Manly Quarantine Station

In times of poor sanitary conditions and contagious illnesses, many are pushed to act. Waverly Hills was created to handle the tuberculosis epidemic in the United States. In Australia, fresh off a ship, you would face the Quarantine Station. To prevent diseases such as small pox, Spanish influenza and bubonic plague, the Quarantine Act was passed in 1832. Because of its maritime convenience and isolation, North Head, Australia was seen as the perfection location to establish the Quarantine Station.

Healthy or not, residents were isolated for months. At its busiest days, eight ships moored off of Quarantine Beach. The Station ran out of accommodations, forcing residents to camp out on the surrounding hill in unsanitary conditions. Those well enough were called upon to clear surrounding bushland and construct hospital and residential buildings. The Quarantine Station contains its own post office, power supply, water reservoir, hospital, morgue, telephone exchange and paved streets lined with various styles and types of buildings. Sixty hospital, residential and industrial buildings were built during a 120 year span.

After long voyages, many immigrants died to the Station and even after. Typhus ridden Lady McNaughton arrived in Sydney Harbor in 1837. Fifty four passengers had already died en route and the Quarantine Station proved to be no sanctuary. Thirteen more died after arrival in what were described as "truly appalling conditions with a sense of misery, wretchedness and disease present everywhere." A place where 572 men, women and children lived, suffered and sometimes died of horrendous diseases. Those who didn't leave were buried in one of three cemeteries that have since been demolished. Thanks to advancements in modern medicine, the Station lost is usefulness and closed down in 1984.

Today, you will have to pay a hefty price to tour the restored property with The National parks and Wildlife Service as your guides. The Quarantine Station has been labeled as one of "Australia's most haunted locations". Visitors have reported seeing ghosts (immigrants and hospital staff), feeling cold spots, uneasy feelings in certain spots and being tapped on the shoulder when no one was anywhere near them. Nurses on night shift over the years of operation reported seeing ghostly China men with long ponytails wandering through the wards and across verandas. Mysterious lights have been spotted in unoccupied hospital wards as well as apparitions. A ghostly girl with blond plaits occasionally holds a tourists hand and leads them around the pathways. Some visitors have spotted her hiding behind bushes or even tugging at their jacket sleeves. At times, she even speaks to them. There are also unusual sounds such as music and the clattering of pots and pans as well as smells such as lemons or potatoes.

With over a century worth of disease and death, is it really all that surprising the Quarantine Station has a multitude of paranormal activity?


SG said…
National Parks did not restore the Quarantine Station, the company who lease it did. Plus, $44 is not a hefty price in my books, to walk such a great place (& contribute to maintaining such a valuable place in Australian history). Some tours are around the same price & all you do is walk around the streets.
Andrea Allison said…
I didn't mean for it to sound as if the National Parks was the one who restored it but I guess that is how it reads. I altered it.

I guess in American terms it seems a bit on the expensive side but obviously the two views on the subject are different.
Syahira said…
this is a new blog. feel free to drop by, comment, and link us!
This is a really interesting post on Quarantine Station. Like most people I've been following the recent Haiti earthquake disaster and I'm wondering whether we'll get follow-up ghost sightings. I've been reading about people apparently in fear of zombies due to the problems of mass burial being against the Voodoo religion.

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