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Lunch At The Quarantine Station


It was Anzac Day, Sunday April 25, 2021. Hard lockdown had just been eased, and we were allowed to emerge into the sunlight again. I thought it was time to use the gift voucher I had been given before the pandemic, and treat my husband, Rex and myself to lunch at the old Quarantine Station.

Q Station, as it is now known, is part of Sydney Harbour National Park, located at North Head, near Manly. It was established in 1832, with the aim to stop diseases from the early immigrants spreading into the rest of the Australian population. The health threats at the time were many, among them were the Bubonic Plague, Spanish Influenza, cholera, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, typhus and smallpox.

For over 150 years, shiploads of immigrants were required to remain at the Quarantine Station for forty days on arrival. Many people spent their final days there in pain and misery, their tragic stories a reminder of dark times in Australia's past. Over 13, 000 were quarantined within its walls, and at least 572 were thought to have been buried there, though the numbers could have actually been higher. But over time, medical science, immunization and quarantine procedures improved, and the mortality rate decreased. The Quarantine Station remained in operation until 1984.

Some of the most horrendous experiences came from the building known as the Showers, where more harm than good was done to the immigrants with harsh bleach, in the name of disinfection. It is not surprising, given its grim history, that there are documented accounts of hauntings at the Q Station, from staff and visitors alike. Many are centered around the Showers.

I was a bit nervous about the Q Station, so I said a prayer before we went, asking the Powers-That-Be for spirit guardians to watch over us. Immediately after that, I felt more enthusiastic about the outing. In fact, Rex and I were positively super-charged with energy. This was unusual for us, as we are both not exactly youthful, nor particularly energetic. It felt as if someone else was eager for us to be on our way, giving us a spiritual lift so to speak, making sure we got going.

We were pleasantly surprised that everything went so smoothly on route to the Q Station. Peak-hour traffic for the Manly area was normally a frustrating and gnarly experience. That day, we simply cruised along, hassle-free and with green lights all the way, getting there half an hour earlier than expected.

The parking area looked dauntingly full, but just as we drove in, a car pulled out. Perfect timing. We found a spot about a hundred metres from the Visitor Centre, where we were to catch the minibus down to the Boilerhouse restaurant.

As we waited for the transport to arrive, I sat on the bench outside the Visitor Centre and said another prayer for any troubled souls who lingered, and were not at rest. I asked if my spirit guardian could help some of the sad and suffering ones, the ones in need. Perhaps she could persuade them to move on and find peace, and tell the nasty entities to 'bugger off'?

It was not long before the minivan came to bring us to the Boilerhouse restaurant. The historic russet-coloured brick building had the most ginormous chimney stack at the side. I think that they used to do the communal laundry there, as well as provide hot water for the Showers.

Since it was a sunny day, the restaurant had set up alfresco dining at the tables outside. While waiting for our food, I took a photo of the chimney stack of the Boilerhouse. Because I was facing the sun, the chimney and adjacent dining area came out in shadow, but I liked the silhouette effect against the sky.

Lunch was excellent and the service even better. The one jarring note came from the next table. A young man, wearing a pink polo shirt with a fancy animal emblem, looked us up and down as we were seated. From my position at our table, I could hear his rather derogatory remarks about us to the older couple with him, presumably his parents.

After they finished their meal and left, Rex and I laughed about it. The incident amused us, rather than cause any affront. I had the sudden impulse to glance over at their table. One of them had left their phone. Rex quickly hailed them to come back retrieve it. They were most embarrassed. We got the distinct impression that someone was teaching them a lesson.

On our return to the reception area, I looked across the path from the Boilerhouse, as we travelled up the hill in the minivan. The building on the right looked like a small nondescript toilet block. My skin began to prickle along my arms and legs. From the narrow dark opening at the side, I could just make out closely-set cubicles made of thin white partitions. They felt unbearably sad and full of despair.

I asked Rex where were the infamous haunted Showers, wondering if that was it. He had been there some years ago, and was sure it lay somewhere farther up the hill. But the woman who had sat at the other table at the Boilerhouse, surprised us by speaking up.

It just so happened that they had been on the history tour earlier in the day. She confirmed that the building was - you guessed it - the Showers.

When we came home, I went over the photos I had taken and realized there was something odd. A blue orb showed in the photo of the chimney stack. But Rex and I had not seen any spot of blue in the area at the time. It was also not the same shade of blue as the sky.



Could there some technical reason for this? Because I have no idea where that blue dot came from. Neither does Rex. If it was a reflection or refraction, the sun was at the wrong angle for it. There was nothing around to explain that distinctive shade of electric blue, like a single bolt of lightning energy.

I did some reading and came across some articles that said that blue orbs could be signs of spiritual guardians. Could it be my spirit guardian letting me see that she was around?

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Jubeele, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
2 years ago (2022-04-28)
Hi Daz

Great to hear from you. It's true; the fact that we found parking in Manly was a miracle in itself. Whether I caught the image of a spirit orb or a lens flare, it's still interesting. I'm also curious as to why did the blue orb appeared in the shadow of the building. Why not in the open sky, reflected by the sun?

The ability to sense the spirits can be quite uncomfortable. As a child, I was terrified of the family home with its odd shadows and creepy vibes. Grandma had my father cleanse the place a few times a year, burning frankincense. This all made sense when I discovered that the housing estate was built over a Chinese cemetery, containing over 100, 000 graves!

My family has often spoken of having strange experiences, and our spirit lore has been passed down for at least four generations. We believe that there are times when the spirits might be using natural phenomena to send us signs and portents. Such matters should to examined as a whole, together with other events happening at the time, so as not to be taken out of context. But it is also easy to be distracted, ignoring the experience, and thus miss out on the spiritual message.

It's good to have a degree of scepticism to keep everything in perspective. At the same time, we wouldn't want to be too cynical, lest we miss out on the blessings that life has to offer. In these troubled times, I think it's important to keep our faith, and believe that good things can still happen.

Thank you everyone for your kind attention and helpful comments.
aussiedaz (19 stories) (1565 posts)
2 years ago (2022-04-10)
Hi Jubeele, You did well finding a car spot at Manly it can be crazy at times. In regards to the blue orb and according to Michael Newtons research. I'm pretty sure he claimed our spirit guides radiate the colour blue when near by?

Considering what you wrote:

'' so I said a prayer before we went, asking the Powers-That-Be for spirit guardians to watch over us.''

You may have snapped up a photo of your spirit guardian? I have seen a blue orb a couple of times in my room over the years and perhaps there may be some other explanation, however, to catch one on camera is pretty cool.

Thank you for sharing it.

Regards Daz
Rex-T (5 stories) (288 posts)
2 years ago (2022-03-06)

From a sceptic's point of view (and I am a sceptic), your research was quite impressive. The origins of my scepticism lie in my training as a telecommunications technician, so I was surprised to read about this technical "hitch" in the field of smartphone photography. I've still got a few questions on the artifact showing up in the shadow but I'll do some research off line.

For me, looking at the "big picture" (pardon the pun), still tends to lead me in a different direction. As Jubeele has mentioned, this was my second visit to the Q Station and the second time that my "gut feelings" overrode all my logical arguments. In both instances, the source of my feelings of disquiet and sadness was the shower block interior.

The first time, I left the site feeling depressed, yet the recent visit put me in a more introspective mood, taking in the whole experience.

When we got home and downloaded the images, I laughed as somebody would when they see through a magician's trick. I have been in this mood before when I was sure somebody was looking after me.

Anyway, that's my take on our day out - good food, ripper views and a pleasant surprise ending.

Oh yeah, one bit of advice for fellow sceptics - "If your gut tells you there's something wrong, there probably is".

Take Care & Stay Safe
SalixArbuscula (7 posts)
2 years ago (2022-03-03)
Hello, Jubeele.

That sounds like a fascinating mix of energies for one location! But as I'm no expert on such things by any means, I'll leave it at that. I will, however, offer a thought on your image. It is striking, and definitely seems odd. I did a little googling on the technical side of thigs, and I came across an interesting article that was written about similar artifacts people had in their pictures of the highly-visible eclipse back in 2017, which were explained as lens flare.


Yes, this article focuses on a different phone brand than the one you have. I also read in my googling that iphones can have some issues with ghosting, which is a different artifact-causing camera malfunction that is not relevant to your image, but may be the cause of some of the extra spots in the pictures in the article. However, I still find several of the artifacts in the pictures in the article to be strikingly similar to the one you captured, in some cases right down to the electric blue color. With all due respect to the rest of your experience, I think (I'm not an expert, so I make no claim stronger than that) the image you captured could quite possibly be explained as a nifty case of lens flare.
Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
2 years ago (2022-03-02)
Hi Lost Voyage

Interesting to learn that prayers for protection are associated with Archangel Michael. For my part, I feel blessed to have attracted good spirits and positive energies. I've had my share of spooky moments in the past, but I find the atrocities that humans can inflict on each other far more horrific.

A medium friend said that she senses a lot of energy around me, but they are mostly loving presences of family who have passed, checking in on us in a fleeting visiting. I try to acknowledge the spirits if I sense them. Just a polite "hello", "goodnight", "please behave", or "play nice".

You've been seeing blue orbs too? That's fascinating. I hope you will be able to share that with us in more detail someday. Thanks for coming by and I'm glad you enjoyed my account.
The_Lost_Voyage_11 (7 stories) (248 posts)
2 years ago (2022-02-26)
Hello Jubeele, what a fascinating encounter and it sounds like an overall pleasant experience coming out of quarantine.

Your experience with the blue orb reminds me of things I've seen in my peripheral vision including the corner of my eye lately. What I've found and resonate with is that its the color and representation of the Archangel Michael. This is the angel that can be called upon (among many of his talents/gifts) to help others not in body cross over to the other side. Since you had invoked prayers of protection (something else he is well known for) and prayers for those left behind at the site, this seems to fit right in. When I've glimpsed it, I've always gotten a rather peaceful and relaxing feeling. This seems to dovetail with the feelings you had prior to arriving at the site as well as during most of your visit.

Most of what I've come across indicates that the angels and spirit guides as well as many others are constantly on alert, trying to help the spirits of people who have passed on but linger on this earth plane, come back home so to speak. They never give up, kind of a spiritual version of the 'no person left behind' slogan we hear in various disciplines including the military. We as humans help in that area a lot as well when we offer up those prayers in areas such as what you visited or for people who are passing or have just passed, so it's like a two pronged approach and one I think gets a lot more people back home rather than stay behind and suffer alone.

Anyways good read!
RCRuskin (9 stories) (833 posts)
2 years ago (2022-02-25)
Hi, Sis! 😁 Glad you and Rex are doing better.

Being able to get out and about is a good thing, especially in this still stressful time.

So I read up on your camera, and also followed the link to orb colors you shared and fascinating stuff. So could be a camera glitch, could be a spirit guide, or could be congestion in the throat chakra. 🤔

It would be very interesting to go back just to take some photos. I'm sure there's something there, but what I don't know.
Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
2 years ago (2022-02-24)
I'm glad you enjoyed the account, lady-glow. Maybe Rex and I might even go on a ghost tour at the Q Station. Someday. Maybe. Some places can be overwhelming though.

The man at the Visitors' Centre told us that just the night before, a woman had to be taken back there in the middle of the ghost tour. She was in hysterics, saying that someone or something touched her in the Showers. He was on duty then and got her a bottle of water; it took her a while to calm down. I think that those who are sensitive to the spirits should take care to prepare themselves, or avoid going to such places.

That blue orb is really curious. I was fascinated to learn that there were meanings behind the different colours of orbs. Not sure if it's some trick of the light, or that I actually captured something otherworldly, but it's still nice to think that a spirit guardian was with us. 😇

Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
2 years ago (2022-02-24)
Hi RCRuskin

Hey Brother Brat. 😜 I think you would have enjoyed the meal, as well as the view overlooking North Harbour. Rex and I felt as if someone had given us a loving hug and made sure things went our way. After months of fear and sadness, it was a welcome respite to have a nice lunch and enjoy the sunshine. Maybe we even had an extra dining companion or two at the table with us.

It is a blessing to have a positive experience during these times. When we had our own isolation period, it was a relief to be able to remain at home. My heart goes out to the thousands in the past, those who had endured terrible conditions at the Quarantine Station. May they now be at peace.

That photo was odd. Odder still how we never noticed that blue orb at the time. Is it a spiritual phenomenon, or a technical glitch? I took it using my smartphone, Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime.

Lenses: 1 (13 MP) Wide (main) lens - 13 MP - Aperture: f/1.9 - Focal length: 28 mm - Sensor: 1/3.06", Sony IMX258 (CMOS) - Phase autofocus.
Aspect ratio: 16:9. Size: 5 inches. Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels.
Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
2 years ago (2022-02-24)
Hi Rajine

It is comforting to think that spirit guardians could have been around us that day. Just as there are good and unpleasant people, the same might apply in the spirit world after death. I was brought up in the Taoist belief that the Universe requires the balance of yin-yang forces; good and evil, Light and Dark. One could not exist without the other.

Thank you for reading my account.
RCRuskin (9 stories) (833 posts)
2 years ago (2022-02-24)
So a followup. I showed your photos to a director of photography I know, the guys who light movie and TV sets, select the lenses for the cameras and other things to get the shots the director wants. He is very curious about the lens on your camera.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3163 posts)
2 years ago (2022-02-23)
Hello again.

Such an awful history for such a lovely place. RCRuskin has said it to perfection "we humans are incredibly inhumane."

The orb is intriguing and the blue colour is gorgeous. Whatever it is, this picture is fascinating.

I enjoyed reading your experience, thanks for sharing.
RCRuskin (9 stories) (833 posts)
2 years ago (2022-02-23)
Aw. I missed being first. Sleep seemed a better idea at the time. 😁

Keeping diseases out is an important thing to do, but ought to be done humanely. Unfortunately, we humans are incredibly inhumane. Without quarantine stations, and sometimes even with them, by the time year hear of a disease over there, it will already be right here. And I could speak more about these things but that would be getting way off topic.

The blue orb looks interesting to me. Most especially since it is off center of the opening. I'll need to investigate optics to figure out why that might be.

And to reply to Rajine's comment, I think "most" supernatural entities are like most people: neutral and probably misunderstanding of their actions and the consequences.
Rajine (14 stories) (833 posts)
2 years ago (2022-02-23)
Hi Jubeele

I believe that it definitely could be your guardian spirit, I'd like to believe that not all supernatural entities are malevolent, it gives one hope that in the midst of a lot of terrible things that there is a glimmer of good and hope.

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