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Ten nightmarish places to get your Halloween fix in NSW

October 17, 2017 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Regional New South Wales is home to some of Australia’s most ghostly destinations that will have thrill-seekers reaching for the light switch. Among the spooky spots are the nation’s most haunted house, Monte Cristo Homestead in Junee, Maitland Gaol, and the ghostly town of Milparinka.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said, “NSW is filled with unnerving stories of bygone days and has plenty of spooky places to explore as well as spine-tingling tours to join that will have your heart pounding this Halloween.”

Here are nine terrifying tours and ghostly encounters in regional NSW guaranteed to make your hair stand on end:

1.    Monte Cristo Homestead in the town of Junee is reputed to be Australia’s most haunted house. This beautifully renovated and decorated colonial mansion bears a dark history of murder, torture and insanity. It is said to be haunted by at least 10 ghostly entities who all met untimely ends on the site. The current owner runs ghost tours through the mansion and shares the stories of homestead’s fascinating and frightening past with anyone brave enough to listen.

2.    Maitland Gaol has an intriguing history as a maximum security prison that has housed some of Australia’s most hardened and notorious criminals. Operating for 150 years, the gaol was closed in 1998 and has since become one of the State’s premier heritage-listed sites. Maitland Gaol which remains untouched since the day the gates were shut, and visitors can explore the prison day or night on a self-guided audio tour or the guided Ghost Hunting 101 tour.

3.    The Jenolan Caves are Australia’s most impressive limestone caves and one of the largest cave systems in the world. Situated in the Blue Mountains, 11 caves are open to the public to explore the dark chambers, underground rivers and awe-inspiring cave formations. The local Gundungurra people know Jenolan as Binoomea which means ‘the dark place’, and a number of ghostly tales have emerged over the years mostly connected to James Wiburd, Jenolan’s third caretaker from 1903. It is believed that Wiburd loved the place so much that he never left, lingering to keep an eye on things. Those staying the night can check into Caves House for warm country hospitality, cosy log fires and a thrilling lantern-lit ghost tour of the caves.

4.    In Newcastle, NSW’s second oldest city, the dark still haunts every corner, alley way and historic building. On a night walking tour learn about the dark past and intriguing events going all the way back to the convict times when prisoners worked in leg irons in Newcastle’s underground mine shafts and built many of the city’s buildings.

5.    Milparinka in Outback NSW is a living heritage site in a dramatic desert setting; to others it is a ghost town. The town’s colonial buildings, including a police barracks, lockup and courthouse, have been lovingly restored as part of the Milparinka Heritage Precinct and provide insight into life in Milparinka in its mining heyday. Nearby you’ll find the ruins of Mount Browne, the site of former goldfields, and Depot Glen, where you can visit the grave of James Poole, one of Charles Sturt’s men who explored this region in the 1840s. For a true glimpse into what living in a remote Outback settlement was like you can volunteer at the Milparinka Heritage Precinct.

6.    The Berrima Courthouse in the Southern Highlands has a sinister history including hangings, while the nearby goal, built by convicts in the 1800s, had a reputation as an incredibly cruel place to spend time. A tour of the courthouse includes simulations with realistic mannequins and audio commentary, while the night ghost-hunting tours try to search and make contact with the spirits that reside there.

7.    Tim the Yowie ManAustralia’s only cryptonaturalist (someone who aims to prove the existence of folklore characters such as Yowies and Bigfoot) runs tours of Lake George and Collector, one of Australia’s most historic and haunted villages. Tim takes you back to the era of bushrangers where you’ll visit a hidden convict canal, one of Australia’s oldest pubs and explore the hidden underbelly of the historic village.

8.    Take a walk on the dark side at Trial Bay Gaol in Arakoon National Park on the NSW North Coast, and hear the stories of the prisoners who endured hard labour. The stories of crime, punishment and German internees during World War I, the ship wrecks and the region’s dark maritime history will have you wondering if spirits still call this gaol home.

9.    Now in its fifth year, Halloween Lithgow sees this town in Country NSW over-run with ghosts, ghouls and zombies for a day and night of Halloween festivities. From spooky lighting displays to a ghost train, a street parade and trick or treating for the young and old, Lithgow truly embraces all things Halloween on Saturday 28 October.

10.  Step inside an original 1870s mine at Bald Hill Tourist Mine. Explore the mine shaft, and the dangerous subterranean world of a colonial miner, on a guided tour that includes demonstrations of tap mining techniques. As you look into the 80 metre-long tunnel or climb the 30 metre-high ladder to exit via the ventilation shaft, keep an eye out for the ghosts of the former miners who lost their lives underground. Chilling.

Share your favourite haunted house and spooky encounters in NSW with us on social media by using the hashtag #ILoveSydney or #NewSouthWales.

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