The Richmond Gaol
The Richmond Gaol lies is Tasmania, Australia and remains the oldest, intact prison in the country. It was built between 1825 and 1840 and is a fantastic representation of early convict life in Tasmania. Conditions in the Richmond Gaol would have been extremely harsh, with hard labor and cramped quarters shared amongst many prisoners. Physical punishments such as lashings were also quite common, as well as psychological torment delivered through extended stays in bleak solitary confinement cells.
Having such a long and well-preserved history has lead many to believe that the stone walls of this old jail may be haunted.
Ghosts of the Richmond Gaol
Many ghosts are claimed to roam the various buildings that make up the old Richmond Gaol. One of the more active places is the Gaoler’s Home. This was where the jailer, who was typically a convict himself, as well as his family would live while watching over the prison. It is the ghosts of one of these families who are claimed to have remained at the property. A man named Randal Young, his wife and their five children lived within the home from 1835 to 1842. To this day, many people claim to sight and interact with children within the home. They are believed to be the Young children.
In addition to these children, a mystery woman wearing a pink dress has also been sighted within this area of the gaol. Former caretakers of the jail also claimed that their young daughter would talk to an invisible elderly lady who would hang around on the stairs of the home.
The oldest part of the jail is also said to be particularly active with the paranormal. Many people have reported feeling strange emotions and experiencing the unexplained within this building. The former flogging yard is another place of interest. Being a place where prisoners where whipped across their backs, it comes as no surprise that some lingering negative energy may dwell in this area.
Without a doubt, most paranormal reports to come out of the old jail center around the men’s solitary confinement cells. This area consists of 8 wooden cells where convicts would be sentenced to spend time alone, for up to 30 days. The bleak cells contain no light and prisoners would have been given bread and water as their only rations while serving time. Interestingly, the third cell within this building has become quite notorious. Many people claim this spot to be the most haunted area, containing something described as dark and uninviting. Sudden drops in temperature, being touched and feeling a negative presence are generally reported in and around this particular cell.
Visiting the Haunted Richmond Gaol
The Richmond Gaol is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Tasmania, even pre-dating the widely known Port Arthur. The prison is open daily for self-guided tours and is an easy place to spend a couple of hours. If you are in the area I highly recommend also checking out the nearby Richmond Bridge, which was built by convict labor and said to also be quite haunted.
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