NORTH HEAD QUARANTINE STATION

(Sydney Quarantine Station)

North Head Scenic Drive, Manly, NSW

+61 2 9466 1500

Status: Former Quarantine Station; Heritage Property; Hotel

Website 

Ghost Tours Are Available

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History

This historical station is located on a site that was one of the first landings of the British fleet and first contact with the Aboriginal population on the continent.

The idea behind of the quarantine station was to hold people coming in on ships until it could be assured they were free from disease before releasing them into the general population. That way epidemics were prevented.

The station was first opened on August 14, 1832, to protect what was then the New South Wales colony. It was created by the Quarantine Act in response to the Cholera Pandemic in Europe.

 In the beginning the majority of ships carried prisoners – Australia originally being a penal colony – so not the most heathy members of the population.

Originally, the passengers were kept aboard ship but after the Lady Macnaghten – better known as the fever ship – had an extended quarantine in 1837 because of a typhus pandemic on board that cost numerous lives the need was seen that facilities needed to be built on land.

In the beginning conditions were very poor with cramped conditions and little food leading to high fatality rates. By 1840 conditions began to improve.

In 1853 when the Beejapore with over 1,000 passengers docked at the station; which had a capacity for only 150 people. The ship became permanently moored in the harbour and converted into a hospital ship but the overcrowding was still so bad the single woman were forced to live in the surrounding brush.

62 people ended up dying due to measles, typhus and scarlet fever.

This began a period of new building and an expansion of the facility.

In 1909 Australia took over ownership of the facility from the British.

Between vaccinations, the founding of antibiotics and improved medical science, the number of people needing to be quarantined began to fall rapidly by the 1940’s.

Between 1828 and 1984 more than 13,000 people were quarantined here and an estimated 572 died on site.

The station was closed on February 29, 1984.

The facility has now been converted into a hotel, conference centre and restaurant. The hotel part was converted from the high level accommodations for the rich people who were quarantined separately from the rest of the unwashed masses.

 

Paranormal Activity

One of the most haunted locations here is what’s known as the gravedigger’s cottage. While no gravediggers have ever lived here – it was actually a doctor’s residence – it is located between 2 graveyards hence getting it’s name.

The bathroom in the house is considered Sydney’s most haunted bathroom and has been reported as having large amounts of very dark energy.

While no actual gravediggers lived there the apparition of historical gravedigger (tulpa?) – a man in a cloak and wide brimmed hat – is frequently seen in the house. He has been named Sam and is said to have committed suicide in the house.

People also report unexplained sudden pains and severe anxiety attacks. This happens so frequently that ghost tour guides sometimes skip the house on the tour if people already seem nervous and emotionally heightened.

Many people also report invisible hands around their throat or being pushed down by the chest accompanied by a feeling of being underwater and being unable to breathe.

Mediums say a woman was murdered in the house by being drowned in the bathtub. The woman has been reached spiritually but is described as eternally crouched and crying in the tub.

A shadow figure described as threatening is seen in the old nurse’s quarters.

The apparition of mortician wanders the property as is known for being quite flirtatious with any women he comes across.

Other reported activity: apparitions of former doctors and nurses as well as patients; multiple shadow figures; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities; disembodied voices; time slips; objects moving their own; electrical disturbances; light anomalies; empathic sensations of anxiety, fear and oppression and feelings of being watched and not being alone.