Supreme Courthouse - Hobart

The Supreme Court of Tasmania, Australia is the oldest in the country. Established by the Royal Letters Patent, construction began in 1823 and opened its doors almost a year later. It falls around the middle of Australian court hierarchy, hearing civil and most serious criminal matters. The first Chief Justice was Sir Joseph Pedder. The first counsel to appear before the court was Joseph Tice Gellibrand who became Tasmania's first Attorney-General and William Sorell as first Registrar of the Court.

The first trial brought before the Court was the case of William Tibbs. He was tried on May 28, 1824 for shooting a black man named John Jackson who later died. He was convicted of manslaughter, receiving 3 years of transportation. The Court remained busy throughout its early years. Between 1826 and 1842, a total of 203 criminals were sentenced to be hanged (37 performed in the execution yard). In total, 75,000 criminals passed through Tasmania Supreme Court. However in 1860, the Holy Trinity Church was converted in to a criminal court and a new court in the Public Buildings in Macquarie Street tried civil cases. This split would last until 1980 when a new complex was constructed and opened in Salamanca Place.

Courtroom #1 was the place of the death penalty. Many criminals in the past received their death sentence in that room. Today, witnesses seen and felt a mysterious presence as well as seen a door open on its own. In courtroom #2, the voice of a female spirit nicknamed Ivy has been heard. Some have even smelled her perfume. A hand of an apparition has also been seen. Upon further inspection the hand disappears and no one is ever found.

You'll find a noose hanging above a trapped door in the Execution Yard. Many criminals lost their lives in this room including one woman. A male apparition in 19th Century clothing has been spotted in there. The nooses sometimes swings on its own as well as reports of the growl of a mysterious animal. The clock on occasion has stopped on its own in the Clock Tower. Although that may be more natural than supernatural.


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