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The Trapped Souls of Norfolk Island

At the first Afterlife Conference we ran many years ago, we acquired a 'Ghost Box' from the team of Australia's top ghost hunters. It started us on a journey of communicating, not only with ghosts but with other non-physical entities. A ghost box is a useful tool to have when you get a sense there's a presence with you and to hear them through the use of radio frequency.

Over the years, we have used it to help many lost souls - none more so than at the place of Australia's last sanctioned massacre of Aboriginals, a terrible crime against the indigenous of the Barrow Creek region in the Northern Territory. And on our first visit to Norfolk Island, we picked up several ghosts through the ghost box. One was a talkative Irish convict named John we 'met' on our second night on the island. Little did we know at the time that a majority of the convicts on Norfolk Island had been Irish. We were yet to discover the dark side of this isle in the South Pacific.

From 1788 when the British arrived, Norfolk Island became a convict hellhole. NSW Governor Thomas Brisbane said 'the felon who is sent there is forever excluded from all hope of return.' His successor, Ralph Darling, decreed that 'every man should be worked in irons' and Norfolk should be 'a place of the most extreme punishment short of death.' Convicts were starved, tortured and flogged by corrupt overseers.

(Listen to NI Museum curator, Bethany Holland, in an ABC News interview.)

An article from Norfolk Online states, "Life was awful there, days were filled with hard labor, and punishments could be as many as 500 lashings. And all the convicts held there weren't the worst of the worst, irredeemable souls. They were also Irish.

According to The Irish Times, "Norfolk was the first destination for Irish rebels, and when writer Robert Macklin did a deep dive into the island's history, he found that the local who'd told him "Satan lives here" had it right. In addition to the horrors everyone was subjected to, there was another footnote for Irish prisoners.

If ever a non-British ship was seen approaching, Irish prisoners were herded into a wooden stockade. If the ship landed, the stockade was set ablaze, because the British knew that if there was any conflict, the Irish would be the first to turn on them."

For those of you attending the Cosmic Consciousness Conference in a matter of weeks, you'll learn a lot more about the bloody and dark history of the penal settlements on Norfolk Island, and will be able to get up close and personal with a few of the resident ghosts. Who knows, we may be able to help some of them move on to their spiritual home.

Here are some of the infamous ghosts that people bump into on a regular basis reported in The Little House of Horrors:

Government House Ladies and Soldiers

Soldiers in colourful uniforms have been seen outside Government House. And ladies in fancy, expensive dresses have been seen revisiting their former home. Government House is the official residence on Norfolk Island and was built in 1829. You can visit the house in Kingston near the historic Quality Row. The old graveyard is located beyond this Quality Row. It is considered to be a paranormal hotspot on the island.

The Ghost on the Cliff

On the road to the cable station there is a place where the ghosts gather at night. People claim to have seen the spirit of a lone figure standing on a cliff looking out over the sea. It is believed that this is the ghost of a convict who expected to escape by boat. He was promised to be picked up, and when the boat finally arrived, he drowned in the rough sea. People have tried to approach the ghost, but he vanishes before they reach him.

The Ghost of Limerick Cottage

Limerick Cottage is one of the best-known haunted places on the island. This is where William Henry Tennison Pery and his wife Susannah moved in after their marriage in 1839. Poor Susannah died in 1841. She was buried in the old cemetery next to her infant daughter who died along with her. William didn’t mourn his wife and daughter long: he remarried a young lady by the name Margaret Jane. Susannah’s headstone says she died 15 days after giving birth of her daughter, but it doesn’t tell how. Residents of the island claim hearing the sounds of someone being choked to death near her grave on certain dates each year. Did William murder Susannah?

Later residents of Limerick Cottage also witnessed something strange. A bright light once came flying towards the cottage before transforming into a young lady. At first they thought it was a real girl, but later they noticed she was floating. Her skin was very pale but she looked stunningly beautiful, and in spite of the fact the witnesses were frightened, they sensed she was harmless. Several people on different occasions witnessed this young lady’s ghost. She is called “Lady Jane”, but it’s more probable that this is the spirit of poor Susannah.

When a person dies very suddenly, unexpectedly and traumatically, it's not uncommon for them to get 'stuck' in the place near their death, unable to return to their spiritual home. It's no surprise, with the horrors of the penal settlements on Norfolk Island, that so many wretched memories are carried in the ethers.

The Cosmic Consciousness Conference is being held on Norfolk Island over the Equinox weekend 20-23 September 2022. Visit for more details. A few seats remain.

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