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 They have found suitcases left behind,filled with historical documents, letters and accounts of the history of the place which reads like a Hollywood script.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
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