THE ghost of Chopper Read is haunting Pentridge Prison.
At least, there’s an apparition that looks just like him hanging around his old cell.
In the depths of the uninhabited prison, a large figure has been watching groups of late night visitors who saunder the dark corridors of D-Division.
It watches silently, sometimes arms crossed leaning against a wall, sometimes smoking a cigarette.
But it always disappears into cell 16.
One night, just a few weeks ago, a spinechilling roar echoed down the bluestone walls.
“GET OUT!” it bellowed, forcing the tour group to count its numbers, thinking one of its own was doing a prank.
“GET THE F--- OUT!” the booming voice repeated from the caged off end of the prison, right outside cell 16.
The Lantern Ghost Tours group were hurried outside and the managers called police.
|Mark `Chopper` Read|
But nobody was there.
No living body at least.
“It was one of the scariest moments of my life.” tour guide Jeremy Kewley said.
Just nine months ago, colourful former criminal and author Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read died of liver cancer.
His manager of six years, Andrew Parisi, said freaking people out from beyond the grave would be right up Chopper’s alley.
“I don’t know what happens when you die,” Mr Parisi said.
“(But) he did have a wicked sense of humour.
“If that sort of thing was to happen, it would totally be his thing to have a field day.”
Mr Parisi recalled walking Chopper through Pentridge for media interviews after the prison closed in 1997.
As they walked down the corridors, the former crim spoke of feeling homesick for the place he called home for 17 years.
“To him, it was almost like returning to school,” Mr Parisi said.
Chopper spent just a few months living in D-Division’s cell 16.
The cell was at the furthest end, and purposely the furthest away from his enemy, a career criminal.
Cell 16 was, and still is, in a cluster of cells caged in by steel bars, either to protect those inside from out, or those outside from in.
The story goes that Chopper was allowed outside his cell to walk about the cage.
He would lean against the wall, smoke cigarettes and watch whoever roamed the prison corridors.
And he always disappeared back into cell 16.