Now it all made sense as to why it felt heavy inside, and why I felt claustrophobic inside the second room.

Second stop: The Hospital

It was quite a long hike to the quarantine hospital. During the early days, it was harder to get to the hospital. You need to climb the steep walkways. Basically, when you're on top, you're completely isolated. The hospital is located near the cliff, overlooking Sydney Harbour. There are several buildings around including the quarters of the nurses and doctors. Hospitals, no matter how modern their facilities are, can get creepy at night, but this one was way creepier than I thought. We first entered the doctor's quarter. It was dark but cold inside the room, and there were three bunk beds inside the room. As I sat and leaned on the lower bunk bed while listening to Bob's stories, I felt something was pinching my lower back. I shrieked, and Bob caught my attention. I told Bob it was nothing. I lied.



We went into the main hospital room. It was quite big and there were six beds. Feeling brave, I lied down on one bed and tried to make some connections. I don't know how, but I just closed my eyes momentarily. I felt nothing, and honestly, the bed felt soft and comfy. I transferred to an adjacent bed near the wall, and the moment I lied down, it felt weird. It felt something was pushing me, but not in a forcible manner.

The room is connected to another room which had a darker history. Bob told us to open the door and asked if we felt something different. Everyone told him that it was colder in that room despite the doors and windows being tightly shut. Some of our EMF detectors went crazy. According to Bob, there are four resident ghosts inside this room: Two children who love to play hide-and-seek inside the cupboard, a woman, and a malevolent spirit of an old man. There were stories circulating around that one group who stayed overnight in the hospital decided to record themselves singing 'Twinkle Little Star', and they caught something in the recording. They heard children giggling, a woman saying 'wait, wait', and an angry voice of a male shouting, 'get out!'. Jase had his EMF detector pointed near the cupboard. It went crazy. So what he did, he got his phone and started recording himself singing the same song. Actually, we were all at the center of the room, and we didn't hear him singing. After we went out, we played back his recording. Believe it or not, he caught something on his recording. There weren't disembodied voices from the children or from the woman, but in the middle of his singing, someone was shouting in the background, 'Fuck you! Your singing stinks, I believe!'.

Shit got real.


Third stop: The Gravedigger's House

The gravedigger's house is one of the most haunted parts of the complex. It's so haunted that Bob won't dig deeper into its bloody history. It used to be the house of the gravedigger and a doctor. Just a few steps from the house is the third class cabin. During that time, there were reports of missing girls and children. Eyewitness reports claimed they saw some kids and girls entering the gravedigger's house. More so, the doctor was so attached to the girls, especially the young ones. 

The house is a bungalow. It has two bedrooms with a small living room, dining room, and the kitchen and the bathroom are both located at the back part of the house.



The room where no one's allowed to enter.



Bob left us in the house for at least 10 minutes. The first room to the right used to be the bedroom of the pedophile doctor. As I slowly entered the room, the atmosphere drastically changed. It felt cold and sad at the same time. I don't know, I can't help but be sad in that room. I went out right away because I can no longer take the sadness in this room. The second room was rather weird. I was about to enter there but something felt wrong. It felt like there's a force barring me from entering the room. Some of my groupmates checked their EMF, and it went a bit crazy. I guess everyone was not welcomed to come inside.

The back portion, where the kitchen and the bathroom are located, was the scariest part of the house. It was dark, but that part of the house was faintly illuminated by the moon outside. I stayed there for at least three minutes just to observe. I suddenly felt goosebumps all over my body. As I neared the bathroom, it felt sinister. I didn't go inside because my instincts told me not to go there.

I managed to take photos inside the house. My phone didn't catch anything paranormal, but all photos are creepy as fuck. When everyone's outside, Bob confessed that the bathroom was the most haunted part of the house. Locals claimed that a girl was brutally murdered inside the bathroom. She got strangled by a barbed wire.


Fourth stop: The Morgue

Firstly, I never like going to a morgue, especially if it's dark and abandoned. I was very nervous the moment we entered the morgue. To add the scare factor, a mannequin lying at the center, covered with a white cloth. I know it's staged, but it still crept the hell out of me! While Bob was talking about the history, it started to get cold, but weirdly only on my right side. No one was standing to my right; there was nothing but a door leading to the laboratory. A cold breeze passed through the door. I wasn't paying attention to Bob's story because I felt someone was standing beside me. I whispered to Jase about it so, he scanned his EMF, and suddenly there was a spike of energy. He told me to calm down, but I was *this* close to breaking down. As minutes went by, I started to feel goosebumps on my right arm, and I can feel that someone was actually touching my arm. It was like a gentle caress, but definitely not human.

I became uneasy after we went out the morgue, and Bob noticed it. He smiled and said, 'the resident ghost liked you, didn't he?'. 

Really, Bob?


Fifth stop: The Shower Block

The shower block is the most haunted place in the whole Q Station. During that time, those who were sick must take a shower of carbonic acid (not water) at the shower block. The acid kills fleas and ticks in seconds. Two days after, your skin starts to peel off.

Do you see the shadow man?




It was dark and eerie as we entered the shower block. The stench was still there, and I felt lightheaded, the same feeling when you just got out from a boat ride. Bob told us that there are shadows lurking around the dark corners of the shower block. For 15 minutes, we were instructed to roam around and observe. He told us to go to the corner where we feel the most uncomfortable. I had goosebumps as we passed by the center aisle, and turned right since we both felt uneasy on this side. As we were walking back to the center aisle, I felt someone was watching us from behind. So instinctively, we turned our heads slowly, and there we saw a dark figure peering from the corner of the block. I am pretty much sure that my mind wasn't playing tricks on me. The figure was tall, about seven feet tall, and it was darker than the dark. All of the sudden, the figure came right after us. I don't know what happened next, but Jase and I were back at the main door of the block in a jiffy.

Whatever that is, it scared the shit out of me.

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The tour lasted for three hours. It was already 12.30AM when we went back to the parking lot safe and sound. I honestly do not know what to feel after the tour. I was physically and mentally exhausted. Nonetheless, it was still a great experience. It finally validated that I am sensitive to the paranormal. I do believe in ghosts, and I don't easily get scared by them, but my experience at Q Station was overwhelming. A lot can happen in three hours.

If you're in Sydney, and if you're feeling brave like me, don't forget to visit Q Station in Manly. Book your ghost tour here!

PS: The ghosts didn't follow me in Burwood. I didn't feel anything unusual after the tour. Well, it's a case-to-case basis so...

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