Sinister true stories from the dark history of Ballarat.
Moonlight in Egerton – Part I05/11/2019
Tales from Rat City presents a three-part dramatisation of the bizarre life of the notorious Australia bushranger Captain Moonlight. Hear our actors bring every twist of his weird story to life, and decide for youself what really happened on that stormy night in the rough mining town of Egerton.
Matilda and the Asylum21/05/2019
Matilda Cutler escapes Ararat Asylum with a terrible story she is desperate to share. Can one woman change the system? Join David and Tom as they explore the grim history of the Ararat Asylum. N.B. this episode contains direct examples of abuse in care occurring across the last 100 years in Victoria. Listeners may find […]
Episode 10: Jac Jorgenson31/12/2018
Join Tom, David and their guest, historic reenactor Chase Day, as they uncover the story of Jac Jorgenson, and discuss the rich tradition of women in the military. See below for our gallery of remarkable female fighters, courtesy of Chase’s Facebook group Bob the Reenactor. John ‘Jac’ Jorgenson (or Jorgensen) moved to country Victoria in […]
Episode 9: The Cunning Woman09/11/2018
In an era when doctors were dangerous hacks, what alternatives did you have? This episode explores the story of Mary Barrel, Australia’s first identified ‘cunning person’. A woman who practiced an ancient traditional craft of folk medicine. We’ll also explore the world of concealed marks and ritual hidden in historic homes. If you find something […]
Episode 8: A Time of Change12/08/2018
Over the last two hundred years, we’ve changed Victoria’s ecology beyond recognition. Each generation since White arrival has continued this rapid transformation, irreversibly altering the world once known intimately by Indigenous Australians. But this relationship has not been one-way. Each time we’ve driven change into the ecology, it has responded with unpredictable effects. It has […]
Episode 7: Buckley’s Chance11/07/2018
Emerging from the Victorian bush in 1835 after thirty-two years with the Wadawurrung people, William Buckley has never ceased surprising Australians. In this episode, hear how an illiterate escaped convict became a rare link between alien cultures. Buckley changed Victorian history forever, and even today his story can still offer us rare insight into pre-colonial […]
Episode 6: Edward de Lacy Evans16/05/2018
Edward’s unnoticed and perfectly ordinary life comes completely unravelled after a dramatic public unmasking. Cast Benjamin Marshall – Pamphlet Writer Jamie Gleeson – Mr Gundry, Mr Brennan Collin Van Uden – Justice Strickland, Journalist, Fellow Miner, Dr Poland Lisa Trelor – Edward de Lacy Evans, Neighbour Ellen Barkla – Nurse Holt, Julia Marquand Elise Dowdell […]
Episode 5: The Call of the Bunyip25/02/2018
Despite the wide familiarity, few Australians would know the bizarre and wonderful Indigenous tale that lies behind our Bunyip. Paul Donovan joins us to explain how his compelling and fascinating research may have shed light on this ancient legend, and provide a pretty good case for just what exactly the original Bunyip was.
Episode 4: Ghost Hoaxing in the Goldfields22/09/2017
In this our fourth episode, we're looking into David's speciality - ghost hoaxing in Australia. Ghost hoaxing or 'playing the ghost' was an oddly popular 1800s prank for dressing up as a ghost and terrifying strangers.
Episode 3: Quacks, Opiates & Fake Cures26/06/2017
In this episode we find out why 1800’s medicine was more likely to kill than cure and meet the various quacks, crooks & kooks that made up the landscape of Goldfields medicine.