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Port Arthur Penitentiary

Port Arthur Penitentiary

Port Arthur Penitentiary is located on the Tasmania Island, 60 km Southeast of Hobart in Australia. It is most famous for an abandoned ruins of a former prison that is said to be haunted by the locals.



Location: Tasmania Island, 60 km Southeast of Hobart  Map


Port Arthur Penitentiary




Description of Port Arthur Penitentiary

Port Arthur Penitentiary  Port Arthur Penitentiary  Port Arthur Penitentiary

Port Arthur is a small town 60 kilometers Southeast from Hobart. First settlement was found in 1830 and later three years Port Arthur Penitentiary was constructed. Between 1833 and 1853 Port Arthur prison housed some of the most dangerous and violent criminals from Great Britain and Ireland. Additionally many juvenile offenders were jailed here. Some of them were just 9 years old and their crimes was nothing more than just stealing someone else's toys.


Port Arthur Penitentiary was active until 1877 and it became famous for its harsh treatments of inmates. This included both physical and psychological punishment that was viewed as the only way to "reform" its inmates. This included food and water deprivation for those prisoners who misbehaved or talked disrespectfully to the prison guards. Those who showed some improvement were given sugar, tea and even tobacco. Inmates of Port Arthur Penitentiary were largely involved on local construction projects, however they were prevented from talking to any of the local residents. Harsh treatment and terrible hot arid climate forced many of the inmates to commit suicide. Nearby Isle of the Dead has at least 1646 graves of former inmates.


Today Port Arthur Penitentiary is a popular open air museum. Tours, including ghost tours are available here. Local Port Arthur Penitentiary museum houses a modest collection of clothes, photos, household items as well as personal items of the former prisoners. In 2010 Port Arthur Penitentiary was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its importance and historical value. It is visited by 250,000 tourists annually.

Port Arthur Penitentiary in the 1870's

Port Arthur Penitentiary in 1870's



Haunting in Port Arthur Penitentiary

Today Port Arthur Penitentiary became the hot spot for ghost hunters. Sounds, lights, full body ghosts that seem too real and quiet communicative with guests. Some apparitions seem to have a sense of humor making faces behind guide's back, others were less friendly. Many tourists claimed that ghosts pinched, touched and even attacked them during their ghost tours in Port Arthur Penitentiary.


Some of the locals even claimed that ghosts of Port Arthur Penitentiary might influence people who live nearby. Believers in this theory even blame their activity on 1996 mass shooting. Back then Port Arthur became a site of tragedy when Martin Bryant shot 35 people on April 28. Another 21 people were injured. This bloody incident became the reason why Australia severely tightened gun control rules.










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