Ghost Tours in Parramatta

Ghost tours are a unique and exciting way to get to know an area. Get to know more about Parramatta’s history with these two spooky ghost tours

5 mins read

Ghost Tours in Parramatta

Both thrilling and educational, ghost tours are an excellent way to get to know an area. They provide a unique learning experience compared to museums and other daytime attractions. Ghost tours range from family-friendly to interactive, with some stories more suited for adults. Parramatta has two great ghost tours available for you to try: one at the prison and the other at the Old Government House. 

The city of Parramatta has a rich colonial history. Did you know it was founded in 1788, the same year as Sydney? It’s the second oldest city in Australia and has passed down many stories over the years. It also has quite a few other ‘firsts’ and ‘oldest’ titles to its name. One example is that the first convict granted land was in Parramatta to James Ruse in 1789. His and other farms quickly made Parramatta the birthplace of Australia’s agricultural and farming industries. This brought many other convicts to the land to help tend the crops and animals.

The two Parramatta ghost tours we’ll discuss are an excellent way to get in touch with the city’s past. Below is a brief description of each and a little of the history to pique your interest. Don’t worry – there aren’t any spoilers about what’s happened in each location. You’ll have to go through the tour to learn about the location’s unique and sometimes dark past.

Parramatta Gaol Ghost Tour

The Parramatta Gaol ghost tour takes you through the historic prison. It is said to be haunted by the prisoners who tragically lost their lives within these walls. As you walk through row upon row of original cells, you’ll have a chance to see for yourself if it’s really haunted or not.

There are two different tours for you to choose from at the prison. The ghost tours are more focused on history and telling the stories of the prisoners who carried out their sentences here. You’ll also hear of experiences where people have claimed to witness ghostly sightings. This isn’t an interactive tour and is more family-friendly than the ghost hunt tour.

The ghost hunt tour also takes you around the gaol, but this one gives you guidance, tools and methods to try communicating with any spirits haunting the prison. This is an interactive tour and only for the brave, so consider yourself warned! 
Parramatta’s first gaol was built in 1796 because of all the robberies occurring in the new penal colony. In 1799 it was burned and poorly rebuilt the following year. A third and final gaol was built as a replacement a few decades later and remained the local prison until it was permanently closed in 2011. It is located north of the Parramatta River near the top end of Cumberland Hospital.

Old Parramatta

Old Government House - Friends of Old Government House monthly ghost tours

The Old Government House was built in 1799 and is Australia’s oldest surviving public building. It’s located on the east side of Parramatta Park near the river. It was built by convicts and is now included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is one of eleven convict sites in Australia on the UNESCO World Heritage List and contains a major collection of Australian colonial furniture. With such an effort to preserve and recreate the original atmosphere of the Government House, it’s no wonder so many spirits linger here.

These highly educational Parramatta ghost tours are hosted by The Friends of Old Government House. You can join them on a candlelit tour that revisits the scene of a tragic accident and shares stories of others who have experienced ghostly encounters on these grounds. The tour starts at the Old Government House and includes a wander through Parramatta Park, so wear comfortable walking shoes. This is not a tour for little children, and all participants must be at least 16 years or older. 

This ghost tour is a unique way to learn about the more than 200-year-old property and people who lived there all those years ago. It provides a different experience to what you’ve seen in museums or read in books before as it truly brings history to life. 

The tours are held on the third Friday of each month and on Halloween 31st October every year. You can book your tickets at the Old Government House – Ghost Tour events page. At the end of the tour, you’ll be provided with a light supper of tea, coffee and something sweet. This will be your chance to chat with your guides and the others on the tour about what you’ve seen and experienced. 
If you want to learn more about the Old Government House after the ghost tour, you can come back during the day to revisit it in the daylight. The House is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 4pm with timed entry tickets.