When people think of haunted places, they think of creepy old houses, rundown hotels, or cursed churches. However, roads also attract their fair share in reports of supernatural activity.
So in the spirit (pun intended) of Halloween, we’ve made a list of some of Australia’s most haunted roads below, for those who enjoy a bit of folktale.
Drivers beware, you’re in for a scare.
A ghost story that’s over 100 years old is still being told by locals of the Lithgow and Blue Mountains region today. Dating back to the mid-19th century, travellers reported that their horses would become anxious as they approached the Mount Victoria Pass bridge, along with sightings of a lady dressed entirely in black. As time passed, further stories were being shared of ‘The Lady in Black’ suddenly appearing and fiercely clinging to the back of vehicles, causing drivers to lose control.
Side note: One of Australia’s most famous authors, Henry Lawson, wrote a poem about this mysterious presence titled, The Ghost at the Second Bridge. The ghost is believed to be that of Caroline Collits, a local woman whose beaten and battered body was found beside the road in 1842. To find out more, take a listen to the podcast episode linked above.
The Pilliga Princess was supposedly the name given to an Aboriginal homeless woman who often wandered the Newell Highway in New South Wales, pushing her shopping trolley, full of collected belongings. One night in 1993, the Pilliga Princess was hit and killed by a truck travelling down the stretch, spotting her too late as she was wandering across the road. And although the eccentric woman had passed, to this day, truckers and other travellers who pass by to this highway, swear to have seen her since, continuing to push her trolley along the highway.
Side note: Even before this incident ever took place, it has been said that the woman was the only Aboriginal person to have ever been seen along this highway, as the Aboriginals believed it was evil land where bad spirits lived.
Located in a small a suburb of Port Stephens in New South Wales, the urban myth of Lemon Tree Passage Road has long been the subject of local legend. As the story goes, if you speed along this particular stretch of road, surrounded by woods, you will likely witness some sort of bright lights that come and go from nowhere. It has been said that these lights appear from waking up the ghost of a dead motorbike rider, with headlights of a bike appearing rapidly in their rear vision mirror, warning to slow down.
Side note: A horror film titled ‘Lemon Tree Passage’ was released in 2014, inspired by this very story. The film features locals taking American tourists through the area, travelling down the road at night. The outcome? You’ll have to watch to find out (trailer above).
Sydney’s notorious Wakehurst Parkway is a main road near Frenchs Forest, about 26 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD. This stretch of road holds a dark and gloomy past, not only because it’s well known for fatal crashes, but also because it has been infamously used as a dumping ground for bodies of Sydney’s murder victims. So it should come to no surprise that this road would have its fair share of haunted stories attached to it, including that of a ghost named ‘Kelly’. According to a Reddit thread, Kelly has appeared in the backseat of people’s cars, just before the lights at Oxford Falls, dressed in all white. The urban legend goes, that unless she is ordered to get out, she will take control of the car, causing it to veer off the road and crash.
Side note: There’s even a film documentary (trailer above) that centers around Wakehurst Parkway, in which both believers and sceptics are taken to the reserve, along with a spiritual medium, in order to investigate reports of the paranormal activity in the area.
Located 80 kilometres north of Melbourne, Straws Lane in the small town of Woodend, is known for causing quite the stir. At this certain location, otherwise known as ‘Anti Gravity Hill’, you can place your car in neutral and feel as though your car is rolling uphill. Some say that this uncanny experience is the magic pull of the nearby landmark, Hanging Rock, whilst others say it’s simply an optical illusion created by the unusual lie of the land. Either way, there’s no denying that the laws of gravity seem to be defied here.
Side note: If you do decide to visit Straws Lane, come prepared to test it out yourself, even without a car. If you stand near the bottom of the hill and tip water onto the road, you can watch it flow up rather than downhill, as gravity would normally do. Similarly, if you place a ball on the road, the same thing happens.
For those who commute via public transport rather than by a car, this tale of a ghost which haunts Sydney’s Macquarie Fields train station may be of interest. According to various ghost-hunting websites, there’s a ghost of a crying teenage girl, with blood splattered to her chest area, that appears at the station after the last train has departed for the night (which is usually around 12.30am). According to the Urban Ghosts website, “some say they’ve seen her shrieking in terror at some unknown sight, while others have reported that she simply sits in the middle of the tracks and cries and cries.”
Side note: Although no one has reported any violence or harm done by the ghost, it’s still probably best to avoid that last train home.