Oakabella and its adjoining 50 000 acres was first taken up around 1851 and changed hands three times before it came to the possession of the Jackson family in 1910. The present owners are Alan Jackson who is a grandson of the family and his partner Loretta Wright, a native North-American Indian and Irish descent who believes she was chosen as a custodian and led to the place. She recognized the homestead from her childhood dreams. They were granted a number of funds from the Heritage Council of Western Australia and "stretched" the money beyond anyone's wildest dreams to do a remarkable job restoring the heritage listed place. Instead of renewing the homestead they kept the original furniture, belongings and the tinyest lil accessories of the pioneering era and early 20th century, even kitchen utensils, cutlery and crockery. After having a long talk with Loretta by a glass of red wine and fabulous dinner we were off with her to tour the homestead by torchlight. While investigating the fifteen rooms and adjoining buildings many times we knocked on doors separating two areas forgetting it was unoccupied.
The place is like a museum where time stopped, table set, clothes displayed in the bedroom and pictures still as they were hanging years ago. The first few years they have spent in the actual homestead and first hand experienced the paranormal activities and events that can be called unusually frequent compared to other places in Western Australia, if not Australia. Alan and Loretta have built their own home on the hill overlooking the homestead. They have found suitcases left behind,filled with historical documents, letters and accounts of the history of the place which reads like a Hollywood script. It involves curses, lines of dead children whether by accidents happened at the place or sickness, accidental suicide,a secret affair,murder in the pioneering years, confrontation that are historically documented between settlers and aboriginals, a sacred site and the local aboriginal belief of elementals and spirits.
They are sitting on a paranormal spiritual portal, a so called energy magnet and if you visit them do not be surprised if Loretta sees some visitors from your own past standing by you. The strongest energy around the place belongs to elementals or the "lil people of the hill" as the local natives call them. Loretta took an exception and allowed us to set up camp just by the veranda of the homestead leaving one of the rooms open for the sake of investigation.
At night we felt it was appropriate and wise to "serenade" what was out there with a guitar and songs but still left one of us "doing the gatekeeper's job" by being harassed in dreams. While the winds were screaming so loud and strong one of us dreamed of dancing an aboriginal dance all night with shear panic while an apparition stared right into the face ridiculing the white ways of trying to do a tribal dance. No matter how many times woken up freezing or of fright, the same dance continued upon falling asleep again. Woke up exhausted with a few extra strands of gray hair and sore legs we walked down to breakfast only to find that Loretta for the first time in many years had a wonderful night and peaceful dreams actually being able to sleep in. When we told her that it is because we took over the job as "watchers" for the night she just laughed and told us how she after many years of "dancing" now has "black women's ankles". We parted with a hug and promised to return. Oakabella is a wonderful place and a spiritual experience. A word of warning, please visit it with respect and take nothing, not even a pebble from the area.
You can contact Alan or Loretta on (08) 9925 1033
At the end of the homestead veranda is the room where George Jackson a member of the owners' family shot himself while cleaning his gun. When Alan and Loretta restored the place they decided to whitewash the walls and in this particular room use pink paint to add some "happy colors" to the always gloomy bedroom. They have left the original furniture in place such as the wardrobe and dresser. Using the black light (UV light) we could see splatters on the side of the wardrobe, dresser, accross the wooden restored floorboards in the corner and up the walls in the same area despite the repainted surface. This room was left unlocked for us during the night. It is said you know George around from the banging on the walls of the homestead that starts on the East and finishes at the West. We were camping front of his room beside the veranda where he usually makes his rounds but maybe due to us "serenading" him with songs and guitar playing he was very quiet at the time of our visit. The room however registers slight reading and many rooms were terribly cold inside the homestead. George's felt like a crypt. Later we found out that the pioneering family, especially the grandmother was music lover, seeing different instruments displayed inside.
Just a throw of the stone away from the veranda of Oakabella is this Gorge. Nearby cave and cave painting, the male and female aspects of the place, the ancient plateau that can easily accommodate a group of people for meetings during the dry seasons all suggests an aboriginal meeting place even a nearby burial site.
To the left the ruins of a small homestead with a well and the remains of a windmill. Still and serene during the day then with the nightfall come wuthering winds from the East.
This heritage listed barn with the unique buttress feature is fully restored by Alan and Loretta and with the approval of the heritage council of Western Australia. Loretta took us inside the barn at night. It was not long ago that one of Oakabella's visitors made an entry into the visitors' book stating that the chain inside the barn was moving in the air unaided.
This event took place on a guided tour of the homestead and witnessed by several people including some skeptics.
One of our concerns and the reason to visit Oakabella (and especially Loretta) was this claim among others. We strongly believe that Loretta has a very strong connection with energies and entities as the "custodian" of the place and acts as the "mediator" between spirits and outsiders.
We have been very careful to reassure her of our good intentions and "spirit friendly ways" before examining the area. The pesky chain in question was laying peacefully coiled like a dormant beast in the corner and apart from some light phenomena and cold spots we detected nothing hostile around. On the night of the activity however all of its heavy length lifted from the floor swirling and eerily whooshing around for a while as if some invisible angry biker would engage in some violent fight. Our suspicion was confirmed after we found out that some of the visitors acted and walked around with a less respectful attitude that somewhat angered Loretta prompting a poltergeist activity that she was the center of.
The site of reported paranormal activity. The door of the kitchen opens and closes regularly around 2 am. There is a very strong feeling of presence that (our opinion) can be contributed to the old Chinese cook Jock. His sharpening stone is displayed in the yard and many of his personal items can be found in the kitchen and in his adjoining room. Strange light phenomena and temperature drop observed.