A Haunting in Canberra: National Film & Sound Archive Was Institute of Anatomy


National Film and Sound Archive at Canberra in now being considered as one of Australia’s ‘most haunted buildings.’ The building in Canberra served as the Institute of Anatomy for more than 50 years.

The then institute had contained human skeletons, animal specimens and artifacts. While being the site of scientific experiments, this history of death and mutilation that has given it a supernatural recognition.

In the 1920s the building was subjected to be the entrance to a national museum of zoology. It was envisioned in Walter Burley Griffin’s blueprint for Canberra.

This fascinating project was led by Sir Colin MacKenzie.

According to ABC News, MacKenzie collected skeletons and artefacts. He housed the living things at his family property in Victoria, which is now the Healesville Sanctuary.

“The NFSA building is regarded by many ghost hunters or paranormal aficionados as not only one of the most haunted in Canberra, but also one of the most haunted in Australia,” cryptonaturalist Tim the Yowie Man said.

The Institute of Anatomy was a popular tourist destination.

MacKenzie was given the responsibility to reimagine the way the building could be used. It opened to the public as the Institute of Anatomy in 1931.

The institute’s collection included Phar Lap’s heart, Ned Kelly’s skull and a mummy from Papua New Guinea.

According to NFSA’s Cris Kennedy, during 30s and 40s family holidays in Canberra would revolve around the Parliament House and the Institute of Anatomy.

There had been a numerous of reported sightings of MacKenzie’s ghost, says Tim the Yowie Man

“It’s one of the more extraordinary apparitions,” he said.

“They’re in the building in the late afternoon and they see an outline of an elderly man, dressed well, come out of the wall near where his ashes are.”

He also adds that the apparition just stands at one point and never moves. After a while, it goes back into a wall where MacKenzie’s ashes are kept.

Another commonly reported paranormal sightings is that of a little girl that would jump out through a furnace. She would make visiting school students laugh.

Poltergeist activity has also been reported, particularly where the dissection laboratories used to be, says Canberra Times.

Staff had heard noises coming from the recording booths and they would see things flying around in there, says Tim the Yowie Man.


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