Perched on Fremantle’s coastline, the Roundhouse remains the oldest building in Western Australia dating to 1831. What many do not realize, is the building is also claimed to be one of the most haunted in the state!
The Fremantle Roundhouse was the original prison for the settlement, holding anyone convicted of committing a crime until 1886. The building comprised of 8 cells, though sadly today only 4 remain. Each cell would hold multiple prisoners, with up to 40-odd people held at any given time. The jailer’s residence can still be seen, wrapping around the central courtyard that makes up the majority of the building.
After having served its time as a jail, the Roundhouse went on to become a police lock-up in the 1890s. It was also utilized as accommodation for the water police and storage for the nearby ports in later years. Today it functions as a museum with many to visit claiming to encounter ghosts from the past.
Ghosts of the Fremantle Roundhouse
One of the most prevalent stories related to the Fremantle Roundhouse is that of young John Gavin. John was just 15 years old in 1844 when he became the first legally executed person in Western Australia. He was kept in the Fremantle Roundhouse and hanged just outside its doors as a sick public display. John was believed to have murdered 18-year-old George Pollard, who was a farmer’s son in the place John had been sent to work. Today, many now believe that John’s death was a miscarriage of justice and that he was indeed innocent of committing this murder. Maybe this is why so many believe that his ghost has continued to roam the area?
Many more ghostly stories surround the Roundhouse. Multiple women claim to have sighted a man in tattered rags, sporting a big, bushy beard and wild hair in one particular cell. He is typically described as climbing up the walls. Others have claimed to hear ghostly voices, seen strange lights and even full bodies apparitions around the Fremantle Roundhouse.
Visiting the Haunted Fremantle Roundhouse
The Fremantle Roundhouse today, remains open to the public as a museum. It is a place filled with information and history and most definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area. Occasional ghost tours will pass through the building at night, but it is open daily to the public to wander through.
If you enjoyed this article, you might like to learn of a haunted tunnel in the outer suburbs of Perth.
Thanks for reading!