Tales of Black Rock House: The tower?

13th May 2022. Reading Time: 2 minutes Tales of Black Rock House. 761 page views. 0 comments.

It was long rumoured there was a tower atop of Black Rock House with a ghost story that made the rounds among locals. I came across a photo that may offer a glimpse of the tower!

Built in 1856 for Victoria's first Auditor-General: Mr. Charles Hotson Ebden, there is much mystery that surrounds Black Rock House.  It is nestled in the bayside suburb of Black Rock in Melbourne Victoria. Throughout the years, I have been documenting experiences and research through my series Tales of Black Rock House.  You can check out some of the articles I have written concerning the history and figures attached to the property here:

Tales of Black Rock House - Local Legends

The famous faces of Black Rock House

One of the things I love about doing research is finding old photographs of the house.  I recently took a look through old photos of the house in the article Pictures of the past.  While I was revisiting some of the photos, something caught my eye and a photo that I had not noticed before.  It was described as the 'Earliest KNOWN photo of Black Rock house'.  While the people are something I will get to in a moment, it is something else that got me a little excited.

The Tower

Speculated to have been taken sometime in the 1800s, it is described as: Earliest known photograph of Black Rock House, J.P. Lind Photo, Tyne St. off Lygon St., Carlton. Features man and woman under verandah, gardener with rake, and showing viewing tower.  Image Source: Sandringham and District Society

What is interesting here is the reference to the viewing tower.  The tower is one of the local myths that surrounded the house.  Here you can actually see on top of the house there seems to be some sort of railing to suggest there was a viewing platform that sat on the roof of the house. 

This platform is not there today.

Ghosts of the tower

One of the stories that originally led us to Black Rock House was one we found on internet forums referencing a ghost from the supposed tower.  

This historic holiday house was built in 1856, and is reportedly haunted by twelve spirits. Passing motorists have made many of the reported sightings associated with the building, including a spectral figure toppling from the roof to their death. Prior to the twentieth century, a viewing tower had been built on the roof, leading to the belief that someone had been pushed or fell to their death while it was still in use. On several occasions, passer-by’s have called authorities after seeing a fistfight under a large fig tree in front of the property, but when police arrive, the figures have mysteriously vanished. More recently, it is believed that a drive who passed away in a nearby automobile accident has been seen wandering through the historic house.

As published on https://www.hauntedplaces.org/item/black-rock-house/

Another intriguing piece of the puzzle is the people who are in the photo.  I have some ideas but we will never know for sure.  Stay tuned for more instalments of Tales of Black Rock house where we will slowly uncover the many mysteries surrounding Black Rock House!

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