Built by the very convicts who would end up inhabiting its wretched cells, Fremantle Prison is Western Australia’s oldest standing building. Now designated as a World Heritage site, Fremantle Prison held convicts and criminals for nearly 140 years and is famously known for its deplorable conditions and brutal capital punishment. Flogging, for example, was legal in the prison until the 1940s, and lead prisoners to receive lashes with a “cat of nine tails” that ripped the flesh on their backs.
As the only prison in Western Australia with legal capital punishment, 43 men and 1 woman eventually lost their lives to the gallows inside of Fremantle Prison. Perhaps that’s why the building today is firmly believed to be haunted, with the ghosts of dozens of executed inmates still drifting amidst the cells. When visiting Fremantle Prison today, there are four different tours and ways to experience the historic, haunted prison. On the classic “Doing Time” tour, hear the tales of what it was like to be incarcerated here in the prison, or take a tour of the underground tunnels that weave beneath the gaol. There’s a tour that highlights prison escapees and those who tried to make a run, as well as a spooky, nighttime tour by the flickering light of a torch.
Fremantle Prison is located 30 minutes outside of downtown Perth. You can reach the prison by car or by ferry, and operating hours for touring the prison are from 9am-5pm, daily. Special evening tours begin at 7pm, and while general admission to the prison is free, guided tours range from $40 to $120 tours of the tunnels.