01 August 2018 | Your Stories
Recently the Cessnock Advertiser featured an article about a haunted police station. Would you spend the night there? Well… would you? Let’s find out what’s been going on in this creepy old building… You can read the original article here.
Standing outside the Deloraine Police Station it may appear to be just another old building.
But beneath the more than 80-year-old bricks and mortar lies stories of convicted criminals, postmortems and ghosts in the cupboard.
Originally functioning as council offices and a courthouse, the former prisoner holding cells still remain at the current site.
Before they appeared before a magistrate, remandees would be housed below the building in small, cold, concrete rooms with nothing but a bed and a toilet.
They would be escorted out of the cell, along the caged pathway and up the stairs directly into the court room and into the dock.
While the original bar table where lawyers and prosecutors sat remains, it is one of the few items left from that era.
If you look closely enough, on the wall remains the original proclamation script, which officers would read out in court.
That court room has now been split in half, with a wall separating it into a records room and a common meeting space.
As for the holding cells, they are now nothing more than empty rooms.
Prisoners were not the only people housed at the station either.
The building had its very own morgue, where bodies from suspicious death cases were taken for postmortem examination.
The current station staff, as well as other Tasmania Police officers, believe the old morgue is behind the ghost stories.
Deloraine Inspector Scott Flude said although in his three years at the station he had not experienced a ghost, he had heard many stories.
“Yesterday I spoke to three people in town who swear and declare there is a ghost here,” he laughed.
“I’ve got to say, I’m not convinced, I have never seen anything, but it’s one of those stories I’ve always heard about Deloraine.”
It was revealed at least three officers from Launceston had ghost stories from Deloraine.
“One guy left and went to Westbury Station to complete his work because the doors kept slamming, or so he said,” Inspector Flude recalled.
Another officer was spending the night, but packed up and left, refusing to go back.
He also claimed doors had been opening and shutting through the night.
The station’s customer service officer Delwyn Coad said she was convinced the ghost lived in one of the cupboards in the old police house at the back of the building.
“For some reason I think it’s a she, I don’t know why, I think because she’s a gentle ghost, she’s not violent, she’s a friendly ghost,” she said.
“I think she comes in and out of the cupboard because the door keeps opening, you lock it and the next day it will be open.”
In her 12 years at the station, however, she only had one solid experience with what she thought was the ghost.
“I could hear a noise and went down to the other end of the station and the radio was going very loud,” she said.
Nobody else was in the station at the time.
Beyond the ghost stories, Inspector Flude said the station’s policing history was what made it unique.
“It would have to be one of the oldest police stations in Tasmania,” he said.
“Everything now is so modern, it is like going back in time when you come here and you can see the facilities, which haven’t changed really since 1936.
“We’re moving to a different type of policing in the modern age now where we don’t need so many police stations.
“But in the old days, we had a police station at Mole Creek, and this was the hub, it still is, so it’s a great piece of history.”
With plans for a new station at Longford, Inspector Flude won’t be at Deloraine forever.
But he hoped the station would remain.
“Certainly we will always maintain a presence here, but it’s whether we need such a big area for the officers that will remain, so there will be a sergeant and a contingent of eight or nine officers at least.
“But our police stations now are our computers and cars, people don’t come to police stations like they used to, and stations are not so important anymore.
“I think the public have a perception that we’re not sitting around in a police station, we’re out and about where we can be seen.”
While he would not volunteer to spend a night in the old cells himself, he believed they could function as a tourist attraction.
“With our tourism industry going the way it is, there’s potential for this place down the track, post-police,” he said.
“A museum, a bed and breakfast, you could do a lot with it. So it’ll be interesting, but it’ll be great to see it remain as it is.”
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