News Local for Sydney, Australia has a really great story by Joanne Vella with images regarding a spooky graveyard there and its collection of ghosts….
The anomaly was snapped at the burial place of explorer William Lawson and other early settlers. Many believe the cemetery and church, opened in 1841 and destroyed by fire in 1989, is haunted.
Four members of Sydney South West Paranormal Investigators team were near the grave when they heard a whining sound.
As they often do on the tours across Sydney, the team took about 300 photos. The unusual image was captured on the 209th frame.
But it was not until film was developed that “a very large anomaly’’ was captured.
“We think it’s moving towards us. It has legs, arms. We think it’s a male,’’ lead investigator Kelly Ryan says.
“We’re not claiming this is the spirit of a human being, we’re just saying this is an anomaly.
“The reason we know that is that there were only four of us there, it was quite a controlled environment.
“It’s opened more questions. There has been sightings there before.’’
Tour guide and local historian Hazel Magann is unsure of whose image it is but she is adamant about her aversion to that section of the gravesite.
“I close down. I kept having horrendous feelings near where that photo was taken,’’ Magann says.
She says a scout group once saw her being followed by a short man as she walked in the direction of the M4 motorway.
Her research revealed Thomas James Willis, aka the Penrith Jockey, born in 1834 in Middlesex England, could haunt the site.
Willis’ mother Mary is buried under the tree where the anomaly was captured. But Magann believes his spirit is there because of his daughter Emily, who died in 1863. She was just three years old.
Many have also spotted a girl who appears to be the same age darting towards the M4 motorway.
“She’s a very naughty girl, very much a prankster,’’ Magann says.
“She can never leave the site. I can tell you that.’’
Members of the paranormal team, which has ventured out to St Bart’s since August, also say they spotted a girl with a similar description running around only to see her disappear shortly afterwards.
“I think with that place, the more we investigate the more questions we ask,’’ Ryan says.
“We’ve had some interesting encounters there.
“This one, we would say, this is not actually haunted but intelligently haunted. They
know you’re there. Our team members have had visual sightings.
“We get regular battery drains when I put out my equipment.’’
“St Bartholomew’s is a very interesting place.
“I think a lot of people who are still resting there are very connected to the church and the land.’’
As for the most recent image, Ryan welcomes scrutiny.
“It doesn’t matter what evidence we have, there’s always going to be sceptics. We love sceptics because it keeps us honest.’’
● Historical and ghost tours run twice a month at St Bart’s. There will be a ghost tour on New Year’s Eve from 7.30pm. Cost: $21 Bookings: 9839 6000.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER ENTITIES ENCOUNTERED AT ST BART’S
BENJAMIN HALLEN — 1800-1843
Much of the paranormal activity recorded at St Bartholomew’s is around the gravesite of former sea captain Hallen.
He was baptised at St Bartholomew, Staffordshire Shire, England but he did not have a connection to the Prospect parish apart from the fact he was buried there because his cousins were in-laws of William Lawson.
St Bart’s has been Hallen’s resting place since 1846 (three years after his death when he was 43).
About 15 years ago, a man became unconscious just minutes after dancing on top of the vault.
“He was walking into the church and said ‘Oh I’m in agony, I feel sick’ and after a while we started to see him walking or sitting around the trees around the cemetery,’’ Magann says.
Only this year, a man was rushed to hospital after passing out near the vault. It’s the fifth time Magann has had to call the ambulance during a ghost tour.
“We don’t know what happens, they just pass out,’’ Magann says.
“He literally does not like people trespassing where they shouldn’t be.
“I would say he was a very determined man.’’
Magann believes she has seen Hallen’s spirit.
“I believe it’s this man because he walks in a very, very particular way and you will know if you’re looking at Ben Hallen.
“No one’s picked him up (on film) but I’ve seen him three times because he’s got a very distinct way of walking.
“People say there are no ghosts there which is infuriating.’’
Magann says a group of five teenage boys who went on a ghost tour last year got a harsh shock as they attempted to break into the church a day after. They claim to have spotted a man signalling for them to go away.
Any ideas of stealing valuables were thwarted when they felt paralysed.
JOHN POND 1858-1951
A friendlier spirit, Pond has left his mark on St Bart’s beyond the street named in his honour.
His connection to the site was deep.
A Parramatta born lad, Pond married Isabella Newis at St Bart’s on November 1, 1882. He also taught there, was a grave digger, a church warden on the site and lived nearby.
He died in March 1951 aged 92.
“I’ve spoken to him,’’ Magann says. “I know it sounds silly but I have.’’
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