Mysterious deaths, recluse spirits and terrifying poltergeists. Australia is home to not only beautiful beaches but unsettling hauntings.
A mattress set alight, with a boy left inside. The boss did not believe that the stable boy was too sick to work. So, he set his straw mattress alight to make the “lying” boy jump out of bed and get to work. The boy, in fact, was unwell and did not get out in time. His spirit is said to remain.
And then there is Harold, who for 40 years was kept in chains in the caretaker’s cottage. The disabled man was found curled up at the foot of his dead mother. He died soon after, at a home for the insane. The sounds of his chains can still be heard through the dark cold Junee nights.
Today, a maid in period clothing roams the balcony of the homestead, even after falling to her death more than 100 years ago. The stairs below are rumoured to be seen, stained in red by some who visit. What makes this story even more heart-breaking, is the fact she was pregnant at the time.
A black lace dress and ice-cold air. She’s waiting. Wandering along the hallways of the Victorianesque Monte Cristo, one must be careful not to disturb her. Known for her harsh mistreatment towards her employers, recluse Mrs Elizabeth Crawley, is known to still haunt the residence.
And then there’s Mr William Christopher Crawley who built the house in 1876 and continues to haunt the land.
Along with that, a caretaker was shot and killed within the walls of the home in 1961. A man who had seen Hitchcock’s “Psycho” three times, walked up to the homestead and fatally shot Jack Simpson. The words “Die Jack Die. Ha. Ha. Ha,” were written on the wall at the murder scene.
Homestead manager, Lawrence Ryan, says that even though Monte Cristo homestead might not have as many ghosts or spirits as other locations around Australia, however, they have more activity. That is what makes it stand out from the rest.
The site is built on top of a layer of quartz crystal, allowing spirits to regularly contact the physical world. It’s like the bat signal for ghosts.
Every Saturday night, Monte Cristo runs ghost tours. These are not for the weakest of hearts. Tours can be booked by calling 0409 945 204 or by emailing email@example.com
North Queensland is home to a watering hole shrouded in mystery and connected to ominous deaths of young men. Seventeen men were held, submerged under the rushing waters of Devil’s Pool by an unknown force.
According to the Dreamtime Storey, a married woman, Oolana of Yidnji, fell in love with Dyga, a man from a passing tribe. Before Dyga and Oolana were able to flee, they were confronted by her husband at Devil’s Pool. She threw herself into the water calling for Dyga to follow. However, as she turned to him, Dyga vanished with his tribe.
The legend says that by plunging herself into the waters, Oolana shook the stream into action, causing the land around her to vibrate, with boulders flying into the creek, causing the water to plunge at distressing rates.
Oolana’s spirit remains in the waterhole, luring young men to their deaths. The heartbroken soul is still heard today, crying out to her lover.
The youngest to be swept under by the rapids was John Dominic English. In 1940, the eight-year-old went to the pool with his older brothers and sisters. As he could not swim, he sat on the rocks watching his siblings. However, after a few minutes, left unnoticed, Dominic’s brother was left in shock as Dominic was no longer on the rock but in the waters below.
Footsteps echo, chains rattle and figures of those who never made it out walk the dilapidated halls. Within these walls, patients were once restrained by chains, trapped in straitjackets, with some even forced to receive electro-shock treatment as medication was not yet available.
Those facing electro-shock treatments had company in that of Matron Sharpe, who, as described by nurses, would sit and bring comfort to them. However, nurses indicated that, while Matron Sharpe was not there in the flesh, the room would turn icy-cold. She can still be seen prowling the halls.
As very few patients walked out of the asylum alive, it’s believed they’re buried in unmarked graves dispersed throughout the land. Their spirits left wandering the grounds.
Tommy is said to tug on the clothes of visitors in the Bijou Theatre, previously said to be the kitchen area. He wasn’t only a patient but a kitchen hand, assisting in the transportation of deceased patients out of the hospital on the “meat wagon”, as it was colloquially known. He passed away in the area, contributing to the hauntings over the years.
Not only a kitchen, the Bijou Theatre was also the Reaction Hall, where patients would sit and play music, perform in plays or attend church services on Sundays. Women who visit the former hall have reported seeing the apparition of a young girl. The girl will often approach them in an attempt of desperate communication, but her words cannot be understood.
These sightings are not alone, unexplained figures are not an uncommon sight for visitors. With shadows consistently wondering the halls. And if these occurrences aren’t creepy enough, children’s laughter can be heard echoing throughout the distant halls and wings of the hospital at night.
Beechworth Asylum runs several ghost and historical tours for those brave enough to face the unknown.
The faceless, happy and polite spirit of Federick ‘Fred’ Carr appears often in the gaol. However, in 2000, the faceless spirit appeared, but this time, something came upon the face. A smile. Fred was hung in 1927, for the murder of his wife, Maude. Up until his death, Carr exclaimed his innocence.
Two more notorious spirits are said to appear in the goal; Governor William Baker Ashton’s footsteps can still be heard through the walls and The Hangman Ben Ellis is said to appear throughout the halls.
Forty-five executions took place within the walls of this gaol, including the only woman to ever be executed in South Australia.
For those wishing to be left terrified, the gaol offers four guided tours.
More information can be found here: https://www.adelaidegaol.sa.gov.au/Home
The Humpty Doo House, Humpty Doo
In the town of Humpty Doo stands a house. The house, for over 20 years, is home to a spirit. This spirit would come to be known as one of Australia’s poltergeists. Those who lived at the property were subject to fits of rage. From shards of glass to spanners, several objects were hurled their way.
Just like a scene from a classic horror movie, three priests, two Catholics the other Greek Orthodox, wandered up to the ominous house to exercise the malevolent spirit. The spirit was not impressed with the display, throwing knives in their direction. Out of
nowhere, a pistol cartridge fell from mid-air. and if this wasn’t enough, one of the priests reported a crucifix was propelled across the room.
The full terrifying story can be read in the book: Australian Poltergeist: The Stone-throwing Spook of Humpty Doo and Many Other Cases was written by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper
A haunted building, a paranoid owner and an eerie hotel room. No, this isn’t The Shining.
Throughout its many years providing for thirsty visitors and workers after a long day, the Kalamunda Hotel has experienced its fair share of spookiness. Not only home to tourists, the hotel is also believed to be home to dwellers of the supernatural kind. This led staff to contact a local clairvoyant, who confirmed their suspicions.
In another tragic tale involving a balcony, a young, pregnant teenage girl jumped from the hotel’s second floor, dying on impact. The hotels original owner, Paddy Connolly, who allegedly loved the ladies, was believed to be the unborn child’s father.
Along with this young spirit, a number of other ghosts appear to haunt the building.
An irritated handlebar moustached-man in his 60s, a beautiful woman in her 30s donned in a white collared, Victorian-era dress and a mischievous seven to eight-year-old girl who loves to happily wander the halls with her rag doll. And the vision of a man. Hanging in the dark distance.
To top it off, Room 24. Lights glow, visions appear, and guests left bewildered. According to one source, a suicide occurred in Room 24. Leaving the area occupied by some maleficent soul. The hall outside of the room is said to remain cold, even during the warmest of days.
Hobart Convict Penitentiary, Hobart
Gallows, an execution yard and underground tunnels. To this day, the hangman awaits visitors. Longing for the 40,000 convicts that called this prison their home for 173 years.
The 1830s saw convicts frequent the prisons service chapel; however, this was anything but a sanctuary. Beneath the chapel’s floor, inhumane solitary confinement cells are located. These cells connected by tunnels that wound throughout to the underground gallows that saw Tasmania’s last hanging in 1946. Executions at the penitentiary saw 31 men and one woman meet their grim demise.
Even though the penitentiary was mostly demolished in the 1960s, the past and spirits of those long gone remain in salvaged parts of the building.
One of the spirits is believed to be that of Solomon Blay, the notorious hangman known to have executed more than 200 people. Beware of Blay, he does not take kindly to those who touch his noose or other equipment in the area. If one dares enter the area, they will be met with not only the hangman’s spirit but the smell of urine and blood that has stained the air.
Red eyes are seen in the darkness of one particular holding cell. Just a short walk from the gallows the cell where many awaited their deaths resides an evil entity. This entity does not take lightly to visitors, once throwing a man against the cells wall.
If one continues down the dark tunnel to the solitary confinement cell, they will hear the sounds of those long past; voices, unexplainable sounds. Women who visit the prison are often subject to harassing behaviour; with some experienced being kissed and groped by unknown forces.
If one dares to face the glowing red eyes and haunted tunnels of one of Tasmania’s most haunted penitentiary’s, tours are available.
Those who visit this 1860 cottage, experience the smell of burning flesh. The smell is believed to be from 17-year-old Florence Blundell, who burnt to death in 1892.
It was a Thursday night, home alone with her two-younger brothers. Her parents out, visiting neighbours. Her brothers slept, but as the clocked chimed 9.00 pm, an incident occurred which would haunt the house for years to come. Screams. Cries for help. They were confronted by Florence in the kitchen, with clothes alight. After many attempts to put the flames out, they ran to their neighbours for help. However, the injuries sustained by Florence were too much. Later passing.
Even though long gone, she appears to pass visitors regularly. Unlike most spirits discussed here, it is believed that Florence welcomes visitors. She is seen playing in the gardens near the cottage.
Those who visit also report that items will mysteriously move around inside. And for those visiting, wearing necklaces could summon Florence further, as at the time of the incident, she wore a necklace.
In 2010, a visitor who was inside the cottage saw an all back shadow who went from a seated position to walking across the room and stare out the window. The visitor sure didn’t stay for long after, bolting out of the cottage.