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Haunted Locations Throughout the World

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Author Topic: Haunted Locations Throughout the World  (Read 2072 times)
Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2009, 11:04:23 pm »

Port Arthur is located approximately 60 km south east of the state capital, Hobart, on the Tasman Peninsula. The scenic drive from Hobart, via the Tasman Highway to Sorell and the Arthur Highway to Port Arthur, takes around 90 minutes and covers approximately 80 km. Transport from Hobart to the site is also available via ferry or sea plane.

At the 2006 census, Port Arthur and the surrounding area had a population of 499.[1]
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2009, 11:05:08 pm »



Port Arthur Prison Colony site
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2009, 11:05:25 pm »

Port Arthur was named after Van Diemen's Land lieutenant governor George Arthur. The settlement started as a timber station in 1830, but it is best known for being a penal colony.

From 1833, until the 1850s, it was the destination for the hardest of convicted British and Irish criminals, those who were secondary offenders having re-offended after their arrival in Australia. Rebellious personalities from other convict stations were also sent here, a quite undesirable punishment. In addition Port Arthur had some of the strictest security measures of the British penal system.

One example is the "Separate Prison" system based on Pentonville prison in London. The Separate Prison (sometimes known as The Model Prison) was completed in 1853 and extended in 1855. The 80 cell prison was built in the shape of a cross with radial exercise yards around a central hall and chapel.[3] It signalled a shift from physical punishment to psychological punishment. It was thought that the hard corporal punishment, such as whippings, used in other penal stations only served to harden criminals, and did nothing to turn them from their immoral ways. Under this system of punishment the "Silent System" was implemented in the building. Here prisoners were hooded and made to stay silent, this was supposed to allow time for the prisoner to reflect upon the actions which had brought him there. In many ways Port Arthur was the pin-up for many of the penal reform movement, despite shipping, housing and slave-labour use of convicts being as harsh, or worse, than others stations around the nation.
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2009, 11:05:46 pm »

The peninsula on which Port Arthur is located is a naturally secure site by being surrounded by water (rumoured by the administration to be shark-infested). The 30m wide isthmus of Eaglehawk Neck that was the only connection to the mainland was fenced and guarded by soldiers and half-starved dogs.

Contact between visiting seamen and prisoners was barred. Ships had to check in their sails and oars upon landing to prevent any escapes. However, many attempts were made, and some were successful. Boats were seized and rowed or sailed long distances to freedom.

In 1836, a tramway was established between Taranna and a jetty in Long Bay, north of Port Arthur. The sole propulsion was convicts[4].
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2009, 11:06:24 pm »



Inside the separate prison, Port Arthur, Tasmania
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2009, 11:06:40 pm »

Port Arthur was sold as an inescapable prison, much like the later Alcatraz Island in the United States. Some prisoners were not discouraged by this, and tried to escape. Martin Cash successfully escaped along with two others. One of the most infamous incidents, simply for its bizarreness, was the escape attempt of one George "Billy" Hunt. Hunt disguised himself using a kangaroo hide and tried to flee across the Neck, but the half-starved guards on duty tried to shoot him to supplement their meager rations. When he noticed them sighting him up, Hunt threw off his disguise and surrendered, receiving 150 lashes.

Port Arthur was also the destination for juvenile convicts, receiving many boys, some as young as nine arrested for stealing toys. The boys were separated from the main convict population and kept on Point Puer, the British Empire's first boys' prison. Like the adults, the boys were used in hard labour such as stone cutting and construction. One of the buildings constructed was one of Australia's first non-denominational churches, built in a gothic style. Attendance of the weekly Sunday service was compulsory for the prison population, critics of the new system noted that this and other measures seemed to have negligible impact on reformation.
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2009, 11:07:03 pm »

Despite its badge as a pioneer in the new nicer age of imprisonment, Port Arthur was still as harsh and brutal as other penal settlements. Some critics might even suggest that its use of psychological punishment, compounded with no hope of escape, made it one of the worst. Some tales suggest that prisoners committed murder (an offence punishable by death) just to escape the desolation of life at the camp. The Island of the Dead was the destination for all who died inside the prison camps. Of the 1646 graves recorded to exist there, only 180, those of prison staff and military personnel, are marked. The prison closed in 1877.

Today Port Arthur is home to many reputed cases of haunting and ghosts - particularly of convict origin. These include cases of cells with ghostly screams and empty rocking chairs that move.
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2009, 11:08:08 pm »



A postcard depicting a convict team ploughing a farm at Port Arthur. Dated 1926.
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2009, 11:08:35 pm »



Convict-built church at Port Arthur
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« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2009, 11:09:10 pm »

From hellhole to haven: tourism development

After the closure of the penal colony the site was renamed to "Carnavon". During the 1880s the land in and around the site was sold off to the public and a community was established. Devastating fires tore through the area in 1895 and 1897 gutting the old prison buildings, leading to the establishment of the new town, with post office and other facilities.
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2009, 11:09:54 pm »



Panorama of the Port Arthur site
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2009, 11:10:18 pm »

Tourism started up almost as soon as the last convicts had left, supplying the new residents with a source of income, part of its undoubtedly due to its unsavoury past, and the ghost stories that accompany it. In 1927 tourism had grown to the point where the area's name was reverted to Port Arthur. 1916 saw the establishment of the Scenery Preservation Board (SPB) which took the management of Port Arthur out of the hands of the locals. By the 1970s the National Parks and Wildlife Service began managing the site.
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2009, 11:10:34 pm »

In 1979 funding was received to preserve the site as a tourist destination, due to its historical significance. The "working" elements of the Port Arthur community such as the post office and municipal offices were moved to nearby Nubeena. Several magnificent sandstone structures, built by convicts working under hard labour conditions, were cleaned of ivy overgrowth and restored to a condition similar to their appearance in the 19th century. Buildings include the "Model Prison", the Round Tower, the church, and the remnants of the main penitentiary. The buildings are surrounded by lush green parkland.

The mass graves on The Island of the Dead also attract visitors. The air about the small bush-covered island being described as possessing "melancholic" and "tranquil" qualities by visitors.
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2009, 11:10:49 pm »

Tourists can either survey the site for themselves, or participate in guided tours, including late night "ghost tours". There is also a museum, containing written records, tools, clothing and other curiosities from convict times.

Since 1987 the site has been managed by the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority, funded by the Tasmanian Government.
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Danielle Marshall
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« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2009, 11:11:29 pm »



Port Arthur, Tasmania
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