Queen Victoria Market
Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the city’s famed building? Well, stories say buried under the Queen Victoria Market’s car park are about 9,000 bodies.
“The Queen Victoria Market is the site of Melbourne’s second graveyard,” Ben says. “When it eventually closed down, they didn’t exhume all the bodies; they were left in situ and the market was just built right over the top.”
Over the years, there have been countless ghost sightings, with people saying if you listen closely, you can “hear the moaning of the undesirables.”
As well as the groans of the damned, Ben says the market is also believed to be haunted by the two men who were the first to be hanged in Melbourne in 1842.
“They were hanged for murdering a couple of settlers down at the Mornington Peninsula,” Ben says. “Their spirits are said to haunt the Queen Victoria Market.”
Back in ye olde days, before Netflix and colour TV, one of the favourite pastimes of many Melburnians was a tradition called ‘Playing the Ghost’, or ‘ghost hoaxing’.
“People would get dressed up in Halloween-style costumes and go around scaring people in the street,” Ben says.
“Some of the costumes were quite elaborate – there’s one crazy story of a bloke who used to get dressed up in a full knight’s costume with ‘prepare to meet thy doom’ written on his chest plate.” Back then, Ben says, it was an acceptable way for young men to do silly things without being recognised. The tradition allegedly went on until around the start of the first World War, when many were called off to fight in the trenches.