Black Rock House was built in 1856 for Victoria’s first Auditor General Mr Charles Hotson Ebden. With inspiration from Black Rock Castle in Cork Ireland, it was to be his family’s seaside holiday home and used to entertain Melbourne’s elite. Governor La Trobe would spend a lot of time here for the famous hunting breakfasts. Eventually Mr Ebden went back overseas and while the property remained in the family for many years, it was eventually sold and used as a boarding house until it became completely derelict. In 1972, the Bayside Council purchased the property and worked with the Friends of Black Rock House to restore it to its former glory. Mystery has always surrounded Black Rock House.
From its large sandstone Castle Wall with battlements and Castle Gates to the rumoured underground tunnels, there is so much that is unknown about the house. In the 1920s, a local newspaper ran a story addressing the myths surrounding the unknown house. Two girls came by the property and asked the caretaker if the could visit the ‘haunted cellar’ where the ghost of a young woman dressed in white was said to reside. The story was that her husband kept her locked down up there as she was an invalid. The caretaker scoffed that no such thing happened and sent them on their way. In more recent years, passers by have claimed to see a figure jumping from the top of the building (where the old tower used to be) and men fighting in the front yard, thought to be a nod to a famous bare knuckle fist fight that took place on the property.