Ghosthunting in Australia

Over the last six months, I’ve taken part in a few stays in haunted locations.

First was the official Australian Horror Writers Association’s Aradale Asylum Creative Retreat, in February of this year. It was three days and two nights of writing, paranormal investigations, and fun. There is an official blog for the participants of that weekend.
Then, it was another weekend in May that was arranged by the people who run the ghost tours at Aradale. More fun, ghosts, and a lot of freezing cold.
I wrote two columns at the UK site This is Horror, based on the experiences we had on that weekend. The first has had a great response. The second is just up today.

Next month, we will be staying the night at Old Geelong Gaol.

IMG_9159

Then, in October, we have another AHWA Creative Retreat, this time held at Beechworth, at the old Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum.

Mayday Hills Asylum

Ah, the fun of hunting ghosts here in Australia…
More to come once we make it back alive from Geelong.

Geoff

 

Geoff Brown Talks to Alex Laybourne About Overcoming Adversity, Personal Triumphs… and Editing | Official Site of Alex Laybourne – Author

G.N. Braun (Geoff Brown) was raised in Melbourne’s gritty Western Suburbs. He is a trained nurse, and holds a Cert. IV in Professional Writing and Editing. He is currently studying for a Dip. Arts (Professional Writing and Editing). He writes fiction untied to any genre, and is the author of ‘Boneyard Smack’, ‘Bubba wants YOU’, ‘Insurrection’ (all available as free downloads from Legumeman Books) and ‘Santa Akbar!’ (published in Festive Fear: Global Edition, out through Tasmaniac Publications in Australia). He has a short story–’Autumn as Metaphor’–in the charity anthology Horror For Good, as well as numerous articles published in newspapers. He is the current president of the Australian Horror Writers Association, as well as the past director of the Australian Shadows Awards. His memoir, Hammered, was released in early 2012 by Legumeman Books. He is the owner of Cohesion Editing and Proofreading.

I like to begin my interviews with something gentle, so please tell us a little about yourself?

via Geoff Brown Talks to Alex Laybourne About Overcoming Adversity, Personal Triumphs… and Editing | Official Site of Alex Laybourne – Author.

Midnight Echo Issue 9, Edited by Geoff Brown » This Is Horror

Midnight Echo Issue 9, Edited by Geoff Brown (aka GN Braun)
eBook 150pp
Release Date: 31 May 2013

I edited this issue, and this review by UK site This is Horror is fantastic.

“Mythology is the theme for this issue of Midnight Echo, and it’s testament to the editors that the familiar and often overdone folklores are left out in favour of more obscure legends that will thrill, chill and enchant you.”

Read more via Midnight Echo Issue 9, Edited by Geoff Brown » This Is Horror.

Beechworth (Mayday Hills) Asylum

Soon details will be shared about the Australian Horror Writers Association’s second Creative Retreat, currently being organised for Beechworth Asylum  for October 2013.

After the great success of the Ararat lunatic Asylum retreat, from 22nd-24th February this year, we had no choice but to start organising another.

From the SMH travel section:

“Sue Wallace visits an historic and spooky lunatic asylum.

Keys jangle in the night and I am convinced I can hear footsteps running around the floor above as we wander around the former Beechworth Lunatic Asylum.

Dressed in a top hat and tails and carrying an umbrella, Adam Wynne-Jenkins escorts the curious around four buildings and through the spacious grounds just after midnight, explaining the history and some of its ghostly tales.

A confessed history buff, Wynne-Jenkins, who is from Beechworth, says he’s grown up with stories about the asylum, which opened in 1867 and closed in 1995. At its peak there were 1200 patients.”

via Totally mad.

Aradale Asylum

Well, the weekend is over (I know, it’s Thursday, but I’ve included recovery time) and what a weekend it was.

I took part in a creative writing retreat with nearly twenty other people. We went to stay at Aradale, an abandoned 1800s lunatic asylum that is of a staggering size.

Image

We all stayed in the dining hall (it also used to double as a dance hall and a place to hold religious services, so you can imagine the size) for both nights. We had originally planned to move over to the old staff quarters for the second night, but the distance and the stairs would have made it very difficult to move all twenty of the mattresses over there. After what happened in the staff quarters on the second night, I’m glad we didn’t. More on that in a later post (it deserves it’s own post).

For more info, keep an eye on this blog, and check out the dedicated Aradale 2013 blog HERE.

The rise of Australian horror and the Oz Horror Mini-con » This Is Horror

We’ve had a first here in Australia this month.

Our first single-genre horror convention, the Oz Horror Mini-con was a pre-cursor to the main Oz Horror Con 2013, to be held in January in Melbourne. Previously we’ve had multi-genre conventions, not least of all AussieCon 4 and World Con back in 2010. That was a great year for horror in Australia, but World Con is still a sci-fi convention, with slight undertones of horror—provided, in this case, by the Australian Horror Writers Association, who held the Nightmare Ball, a costume ball with strong horror themes. The AHWA also held the 2010 Annual General Meeting of the association at the convention.

Now, along comes the Oz Horror Con.

via The rise of Australian horror and the Oz Horror Mini-con » This Is Horror.

Aradale and Midnight Echo Magazine

Hi everyone,
A short Australian Horror Writers Association update for October, with news on U.S. distribution for Midnight Echo, as well as an update on the Aradale Asylum Creative Retreat.
MIDNIGHT ECHO NEWS:
October 18, 2012 – Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) President Geoff Brown, and Midnight Echo Executive Editor Marty Young, are pleased to announce that the AHWA and JournalStone Publishing (JSP) have entered into an exclusive joint marketing agreement pursuant to which the AHWA and Midnight Echo magazine will be the exclusive Australian distributor of the quarterly magazine, Dark Discoveries, while JSP and Dark Discoveries Magazine will become the exclusive USA distributor of Midnight Echo. Both parties voiced their enthusiasm for the agreement, which means that the pre-existing high premium that potential readers of each respective magazine have had to pay to receive the other periodical in their respective countries will be eliminated making both magazines much more affordable and accessible/available for all. Look for availability on both the JSP and Midnight Echo websites soon, where you will be able to purchase the magazines individually or in a bundled offering that includes both Dark Discoveries and Midnight Echo.
Midnight Echo is also holding a subscription drive in the buildup to the eagerly awaited Issue 8, with a whole stack of prizes to be won. Just take out a 1- or 2-year print subscription between now and November 30 and you will go into the draw to win the following:
• ‘The Woman’ signed by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee
• ‘Edge of Dark Water’ signed by Joe R Lansdale
• Original ME8 artwork by Glenn Chadbourne (signed)
• A copy of ‘Tolerance’ plus 3 signed lithographs, by ME8 cover artist Chris Mars
• 1-year print subscription to Cemetery Dance magazine
• Original Allure of the Ancients artwork, signed by creators Mark Farrugia and Greg Chapman
• 1-year print subscription bundle to Midnight Echo and Dark Discoveries magazines
The winners will be announced on December 1.
Full subscription details can be found at http://midnightechomagazine.com/subscribe-to-midnight-echo/

ARADALE ASYLUM CREATIVE RETREAT:
Writers, editors, artists, photographers, filmmakers, game designers, screenwriters, and anyone creative that I have missed.
All welcome.
The Australian Horror Writers Association has arranged a three-day/two-night stay at Aradale Mental Hospital (formerly Ararat Lunatic Asylum) for writers, editors, artists and any other creative-type people.
It will involve having the days to create and the nights to investigate how to be scared stiff. There will be a ghost tour on the Friday night, and a paranormal investigation on the Saturday night (all equipment supplied).

When: THREE (3) DAYS – February 22-24th 2013
How Much: $395 PER PERSON all-inclusive three days
Includes: accommodation/full catering/tour/paranormal investigation.
Supplied: All meals, camp-beds.
Please supply sleeping bag or bedding (if you are travelling from interstate, talk to us and we will be able to help with this).

Confirmation of interest in attending will be accepted UPON PAYMENT OF $195 deposit (refundable up to thirty (30) days prior to the event. If, for any reason, you are unable to attend, notify us by Thursday 24th January for a full refund of deposit).

Full details here:
http://www.australianhorror.com/index.php?view=317

Geoff Brown – president, AHWA