This time five years ago Peet Banks founded the highly successful all female paranormal investigation group called the Australian Paranormal Phenomenon Investigators, or more commonly known as “APPI”. During that time APPI had expanded into doing all things paranormal, including their highly successful ghost tours, hunts and investigations. Now it was time for a dress up birthday party and sleep over, and what better venue than Liverpool TAFE, built in the 1820’s and used at first as a hospital for convicts in 1830.
I packed my costume for the evening in my car, wondering if I really would look like a creepy Victorian era undertaker. However, I mainly pondered how long I would last in my costume as the temperature in Sydney that day had been stifling hot and out west at Liverpool it would be even worse. Anyhow, I got out to Liverpool ok, caught up with the rest of the team, and we got things set up pretty smartly (as we always do). Then time for everyone to get into their costumes for the night, ready for the guests to arrive. Thankfully the sun was going down and it had cooled a little.
I went up to the front gate to do the “meet ‘n greet”, and escorted the guests down to the assembly area. One of the first groups were four ladies, and I asked if they had been here before – they responded no, but one lady said she was at Parramatta Gaol last October and found a $1 coin down her bra. I told her I was there and was standing right beside her when she found and removed said $1 coin – she told me it freaked her out at the time.
The guests were prepared for the evening with an excellent BBQ of sausages and kebabs, tasty side dishes, a choice of excellent salads, and a fantastic dessert selection, including birthday cake (naturally), all washed down with ice cold soft drinks.
The evening then started with the guests viewing the introduction video in the Music Room, and then being divided into three groups. I volunteered to go with Jacqueline’s group, and we headed outside into the front garden where Jacqueline provided some more history of the site.
It didn’t take long for the activity to start. In the middle of the garden there is a medium high tree, and the area around the tree and small central garden had tape running around it so that people would know not to enter or get close, as it looked like a tree branch had come down. The tape basically formed a rough square around the tree and garden, and started and finished by being tied to a garbage bin.
As Jacqueline was talking I moved behind the group and was standing next to a length of the tape that was tied to the bin. I then noticed the tape moving up and down quite “aggressively”, as if someone had the tape between their thumb and forefinger and was shaking it vertically. I alerted the group to this, and then asked if anyone had walked over to the bin and knocked it to cause a vibration – no one had. Darrin (APPI photographer) also noticed this about the same time I did, and was about to say it was probably a breeze, but stopped himself, as he realised, as I did, there was absolutely no air movement at all, nor was any other sections of the tape, or any vegetation in the garden, moving. A guest also confirmed she had witnessed the tape moving up and down and agreed there was no breeze – the night was dead still.
Anyhow the group moved indoors to the next part of the tour and after making sure all guests were now inside I went back out to the garden where another section of the tape was being moved up and down – just like someone walking around and saying “what is this thing and why is it here?”
The group moved over to block C where two of the guests at the back of the group “thought” they heard noises coming from upstairs as we were leaving. I was also at the back of the group but didn’t hear anything.
Anyhow the night moved on and the ghost tour people left and the sleepover people began their investigations. My group started out in block K, the newest building on the site having been built in the 1970’s, but having been built on the site of the old nurses quarters.
Now K block consists of a ground, first and second floors. On the ground floor there is a short corridor running towards College St; the first floor has a long corridor running towards the railway line and a short corridor the same as the ground floor, and the second floor has a long corridor only. The building echoes and so a new experiment is being done tonight. This involves a CD player being set up on level one at the top of the stairs, where it can be heard throughout the entire building, and then REM pods to be placed in the corridors on each level, with people on each level to monitor any activity. The idea is to play different types of music and see if there are any responses when the music is turned off. I stay with the ground floor people, and Jacqueline and Lynda start this session on the first floor.
Music, from Frank Sinatra to Donna Summer is played, and Jacqueline and Lynda start getting responses via their REM pod (maybe we should have played Justin Beiber or One Direction – that would upset anyone). I go upstairs to see what is happening, and one of the guests comes with me. I show the group an area of level one where the K2 meters start reacting. It is a small area and is the same spot as last time I was there cold spots were detected and one guest experienced the presence of a little girl. The area is only about two meters square, and if you move away the K2’s stop responding – I can find no logically explanation. There is also a guest who has her own equipment, including a K2, and her K2 is responding exactly the same as the APPI equipment.
Then Jacqueline experiences trouble with the music equipment – it keeps failing and is drained of power but she manages to get it working again. This happens several times. After another music session the REM pod down the end of the short corridor on level one starts to activate. Lynda asks the entity there to provide some other sign, such as slamming a door, making a door handle rattle, or turning the exit sign on and off.
Now, about 15 seconds later, there is the most powerful door slam from down the end of the short corridor I have ever heard – it was so loud the groups on the ground floor and level two clearly heard it. A door had been slammed, and slammed hard. Jacqueline and Lynda head down to investigate and I head down with a guest to have a look. Jacqueline and Lynda can find nothing, and then I realise this is the exact same spot where on the last visit I found two guests who had developed splitting headaches, and I had to escort them out of the building.
I went downstairs to check on the ground floor group – they were looking down the corridor where they claimed they had seen dark solid shaped matter down the end. I don’t believe the level two group experienced anything apart from hearing the door slam.
Our session in K block ended and we moved over to the room set up for the ganzfield and lone vigil experiences in the dungeons. While waiting for this to begin, a guest who was wearing shorts, notices that welts have developed on his left leg. It is almost like a hand has grabbed him around the leg, and the finger tips have left welt marks. He is insistent that they are not mosquito bites, nor were they there before he went into K block. He also says there is a slight burning sensation. I ask if he is ok and he assures me he is.
Just then, one of the guests realises she has left her camera in K block, so I offer to go back with her to get it. She has no torch so I give her my spare torch. We go up to level one where her camera is right beside the CD player – as she reaches to get her camera, my torch simply “dies” – no power – nothing. Dead as. Same as if you simply turned it off. I put new batteries in it next day and it works perfectly.
Our final session is in B block where Suzanne is running a psychic session which consists of a number of “trigger” objects on a large table. Basically, trigger objects can be anything, and as the name suggest the object is to get a “triggered” response. Suzanne has a big selection of items, including cups and saucers, tennis balls, marbles and cigarettes, and advises the earlier groups had been getting strong responses from two entities who were apparently orderlies there at some time, including the cups being tapped in Morse code fashion, and the tennis balls being moved.
Almost soon as our group sit down a cup is “flung” from the table up near Suzanne and crashes on the floor. Suzanne also starts experiencing trouble with the LED light she is using to illuminate the table being moved and cannot get it positioned. While none of the trigger objects move, the floor vibrates/shakes on several occasions, and then there are definite “thumps” felt in the floor.
It seems whoever was in the room before had now left. I remember last visit there was a little girl entity we communicated with in the dungeon area of the building, and ask if she is with us. The K2 starts responding, so I ask if she would like a nursery rhyme – again the K2 responds. We sing a nursery rhyme and in response to a question from a guest asks whether she likes that the K2 again responds.
After that it was free time. Despite the fact that my brain keeps telling me I am still aged 23, my body tells me a totally different and more realistic story, and so at 4am I need to head off for home and bed. But as birthday parties go, it was a great night, and the entities of Liverpool TAFE once again have demonstrated their willingness to make their presence felt. Happy 5th birthday APPI – looking forward to the next one !!!!!
Ross Downie (aka creepy Victorian era undertaker old dude)
17 February 2016.