Paranormal whisperings and hauntings once enticed guests to Western Australia’s Oakabella Homestead but now owners are trying to revoke its ghostly status as it’s scaring tourists away. The homestead in the picturesque Shire of Northampton which was built in 1851, has previously boasted the title of Western Australia’s “most haunted” building, a title that new owners Belinda Turner and Brian Snelson want to shake off.
Its history includes a number of deaths; including back in 1973 when previous occupant George Jackson died while in his room cleaning his gun when it went off killing him. Not only that, but there have been many stories of paranormal activity at the homestead with doors opening and closing on their own, unsettling accidents and strange smells of ash. However, through feedback online and through online sources, Belinda noticed that not everyone was into the ghostly tales. In a bid to sway people back to visit, the new focus is now on history and working with community groups.
“When we first discovered Oakabella Homestead we were overwhelmed with the abundance of history that we saw and also having the pleasure of learning from the current owner to which the property has been in the family for over a hundred years,” Belinda told Lonely Planet. “We have come from a country upbringing and appreciate the hardships that our forefathers had to bear to make this hard land profitable, which makes us very passionate about what Oakabella Homestead has to offer to visitors that can relive their past or for city people to appreciate”. Through tours and hospitality the pair are looking to attract tourists who have an interest in history lessons of the farming days of yesteryear and for those who want to experience the Australian country farm life.
“The precinct has many buildings which have been well maintained and preserved to their original state dating back to the 1850s,” Belinda adds. “Among these buildings are the main homestead which is still fully furnished and is an amazing walk back in time for the visitors. Also there is the iconic barn which is now a museum with relics dating back to when the property was built. There are numerous other buildings such as the kitchen, blacksmith’s shop, shearing shed and stables also among Oakabella’s many buildings”.
Oakabella Homestead plans to expand to include camp oven dinners, campfires and stargazing nights. You can find out more on their website here.