Monte Cristo Homestead, Junee

Date: October 20, 2001

Equipment: Kodak DC290 Zoom 3.4mp, Sony Mavica MVC-FD88 1.3mp, Sony video camera with nightvision, Canon EOS 3000, tape recorder, compass

Participants: Lani, Kelly, Mick

In October 2001, Paranormal Australia team members and friends descended upon Monte Cristo Historic Homestead in Junee, NSW, to film for two documentaries and conduct an informal investigation. With a reputation for being 'the most haunted house in Australia', this Victorian mansion has been a favorite location for active ghosthunters from all over the country. Over the years there have been countless reports of paranormal activity in the house and surrounding grounds. It's not surprising, considering the unusual number of deaths and tragic events that have taken place there.

Several ghosts have reportedly been seen wandering the homestead including that of a small boy playing in the gardens, a woman walking along the balcony dressed in period costume, and the ghosts of the original owners, William and Elizabeth Crawley.

Click here to read more about Monte Cristo and it's ghostly inhabitants.

Mrs. Crawley is said to be the most dominant ghost of Monte Cristo. It seems that she is very particular about what goes on in 'her' house and will make attempts to unsettle unwanted guests. She has been known to order people out of the Dining Room and has been seen several times in the Chapel, wearing black and carrying a large silver cross. Mr. Crawley is usually seen in the hallway but appears less often than his dearly departed wife.

Current owners, Reg and Olive Ryan, told us that often they'll be lying in bed at night when they hear the sound of the balcony door opening and closing, footsteps walking along the hallway and down the stairs. About fifteen minutes later the footsteps return, up the stairs, down the hallway and then the balcony door can be heard opening and closing again. Upon inspection they always find the house empty and it has become such a common experience that they don't even bother getting out of bed these days. Even more unusual though, is the fact that the footsteps they hear are on wooden floorboards or linoleum, when the entire house is carpeted.

Although I didn't experience anything incredibly unusual while I was there, certain areas of the homestead did make me feel extremely uncomfortable. Most notable was the original homestead, located at the back of the main house. This was the Crawley's original home before Monte Cristo was built. It was then converted into servant's quarters. It is made up of four rooms, a kitchen with a large fireplace and three small bedrooms. It is a cramped area with low ceilings and very little space to move around. I can't explain what it is that makes me so uncomfortable there, I just know that I would not remain there on my own and even have trouble when accompanied by someone.

Another area that unnerved me was the Stables or Coach House, in particular, the area just through the door on the right side. Again, I cannot explain why I felt so strange there but I can only describe it as the sensation of being watched by someone standing behind you. I felt vulnerable and constantly on guard.

At one point during Reg's tour of the house, we entered the Drawing Room and felt a noticeable drop in temperature. A few people commented on this as the group gathered around. Once everyone was in the room, Reg began to speak. "Now, you will get the cold shivers in this room…because Mrs. Crawley is in here now. She's in this room now. I can always tell when she's in here and I know exactly where she is. I just did a little stroll around the room so I know where she is."

Mick submitted the following brief report of his experiences at Monte Cristo.

"The most significant sensation or experience I had whilst investigating Monte Cristo was a cold and uneasy feeling in the top area of the Stables. I felt what I could only describe as a threatening presence in that area. As I entered the doorway and turned to walk the length of the Stable, I had the feeling of someone following behind me, not real close but not that far away either.

The Boys Room was probably the only area of the house itself where I felt anything unusual. In particular, the left side of the bed. It was as if I was encroaching on someone else's space and although this was not a negative feeling, I instinctively felt that I was being discourteous by remaining there.

I slept in the bed where the woman reportedly died in childbirth. I had no negative feelings and in fact enjoyed a good night's sleep."

Kelly submitted the following report of her experiences at Monte Cristo.

"I did feel a little uncomfortable in some areas of the homestead, including the stables where I started to walk up the very narrow and rickety ladder which leads to the loft in the roof above. I felt very uncomfortable whilst climbing up and couldn't open the door at the top - I took that as a sign that I should climb back down!

Another area where I felt very uncomfortable was the old school room located at the left end of the top verandah, which was VERY cold. This room isn't really included in the tour and doesn't seem to have a significant history of activity however my feeling of unease was also shared by the people who were with me at the time.

I didn't really feel uncomfortable at all inside the house. There is a feeling however that there's someone behind the next corner or hiding behind something and watching silently. The room I felt very comfortable in was the Drawing room where Mrs. Crawley has been said to frequent (see above). I went back to this room many times and felt very peaceful. I also felt quite comfortable in the Box room which is located at the right end of the top verandah.

That night, when I got to sleep I suddenly woke up after hearing something in the room move. Thinking that my roommate had come into the room to get something (they had been in and out a couple of times previously) I opened my eyes and saw an empty room. Too tired to think about ghosts I simply said '... do you mind if I get some sleep? I'm tired!' and fell asleep again! So much for my big moment!!! :-)"

Reg did say that he has noticed a considerable increase in paranormal activity in the house over the past few months, particularly from the ghost of Mrs. Crawley. He does not know why, but feels that it could a sign of something about to happen. If you're thinking about it, perhaps now is a good time to visit Monte Cristo!

Paranormal Australia would like to thank Reg and Olive Ryan and their family for their friendly hospitality and for making us feel so welcome in their beautiful home. We look forward to visiting again very soon.

The Original Homestead

The gravestone of Monte Cristo's original owners,
William and Elizabeth Crawley, at Junee cemetery.

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