There is little doubt that Maitland Gaol is a very sinister place even without the legends of ghost and paranormal activities that it possesses. Today, Maitland Gaol is a museum and popular tourist attraction thanks in part to its reputation, history and legend of paranormal activity. The location has been subject to paranormal research including the use of ghost hunting equipment to determine the true nature of the site.
The first prisoners entered Maitland Goal in 1848 just four years after construction began on this facility and when it closed on 150 years later on January 31st, 1998 it had become the longest active goal in the history of Australia. Even before the construction of permanent buildings, the site was used in 1843 to hang two men who were convicted of murdering a child.
For the first fourteen years of its existence, executions were public events that were very well attended. Hangings often took place either at the main gate or in the back corner of the facility. Between 1849 and 1897, a total of sixteen men were executed for rape or murder. However, 1897 was the last year in which executions took place and the corporal punishment of flogging was ended in 1905.
Over the next seventy years, Maitland Goal saw its share of incidents, but in 1975 the inmates rioted and set fire to the maintenance block. The goal was heavily damaged and 78 of the prisoners had to be transferred as well. However, during its long history only 32 inmates attempted to escape and only 1 was never found.
By 1998, Maitland Goal has served its purpose and the aging facility was closed with the remaining prisoners being transferred to other goals. Today, the prison is now a museum that shows the history of the facility and offers tours of the grounds.
The Paranormal Activity of Maitland Goal
The legend of Maitland Goal having ghosts and other paranormal activity was apparent even before the facility closed for having less than suitable conditions for the prisoners. Even though executions and corporal punishment ended well over a century ago, many people still feel the suffering and hardships that the prisoners went through just by walking down the hallways and corridors of the facility.
Ghost hunting equipment has been used in attempts to ferret out the spirits that dwell inside and several ghost seeking expeditions have been made with varied results as they try to photograph images of the ghosts that haunt this place.
What can be said is that there have been plenty of sightings, reporting of footsteps in places where people that were not present and strong feelings and eerie sensations that usually fill the imagination of those who see this gaol for the first time. Separating strange feelings from paranormal facts can be difficult to do in a place like this. However, there have certainly been interesting photographs and strange occurrences in Maitland Goal that has made this facility the most haunted in Australia.
© Hardcore Paranormal 2014
© Hardcore Paranormal 2014