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  1.  (10547.1)
    Every town or city has rumours – stories that get passed down from generation to generation and are completely unknown to outsiders. How’s about we do something about that and share the tales and folklore of the places we live, or grew up?

    My hometown is Perth, Western Australia and it has a fair slab of strange stories and legends…

    Platypuses – Platypuses are not native to Western Australia, but every now and then someone will claim to have spotted one up in the streams up in the hills behind the city. Conventional wisdom is that they’ve just seen a water rat, but rumours have persisted for years that at some indeterminate point in the past some indeterminate person released some indeterminate number of platypuses up there for indeterminate purposes.

    Funnily enough, a few years back someone actually did the research and discovered that a breeding pair of platypuses were released into the hills back in the 1930s as part of some kind of deranged ecological ‘improvement’ scheme. One of them turned up dead a week or so later however, so it’s unlikely that they produced any offspring. As a result, the rumours now focus on some mysterious earlier release, possibly in the Victorian era.

    Japanese Sea Planes – During World War II rumours were rife that Japanese sea planes were using the dams up in the hills to pick up and drop off spies. Mysterious planes buzzing the hills at night were the black helicopters of the day. It’s almost certainly untrue but not completely outside the realms of possibility.

    Secret Tunnels – It’s claimed by some that there are underground tunnels linking the Supreme Court building in the city to the Old Perth Mint. As the buildings are well over a kilometre apart this seems unlikely, but the stories persist. Slightly more likely are stories of tunnels linking to the old Treasury Building across the road from the Court. There may also be a 1920s style public toilet entombed under the intersection just outside the Court – an underground toilet certainly existed there once, the question is whether it was demolished or simply sealed up when the authorities decided to close it.

    The Boya Quarry – The old Boya Quarry up in the hills was supposed to be the site of all kinds of satanic rituals. These days it’s a rock climbing centre, but when I first visited it back in the 1990s it was full of junk and heavily gratified with pentagrams and the number 666. How much of that was down to genuine cult activity and how much to people who’d heard the stories is another question.

    The QV1 Building – Perth claims to be the most isolated large city in the world (it really depends on how you define ‘large city’). We have a population of 1.6 million and the nearest population centre with even 500,000 is a good 1,300 miles away. In the 1990s the QV1 skyscraper was constructed in the central city as a hub for telecommunications and internet firms and – so the rumours say – every communication link to the outside world was routed through it. Result? Blow up or otherwise disable QV1 and Perth would be completely cut off from the rest of the planet.

    There’s another rumour about QV1, which is that its architecture is a tribute to Marilyn Monroe. The main north and south entrances resemble the skirt scene from the 7 Year Itch, and the building’s footprint seen from above resembles a pair of pouting lips.

    Trilobites – Back in the 80s it was claimed that living, giant trilobites had been discovered in the city’s storm drains. It turned out to be a weird combination of rumour, hoax, and very hot summer with no other real news to report. An old tyre cut up to look like a giant bug was alledged to be involved.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2012
    I live about twenty minutes drive from the Winchester Mystery House, the former home of Sarah Winchester who was told by a medium that she had to keep adding on to the house, keep building, in order to house all the spirits of those slain by Winchester rifles. It's a beautiful, if a bit crazy, house and the gardens around it are nice too.
  2.  (10547.3)

    Oh cool. I've wanted to visit the Mystery house ever since I saw it on an old Ripley's Believe it or Not as a kid.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2012
    @Purple Wyrm

    People seriously talk up the woo when they discuss it, I didn't find it particularly spooky or anything, but it is a beautiful, if weird, house.
  3.  (10547.5)
    My favourite was Spitfire Bridge, near Winchester, which used to span the A33 London-Southampton road before a motorway was built in the '90s. Legend has it that a pilot flew a Spitfire through it during WWII, ending up with a distinctly narrower plane as a result.

    I never knew if that was true or not, so for the purposes of this thread I put it into the Googles: It's nearly true except the plane wasn't a Spitfire it was a Curtiss P40.

    Which is still a great story...