He’s known for his mock executions on stage, but Alice Cooper got a confronting dose of Australia’s convict history when he ventured behind bars for a spooky prison tour.
Cooper, accompanied by a small group of brave fans, walked the corridors of Fremantle Prison on Friday night, stepped inside cells and examined the gallows which claimed 44 lives.
Built in the 1850s, the prison is said to be one of Australia’s most haunted locations, but the rocker said he didn’t feel a paranormal presence during his visit.
“I was more interested in the history of the whole thing, especially when you see the hanging room,” he said.
“That’s something I do on stage and it’s a good trick, but when you realise they actually put the metal in a certain place so they know it’s going to snap your neck at exactly the right place – and it’s a science, that’s bizarre. If there was anything paranormal it would be there.”
After the last inmates were transferred in 1991, Fremantle Prison was restored and has become a popular tourist attraction. In recent years, parts of the complex have been converted to office space and, as of last week, budget accommodation.
“The most amazing thing about it was they actually built this, the convicts built the prison themselves – you don’t hear of anything like that. Usually that’s a government thing they do and it’s still standing, they did a pretty good job,” Cooper said.
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger visited the prison shortly before the band’s Perth gig in November last year, but Cooper said such outings were rare for rock stars.
“We never get to do things like this. Normally we come into town, we see the venue, we go shopping or something, we go to a movie, we go to dinner and then we’re gone. We do the show and we’re gone,” he said.