Fremantle Arts Centre Investigation
Former Lunatic Asylum
2007-2008 Museum Investigation
The gothic-designed Fremantle Arts Centre.
Believed to be one of the most active haunted places in the southern hemisphere.
The following report of The Fremantle Arts Centre is from a number of investigations we have done so far formed into one and is a walk-though investigation we repeated with the best paranormal evidence captured so far.
The museum is located on the left side of the building.
The Arts Centre on the right.
The Fremantle Museum and Arts Centre was built as an Asylum for the criminally insane between the years 1861-65. Some other upgrades to the building occured in 1886, 1890 and 1894. Population in Perth in 1861 and Fremantle was at just 8000. It was built solely by convicts. It contained a high number of women due to which the new thriving colony government wanting colonel women to be married and have children. Women of the time with lower morals were taken away to stop a 'corrupting influence extending further and tainting society'.
It was used as a Lunatic Asylum up until the late 1800's when a couple of questionable deaths led government to recommended the site be demolished as it was unfit for purpose for which was being used. The inmates were moved to the metro area and the site became a Home For Old Women until 1942. During World War 2 the building was then converted for American US forces and used it as headquarters.
After the departure of the US forces the building was left in high disrepair. The education department asked if the site be cleared for an oval for the school opposite the Asylum. There was a public outcry and it was agreed to restore the Asylum and turn it into a museum for history of the area. Restoration began in 1968 and the museum was opened in 1970 and is open to this day. The adjoining Arts Centre was opened in 1972.
We firstly concentrated on the Fremantle Arts Centre Museum.
Entry leading to the museum.
The Court Yard
Outside the front of the museum, the Court Yard has also had numerous reported sightings of apparitions dressed in old traditional clothing, walking around and seen sitting on the benches. During its Asylum days in the mid to late 19th century, the current Court Yard was used as a Exercise Yard.
Fremantle Arts Centre Court Yard/former Exercise Yard
Visitors have experienced cold spots, been touched, seen apparitions and moving lights amongst other paranormal activity inside. A lot of activity and strange feelings have been reported around the cell area by visitors.
The museum has carpeted hallways and wooden floorboards in most display rooms which makes capturing EVP's easier to hear than the Arts area of the museum, which is all floorboards, alot more open and more echoey.
Tool Display Area
We firstly moved down the bottom hallway and into the first display room.
It contained items from the early settlement years at Fremantle. One display shown behind glass had items of some whips, convict pants and some leg chains.
The leg chains on the right.
While pointing out the item to Ian 'There you go..' , an unheard voice is then captured on our digital audio recorder saying clearly in an very Australian accent "Those are chains."
Those are chains EVP
Cal- "There you go."
EVP- "Those are chains."
"Those are chains" EVP
"Those are chains" EVP amplified
We moved on to the reported most active area for visitors to the museum.
Entry corridor to the display room and cell.
While entering the corridor, an extreme level of EMF was picked up by our EMF detector. It was the area many people have reported feeling uncomfortable and not being able to go any further. The EMF detector used at the time was a Cellsensor which screamed quickly to its maximum level of 6 milliguass. It was such a high level we first believed it to be some hidden unshielded wiring behind the paneled walls.
The area of high EMF activity.
Another repeated sweep of the area 30 seconds later showed no sign of the EMF we have just previously caught. Also in the following investigations of the same area we never had another repeated EMF spike since. We also had a digital camera during one investigation repeatedly failed to switch on when we wanted to take some photos around the same area. We walked out of the room, and it was able to be switched on. Walk back in, and it would shut off and would not turn on for a number of minutes.
While investigating the display area on the outside of the cell (around 10 metres from the area we caught the EVP spike) , we did capture an EVP on the digital audio recorders and the handycam.
Area the EVP was captured.
The handycam EVP is the closest and clearest, though it is hard to make out what is being said by the voice we did not hear at the time.
Whispery unknown EVP recording 1
Whispery unknown EVP recording 2
We did not capture anything inside the actual cell during our investigations.
Outside the cell.
Looking in the cell.
In the small cell.
The Stairs/Upstairs Hallway - going up
After checking out the other bottom floor rooms we walked to the stairs to climb to the upper floor.
The only staircase in the museum.
The stairs have reported to also be a hot spot for activity including visitors seeing an apparition of a woman. As we approached them, we caught a very soft womens voice say on our digital recorder what sounds to us as "Cold winds, that's what's in this place". The cold spots reported by many visitors to the museum are commonly referred to as 'cold winds'. Colds spots can be a sign of paranormal activity and we were able to experience a significant one while heading up the stairs and capture a very clear EVP of a man straight after.
Looking down the staircase on the top level.
As we approached the top of the stairs I am heard on the recording to of walked into a cold spot. I stepped back and was able to put my hand into the cold spot in front of me which was a lot cooler than the ambient surrounding temperature.
Ian was also able to feel the cold spot too and we started to move on not thinking much of it as the EMF detector remained flat during this time and we expected a slight temperature change going upstairs.
While still in conversion with Ian at the top of stairs about the cold spot, we proceeded to walk down the hallway.
The top floor hallway.
I said to Ian, 'It felt like it was at the top of the stairs there' and then we captured an EVP of a man which has an English accent who clearly says back at us in disagreement "It's not cold."
EVP- (whispering) "Cold winds, that's what's in this place"
Cal- "Feel a cold spot."
Cal- "Feels cold just a bit doesn't it?"
Ian- "I must admit its, its."
Cal- "It seems its at the top of the stairs there."
EVP - "Its not cold."
Cold Spot EVP
Upstairs Display Rooms
The upstairs hallway was again later prove to a good area to catch an EVP. We followed the hall to the end and decided to split up.
End of the hall looking back.
I started bombing off a few digital photos in one display room while Ian searched in the opposite room for a base reading of EMF. After shooting off 6 photos in quick succession with the flash on, an EVP is heard on my recorder saying softly what sounds like 'Hey, can I have your flash?' We're hoping it's flash and not flesh.
"Hey, can I have your flash?" EVP
On a following investigation another EVP was captured in the upstairs hallway.
Where a creepy EVP was caught.
It was captured on 4 audio recorders. We were carrying 2 different recorders each. It was captured closer to myself shortly after I said something. It is heard on Ian's recorder at a distance. No EMF changes were noticed, nor were any cold spot felt. The EVP was not heard by either of us at the time is probably one of the more creepiest EVP's we have captured during our public investigations. It sounds almost like something was hissing at us, or in particular, me.
Ian speaks first on the recording.
Ian's recording picks up the EVP from a distance of around 2 metres.
The whining-like noise just before the SSSSSssssss is also part of the EVP and was not an investigator.
The 4 recordings are listed. EVP is at 5-8 seconds
Cal recording 1 SSSSSssssss
Ian recording 1 SSSSSssssss
Cal recording 2 SSSSSssssss
Ian recording 2 SSSSSssssss
Upstairs Hands-on Display room
Down the other end of the hallway you find a large room which includes many hands-on display items.
Signage to the room.
The Light & Sound discovery centre.
We both had a strange, heavy feeling in this room at this time. I proceeded to take a couple of photographs which can be heard in the following 2 recordings.
An EVP is then captured on our trainee investigators recorder. There is a sound of an inhale/exhale of breath then a voice saying what sounds like 'Ghost'.
The same EVP is also recorded on my recorder from around 2 metres away. My recording has a metallic sound to it due to differing specifications. While the trainees recording is the closer and the clearer EVP. The trainee then showed me if she was holding the recorder correctly and I reply 'that's alright.'
The first recording is closer to the EVP and has higher Hz level and is a clearer EVP.
"Ghost" EVP recorder 1
The second recording from 1-2 metres away records from a lower Hz level.
"Ghost" EVP recorder 2
Upstairs TV room
The tv room.
While scanning the small TV room located upstairs for a sign of any paranormal activity we got some spiking, random EMF. We started provoking any spirits then a couple of unknown EVPs are heard followed by Ian feeling a cold spot pass through him that quickly dissipates. Ian's recording of the EVP was closer to him before the cold spot passed through him.
Recorded on 2 recorders by 2 investigators. EVP's at 1-2 seconds.
EVP recording Ian - EVP and cold spot felt.
EVP recording Cal - EVP and cold spot felt.
The Stairs - coming down
Entry to heading down the stairs.
Heading back down the stairs, a couple of empty chairs are located at the top and halfway down.
The halfway point of the stairs and chair.
Halfway we asked if anybody was sitting in the chair pictured and got a response on both recorders after a few seconds 'Noooo'
EVP recording 1 "Is someone sitting here?"..."No."
EVP recording 2 "Is someone sitting here?"..."No."
In the bottom hallway, the walls are covered with photographs of early settlers.
Ground bottom hallway.
While pointing at one photograph we got an EVP to a description of a photograph we were looking at.
The photo the EVP described.
There are also the popping noises during the recording which were inaudible to us but common on some EVP recordings. We believe this to be from our own research and many EVP's with the same common noise that it may be the spirit entering or vanishing the surrounding area. In this case it happens after the words from the EVP and could be the spirit making a quick retreat. The EVP of a man sounds like 'It's a wife mother' and it was captured on 2 recorders carried by each investigator.
This EVP was also recorded on 2 recorders:
EVP recording 1 - "It's a wife/mother" EVP
EVP recording 2 - "It's a wife/mother" EVP
Ghost At The Asylum Display
Inside the museum around the cell area there is a small display on the known history of paranormal activity at the Fremantle Arts Centre.
Details on some ghosts in the former Lunatic Asylum
Looking inside a window at the display, an empty rocking chair moves back and forth with help of a mechanism.
The rocking chair.
At the display, there is also a women who speaks through a speaker on loop about visitors and employees experiences with ghostly activity.
This is the full recording just over 2 minutes
"Ghosts stories at the former Asylum" recording.
We have not yet seen any apparitions of any kind, moving lights or been touched. We have experienced a few cold spots, seen EMF changes that dissipate and captured many unexplained EVP's during a number of visits to this reported haunted location.
The lighting that surrounds and leads around many display rooms emits a surprisingly constant medium to high level of EMF.
There are a couple of areas in some rooms where there are extreme levels of EMF coming from around the wiring and roof. As the extreme areas are hard to find and small, we don't think it would have the chance to give people a high dosage of EMF which could cause hallucinations, tiredness, hearing voices and feeling paranoid etc Also, the lights surrounding the displays have the surprising high EMF for what they are, though we feel they also not strong enough to affect anyone but very sensitive people.
If there is any increased chance of anyone seeing an apparition anywhere, it's here. We believe it to be a hotbed of paranormal activity and one of a few places in the world and maybe the only place in the southern hemisphere that is active all the time, around the clock.
The 'Arts' Centre itself we have also investigated at times and have captured a few EVP's and also believe it to be home of some paranormal activity. Our investigation of Fremantle Arts Centre (Museum & Arts Centre) is ongoing and we hope to capture more paranormal evidence in the future.
Cal & Ian,
Perth Ghost Hunters
Paranormal Research & Investigations