Monte Cristo Homestead in Junee, New South Wales.

Monte Cristo Homestead (meaning Mount of Christ) sits at the top of the hill overlooking the township of Junee, NSW and is claimed to be Australia’s most haunted house. Built in 1826 by well respected Catholics Christopher William and Elizabeth Lydia Crawley, the house has definitely seen its share of hauntings. This late Victorian house succeeded to be the ultimate status symbol, a bit like a castle in Europe and in its prime was used as a social centre where balls and meetings were held amongst the township. The Crowleys together raised 7 children, all of whom went on to live healthy prosperous lives and were incredibly talented with music. Mrs Crawley ruled the house almost like a queen, and almost always wore a black lace dress with black lace cap. Mr Crawley passed away of heart failure in 1910 at the age of 69 due to blood poisoning and it is believed Mrs Crawley only left the house on two occasions in the last 23 years of her life. She turned a storage room into a chapel and became immersed in the bible until her own death in 1933 at the age of 93 also from heart failure due to a ruptured appendix. Monte Cristo however, stayed in the family until the last member vacated the house in 1948 and remained vacant until it was acquired by Reg and Olive Ryan in 1963 who restored it to its original glory. The Ryans first discovered something was not quite right with the house after returning one night after fetching supplies to find lights blaring out of every single window and door, only to disappear a few seconds later. There was no electricity and the only source of light inside was a kerosene lamp which was not lit. The stairs are also ripe with unexplained activity, with visitors complaining of an unforseen force stopping them from proceeding to the second floor. After a 1993 ball at Monte Cristo, a guest decided to use the toilet before retiring for the night, only to be greeted by a woman dressed in white at the top of the stairs who said twice “Don’t worry, it will be alright” before vanishing into thin air. Monte Cristo has also appeared on several television series. On one occasion, a television crew was served dinner in the dining room. One guest kept leaving the room with no explanation and then returning to his seat a few minutes later. When asked about it, the gentleman said Mrs Crawley kept ordering him out of the room so to keep the peace, he obeyed. Stories of Mrs Crawley’s presence, mysterious lights, children becoming sick on arrival to the house only to return to normal upon leaving the grounds, phantom footsteps in the upstairs bedrooms, faces appearing in windows, apparitions appearing at the top of the stairs, and mutilated animals turning up in bedrooms are very common at this Victorian house. In 2014, the Ryans still reside there and have opened their doors to tour groups and psychics brave enough to enter.