By day, the Monte Cristo homestead at Junee looks like any other grand manor. Source: Supplied
By night, it’s Australia’s most haunted house. Spooky. Source: Supplied
REGINALD Ryan and his wife Olive had just moved into a beautiful homestead in Junee, NSW, when they drove downtown for supplies one foggy night in 1963.
When they turned up their driveway on the return trip, a brilliant fierce light was streaming out of every door and window of the house.
They thought they were being burgled, but as they drove cautiously closer to the house, the lights suddenly switched off and the house was again lost in the ghostly fog and darkness.
The Ryans had no idea the Monte Cristo homestead was the country’s most haunted home. And it doesn’t seem to have fazed them – they still live there.
Reginald’s nephew and his wife once visited Monte Cristo and were looking for the loo late one night. A young woman dressed in white appeared before them, whispered “Don’t worry, it will be all right” and vanished.
Olive once found dead and mutilated cats in the kitchen. Visiting children inexplicably throw tantrums around the staircase, where a child once died. There are phantom footsteps, strange apparitions and haunting noises.
It’s little wonder the home’s ghost tours are booked out months in advance.
But Monte Cristo isn’t the only haunted place in the country, of course. Here are seven more of our spookiest.
STUDLEY PARK HOUSE, NSW
The eerie house at dusk. Source: News Limited
On October 15, 1909, in the grounds of the then Camden Grammar School, 14-year-old Ray Blackstone drowned in the dam after failed rescue attempts by his school mates, ancestry.com.au tells us.
His body was placed in the cold, dark cellar of the school until his burial.
Three decades later, while living in the transformed school house, 13-year-old Noel William Gregory – son of Twentieth Century Fox sales manager Arthur Adolphus Gregory, died from appendicitis.
It’s believed that the spirits of both boys play together and remain in the house as a constant reminder of their tragic lives.
REDBANK RANGE TUNNEL, NSW
The disused tunnel is said to be haunted by a death that occurred in 1914. Source: News Limited
Emily Bollard entered a railway tunnel at Picton (no longer in use) and met the oncoming train. It didn’t end well.
Emily’s ghost is said to wander the tunnel.
NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE, ACT
The National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra. Fine by day, but would you wander around at night? Source: Supplied
In its current incarnation, this grand art deco building in Canberra is a living archive of important images and sounds deemed worthy of preservation.
But until 1984, it operated as the Australian Institute of Anatomy, where notable body parts were kept and collected.
Some people believe the spectres of the dead haunt the hallways.
The downstairs corridor, which once housed hundreds of human skulls, is said to be a hive of poltergeist activity.
And a contractor claims to have been pinned against a wall in the basement by an unexplained presence.
BOGGO ROAD JAIL, QLD
The Boggo Road Jail, in Brisbane’s inner-south, has a checkered history of violence. Source: News Limited
It’s one the country’s most infamous prisons – known for tough inmates and even tougher wardens.
Boggo Rd was a place of execution until 1913, and held some of Australia’s most dangerous men and women including the Whiskey Au-Go-Go firebombers James Finch and Andrew Stuart, and the only woman hanged in Queensland, Ellen Thomson.
Given its long history of rooftop riots, executions and fatal overcrowding, Boggo understandably has a ghostly folklore surrounding it.
No longer running as a prison, the historic site is now open to ghost tours.
FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE, WA
A bustling cultural hub today. A lunatic asylum in the past. Source: Flickr
Before this 150-year-old building was Fremantle’s home of live music and weekend crafternoons, it was the local insane asylum.
It’s believed to be one of the southern hemisphere’s most active haunted places.
Visitors have reported all the spooky hallmarks of a haunted house: cold spots, ghostly touches, apparitions, moving lights and generally strange feelings.
Ghost hunters investigated it recently and heard creepy voices saying creepy things like “Those are chains” and “It’s not cold”. CREEPY.
PORT ARTHUR, TAS
Ghost tours operate at Port Arthur. Source: Supplied
Hundreds of men died during Port Arthur’s first decades as a convict settlement, and many people believe those lost souls have hung around.
Tour guides show interested rubber-neckers around the spooky historic town, convinced that the wall separating the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest in Port Arthur.
Some of the local accommodation houses even have an “Unusual Occurrence Form” that guests can fill out when they’ve seen something ghostly.
Recurring visions include the Lady in Blue – apparently the weeping spectre of a young woman who died in childbirth.
More than 2000 apparitions have been lodged in the past two decades.
PRINCESS THEATRE, VIC
The grand old dame of Melbourne’s theatre scene in 1908. Source: Flickr
In March 1888, the baritone Frederick Federici was performing a scene from Faust when he had a sudden heart attack and died.
It’s said his phantom still haunts the opera, and for many years a seat was reserved for him in the third row of the dress circle. Touching. But creepy.