Built in 1923 by the Freemasons to take care of the children in the area who had no one else to care for them.
It housed more than 100 children and despite its name took in both boys and girls. There was a huge gym and dining hall on site and even an indoor swimming pool. Sounds like paradise on Earth for an orphaned child, doesn’t it?
And there are plenty of stories published in a book by the Freemasons that declare it as just that. Not that happy places can’t become haunted. Horror stories aren’t needed to create ghosts, are they?
Well in a word no. We don’t really know what ghosts are other than some form of energy that we don’t truly understand yet. That being said who wants hear a ghost story where everyone was treated well and – well – accidents happen right?
All that’s really needed is an unexpected death or someone with unfinished business dying before they could finish it. Or perhaps a place they loved so much they returned after their death.
That this location is haunted – populated by ghosts – most people agree on. Its when we ask why that the issues start to get sticky.
There are horror stories appearing in the past of this building but most people would agree they fall into the realm of Urban Legends. Once again, we hit those 2 words and, once again, we need to acknowledge there’s some truth somewhere in all Urban Legends.
Either way the orphanage closed in 1977 or 78; not due to anything nefarious but because State adoption laws changed. The building remained closed and abandoned until 2000 – plenty of time for those horror stories to grow - when it was restored and turned into an events venue and hotel.
And what are these Urban Legends? You say.
An evil priest or headmistress who beat the children – some to a degree that they died. What to do with the body of a murdered child – putting aside the whole distasteful side of it as any psychopath would – well you bury said body in the basement. Now we have the makings of a real ghost story to chill your spine.
Oh yes, and this priest or headmistress didn’t spare their staff either. One nurse was so horrified by her treatment and the treatment of the children she hung herself in the belltower.
The actual recorded paranormal activity includes:
At midnight, and perhaps any time after dark, the shadow of a woman hanging from a noose in the belltower will pass over you.
The apparition of a woman who walks the main hallway eternally.
The ghost of a little girl who begs you to protect her from an unseen evil.
The apparition of a small boy running around seemingly oblivious to the living.
The phantom sounds of children screaming and crying – oh and laughing but that one usually gets skipped over.
One comment about a bathroom being quite chilly but the staff have confirmed there is air conditioning pumped directly into the bathrooms.
Other Activity: disembodied voices; light anomalies; electrical disturbances and feelings of not being alone.
For reference the former children’s dormitory is now hotel rooms and the massive dining hall is now the grand ballroom.