A lot of people wonder – why would a Pastor go on a ghost tour?
The question can be answered like this:
Because more people visit paranormal websites, psychic hotlines, mediums and mystical practitioners than go to Church in Australia. As a Pastor, if that doesn’t disturb me about what the Church isn’t offering in terms of giving people answers and hope, then I’ve joined the long queue of the comfortable and complacent Church in Australia. And I don’t want to.
People are having a myriad of paranormal experiences which leads them to believe that dead people do indeed walk the earth. As a Pastor who deals with the issue of life and death daily, I need to adequately understand why people think what they do and experience that first hand rather than read a book written by an author with a Christian evangelical bias which is sitting safely on the shelf at Koorong.
I want to prove who really has authority in the spiritual realm and test it in the intensity of real life situations.
4. I saw Ghostbusters in year 6 in 1984. Who didn’t want to drive Ecto 1 and fire a proton pack in a cemetery?
The team met team outside the council chambers at Katoomba. There we met our enthusiastic guide Pete. For Shannon, Kelly and myself, it was great to finally meet Bryony and her friends Brooke, Sean, Moira, Patricia, Justin, Kyle and Natasha.
After checking out previous experiences, spiritual giftings and equipment, our guide showed us photo’s of what had been captured on previous tours. Strange shapes, orbs with faces in them and lots of eerie backdrops gave us an air of what was to come. It was obvious – Kel, Shannon and I were the Noob’s, so we took a posture of humility and asking lot’s of questions.
And Pete sure knew his stories. He knew the locations back to front. And as someone who claimed to be psychic he believed he could feel what was happening as he went about the tour.
But Pete, as lovely as he was, maybe didn’t realize he was the master of setting us up for false positives. That is, he would tell you stories and ‘facts’ complete with the sensory phenomenon associated with the manifestations of them that ensured that every experience you had could be identified as spiritual. So much for the null hypothesis approach I had planned to take.
The other thing was, and this needs to be mandatory on every ghost tour – NO MOBILES. It is impossible to use an EMF meter with any integrity when mobile phones are on.
But onto the night…….
As we head down the highway, away from Katoomba and down the mountain toward Hartley we heard the story of ‘the black lady’. She was left for dead by her husband when an ex lover ambushed them in a fit of jealousy. When the police arrived she had been bludgeoned to death by a large rock. Her assailant was charged in our next second stop of the night (The Hartley courthouse) and later hanged at Bathurst.
As we drove down Mt Victoria, we approached a bend “…a lot of trucks have gone over here….” Said Pete and we heard the gruesome stories of tragic and traumatic deaths. “All the truckies at sometime have seen the black lady….she runs across the road and tries to make the trucks swerve. Some of them have crashed. Legend says that she hates men and wants revenge…”.
As we came within 300 metres of an old iron fenced bridge, opposite a huge drop off into the valley, Pete advised that usually the EMF meters go off as this was the site of the murder. And we weren’t disappointed – the meters went off all the way to the redline on cue and stopped as we passed the site. I felt strangely nauseous, which is usually a sign for me that something is not quite right in the spiritual realm around me. I can’t prove that, but know from experience with exorcisms what the symptoms are compared to…for example….a bad Kebab and indigestion.
After turning off the main road at the bottom of the valley we headed off as the sun started to wane and the rain softly started to come down. We pulled up at the gates of an old cemetery. Pete explained to us a number of things:
- The cemetery had been regularly desecrated and bodies removed for occult purposes. The caretaker had caught people dancing around graves and performing satanic rituals.
- A black panther was spotted by himself in the very paddock we were now standing next to.
- Yowies had been seen in the area.
- That the cemetery was haunted and even had a ‘dark spirit’ named Tom who pushed and pulled people, particularly those in the back of the line.
click to enlarge
Before long we had traversed the 500m long track away from any semblance of civilization and were standing in, to be honest, was a pretty freaky looking graveyard at sunset. The sort of place you say to each other “Would you sleep here by yourself overnight for $1,000.00”?
Pete started with the stories of tragedy and trauma, of disrespect and desecration. Camera’s refused to work. People saw orbs. We were warned that our hands or pants may be tugged on by phantom children, that the headless reverend lived by the northern fence and that Tom was waiting to get between couples to avenge his lovelorn losses in the past. False positives aside, I could feel the presence of something otherworldly. The EMF meters did not back me up. But I did feel the need to pray and to shift the authority in the graveyard. I asked for forgiveness on behalf of what was done here. I prayed the blood of Christ over the desecrated tombs. So did Kel. A couple of the ladies felt very ill at ease and Kel offered prayer. The most creepy part was in the pitch black when we turned all our lights off and the light of an orb moved around the gate area. As the lights went on Brooke claimed to see someone at the back of the cemetery. Again, we prayed and we felt the peace of Christ.
“Most Pastors that have been on this tour are very cynical” Pete told me and then shared with me the stories of many of the psychics who had been on the tour who had been traumatized by what they felt there. He talked about people who had things jump on their back and photos that showed misty forms on their shoulders, of strangulations and of push and shove from and angry Tom. He seemed to be frightened to be there in some ways.
There was one area where unbaptised Aboriginals were buried outside the consecrated grounds.
“I don’t like the feel of that area” Brooke said.
I didn’t either and something told me (not literally) that if Yowies were seen, they would always be seen around Aboriginal burial grounds. But I didn’t get to ask that.
Some of the others, Justin, Natasha and Kyle said they experienced nothing ethereal and it was just a historical experience.
But as we walked out of the grave yard to once again traverse the dark track back to the bus I turned back, prayed a prayer of protection in Jesus name and consecrated this site that had experienced so much darkness and desecration to God.
Onto our next stop, the Hartley courthouse, where some of the real action was about to begin.
(Oh...footnote..and as we were leaving, after standing under what was meant to be a haunted tree, I felt a tug at the back of my pants which stopped me in my tracks. I turned around and there were no snags of any kind to be seen, or little children).
To be continued...
To see Bryony's review of the tour click here