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Images of Canberra (Err Goulburn, but close) – The old Goulburn orphanage

Danman 6 October 2008 58

[First filed: October 04, 2008 @ 23:27]

DSC_1124

A friend and I headed to Goulburn on Friday night to check out some old buildings he had been told about.

He was looking for a set for an up and coming short film he is making and asked me to take some stills to show prospective sponsors.

Let me tell you… man this place would be awesome for any silent hill/resident evil/the ring style movie.

(Slideshow and more below)

These buildings are an old orphanage, and by my own mothers accounts as an attendee when she was a child, the place is of great sadness.

She was admitted there when my Grandmother was down the road at Kenmore Mental Asylum, and my Grandfather could not look after all 9 children.

Basic story she told me (I did not want to pry) was that when she was accepted, they took all her clothes she had taken there and was issued with one set of clothes and underwear.

These clothes and 1 set of underwear were worn for a week between washes and if you soiled them, you were beaten.

Beating of children (Not disciplinary beatings, but old school mentally scarring beatings) were common… and thats where I changed the subject..

This place is scary, if not haunted… There was not a breath of wind when we accessed the site, but by pure coincidence the wind started blowing fiercely when we got a few meters from the property.

There was scarcely any windows not broken and this caused the upper windows to catch the stronger winds and blow it out the lower windows, a perfectly explainable phenomenon, but scary as hell none the less, standing near a window to a gaping maw of pure black darkness with a fierce gale blowing out the window into your face..


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58 Responses to Images of Canberra (Err Goulburn, but close) – The old Goulburn orphanage
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EllieLynn EllieLynn 3:36 pm 06 Sep 11

Ok, so im 14, and i live in goulburn. He and a few friends have recently gone into the old boys home.
iv heard some stories from my nan, and from what she told me, i dont think i wanna go back there.
she told me that she knew some of the boys who went there, and that they used to be treated so badly.
iv been in there at night time, with a friend, and it was sooo scary.
i dont really think im gonna go back there.

toriness toriness 8:11 am 31 May 11

Rickjj said :

Recently on our way back from Canberra stopped here as we though it would be a great location to take some HDR Images.
We only had a limited time inside before we found some teenagers hanging around our car, I went out to ask what they were doing and they asked how we had enough nerve to go in. 2 out of the three came in with us and would not leave our sides telling us ghost urban legend story’s as we took photos, one stayed outside too scared to come it. The caretaker was quick to come from the noise the outside teen was making. The care taker was nice and we told him what we were doing. He mentioned that police are not interested in trespassers or vandals until the property has a security fence. He suggested that we go and talk to the owner son who lives up the back of the property. We did, the son owners is a very nice guy. I suggest if you want to take photos to go to the house at the back of the property and talk to him. He is mainly concerned with vandalism so if you say that you would just like to take some pictures etc and are polite I think he is fine.
You can check out some of the HDR Images at:
http://richardjjones.deviantart.com/gallery/
under St Johns Orphanage.
Anyone know of other great locations like this in the Goulburn area apart from the asylum?

great photos richard. the one with the lace curtain blowing is super creepy.

and danman, yours are great too – i love the one with the grass lit up in the foreground.

AmyLeigh AmyLeigh 9:33 pm 30 May 11

The the pictures are wounderfull !! I went there a couple of days ago an had a look, Yes very creepy but when you want to no somthing you really dont worry about what goes on !! It has changed alot since this photo, But i really like what you have wrote, An im so interested to no what happend behind them bars an what went on ! Id feel so sorry for the lost souls in there .. But the olden days seemed so harsh !! I wouldnt have liked to go there at all .. Im pleased that your mother made it out of there ..

Rickjj Rickjj 11:14 am 05 Sep 10

Recently on our way back from Canberra stopped here as we though it would be a great location to take some HDR Images.
We only had a limited time inside before we found some teenagers hanging around our car, I went out to ask what they were doing and they asked how we had enough nerve to go in. 2 out of the three came in with us and would not leave our sides telling us ghost urban legend story’s as we took photos, one stayed outside too scared to come it. The caretaker was quick to come from the noise the outside teen was making. The care taker was nice and we told him what we were doing. He mentioned that police are not interested in trespassers or vandals until the property has a security fence. He suggested that we go and talk to the owner son who lives up the back of the property. We did, the son owners is a very nice guy. I suggest if you want to take photos to go to the house at the back of the property and talk to him. He is mainly concerned with vandalism so if you say that you would just like to take some pictures etc and are polite I think he is fine.
You can check out some of the HDR Images at:
http://richardjjones.deviantart.com/gallery/
under St Johns Orphanage.
Anyone know of other great locations like this in the Goulburn area apart from the asylum?

JoeyGirl JoeyGirl 2:35 pm 10 Jun 10

I don’t know about it being haunted, it is certainly haunting – and for my Dad it was a very healing experience going back and confirming his memories of the place in terms of where particular rooms were and where he used to sleep, be schooled and hide from the nuns! The owner was truly fabulous to us.

I have by no means finished our family history, but this part is now done and dusted for Dad and he regularly looks over the information and photos with a wistfulness I have not seen in him before. I watched with wonder just last week while he explained the “home” to my 14 year old nephew and described the things that happened there. It appears he can now reflect with pride knowing it is behind him and that he is a survivor of a terrible life experience.

I am thankful for the man my father is today and I am so proud that he was able to take this journey and not become bitter by the memories.

I am happy to share information and photos with anyone who wishes to contact me.
jodie.surie@three.com.au

mkprincess mkprincess 12:58 pm 27 May 10

I went there last night but noooo way would i get out of the car, it was creepy just being outside of it!!! I would love to learn so much more about this place and other abandoned and haunted places… It’s all so interesting!!

capital capital 6:33 am 12 May 10

This is the most misleading and erroneous article I have read for a long while. For a start, If this is ST John’s boys orphanage then your mother can not have been sent there! It is most certainly NOT St Joseph’s girls orphanage as I was among the children sent there from an abusive family background. It was no more harsh than the ‘outside’ conditions. When others came back after the holidays,the stories they described of their ‘loving’ families made us thankful that we had a home, food and clothes. Don’t forget this was pre and post 2nd world war and most people didn’t have all that much to eat. Some people that I care for now here in England tell me of walking to school over 2 miles with no breakfast, holes in their shoes, being beaten by drunken fathers, and having to leave school at 14 to help with the younger family members; and all this in rural south east England! Some of the people who were sent out to these orphanages certainly were abused and they deserve all of the help and sympathy they need. but some aught just to get a life! find out what life was like for ordinary kids at that time. Had I grown up in Griffith where my family had come from I would have been seriously disfunctional. The people there could have cared for me, but they chose not to! bit like Canberra’s ‘loving’ parents. I hope he wasn’t the lad that sat down on the steps and cried til he died in the cold! I hope that he never gave you or your unkind family another thought all his life!

cleo cleo 11:57 pm 26 Apr 10

I can imagine their would be spirits there, just hope the poor souls are at peace now.

meggolikelego meggolikelego 7:24 pm 26 Apr 10

heyy Danman.. did you end up going back? like recently? me and my friends went there the other night and have photo’s with orbs which is pretty interesting.. and sources say they are legit. (:

Bopstar Bopstar 12:27 am 14 Dec 09

Actually, when i was growing up one of my friends family’s lived there, they were the caretakers.. i was getting this (St Johns) confused with an old monastery in goulburn on Mary’s Mount Road.. They lived there for a while, was pretty cool place to visit.. they had a few massive parties there too, how we never fell out of balconies drunk i’ll never know. It was in a resonable state of repair then, that was about 10-12 yrs ago..

Bopstar Bopstar 11:15 pm 13 Dec 09

I have been there and inside a number of times.. delivered a fridge there once.. not so bad, and still had some residents up until 4-5 years ago…. not sure now though..
Also had a lot to do with Kenmore hospital as a child growing up, as many people in goulburn worked there, including my mother who was director of nursing there for a long time. The grounds of Kenmore used to be truly amazing and some of the best sporting fields in the area. The cricket pitch for example was made from turf brought directly from the SCG, and meticulously looked after and cared for. Unfortunately the whole complex is in fairly bad condition including the sporting grounds, and like St Joeys orphanage, has just been allowed to deteriorate over time..

hael91 hael91 4:53 pm 05 Sep 09

My parents are seriously considering turning the old orphanage into units…

It will take a lot of work and to get the plans around council will be a challenge but my mum hates that the building is going to such waste and she is hoping to start work on the units within the next two years….

Arneka Arneka 8:08 pm 15 Aug 09

Hi People,

My husband and I are writing a book on abandoned mental hospitals and orphanages in Australia and it’s really inspiring to read your comments above.

A few questions …

• If anyone would like to share their stories to be in the book, we would love to hear from you.
• If anyone has the contact details of the owners, could you please either email them to me or pass on my email?

My email is arnekah@hotmail.com

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Arneka

Danman Danman 9:33 am 06 Aug 09

This is teh case across Australia Thumper.
It really does sadden me.

Thumper Thumper 12:46 pm 05 Aug 09

It is undoubtedly a superb building. it really is a pity that heritage in this country is taken so lightly and gets such little State and federal funding.

Danman Danman 12:35 pm 05 Aug 09

JoeyGirl – can you send building contact details to my email address – chefboy@tpgi.com.au – My mother has some demons of hew own she would like to aput to bed, and I would love to document it from the inside.

We woul dboth appreciate the opportunity to access it during daylight hours.

JoeyGirl JoeyGirl 11:55 am 05 Aug 09

My father and I were lucky enough to be allowed in by the owner last week and we spent a couple of hours going through it. Revisiting the home was something Dad really wanted to do and I was surprised at how well he dealt with the experience. Although the feelings of hopelessness were there, he was determined to view the building through the eyes of nostalgia. It truly is a magnificent structure. I have some great photos and will keep in touch with the owner to see what happens with it in the future.

hael91 hael91 6:24 pm 26 Jul 09

My grandparents own this place and have for a few years now, i have been in there many times and have even spent a night there and i have seen or heard nothing that would suggest that it was in fact haunted.

It is a lovely place and its terrible all the damage that has been done to it. My pop put plans into the council for it to be turned into an old person village but the work that needs to be done got to great so it is now on the market to be sold.

lowcheal lowcheal 9:06 pm 14 Jul 09

Danman,
Don’t feel bad about your family history my nanna and her sisters were also in that same orphanage she told me stories of how one of her sisters didn’t like the breakfast porridge so she would vomit it up then she was forced to eat it. there is so many sad stories it was not a happy time for my nanna her mother had just died and her father couldn’t look after all eight kids some were adopted out and my nanna and her three sisters were put in the orphanage i was wondering if you would mind emailing me some of the pictures you have of the old orphanage i can’t work out how to download them im looking up my history.i appreciate it thanks.
EMAIL; lowehousehold@gmail.com

Sly-Guy Sly-Guy 2:33 am 13 Jul 09

Back in the days of my youth 😛 ; My friends and I went exploring through this place. It is truly an amazingly interesting building and to some… very spooky. It goes up about three stories (however, particular areas have alarms *that one scared us*) as well as having a basement only accessible through a broom cupboard. It boasts a rather large hall as well as several spacious rooms. However, this building is highly damaged… nearly all of its windows are smashed, most of the doors are broken and the walls are mostly covered in graff.

Besides the fact that it does resemble something out of a horror film movie, this building could actually be quite nice if redone properly… however, i would knock out a few walls and change things about personally.. as it is very much scattered with random design.

Still, according to legends… a lot of negative things happened there in the time that it was an orphanage… Just like Kenmore < the mental hospital has a lot of stories around it. If you get a chance, i’d also recommend checking out the old childrens ward in it as well… its about 600metres away from the main section, and is an old creepy looking building on a T-junction.

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