We’re coming into that spooky time of year, and it got us thinking about some of our darker attractions. Australia’s Golden Outback is full of history and amazing stories, and some of those tales have led to paranormal experiences for many! As we get ready for Halloween, we thought we’d share with you some of the most haunted and spooky places in the Golden Outback. Why not pack up the car and go for a Halloween road trip… if you dare!
Whilst not haunted, there are a couple of Ghost Towns in our region. You probably won’t see Casper, but you will certainly get an eerie feeling as you wander around these abandoned towns.
Big Bell Ghost Town, near Cue
Big Bell was once a hive of activity when the Big Bell Mine was in operation in the early 1900s. The town of Big Bell was established in 1936 and thrived for almost 20 years before the mine closed its doors in 1955, resulting in most residents moving on.
Wander through the derelict town to envisage how life would have been and get a sense the opulence that once graced the former town of Big Bell. You can visit the magnificent ruins of the Big Bell Hotel and wander through the shell of the building to see the remains of the bar, which is said to have been the longest bar in Australia in its day.
These and other ruins around Cue have been reported to be the sights of unexplained lights… so be brave and stay for sunset and see for yourself! If you want an added spooky experience, the old Masonic Lodge and the Queen of the Murchison Hotel in nearby Cue are also reputed to be haunted.
Gwalia was another town that thrived when the Sons of Gwalia Gold Mine was in operation, but in December 1963, when the mine closed unexpectedly, almost all the residents left town. Nowadays it’s a living museum where you can wander through the old cottages and shops where people used to live.
A very special attraction is Hoover House, now a guest house, but originally built in 1898 as a home for the mine manager Herbert Hoover, who later became the 31st President of the United States of America. Hoover designed the Oregon headframe, now a landmark at the Museum, which is believed to be the only wooden incline headframe left in Australia.
Broad Arrow is now a ghost town, about half an hour outside of Kalgoorlie Boulder. All that remains of the community now is a pub, the Broad Arrow. This is a hotspot for locals and tourists who love stopping by for a Broady Burger, a game of pool and to add their signature to the hundreds of thousands that adorn the walls of the building.
Some guests have said they’ve seen a ghost inside the pub, but we’ve only ever seen people having a good time! Take a trip and see for yourself, if you don’t see a ghost, you might always get lucky and find a gold nugget! This area is still really popular with prospectors.
Kalgoorlie Town Hall
Kalgoorlie Town Hall is one of the most iconic buildings in Kalgoorlie. With its grand façade and rich interior decoration, it reflects the town’s immense wealth and civic pride of a community thriving on the 1900’s gold boom.
Until a couple of years ago the Town Hall was used by the Council and was the location of the Visitor Centre. It is now just open to the public for tours. Many people who worked in the building have reported hearing noises or feeling a presence when alone in some of the rooms.
The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Heritage Services present guided tours of the Kalgoorlie Town Hall every Monday and Wednesday at 10:30am (excluding public holidays). If you’re in town, take a tour and go see for yourself if this iconic heritage building has a paranormal vibe!
The Cuballing Hotel, near Dryandra is the perfect place to stop for lunch on your Outback road trip. The pub offers great foot and has a delightful barbecue area and beer garden. However, some people have reported strange occurrences taking place there such as gas bottles being turned on, kegs rolling around, doors slamming, and the ice machine being turned off!
Coolgardie Ghost Cat
One of the popular attractions in Coolgardie is Warden Finnerty’s Historic House. You can explore this historic residence and lean more about Coolgardie, AKA the Mother of the Goldfields. The story goes that during the renovation of Warden Finnerty's historic house, Jack Tree, the curator, felt that he was being bitten on the ankles but could see nothing to account for the sensation. He said that it felt like being bitten by a cat or small dog. During the work the body of a very flat cat was found under the building. It may have been there since the 1890s. Once the cat had been removed there were no more reports of bitten ankles.
Mount Magnet Railway
Mount Magnet is a popular spotting point for people exploring the Gascoyne Murchison region of WA. If you head down to the railway yard in town, you may well experience some spooky activity for yourself!
The story goes that a stranger arrived in town by train looking for French Maggie. She was living in a building at the end of the railway yard with two male 'friends'. A violent argument was heard coming from the house and the next morning Maggie and her companions quickly left town. Some months later the stranger's body was found at the bottom of an abandoned shaft of the New Chum Mine.