Mary Mckillop, The Adelaide Gaol : A Place of Horror

Mary Mckillop, The Adelaide Gaol : A Place of Horror

Jo Nuske posted 21 Feb 2010

Sister Mary McKillop declared a Saint!  What did her work mean ?

I received a small inkling of the horrors she faced every day in the Adelaide Gaol!



Sister Mary McKillop has been acknowledged by the Catholic Church as a saint. For Adelaidians in South Australia, she is best known for her work within the Old Adelaide Gaol.  The jail held inmates from 1841 to 1988 when it was finally closed and turned into a museum and a favorite place for ghost hunters and paranormal investigators. Sister Mary McKillop deserves to be a saint : anyone who could survive being in that place for more than a day is made of stern stuff!

My story : The Gaol was and still is a A Place of Horror

I was invited to assist in a potential film documentary of the spooky side of Adelaide Gaol some years ago:(I will admit I knew nothing of the jail except from a friend's description of the "quarters" after he got picked up for drunk driving in about 1974.  Provided with ill-fitting clothes and a bucket, he described his stay in the overnight cell as medieval.)

The paranormal is fascinating and my ego abounded at the thought of being part of a film set.  That was short-lived when I set foot inside the first compound. At one of the now  'Open Cells'  for the public to view sat a man (in spirit) who did not know it was OK to leave.  He was too frightened. At the women's cells, I could still hear the cries of a woman who had had a baby and had it taken from her.  She had died in terror and despair.

TowerGaol I walked into the Hanging Tower.  It is completely circular inside with a cement room off to the side where the person waiting to be executed received the last rites.  I stepped inside.  I was hit by a feeling of terror.  The ceiling rose above my head to what seemed like 20 feet with rough cement walls, a single bench and cement floors. The door to the waiting room had been closed, the walls suffocatingly high as the cold permeated every cell of my body. I had to get out.  The door opened.........and all I was aware of was the line on the floor that separated me from the great circular room in front of me that had a large hanging noose suspended from the ceiling : the rough wooden trap-door set into the floor that I knew would open at the moment of thick rough cord about my neck. Death was imminent and I was afraid..........   I could not cross over that line.  Terror beyond anything I have ever experienced had me shaking in uncontrollable nausea.   I had to yell to get someone to help me out of that room.

There is a block of cells : dank, dark and airless where the walls, ceiling and floor of thick, sound muffling cement were only relieved by the rows of doors that held inmates waiting for death. The inner cells are made of rough painted cement, the ceiling soaring above  and the only relief a small trapdoor in the door at eye level.  It took everything I had not to humiliate myself by vomiting on the floor,  such was the despair and horror held within those walls. As the group walked down another passage with a second floor viewing of the "balcony", I saw 3 men strung up on the top level.......and there was a nun, standing right beside them.  Evidently they had public hangings for the other inmates to view from their lower cell block.   I did not know of Mary McKillop until that moment when I mentioned her presence and was confirmed by the museum guide. 
 She is still there looking after the souls of the people not able to move on. Mary McKillop deserves her rest as do the others trapped there. 

The Adelaide Gaol has been turned into a carnival of ghostly fun....................perpetuating the horror of misery and despair. Enough!

About the author

Jo Nuske
Serene Spirit since Mar, 2016

The spiritual awareness “industry” has boomed since we first launched this website in 2009. My personal journey of learning began 52 years ago when psychic awareness was considered a mental disease. I love the acceptance that now embraces the worl...

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