Goat Island is a small island in the Sydney Docklands, Australia, reportedly haunted by the ghost of Charles Anderson.
Background[edit | edit source]
AsThe Island was originally known as 'Mel Mel' by the Aboriginals, until a captain let some goats out onto the island, all bought from Cape Town. The now Goat Island was used as a convict blockade for convicts being transported to Norfolk Island. In 1831 the colonists started to quarry sandstone on the island using convict labour. In the late 1830's however, fears where arisen over the fact that the island could be a strategic point of defence, and that the quarry was effectively 'quarrying away' the island. Sandstone Quarrying on the island stopped for this reason.
In 1838 it was decided that Goat island would be a good place to store gunpowder, since it would be on hand for the city of Sydney to use but would not cause too much destruction if it where to explode. Convict gangs were used again to construct a powder magazine on the island. In 1900 all explosives where removed from the island and in 1925 the remaining magazine building was converted into a shipyard that still stands today. The Island is now part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, only the shipyard is accessible to the general public.
Charles Anderson[edit | edit source]
During the 1830's, Charles Anderson served in the Royal Navy but suffered a head injury. He was left brain damaged and this made him uncontrollably violent, for this reason he was kicked out of the navy. He was later transported to Australia from his home in England for burglary . Anderson caused further trouble in Sydney where he was sent as a convict, and the governor's made the decision to send him to work on Goat Island.
Anderson was sent to the island in 1838 when they where using the convicts to build the powder magazine, Anderson was told to help build this but was stubborn and would not. He made numerous attempts to escape from Goat Island but was caught and taken back each time, eventually he was punished and was given 1'500 lashes with a whip. This did not stop Charles Anderson from attempting to escape and so they sentenced him to be chained to a rock for two years. They Chiselled a 'Bench' for him out of the sandstone face of the island and chained him into it, a wooden 'lid' was then placed over this but with holes so that Anderson could breath and be given food. People where forbidden from going near this place and it is said that as ships moved past the island, Charles would jump out from his prison and shout at the boat. People fed him using a long pole that they stuck food onto the end of.
Strangely, despite enduring numerous diseases for the two years he was on 'the bench'. Charles Anderson survived this experience but it is believed he would later die as a result of bad health caused by his time there. Anderson's ghost is believed to have come back to haunt ghost island, he can be heard shouting and is sometimes even seen by visitors. The place where he was chained up can still be seen today.