The Liverpool Technical and Further Education (“TAFE”) campus in College Street, Liverpool, in south west Sydney certainly provides a magnificent setting to get an education on a whole range of subjects.
The casual observer entering through the front gates and walking through the manicured gardens will firstly observe the old brick and sandstone buildings...
The casual observer entering through the front gates and walking through the manicured gardens will firstly observe the old brick and sandstone buildings. The impressive building in the centre has its own bell tower and was thought to be designed by convict architect Francis Greenway and completed in the late 1820’s, early 1830’s. This building is flanked on both the left and right by equally historic and stunning buildings, unfortunately known (by the rather dull and bland names) as building A and building C.
Behind these buildings are a cluster of other historic buildings now used as lecture and demonstration rooms, with the newest of the buildings on the campus being K block, built in the 1970’s.
However, this beautiful site has a very dark past, as Peet Banks, founder of the Australian Paranormal Phenomenon Investigators, or APPI Ghost Hunts & Tours, explains to the guests assembled there on Saturday night, 12 December 2015. As Peet demonstrates, Liverpool TAFE commenced as a convict hospital, then over the years it was used at various times as a poor house, benevolent society, asylum for the aged and infirm and NSW state hospital, before being converted into a place of technical education. Peet goes on to further tell of the human sadness, misery and suffering that was experienced on the site under the various forms of use over the years.
The group is then split into two and are then lead to different areas of the campus to do various activities. Fellow volunteer John and I head out with Jacqueline’s group to firstly hear some more about the history of the campus, then onto C block for a demonstration of how paranormal detection devices work. Then our group heads to what is commonly known as “the dungeon”, which is situated under the grand main building. Here the contrast between the beautiful old main building and its dark past starts to be revealed.
The dungeon is entered via a non-descript external door at the back of the building. After going down a few steps, there is a corridor that runs the length of the building going to the right and the left. At the end of the corridor that runs to the right, there is a chamber where the old mortuary use to be. Walking down the corridor to the left, you pass the three old cells that were used to lock up and punish problem or uncontrollable convict patients. The cells have no natural light or ventilation, and when the doors were locked shut the hapless prisoners would have been in total darkness. At the end of the corridor is another chamber similar to the mortuary chamber which we are told was originally the officers’ mess.
In the mortuary chamber, Anne tries table tipping with no success, but then tries using an upturned glass on a table, where contact is quickly made with a little girl called Mary who we find out came to Australia by ship from France around the 1850’s. Mary was able to tell us she was aged 10, but didn’t go to school so had not learned her numbers or letters, so it was difficult to ask her any more questions - but she was quite happy to move the glass around the table in response to the group talking and singing to her.
Next we went to K block, the most modern building on campus having been built in the 1970’s but the building with the “weirdest” activity. K block is built on the old nurses’ quarters, and there is much reported activity here, including a little girl seen by many named Helen. Here is what I personally saw and experienced (which has been condensed):
Anyhow, many of the guests soon left so John and I decided to have a look around by ourselves and make sure any remaining guest where ok. We entered B Block, the main building, and as John was heading up the staircase to go to level 1 I asked him to be quiet – I thought I heard a piano being played coming from somewhere. John then informed me there was a piano in the room where Peet first introduce the guests to the campus, known as the Music Room, where music had been heard coming from. However, I never knew there was a piano in the room, and was not aware of what “type” of music people reported hearing.
We made our way to C Block and at the very end of the verandah on the top level a guest by the name of Brooke and another male guest had K2 devices that were “responding” like nothing I have seen before, especially outdoors. John and I looked around to see if there was anything that could be giving off such a strong EMFs, but with no success. Brooke and the other guest had used the K2 and the ghost box to make contact with a lady she thought was named Barbara, who either jumped or threatened to jump from that part of the balcony after falling pregnant and having been committed by either her father and/or lover. John and I both agreed we have never seen a K2 device respond so strongly.
Then Brooke, John and I went into the room at the end of the building right behind where Brooke was standing on the balcony. The table tipping had been set up and we were advised by the group leaving they had had great responses. Brooke, John and I tried the table tipping where we got an immediate response, except the table kept tipping onto my lap. Also, whoever was tipping the table would not move it back into the start position – I had to do this. No matter how many times we requested the table be tipped towards either Brooke or John, it kept coming to me, even when I was the only one touching the table. I think I know the reason why.
So soon it would be dawn, so John and I decided to head back to K block for one last time where we sat for 20 minutes or so by ourselves on level 1. We heard banging’s from up on level 2 which had been happening all night, so decided to do one last check, which revealed nothing, so we headed back to the assembly area to help pack up.
On the drive home I again found I had much to think about, but I realised I had become a bit more “comfortable” (brave maybe?) walking around active sites then I was when I first started out with the APPI crew. Maybe I was becoming accustomed to this stuff? Now how do I just put this on my resume?
Ross Downie - 15 December 2015.
[Note from blogger Ross – I am sorry this is a bit long but there was so much activity at Liverpool TAFE this is just a summary of the activity that happened – in fact, I had to take a few days and make notes of the various things that happened as I gradually recalled them. There were many more occurrences I heard about but did not see or experience so I have tried to just report on the things that happened to just to me – but Liverpool TAFE is by far the most active place I have been to with the APPI crew to date. The next day I came across the following article – see if you can spot the reasons for the headaches suffered by many of the APPI guests and the reason for the strong smell of “sewerage” as sensed by some guests
**editors note - the article Ross refers to is the investigation APPI held with Ben Hansen from Fact or Faked: The Paranormal Files.