On Saturday (2nd November) twenty-nine intrepid sightseers gathered in inner Melbourne to explore some of the locations of my books Gap Year in Ghost Town and Graveyard Shift in Ghost Town. I was a little worried about the viability of the occasion, because I woke up that morning to hear heavy rain on the roof – and it didn’t let up all day. I put my trust in the Bureau of Meteorology, though, and it promised that the rain would be clearing by the evening. Even so, I had my trust Bladerunner umbrella with me, just in case.
I’d done my planning, plotting our course in Google Maps and walking it in rehearsal, but these things are always dicey affairs. How fast would people walk? What questions would they have? How long would they laugh at my jokes?
Here are the locations:
- Fitzroy Gardens
- The Conservatory, Fitzroy Gardens
- River God Fountain, Fitzroy Gardens
- Allen and Unwin, Albert Street
- Victorian Artists Society, Albert Street
- Eastern Hill Fire Station, Gisborne Street
- Royal Exhibition Building/Melbourne Museum
- Royal Society of Victoria, LaTrobe Street
At each stop, I regaled the crowd with some history (absolutely true) and some ghostiness (totally made up).
As a bonus, Ellie Marney and Lili Wilkinson had agreed to be part of the night, with Ellie popping up at Allen and Unwin HQ, reading Poe’s ‘The Raven’ and sharing some juicy details about Melbourne’s ghoulish history. Lili appeared at the Hochgurtel Fountain in front of the Royal Exhibition Bulding and treated us to a scary reading from her work in progress. Monsters!
We finished spot on 9.30, as advertised, a tribute either to my excellent organisation or the gods of good fortune.
Many thanks to Lili and Ellie, but also to all those who attended. It was an atmospheric, convivial and wondrous night.