Ghost Tour: Exploring a Colonial Western Sydney Church

Celebrating the month of all things spooky and Halloween, we went on a ghost tour at one of Sydney’s oldest churches.

St Bartholomew’s Church was the first church to open in the western Sydney suburb of Prospect in 1841, thanks to the early explorer William Lawson who pushed the local council at the time, to have it built. William Lawson was one of three British explorers who crossed the famous Blue Mountains successfully.

The church remained a place of worship for the local community, until 1967, when it forced to be closed due to extensive damage caused from vandalism. After damage was repaired, the church was re-opened again, until 1989 when a fire gutted the church. destroying an 1850s organ and 1908 dated furniture. It wasn’t until the year 2000, when Blacktown City Council purchased the property from the Anglican Property Trust, that the church was restored. However, not back to its former glory – which is a shame.

Anticipating a hopeful night of supernatural activities and ghostly tales of the dead, the tour was a total let down (sad face). The stories were mundane, the guide was hardly entertaining; trying to be funny in the most inappropriate ways, and there was way too much time being spent loitering about doing nothing, either around the church grounds, or inside the church – which was incredibly boring. Especially when you were expecting a night of entertainment, so late in the hour.

There were too many people, and only one guide to lead everyone through the grounds. And the story telling factor was missing the personality & character usually expected from tour guides telling ghostly tales, whilst walking through an apparent haunted cemetery.

Like so many people from the area (where I spent much of my youth), I grew up hearing about the ghostly sightings often seen at the church. And I even tried to sneak into the grounds as a teenager, with friends, so we could conduct our own ghost hunt. So, when my partner and I heard the grounds were open for a spooky Halloween weekend, we were absolutely booking ourselves a ticket to go. What a let down, the night was such a failure.

Here’s a pic of an apparent ghost figure wandering the grounds – which was captured by a paranormal investigation team:

Ghost captured

Apart from the grounds, which were actually pretty interesting; with many of the graves being as old as the church itself, the church was also a major let down. The outside has been restored to it’s former glory, but the inside has not been, and looks like a regular hall for renting, if you want a big party or wedding venue. A bit sad really, as we were expecting some old pews, stain glass windows and all those other delicious historical treats you normally find inside an 1800s church.

We made the most of it of course, exploring the old tombstones and even attempted our own EVP session. The night was quiet, so no supernatural beings located. I think perhaps the ghosts were hiding, as there were way too many people wandering the grounds, making way too much noise. We passed the time taking scary photos around the ground, in some of the cool lighting set up – before sneaking out to go home. There was meant to be an additional 1 hr tour just before midnight, but we couldn’t bare to stay another minute. Very upsetting.

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I am a freelance writer and content creator who designs website and manages social media. I also write travel and beauty for www.renaesworld.com.au, and a weekly beauty column for www.bondibeauty.com.au whilst managing my own personal travel and lifestyle blog at www.my-life-journal.com

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