This is The Abbey in Johnston Street, Annandale. It is a 50-room Gothic mansion built in 1877. My friend, Gina, and I believe it is haunted.
Gina has lived across the road from The Abbey for the past ten years. Her former next door neighbour, Bert, now living in a nursing home 200 metres away on the same side of the road also believes the house is haunted. Many of the locals I have spoken to also believe the same thing.
Both Gina and Bert knew the former owner of the house Dr. Davis, whose family lived in the gothic mansion for over fifty years. Dr. Davis heard footsteps at night, saw strange lights down corridors, heard doors slamming when there was no one else in the house and no wind, felt strange presences and often saw a lady in white. His cats would also often hiss at things that weren’t there.
Many locals, including Gina, have seen that lady in white at the top window you see in the photo with the two smaller windows either side. And there have been countless reports of strange presences and dogs being unsettled as they walk by.
Dr. Davis died in 2008 and when the mansion was up for sale in 2009 I tried to get in to have a look, but it was like entering Fort Knox and you had to be cleared by the real estate agents beforehand, so I gave up. However, one day a builder was working on the rear of the property and left the back gate partly ajar that night so I was able to slip into the garden (don’t tell the cops, anyone…)
I am interested in the paranormal and I partly believe in ghosts and other spooky things but I do like to maintain a healthy dose of scepticism. I’m sure you would agree with me that sometimes the look of a place can suggest it is haunted and when you listen to all the urban legends that abound along with it, it can be easy to become predisposed to things that go bump in the night.
However, when I was in the garden I felt strange. I felt cold. It was as if there was something in the garden with me. And I saw a figure in the windows along the side of the house flash by very quickly. Swift and white.
Part of me thinks I imagined it and part of me thinks I encountered a ghostly presence. All I know is that the feeling in the garden was different to the feeling in the street and it was a relief to get back out onto the road.
Is The Abbey haunted? I have no way of knowing for sure. But it is kind of exciting to think that a house in my neighbourhood might have its very own lady in white walking the silent hallways by the light of the moon.