The Coal Mines Historic Site
The Coal Mines are today no more than seaside ruins, offering a striking contrast to the rugged terrain that surrounds them. Yet, there is more than meets the eye to these crumbling ruins, they offer an insight into Australia’s brutal past of convict labor and are claimed by some to harbor ghosts.
These were the first operational coal mines in Tasmania and they remained in service for more than 40 years. The settlement here utilized convict labor to run and consisted of the individuals deemed as being the ‘worst of the worst’ from the nearby Port Arthur Penitentiary. Time spent at the Coal Mines was brutal and unpleasant for many, making it a major deterrent for bad behavior. Hard back-breaking labor, poor living conditions and punishment, which included time spent in underground solitary confinement cells, awaited those unfortunate enough to be sent to the Coal Mines.
The first coal shipment came out of the mines in 1834. After this, the site began to grow until it peaked at around 600 convicts, as well as a number of officers who would have also been stationed at the site. Eventually, in 1848, the Coal Mines were closed down due to financial and moral concerns. Athough today the ruins remain empty and abandoned, many still believe there could be spirits from the past continuing to occupy the space.
Hauntings of the Coal Mines
The Coal Mines would have been a truly bleak place to spend time. They were a place of hard labor, dank accommodation, suffering and even death. A signifier for just how tough life was at the mines is highlighted by the numerous escape attempts and refusal to work put forward by many. Add to this a number of deaths, which occurred by accidents such as falling down shafts or taking a pick axe to the head, you have a seriously conducive environment for hauntings.
Many people claim that there could be spirits from the past left behind at the Coal Mines historic site. Given the unmerciful history of the location, it seems plausible that a haunting could have resulted. There are no distinct ghost stories related to the site telling of specific spirits or activity. It remains a mystery just who or what could remain to haunt the Coal Mines. Could it be energy left behind, trapped within the sandstone cells, spirits from past convicts or even jailers continuing to maintain the status quo of the site?
Visiting the Haunted Coal Mines in Tasmania
The Coal Mines Historic Site lies about a 45-minute drive from the Port Arthur site. Visits are free and require a small and easy hike to the ruins. The ruins remain open daily to visitors and are a truly unique site that offers a different view of convict life.
If you enjoyed reading this article you might also like to learn about the haunted Hobart Convict Penitentiary.
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