Monte Cristo has been plagued by many horrific incidents and deaths over the years. Not surprisingly, the homestead is known as 'Australia's Most Haunted House'. It has been featured on several TV shows including The Extraordinary, ABC TV's Big Country and more recently, the psychological gameshow, Scream Test.
The house and grounds are reported to have seven ghostly residents, although there could be more.
The most dominant ghost according to psychics is Mrs. Crawley herself, which isn't at all surprising since she was known to rule Monte Cristo with an iron fist. During the first few years she spent a great deal of time in the Drawing Room. However, after Mr. Crawley passed away she spent most of her time in the newly converted Chapel. It is here that she is seen most frequently, dressed in black and carrying a large silver cross. Her ghost has been known to order people out of the Dining Room and her presence is felt when a room suddenly becomes icy cold.
The apparition of a woman in period dress has been seen walking along this verandah. You could be excused in thinking that she was a guest at the period ball that is held annually at the estate, however when this apparition passes in front of the windows the light shines right through her! The identity of this woman is not known.
A maid fell to her death from the balcony. The blood stained steps below were cleaned and to this day, you can still see the discolouration from the bleach. Could she be the mysterious woman who still walks the balcony?
There have been at least three deaths on the second story of this beautiful homestead. A woman died giving birth on one of the beds, and Mr. Crawley himself died as a result of blood poisoning from his starched collar in what is now known as the Boys Bedroom.
Footsteps have been heard walking through empty rooms, along the hall and down the stairs which is strange in itself. However, what is even stranger is that the steps sound as though the person is walking on hard wood or lino floors even though the entire house is now carpeted!
Faces have also been seen peering through second story windows even though there is no balcony or support outside. In the Drawing Room, objects such as vases move around. A tapestry hanging on the wall was often found undamaged on the floor the next day. This strange occurance continued until Reg moved the tapestry to another wall and there is remains today, undisturbed.
One of the most disturbing accidents occurred when the Crawley's baby girl fell from her nanny's arms and down the stairs. She subsequestly died from her injuries. The distraught maid claimed that the baby had been pushed out of her arms by an unseen force (which of course was never proven). Today, young children become very agitated and unruly near or around the staircase.
The surrounding grounds have also had a fair share of tragic deaths. The Coach House/Stables was also the sleeping quarters for a stable boy named Morris, who was one day too ill to rise for work. The boss did not believe the boy, and set fire to his bedding. Unfortunately, Morris was too ill to escape and was burnt to death.
A mentally retarded man named Harold, the son of a housekeeper working at Monte Cristo, was kept locked in shackles in the Caretaker's Cottage for forty years. He was found curled up at the feet of his mothers dead body, and sent to a home for the insane where he died shortly afterwards.
The most recent death at Monte Cristo occurred in 1961 when caretaker Jackie Simpson was murdered by a local youth. After watching the movie Psycho several times, the boy made his way up to the grounds of the homestead with a rifle and shot the caretaker dead in his cottage. It is believed that he then scawled the words "DIE JACK HA HA" on the wooden door, a macabre inscription that can still be seen to this day.
There are many more spooky stories and ghostly sightings at Monte Cristo and we definitely recommend a visit. The homestead is open daily for tours and a book detailing the bizarre occurances is available from the giftshop. For more information on tours and the annual period costume ball, please visit our Tours page.
Also, visit our Photo Gallery to view the orbs that Scheggs captured during her visit to the Monte Cristo Historic Homestead!