Haunted Abbey

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.

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18 thoughts on “Haunted Abbey

  1. I stayed at a very old pub just outside Cambridge once … I didn’t see or hear anything, but I smelt it; a really heavy, sweet cloying sort of smell.

    When I checked out next morning, I remarked that they’d maybe overdone the air freshener. The younger receptionist said they didn’t use air freshener; the older one said ‘Oh, God! She’s back!’

    They didn’t explain further … but did give me a considerable discount on my bill.

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  2. Um…..holy crap, Selma. You’re sofa king brave for walking in that garden. I have the chills just imagining you there, because I totally believe in ghosts! *shudder* I

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  3. Remember every ghost story we read as kids had a picture of just such a house? ’nuff said. Travelrat should ask the pub to check their drains and I wonder what Meleah’s feisty grandmother would have said about ghosts.
    BTW, if you have not sampled the Grandmother’s acerbic comments on life, I recommend checking out her u-tube. It is priceless. 🙂

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  4. Hi Selma,
    A great post, and boy the house surely does fit the haunting part. I know one thing for sure, I would not be walking anywhere near it, I would go out of my way to completely avoid it. 🙂

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  5. How cool, if it isn’t haunted it should be cos it epitomises the look of a haunted house lol My cousin swears a ghost lives with her and my daughter is positive we have one here. I’m not sure what to believe but for sure my cats think so too just from the way they act. I’d totally spend a night in there with you with cameras and tape recorders to have a chance to prove ghosts exist!

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  6. Great post and pic. Thanks. All that pics needs is a few sydney fruit bats flying about the abbey, to complete the haunted house effect. DavidM

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  7. TRAVELRAT,
    That’s spooky. I haven’t ever encountered a scent but my cousin who lives in a 400 year old house in Ireland has. She said it was cloying too. I think I would be quite scared if that happened to me.

    MELEAH,
    Truth be told I was a bit scared too. And I just couldn’t relax for about an hour afterwards. It was a weird feeling. There was definitely something there.

    MAIMOONA,
    It’s so good to hear from you. How have you been? I think quite a few people believe in the paranormal. A lot of people I know are convinced they have ghosts in their houses!

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  8. STAFFORD,
    It could be the drains, but that takes all the fun out of it. Hahaha. It’s true what you say – every house that looked like the Abbey when we were kids was purported to be haunted. It’s almost as if we made them haunted by believing in them so much.

    GABRIELLE,
    I couldn’t live across the road from it. It would freak me out, especially on a stormy night. Yikes!!

    MAGS,
    It’s fine during the day but at night it is very imposing. The new owner has cleared out the gardens which were incredibly overgrown and has started to refurbish it so maybe that will reduce the scary impact of it. I don’t know how he can live in it!

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  9. CATHY,
    I would love that. Wouldn’t it be cool? We could be real life ghost hunters and have our own show on the Discovery Channel. Cats do seem to pick up on unusual vibes. My cat used to know when someone was coming to the door even if they were halfway down the street. I would love to hear more about your ghostly experiences!

    DAVID,
    You are so right. The fruit bats would just clinch it. And maybe some howling. Wouldn’t it be the perfect house to have in a horror movie? I would love it. I’ll keep an eye out for the fruit bats and see if I can get a shot!

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  10. Damn girl! You brave & punky enough to sneak in like that!
    I don’t believe in ghosts but I do believe that certain houses & buildings can give you the creeps. It’ the way old houses & mansions were built and they way they decay – it can give odd shapes to some parts of the building and make you see things. Ofcourse if you have an active imagination like me, you will see Elvis in his pajamas doing the hula hoop!!

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  11. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the drains … unless someone emptied the entire stock of the perfume counter down one! 😀

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  12. ROSHAN,
    You’re right about that. Shapes and shadows can really spook us. And Elvis in his PJs would be freaky too 😯

    TRAVELRAT,
    Hahaha. Boy, that must have been a strong scent!!

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  13. ADEEYOYO,
    I really want to know. I’m always lurking about it at night. I hope the new owner doesn’t see me – he’ll think I’m stalking him 😀

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    1. I really regret not getting any photos. I am still kicking myself about it. I was so hyped about actually getting in there that I didn’t think about anything else. It’s hard being engaged in a covert operation. You really have to plan things well 😀

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