Melbourne Fringe 2012

The Old Melbourne Ghost Tour

0 Comments 17 October 2012

The setting for ghost stories was perfect: rain pelted down from a dark sky, a wind shivered into our spines, the expectations of the tour was high  - but unfortunately they would not be met. Melbourne is a city with an interesting history, with some stories of gore suitable for an Underbelly episode, but its supernatural presence depicted in this tour was far from Paranormal Activity.

The tour group was comprised of mostly ghost believers from age 12 and up who listened in awe as the tour guide Johnny told us of the old fisherman’s ghost on Platform 7 at Flinders Street Station, the tale of the tragic end of the beautiful Chloe and of prostitutes from the early 1900s who haunted rooms on Bourke Street. There was mention of ghost hunters and orbs captured in photographs; we were encouraged to take photos in a believed haunted spot. Although Johnny did tell the stories in a serious manner they often ended with him cracking jokes. It was obvious he was more of a cynic; there was more laughter on the tour than any sense of horror or fear.

The group were led through alleyways and backstreets in Melbourne’s CBD to create a more intimate setting, but the city’s drunken crowds (it was a Saturday night), trams and traffic would at times drown out Johnny’s stories, and in turn, probably scared away any ghosts. It did feel more like a walking history lesson than a fun night out. The tour did, however, strip away some of the glamour of modern Melbourne as Johnny reminded us of the realities of luxuries we take for granted – like our sewers.

Overall, the Old Melbourne Ghost Tour was far from a paranormal adventure, and ended as a mediocre night of history – with that said, this is definitely suitable for families looking for something educational. (Remember to wear comfortable shoes. There’s a lot of walking.)

The Old Melbourne Ghost Tour has now finished its run as part of the Melbourne Fringe but continues to run tours at various times throughout the year. Check out their website for more information.

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