Tales of Black Rock House - Looks can be deceiving
Over the last 9 months I have investigated Black Rock House almost weekly and I recently started running tours for the public to explore the paranormal side of this property. Over this time we have picked up quite a few stories of things we have discovered, things that have happened to us and even things that have happened to our guests. The spooky factor increases when it is lights out at Black Rock House. The atmosphere changes. What was a charming homestead with it’s quirks during the daytime becomes a giant question mark in the dark. The secrets that are hidden are waiting to be heard and so are the spirits that still lurk. We often get asked to share our stories of Black Rock House so this is the first instalment of what will hopefully be a long series of posts about the beautifully eerie Black Rock House.
Let’s start at the very beginning. Black Rock House was built in 1856 for Victoria’s first Audior General Charles Ebden as a holiday house. He and his family only used the house for around 6 years, however remained with the family until the early 1900’s where it was used to entertain Melbourne’s Elite socialites and politicians. It then went amongst many owners who used it as a holiday house, boarding house and primary residence until it was almost derelict. You can imagine all this time all of the people that came and went and all the births, deaths and drama that happened between these 4 walls. The council bought the property in the 1970’s where they began the strenuous task of trying to return it to it’s former glory. Let me tell you they have done an amazing job!
This house really speaks for itself so let me take you on a little tour …
Outside view towards the back of Black Rock House
To the average person walking past, this looks like your typical old weatherboard homestead. In fact quite a lot of people local to the area did not know much about Black Rock House. Now that it is out there and also has the haunted/paranormal link, people are flocking to the open days to find out more about this ‘jewel by the sea’ as it is affectionately dubbed. It is in fact a block away from the beach. On a still crisp winter’s night, you can hear the ocean and boy the air does have a cold bite to it when it wants to!
Heritage listed stunning fig tree – more than meets the eye
One of the first things a lot of people notice when approaching Black Rock House is the 2 massively stunning fig trees. There is one at the front and another at the rear of the property as seen in this photo. One of the amazing things about the trees that really set the scene is the figs falling on the roof. There is nothing like being inside a spooky house in the pitch black, anticipation rising, fear setting on and all but to hear a large fig falling on the roof. It still makes me jump even though I expect it and I am used to it. It is rumoured the trees are as old if not older than the house itself. What stories has it seen? There are some darker myths associated with the tree. A murder supposedly took place right in this spot. It is said a man was beaten to death and hung from the tree to set an example to others. For what reason we do not know. Another myth is that a younger woman who was a servant’s daughter was murdered and buried under the tree. I have been unable to validate any of this through historical fact, it is a story we are still trying to get to the bottom to, however several mediums have picked up on similar happenings surrounding the tree and the stories are very similar. For now it remains a mystery.
Castle Gates (The gates themselves are not the original but the sandstone wall most certainly is)
The most unique thing that surprises many people about Black Rock House is the completely random castle like structure that stands at the rear of the property. Constructed in Sandstone it is a flashback to the past. Charles Ebden himself modelled this around Black Rock Castle in Ireland (which hello is of course how it got it’s name) and had bigger grander plans. Unfortunately as it was being built the gold rush hit and his workers all abandoned ship so it remained unfinished. There were many rumours as to why a castle wall was erected. The main myth is that it was built to keep out the local aboriginal tribe. History however tells us that it is just a myth as the local tribe would actually trade goods and posed no threat. It is thought that it is more of an ego stroke to Charle’s eccentric persona. He did comment once that he was filthy rich. I mean if you have the money why not splash out on your own castle wall? Back in the day this was the main entrance to the property and the horses and cart (yes it was before cars) would approach a long drive and arrive at the beautiful castle gates.
The courtyard behind the castle gates
Behind the walls of these gates and walls surprisingly sits a courtyard stable area. Charles had a history with horse and carts and ran a merchant business and was the first person to successfully transport cattle from NSW to Victoria. The stable remains today as a courtyard area. The back stables were eventually converted to a living quarters and it is also rumoured that it was a nursery for the caretaker children at some point. Is that we why encounter so many children on our investigations? We will meet them in later posts. There isn’t much paranormal to report with the stables. There are no real stories or any activity to go by but the surrounds make up for it. Mini markets and even a wedding have been held in this courtyard. It truely is not what you would expect to see. I leave you with the eerie image of the horse cart that sits unattended in the stables. It speaks for itself …..
The final piece to the outside of Black Rock HouseI’m going to tease you with is the entrance to the underground cellar. Surrounded by urban myth, legends, ghost stories and even possibly illegal activity it is one of the biggest mysteries surrounding Black Rock House. Was there an underground tunnel and what was it used for?
You will have to wait until the next post to find out muahahahaaha. You didn’t think I was going to take you inside and give it all away straight away did you? Until next time my little happy hunters …….
Unlock the secrets to the underground cellar of Black Rock House in the next instalment of ‘Tales of Black Rock House’
All photographs have been taken by Sarah and remain the property of @ Black Rock House Paranormal Tours.
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