TRACEY Cecil shoots us a knowing glance before craning her head back and around.
‘‘OK, OK, shhhh,’’ she scolds and nods her head towards an empty space behind her, before turning back around and rolling her eyes.
‘‘She’s been here for a long time,’’ she says about her invisible friend, ‘‘and I think she’s quite sad.’’
We’re having our tarot cards read in a candlelit stairwell at the grand old bluestone Eynesbury homestead, as part of the venue’s first ghost tour.
The homestead, which could more accurately be called a mansion, is steeped in history. It was built in 1872, and it’s said that a number of families and ghosts have floated through its halls.
Our tarot card reader for the night is Tracey, a white witch in a purple dress that could have come straight out of Stevie Nicks’s wardrobe. There’s a ghost standing beside her, a lonely lady with a bun, we’re told, as the first cards are dealt. The first card is death. But it’s not a dire prediction, rather a symbol of change and fresh beginnings.
Tracey continues to forecast our futures, our love lives, children and careers, before we are called into the lofty Baillieu room for the tour.
This is the room where Samuel Baillieu, the homestead’s builder and a distant relative of Premier Ted Baillieu, died in 1903 and where his wake was held over several days.
We don’t hear any footsteps or see any of the reported ‘‘flashings’’ in the room, but the ‘‘spirit sticks’’ a guest holds wobble wildly.
We then progress onto a historic tour of the area.
While many consider Eynesbury to be a new suburb, the bluestone walls, the beautifully restored furnishings and ornate landscaping of an antiquated past have visitors believing otherwise.
Historian and paranormal investigator Jacqui Travaglia has been chasing ghosts worldwide with Lantern Ghost Tours. She leads us enchantingly around the homestead telling of scandals and tragedy.
‘‘When people are open, they are more likely to have an experience, by using all of their senses on the tour,’’ Ms Travaglia says.
Alongside her is actor, comedian and ghost hunter Ross Daniels, holding the second lantern that casts harrowing shadows in the haunted billiard room. We pause in the gardens at a sweeping marquee, now used for weddings and events at the venue, where staff have reported hearing coy giggles.
Sombre hauntings and history are catered for in Eynesbury. Ghost tours take place on the second Friday of each month at 8.30pm and 10.30pm.
Details: Lantern Ghost Tours.