Like in any state, there are properties which people talk about and that you somehow just know about. Como House would have to be 'one of those' properties. Whilst in the past some teams have been given special access to do a paranormal investigation, many years ago that door was closed. Well lucky for me that door opened briefly for my team at the time to host an event for some lucky members of the public to attend. I have now investigated this property twice. A private investigation consisting of just myself, my brother and my husband as a special guest (to aka hold the camera) along with a couple of volunteers to show us around the house. The second time was a large group event where 30 lucky public members were taken on an paranormal investigation through the much sort after property. Before we dive into the investigation, here is a bit of history on the property and why Como House always seems to make it onto the bucket list.
From the outside Como House looks almost like a house on a plantation. It is very big and grand. It sits on massive grounds complete with a stable, an onsite cemetery and beautiful gardens. The venue is used mostly now for weddings and private functions, however the house itself is open daily for historical tours and the stables have been converted into a cafe/restaurant.
A general theme I am finding here in Victoria is that the majority of our homesteads that are now heritage listed and protected were all built in the mid 1800's. Como House is no different and there is a good reason why. Melbourne was only around 2 years old when the site that Como House now sits on was used as a cattle run. In 1847 Edward Eyre Williams who was a lawyer who later went on to become the first judge of the Supreme Court in Victoria purchased the land and had a 4 bedroom home built on the property. He named it Como as he had proposed to his wife on Lake Como in Italy. A beautiful personal touch. In the early 1850's Como House changed hands twice. John Brown saw potential even though the previous owner found it to be 'dull' and Brown decided to do some upgrades. He had the grounds landscaped, added a second story and a ballroom to overlook the gardens. The ballroom was later converted to bedrooms.
In 1964, a very wealth Charles Armytage bought Como House as a place of residence for himself and his wife Caroline. In the 1870's a children's wing was added as well as a downstairs ballroom. They were filthy rich. In 1876, Charles passed away. The house was left to Caroline who died in 1906. Their children started subdividing and selling off some of the land while living at Como House. in 1959, it was sold to the National Trust of Victoria who still own the property today. What is intriguing is that a lot of the items still within the house, belonged to Armytage family.
I was really eager to get into this property. It is one that was on my list long before we were able to gain access. Once we had this locked in, volunteers of the National Trust would often approach me and tell me their stories. They had strange sightings on the second floor of a woman in white (it is always a woman in white) which they believe was Caroline Armytage. She was considered to be a very strong woman and protective of her house so it was of no surprise to anyone that perhaps she was hanging around. Then there are the stories of Ethyl. A young girl, one of Caroline's daughters who had supposedly been spotted by a bride to be taking a tour of the house with her wedding planner. It even made the newspapers and was featured in past ghost tours they used to run at the property. These were the focus of the investigation as well of course just trying to see if anything else was going on and if anyone else wanted to have a chat.
I was told by one of the volunteers that Caroline used to stand in the front yard with a shotgun and fire it to scare off trespassers. I tried the Singapore Theory and played some noises of a shotgun to see if it would stir anything up. It didn't really get anything of significance but I always use these instances to teach people about the singapore theory and different tools I like to use when investigating. I also did extensive work in the 'morning room' which is where Ethyl was spotted. On the night of the public investigation, the groups which had split up seemed to have a few experiences in the morning room. There wasn't a huge amount of activity, however a few people had personal experiences and felt that they were touched or felt a presence nearby. Interestingly, a lot of our equipment wouldn't work during our investigation. We always put new batteries in at the beginning of an investigation and test everything before we start so it was a little odd.
I have mixed feelings about this investigation. It was one of my first big events back after taking some time off to have surgery so I was really eager to get back out there, but I felt terrible! Like everyone this winter, I got hit with the flu and suffered for quite a few weeks. I was initially in two minds about going to Como, but I didn't want to miss it. I showed up but I didn't realize how unwell I was until I saw the live stream I did and saw and heard my voice. I was out of it and I just looked heavy under the eyes and I had no expression in my voice. I was like a monotone robot going through the motions. I am glad that I went and got the experience such a rare opportunity, but I paid for it all week (even having to have an x ray for pneumonia) but I still enjoyed it. Is it haunted? I didn't find any evidence to suggest as such, but people have had so many personal experiences, it is not really something you can determine after a few hours. Remember you can't just make something happen and not every investigation is full of activity. Hopefully one day they may reopen the door for another investigation. Until them, I course took lots of photos which are now available to look at in the image gallery : Como House
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