Spirited adventures in area’s haunted places

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser

We caught up with film maker Lincoln Cook who is creating a movie about Albany’s haunted locations.

Tell me about the documentary.

Paranormal Albany is an investigation into some of Albany’s most haunted homes and hideaways. As a kid I’d often heard of unexplained occurrences and paranormal sightings in and around my home town. With this documentary I plan to return to some of those places to try to uncover the truth behind those stories as well as any new stories which may emerge during the process.

How did it all come about?

I first came up with the idea for this project while talking to my older brothers about unexplained paranormal activity they had experienced as children, in our old house on Vancouver Street. This led to further discussions with current and former Albany residents about haunted buildings around the town, including what is now the Vancouver Arts Centre.

Who is involved?

My partner Gina Carlucci and I are the primary ghost-hunters in this expedition. I will be interviewing locals and investigating properties while Gina films and co-directs the investigation. Many locals have also offered to participate, and much of the project’s soundscape will be edited and produced by Stephani Fry, a fellow radio and sound student at Murdoch University.

Tell me about your film-making background.

My background is in radio, where I started out as a presenter at Albany Community Radio before moving on to present and report for Radio Fremantle and Radio Murdoch, as well as through my own podcasts. That being said, my passion for screen is something I have explored at university, where I have been heavily involved in numerous productions, which have helped in training for this project.

Why paranormal? Do you have an interest in this?

To tell you the truth, I’m a sceptic, but I’m also scared of ghosts ... go figure. So really, this is a big challenge. What I enjoy about investigative journalism is finding answers and uncovering the truth. So in this sense, I hope to separate the myth from reality. I’m sure much of what I uncover may be unexplainable, but what interests me most is people’s experiences.

Why did you decide to film Albany?

To my knowledge, Albany is the third-oldest town in Australia, and the first settlement in WA. It has a rich cultural history that I wish to explore and is especially close to me as it’s where I grew up. The people of Albany have great ghost stories to tell, and Albany’s depth of history adds to these stories. I believe Albany’s history is what puts it on the map, and ghost stories are a part of that.

What sights are you filming and why?

The focal points of this project are the Vancouver Arts Centre (the old hospital), Camp Quaranup (quarantine station) and, hopefully, the Earl of Spencer (settlers’ inn). These sights are of special significance because of the number of strange occurrences locals have had there.

What can we expect to see in the documentary?

In this documentary you can expect to see us use a whole range of different ghost-hunting equipment including EMF (electromagnetic field) detectors, motion sensors and the latest ghost-hunting apps to try to identify the presence of spirits. You will also be hearing first-hand stories from many Albany locals, and footage of night investigations we are conducting throughout the town.

When are you planning to film and launch the documentary?

We begin filming for three to four weeks on December 29 and plan to have the project completed and on display for the public by late March next year . However, our research work has already begun.

What have been the highlights working on this project so far?

Thus far, the best thing about working on this documentary has been getting to hear people’s stories. Albany is a town full of character and characters, and it’s great to learn of their experiences.

If anyone has any ghost stories, Lincoln Cook and Gina Carlucci would like to hear from you, no matter how small the story. Contributors can email linconi88@gmail.com or message them via the Facebook page facebook.com/paranormalalbanydoco.

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